5 Bomb Drugstore Products For Acne-Prone Skin


The skincare aisle can be difficult to navigate with so many different formulas and active ingredients to decode. And this is definitely the case when it comes to finding solutions to soothe and calm acne-prone skin. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you by pulling five of the best acne-busting products that won’t break you out – or break the bank.

These tried-and-tested formulas are packed with renowned acne-fighting ingredients and come with rave reviews that prove their efficiency. So, whether you’re looking for a quick spot solution to take down pimples overnight or a daily wash to soothe oily skin, these products have got you covered.

1. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, $7

drugstore acne products Source: Clean & Clear

If you’re looking to calm a pimple in under 24 hours, this treatment is the ultimate solution. Harnessing the power of acne-busting hero; salicylic acid, it’s proven to reduce inflammation and redness without drying out the skin. When this treatment was clinically tested, 100% of people showed clearer skin in just one day, which is insane!

How to use: Start by cleansing, then apply a thin layer all over your face, then once dry, follow with a moisturizer. Alternatively, apply the formula directly to your pimple for targeted spot treatment.

2. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, $13

drugstore acne products

Source: Differin

This Differin gel retinoid formula was the first FDA-approved prescription-strength retinoid treatment available at the drugstore, and derms have been recommending it ever since. The formula contains adapalene, a type of retinoid that helps regulate skin cell turnover, thereby creating a healthier skin environment, regulating oil production, and minimizing dead skin cell buildup. It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory and works to treat inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. You’ll see the best results after eight to 12 weeks of using it, and don’t be discouraged if you feel like you’re breaking out more in the first few weeks, as this is part of the process.

How to use: Use this cream as part of your nighttime routine, after you’ve cleansed and toned and before you apply your moisturizer. It can cause dryness, so be sure to use a hydrating moisturizer and always use SPF 30 during the daytime.

3. COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, $6

drugstore acne products Source: CosRX

If you’re looking for an overnight pimple remedy, these patches are the bomb.com. The airtight dressing extracts and absorbs any sebum or puss, helping to flatten the pimple by morning. Plus, the stickers act as a barrier, keeping your skin protected from other dirt or bacteria that could irritate the blemish further.

How to use: Carefully place the sticker on clean, dry skin, so it covers the entire pimple. Leave the patch overnight or pop one on while you WFH, and remove it before you start your morning or evening skin routine.

4. The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask, $7

drugstore acne products Source: The Inkey List

This oil-extracting face mask features kaolin and smectite clay to exfoliate dead skin, remove impurities, and nix oil production, making it a must-have for oily and acne-prone skin. The gentle yet powerful mask is also non-drying, so it won’t leave your skin feeling tight or uncomfortable. Use it once or twice a week for a pore-detox.

How to use: Apply a thin layer to clean, damp skin. Leave on for ten minutes, then wash off with warm water. Follow with your fave serum and moisturizer.

5. Cetaphil Pro Oil Removing Foam Wash, $10 

drugstore acne products Source: Cetaphil

Cetaphil is loved by derms and skincare fanatics alike, thanks to their simple yet effective formulas, and this foaming wash is no exception. Designed for oily and acne-prone skin, the formula works to remove bacteria and excess oil that could otherwise contribute to or aggravate a breakout. This foaming wash is formulated with zinc technology to reduce irritation and soothe the skin, and is gentle enough for daily use and won’t over-strip your skin of its natural oils. It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores, and is paraben and fragrance-free. In short: it’s a no-brainer for acne-prone skin.

How to use: Use morning and night as the first step of your skincare routine.

For more tips on how to soothe acne-prone skin, read our ultimate skincare routine for acne.