We all have different skin—which means we need very different products to treat it. Some skin is dry, combination, sensitive, acne-prone, or a mixture of two or three of those categories. It's why that serum your friend recommended never quite worked the way you'd hoped it would. Skincare is just a game of trial and error.
So in the interest of adding a few more options to suss out, we rounded up our absolute favorite drugstore acne washes. Because while acne is nothing to be ashamed of, it is something you're absolutely allowed to want to treat—even if you're on a budget. Below, find our top picks for the best breakout-friendly cleansers under $20.
For a balance of non-drying cleansing and light exfoliation, look no further than Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser ($10)—it's an antioxidant formula made specifically for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. The charcoal works to draw out any skin impurities, while jojoba spheres provide gentle exfoliation, and salicylic acid penetrates your pores.
Burt’s Bees’ 99.9% natural gel cleanser works to wash away excess oil and acne-causing bacteria while soothing and calming irritated skin courtesy of salicylic acid, evening primrose, and beetroot extracts.
Recommended by our managing editor, Lindsey, this daily facial cleanser gently washes away dirt and oil while maintaining the integrity of your skin's pH balance. It's oil-free, soap-free, and formulated with zinc pidolate to help remove excess oil and shine.
This cleanser comes in a handy three-step kit including a day and night lotion meant to reduce blemishes, polish away clogged pores, and hydrate, nourish, and strengthen your skin.
Formulated by dermatologists specifically for acne-prone skin, this drugstore favorite is clinically proven to remove excess oil while calming your skin (no overdrying, no flaking). Basically, it's just as noncomedogenic, nonirritating, and hypoallergenic as the original, but helps prevent and treat breakouts to boot.
People are obsessed with Differin for it's anti-aging and anti-acne abilities—so it's only natural the brand's cleanser is just as life-changing. Though, there's no redness to expect from this one (an annoying side effect of the gel product), as it's made for sensitive skin.
Described by the brand as a "frothy" cleanser (doesn't that sound especially appealing?), Alba Botanica's Good & Clean Gentle Acne Wash ($5) gets deep into pores to nix dullness, blackheads, and blemishes. It's a blend of ten AHA-rich botanicals to exfoliate, clean, and tone.