Dealing with acne doesn’t get any easier with age. Even after our teen years are long behind us, many of us are still battling stubborn breakouts caused by any number of factors from hormones, to diet, to dirty makeup brushes. Finding the right way to treat blemishes is almost as frustrating as the actual pimples themselves. But while trial-and-error is essential in finding the best product for you, some formulas can be further irritating, not to mention expensive—but they don’t have to be.
Luckily, some of the most effective acne-fighting must-haves can be found at the nearest drugstore, so they won’t leave your wallet feeling too light. From cleansers to spot treatments, read on for some of the best cost-effective ways to tackle acne head-on for a clearer complexion.
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1. Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
Wash away dirt, oil and makeup with this cleanser formulated to prevent blemishes and breakouts without causing further dryness or irritation.
Aveeno | $7
2. Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers
If you’re the type that can’t resist the urge to pop blemishes, stick these sponge-like covers on pimples to stop yourself from picking at them. Bonus: The pads work to absorb and clear the spot at the same time.
Nexcare | $8
3. Bioré Pore-Unclogging Scrub
Clogged pores are a common—and preventable—cause of breakouts. Use Bioré’s deep-cleansing scrub two or three times a week to lift dirt and oil from your skin for a squeaky-clean, blemish-free complexion.
Biore | $8
4. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Leave On Mask
For spots that just wont quit, try applying Neutrogena’s full-face treatment to get rid of the pimples you currently have and prevent the ones you can’t see yet from reaching the skin’s surface.
Neutrogena | $7
5. Avène Cleanance Expert
Packed with alternative ingredients to salicylic and glycolic acid, Avène's moisturizer is anti-inflammatory and won't cause any further irritation to your skin.
6. Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment
Battle blemishes naturally with Burt’s Bees spot treatment. Its main ingredient, tea tree oil, is a powerful acne fighter that quickly clears up isolated pimples.
Burt's Bees | $11
7. Differin Acne Treatment
This cult-favorite treatment is the only prescription-grade retinoid acne treatment you can get without making a visit to your dermatologist's office. The formula minimizes and prevents blemishes while improving skin tone and texture. Apply a thin layer of it over your entire face between cleansing and moisturizing.
8. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes
Quickly take of your day's makeup while clearing your pores, too. These wipes are charcoal-infused so they're like a detox for your complexion.
Yes To | $6
9. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Treatment Control Kit for Clear Skin
While some acne treatments are extremely effective, they can also dry your skin out. This three-step kit includes a cleanser that washes away the dirt and oil that's clogging pores and leading to breakouts, a spot treatment for existing blemishes, and a moisturizer that keeps skin hydrated and healthy.
Clean & Clear | $17