Best Drugstore Acne Products: Best Picks That Work!

(Last Updated On: April 1, 2020)

I’ve lived with acne and oily skin my whole life, so you can bet I’ve tried just about every product out there to help. The problem was that there were so many, that I ended up wasting money on formulas that didn’t work! I should have been looking at drugstore brands, which work great but won’t cost too much either.

Best Drugstore Acne Products 2020

Oxy-10 Balance Medication Gel

This gel has benzoyl peroxide in it to help it work. It’s oil free for those of you with oily skin, working to prevent pimples, blemishes, blackheads, or whiteheads too.

Why It’s So Popular:
– Helps to eliminate mild to moderate blemishes
– Fast results
– People like the tube rather than pumps

Check price and more details here

Keep In Mind:
– Very drying; you need a moisturizer

Neutrogena Oil-Free Grapefruit Moisturizer

This grapefruit moisturizer uses salicylic acid to moisturize and prevent breakouts. Neutrogena is lightweight, oil-free, and water based, so you can be sure it’s effective.

Why It’s So Popular:
– Very light and moisturizes well
– It smells good and isn’t sticky, so makeup can go over it
– You only need a small amount to clear up your face

Check price and more details here

Keep In Mind:
– Not great for combination skin
– The ingredients can cause breakouts for sensitive skins

Sol Beauty Dead Sea Mud Mask

Dead Sea mud has been a popular when it comes to helping your skin. This mask draws out excess oils from your skin while reducing wrinkles too. It’s even effective on all skin types.

Why It’s So Popular:
– The mud smells great and goes on easily and smooth
– Provides a great tightening effect to the skin
– Smooth, hydrated skin with less blackhead and pores

Check price and more details here

Keep In Mind:
– Does not wash off super easily
– Only softens skin temporarily
– Dries out quickly

Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bars Prone Formula

Neutrogena makes popular products, so of course I’ve got them on here twice! Their facial bars won’t clog pores and are even hypo-allergenic. They rinse off pretty easily too and are made in the United States. Dermatologists also recommend them!


Why It’s So Popular:
– Does not make you break out
– Minimizes pores immediately after use
– Not a strong smell and great for sensitive skin

Check price and more details here

Keep In Mind:
– The size of the bar is a little small

Nexcare Absorbing Cover

Nexcare’s cover works like a sponge to absorb pus and oil, so you can see that it’s working. This is completely drug-free and non-drying so it can protect your skin safely.

Why It’s So Popular:
– Works great for pimples deep down
– Provide coverage against picking
– Speeds up the healing process

Check price and more details here

Keep In Mind:
– Can’t wear them with makeup
– Some say they’re expensive for the quantity given

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

This product claims to be the most powerful facial you can get, cleaning your pores deeply with natural calcium bentonite clay. Don’t worry about additives, fragrances, or animal products either.

Why It’s So Popular:
– Skin looks luminous and younger
– Clay heals the face very quickly
– Cleans pores and removes blackheads within the first few weeks

Check price and more details here

Keep In Mind:
– The smell isn’t great
– It dries with an odd feeling
– Causes worse breakouts in some people

Active Acne Ingredients To Look For

That’s right: there are only six main ingredients in acne formulas that really help reduce your blemishes. If you want your skin to clear up, any formula you try should have one of these.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most common ingredients you’ll see, as it is a powerful antibiotic. Just 2.5% concentration reduces future outbreaks by peeling outer layers of skin, clearing pores, and reducing bacterial growth. Be careful of dryness though.

Salicylic Acid

You’ll find this ingredient in lots of creams too. It also removes outer layers of skin to reduce inflammation, bacterial growth, and clogged pores. Usually it’s less irritating than benzoyl peroxide and works fast with minimal redness.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

This group of acids also removes the upper layers of skin so antibacterial formulas can penetrate deep within. They can even reduce redness and scarring when used once a day.

Glycolic Acid

This hydroxy acid has especially small molecules to penetrate the top layer of skin. Glycolic Acid is great for reducing scars and redness too, but can also stimulate collagen production for new layers of healthy skin.


Sulfur is a very old ingredient that’s used an antibacterial. It disinfects with a soothing effect to help with redness and inflammation. You can even increase its effect when used with other products.


Finally, resorcinol is a substance occurring naturally in oils and as a chemical byproduct. It’s never used by itself, but when combined with sulfur, it increases the anti-inflammatory properties.

Tips For Preventing Acne

You can do a lot to prevent pimples and blemishes before you even have to treat it. There are so many simple steps that you can do in just a few minutes.

Clean Up: Wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from the face. Avoid scrubbing though, since too much washing can cause more dryness over time.

Moisturize: Products treating them often dry out the skin. Moisturizers can combat this depending on what type of skin you have.

Use Makeup Sparingly: Especially during a breakout, avoid foundation, powder, or blush, and wash off any makeup at the end of the day. Oil free cosmetics labeled non-comedogenic are what you should look for.

Watch Your Hair: Using fragrances, oils, pomades, or gels in your hair care routine. Once they get on your face, they can block your pores and irritate the skin. Just keep hair out of your face and wash often.

No Hands: Stop touching your face! I know it’s hard, but touching your face or picking zits spreads bacteria and irritates skin, leading to infection and scarring.

Avoid the Sun: Not permanently. Just be careful when you’re in the sun. UV rays can increase inflammation and redness, especially since these make the skin very sensitive. Limit your time in the sun while wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.

Eat Well: Greasy foods don’t always cause pimples, but it’s still better to eat fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains. Highly processed foods can be a problem if you eat too much.

Exercise: Daily exercise is great for your health and for your skin. When you shower afterwards, you’ll wipe off all that sweat too.

Don’t Stress: This is a hard one for lots of us, but stressing too much increases pimples. If you can relax a little, that’ll be best.


I spent a long while looking for exactly the best drugstore acne product to treat my oily skin. Trust me when I say it took a while! But after finding the right products for the right price, I was set. No matter what kind of skin you’re dealing with, acne shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

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