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From the moment we hit puberty, acne becomes a big part of most of our lives. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting about 50 million Americans every year.
That’s why the skincare products we use every day are so important—starting with our face wash. It’s important to consider using acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to treat acne and keep skin clear. For many, even after your teen years, acne doesn’t just disappear. Thanks to different factors like your diet, pollution, and so much more, acne can carry on through your entire adult life. That’s why we went on the search to find the best affordable cleansers on the market to banish zits.
While expensive acne treatments are a great option, especially if they’re prescribed by a dermatologist, many blemishes can be prevented with an over-the-counter skincare routine that doesn’t cost a whole lot. Read on for the best acne face washes you can buy at Walmart now.
Best Overall: Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Fighting Face Wash
This classic, dermatologist-recommended cleanser is a best-seller for a reason. It’s formulated with salicylic acid, which is often the best ingredient to try if you find yourself dealing with acne. It’s a beta hydroxy acid, which means it works to exfoliate and clear dead skin cells that are clogging up your pores.
The formula is oil-free, so it works well for skin that is acne-prone and oily, but it’s gentle on all skin types.
One reviewer saw results in just a few days: “I went to the dermatologist and they recommended this face wash because I had some breakouts that would just not go away, it is only day 3 of using this and I can tell a huge difference!! Everything is clearing up!!”
Best Budget: Alba Botanica Good & Clean Gentle Acne Wash
This acne face wash is not only budget-friendly, but it also works hard to get rid of blemishes and keep skin calm and clear. The formula is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog up pores, and its hypo-allergenic—perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. It’s also dermatologist-tested and uses only vegetarian ingredients.
The cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid and willow bark extract to get deep down into pores and clear them out. That means less zits and less blackheads, which are caused by oil build-up in your pores.
Best for Dry Skin: CeraVe Renewing SA Face Cleanser
If you suffer from dry skin, acne-fighting products can oftentimes do more harm than good. They can be very drying, causing irritation and stripping the skin of the oils it needs to protect itself and function properly. But this cleanser is formulated to replenish dry skin with ceramides, a type of lipid you need to have a healthy skin barrier. Those ceramides ensure that your skin maintains moisture throughout the day and stays smooth.
While hydrating, this cleanser also works on clearing up acne with salicylic acid. But thankfully, it’s a gentle formula, made without fragrance to ensure that your skin stays as calm and hydrated as possible.
Best for Oily Skin: Differin Daily Deep Face Cleanser
When it comes to clearing up acne, Benzoyl Peroxide is a total powerhouse ingredient. It kills the bacteria on your face that causes acne to form, so not only will it banish your pimples, it’ll stop them from forming in the first place. It’s important to use it carefully though, since it can be drying to sensitive and dry skin types. But for oily skin, it’s a great option and can even slow the over-production of oils. This wash from Differin is gentle enough to use daily for oily skin types.
Best for Sensitive Skin: InstaNatural Acne Face Wash
The ingredients that help to fight acne can be harsh to even the least sensitive skin types, so when it comes to picking a cleanser for skin that gets irritated easily, it’s important to find a good balance. This acne wash is formulated to not only clear up blemishes, but to calm skin.
The salicylic acid clears out clogged pores and prevents breakouts from popping up with tea tree oil while soothing extracts like Vitamin E and aloe work to minimize the look of your pores and soothe your skin.
Best for Combination Skin: Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Control Foaming Wash
Dealing with combination skin can be tricky, since parts of the face are oily—usually around the T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin)—and the other areas tend to be dry. So, picking the right cleanser is important to keeping your skin balanced and happy.
This formula has that acne-fighting salicylic acid that is so helpful in ridding the skin of acne, but it’s also gentle enough to use daily. If you find that the dry areas of your skin are still too sensitive, try just washing with this cleanser in your T-zone and wash with a hydrating cleanser everywhere else.
Best for Redness-Prone Skin: Neutrogena Oil-Free Redness Soothing Cleanser
Acne can, of course, cause unattractive zits to pop up, but with that can come redness as well. This cleanser is formulated to get rid of blemishes and that redness that makes skin look even more irritated. The salicylic acid clears up acne while naturally derived aloe and chamomile extracts work to calm the skin and soothe it.
Best Scrub: St. Ives Acne Control Apricot Face Scrub
If any brand knows how to make a good scrub, it’s St. Ives. It uses crushed walnut shells to slough away dead skin cells—an important step in clearing away acne and stopping it from forming. But this scrub doesn’t just use tiny scrubbing particles to clear acne. It also uses a chemical exfoliator, so it does double duty. While the walnut particles work on the outer layer of skin, salicylic acid works its way down into the pores to clear them out. That means there are less pimples and less blackheads.
Best Oil-Free: AcneFree Oil-Free Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide & Glycolic Acid
If you tend to go for oil-free formulas to counteract skin that already produces too much oil, this formula is a great option. It’s formulated with benzoyl peroxide to kill those acne-causing bacteria and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and get rid of those clogged pores without drying them out.