Few of us are immune to the horror of waking up on an important day to find a sizable red pimple dead center on our cheek. For that reason, zit and acne treatments are an absolute must to keep in the medicine cabinet--just in case. But if there's anything positive about having a zit, it's this: the solution to your skin troubles isn't going to cost you half your paycheck. These 7 drugstore pimple and acne treatments are hailed as some of the best on the market.
[Photo: Natalie Off Duty]
PCA Skin pHaze 33 Acne Cream
With 5% liquid benzoyl peroxide and antioxidant polyhydroxy acid, this cream gently exfoliates, thanks to the addition of botanical extracts. Users, even those with sensitive skin, say this helps clear up hormonal acne after one or two uses. Most impressive: it didn't dry out their skin and even helps prevent new breakouts.
PCA Skin pHaze 33 Acne Cream ($20.50)
Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Treatment Cream
As soon as reviewers felt a breakout coming, they applied this treatment cream at night and say that, in many cases, their pimple cleared up by the following day. Best used as a spot treatment, the cream absorbs quickly and helps reduce redness while your acne heals. Customers were split on whether it dried out their skin in the process--but considering how it contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, this is something to keep in mind if your skin is on the dry side and has a tendency to flake easily.
Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Treatment Cream ($9.99)
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser
The secret ingredient in this cream cleanser is 2% salicylic acid, which reviewers say really helps to reduce acne and signs of redness. Customers love the cooling sensation it provides and its fresh scent and say it won't irritate skin the way Neutrogena's cleansing gel tends to do.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser ($7.99)
Clear & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser, Oil-Free
Those with very oily complexions adore this cream cleanser, which contains no traces of oil and leaves a cool sensation on the skin, thanks to menthol. It works great as a daily facial cleanser and can even perform the ultimate miracle: users say it helps curb the appearance of stubborn blackheads and whiteheads.
Clear & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser, Oil-Free ($5.49)
Sudden Change Scar Zone A, Acne Treatment and Acne Scar Diminishing Cream
Treating acne isn't simply about drying out pimples--the scars and redness that can be left behind also need to be addressed. This product, which is formulated to suit sensitive skin, contains green tea, 2% salicylic acid and silicone. Many reviews say they noticed an improvement in skin texture and a significant lightening of red scars after using this cream for a few days. Some say they believe it does more to prevent and treat scars than dry up acne and many agreed it works best as an acne preventative measure.
Sudden Change Scar Zone A, Acne Treatment and Acne Scar Diminishing Cream ($6.79)
Acnomel Adult Acne Medication
How many adult acne spot treatments don't contain drying benzoyl peroxide and can actually improve the skin texture of rosacea? With active ingredients 2% resorcinol and 8% sulfur, customers say this tinted treatment can be used under moisturizer and makeup during the day or applied with a heavier hand at night. In many cases, it clears up pimples in just days or hours and goes on so smoothly it requires little blending. The biggest complaints were about its pink shade, which doesn't work for all skin tones, the smell and slight flaking you may experience from this treatment.
Acnomel Adult Acne Medication ($9.69)