The Best Drugstore Acne Treatments

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Acne pops up on nearly 40 to 50 million Americans, making these pesky and unsightly pustules the most common skin disorder in the United States. (References 1) This means shelves at drug stores and skin care manufacturers are packed with over-the-counter acne remedies that feature many of the same ingredients found in prescription acne medications. The best drug-store acne treatments have a combination of antibacterial properties and ingredients that are made to slough off dead skin cells and repair the skin.

Clean With Confidence

The best cleansers include benzoyl peroxide at levels of 5 or 10 percent. This


Remember a Mask

However, using an acne-fighting facial mask with glycolic or salicylic acid can help exfoliate the skin and bring dark skin cells -- left from blemish extractions -- to the surface. (References 3) Also, masks with retinoids can brighten acne-marked skin. Try an over-the-counter remedy like RoC Retinol Correxion Instant Facial Smoother or Shiseido’s Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask.

When to Move On

Seek professional treatment if your acne is not significantly reduced with drugstore treatments in four to 12 weeks. (References 2, Slide 7) Virtually all acne can be treated, however sometimes it takes a more potent dosage or a combination of certain prescribed medications for blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. (References 2, Slide 14 and 16) For example, drugstore cleansers feature a lower percentage of retinol and salicylic acid than you can get with a prescription, and these ingredients are crucial to clearing acne-prone skin. A board-certified dermatologist can also prescribe oral medications and antibiotics such as Isotretinoin, Doxycycline, Minocycline, and strong topical gels and creams featuring Adapalene, Azelaic Acid and Clindamycin.