Best Cheap Acne Treatments
Ugh, acne -- that scourge we hope never to face again after the age of 16. But many adults continue to struggle with acne and others develop it at certain points in their lives, like during pregnancy or periods of high stress. Well aware of these facts of life, the skin care industry has developed heaps of cheap acne treatments aimed at stopping or lessening the severity of blemishes large and small. Severe or cystic acne may require something stronger and more expensive, like antibiotics, but blackheads and whiteheads and classic red pimples often can be cured with products costing less than $7.
Our Top Pick
Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, Maximum Strength Review
For some users, blemishes disappear by morning and for others it takes several days, according to Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, Maximum Strength reviews. Regardless, scores of users rely on this acne treatment to keep their breakouts under control. In Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 reviews posted on Drugstore.com, users say it's effective for different kinds of acne, from whiteheads and blackheads to inflamed blemishes to teen and adult acne. With its heavy dose of benzoyl peroxide, some reviews on Makeup Alley assert this is the best acne product available: it reduces swelling and redness, vanquishes the worst pimples, and dries immediately; one user claims it's better than prescription medications. There are a fair number of consumers, however, who note on a variety of review sites that it dries out and/or irritates their skin and a few report nasty allergic reactions. Antidotes to the dryness: use a moisturizer and/or apply less often.
With its 10% benzoyl peroxide, Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, Maximum Strength (starting at $5, Amazon) contains the maximum amount of this ingredient found in over-the-counter acne products. It's strong stuff and a little goes a long way -- just dab a bit onto the blemish or pimple. Users say this spot acne treatment dries instantly and clear, leaving no telltale signs and minimizing any scarring from the faded pimples (but it does bleach fabrics). The tube contains one ounce of cream, which can be used up to three times a day.
The strength of Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 might be too much for consumers with dry or sensitive skin, but the formula ensures fast results. Many users carry a tube in their purse or backpack for those need-it-now moments, and some report success after applying on their chest or back. If your skin can tolerate it, Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 shouldn't disappoint.
Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads Review
Salicylic acid is the active ingredient in this anti-acne product, and Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads reviews say it helps treat and prevent breakouts. Some reviews on sites like Viewpoints complain about the strong, almost medicinal smell, but the majority of users rave about the results. One consumer reports this is the one treatment that works for her and a parent says the pads are effective on the different skin types of family members. Noxzema reviews on Walmart say this product keeps skin clear and clean, fresh and smooth; one long-time user says it's at its best when your pores are open after a hot shower. Many consumers incorporate use of the pads into their daily hygiene routines, even in the absence of acne eruptions. A review posted by a soldier on Total Beauty, says the anti-blemish pads are a convenient way to keep her face free of dirt and grime, and a review on Buzzillions notes the pads' usefulness in removing perspiration. On the flip side, several consumers write of experiencing a light tingling sensation when they use the product, and a few report more of a burning sensation. Some say the chemicals cause their eyes to sting and their skin to dry out.
The formula for Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads (starting at $4, Amazon) is alcohol-free and contains 2% salicylic acid as the active ingredient; the container holds 90 pads. The manufacturer recommends starting out with one wipe-down a day and increasing to three times daily if needed.
Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads serve a dual purpose as all-around cleanser and acne fighter. Once starting with this product, many users seem to stick with it long after an eruption has subsided. It's worth keeping around.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser Review
By and large, consumers have good things to say about this cleanser from Neutrogena. On the company's website, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser reviews report it helps get rid of acne, even for consumers who have tried, unsuccessfully, the upmarket products. Few users commenting on that site experience irritation or drying, although several Neutrogena reviews on Amazon describe adverse reactions, such as hives, tingling, and numbness. Similarly, some reviews on Makeup Alley say the product is irritating, does little for red blotches, and the exfoliating beads feel rough. Others, however, say the improvement in their skin comes quickly and is noticeable, and the product leaves their skin feeling cool and refreshed.
Neutrogena recommends a twice-daily application, followed by a massage and rinse. Salicylic acid is the active ingredient at a 2% level, and the formula also contains chamomile and aloe. The squeeze tube holds six ounces.
As with all the anti-acne products we researched, it's impossible to predict whether this is the one that will work for you. Praise is not universal for Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser (starting at $7, Amazon), but the trend assessment is positive.
Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment Review
Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Cream garnered top spot as "Best Zit Cream" in Allure magazine's 2009 Best of Beauty Awards. But what do consumers say about it? Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Cream reviews are good overall, but include a fair number of critical comments. For example, some reviews on Acne.org report that it wards off acne by minimizing existing eruptions and preventing future outbreaks, while others note that it leaves skin feeling irritated and dry, white and flaky, and marked with dark spots. Likewise, some users comment in Neutrogena reviews on Drugstore.com that it's effective against occasional flare-ups and takes a few days to show results while others gripe about red and irritated skin. Some users say it works well under makeup and some incorporate it into their daily routines along with a moisturizer and cleanser.
Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient, at a strength of 2.5%. The company notes that it should be applied on clean skin -- one consumer adds that your skin should also be dry -- and can be used up to three times a day. We read several On-the-Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Cream reviews reporting that users needed to switch products after a while because their skin built up a tolerance to it. Consumers also caution that this spot acne treatment bleaches whatever fabric it lands on.
Despite the complaints, On-the-Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Cream (starting at $6, Amazon) seems to do what its name says it will do. Combining this anti-acne product with an acne wash might be a winning formula.
Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrub Review
Critical reviews for Clean & Clear Cleansers Blackhead Eraser Scrub (starting at $5, Amazon) consign this anti-acne product to the leave-behind shelf. Some of the negative comments in Clean & Clear Cleansers Blackhead Eraser Scrub reviews on Amazon refer to burning as it's applied, drying of the skin, and lack of results. In reviews on Makeup Alley users gripe about exfoliating beads in the cleanser that feel rough on the face, skin that looks worse than before, a film-like residue, and an off-putting smell. On the other hand, many reviews on Drugstore.com report good outcomes that show up in the form of fewer pimples, no irritation, and/or soft and smooth skin. To be sure, we read plenty of critical appraisals of the other acne treatments we researched, but we found relatively more negative Clean & Clear Cleansers Blackhead Eraser Scrub reviews.
Clean & Clear Cleansers Blackhead Eraser Scrub is an oil-free product that contains 2% salicylic acid as the active ingredient. Directions call for wetting your face and then massaging in the product for 20-30 seconds; the exfoliating beads are meant to clear away oils and dirt, although some users complain that they don't easily rinse off. The squeeze tube holds five ounces.
Clean & Clear Cleansers Blackhead Eraser Scrub isn't a total washout, and clearly works for some consumers. But we found several other cheap acne products that win stronger and more consistent ratings from users and may be more likely to produce the results you expect.
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