We have some finds for under $35 that Cassandra would recommend to people who are struggling with blemishes! We have some options for oily skin, dry skin, and acne. We’ve also go some options for body acne which Cassandra, a medical esthetician, has been struggling with. So, let’s start with the way any good routine starts, a cleanser.
ZitSticka Cushion Cleanser -$35
This is the cushion cleanse. This is a K-beauty favorite for acne-prone skin. It’s dermatologically tested, and this feels like you have little cushions on your skin that your fingers get to dance around. This is like an acne version of a K-beauty product. This has amazing ingredients such as salicylic and lactic acid to exfoliate the skin, but it doesn’t overly strip. It’s also got ingredients like green coffee extract which can vasoconstrict. Vaso means “vein” or “blood vessel” and to constrict means to tighten. This can also help with redness in the skin, and this cleanser also includes woolly thistle extract which can minimize oil production. This is not an intense acne cleanser like the PanOxyl acne foaming cleanser, but this is a helpful, gentle, and foaming cleanser that is made for breakout-prone skin. This is good on the face but also on the body.
PanOxyl Foaming Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength Antimicrobial - $11.33
When we’re talking about the body, we have to get into topicals. Cassandra loves body sprays because they can get those hard-to-reach areas. Most of the body sprays that Cassandra has tried have been from Sandra Lee MD, Paula’s Choice, or Versed. But, Cassandra loves this one from Topicals called faded.
Topicals Faded Body Mist -$32
If you’re struggling with body acne that leaves behind redness or dark marks of hyperpigmentation, this is the absolute best choice. This is the brightening and clearing mist, and this specifically has additional ingredients such as alpha arbutin and tranexamic acid that can stop pigmentation in its tracks. This also has niacinamide and licorice root which are great for hyperpigmentation. Moreover, there’s glycolic acid which is great for exfoliating the skin. This is so good, but if you spray too much of it on, it can get a little sticky. But overall, this is a beautiful formula that is made by two women. This is one of the only black beauty brands that has raised over 10 million dollars in funding. When actual investors start investing in small Indie brands, that is telling the industry that there is something amazing here.
BeMinimalist Salicylic Acid 2% -$9.99
Four ingredients are medically proven to help acne: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids, and sulfur. Particularly, salicylic acid is oil soluble so it dives deeply into the pores, and it clears them out. It helps exfoliate, but it also helps to kill the acne bacteria and decrease inflammation. Salicylic acid is so good, and you can find it at inexpensive rates if you know where to look. The one from BeMinimalist is good for more oily skin whereas the one from The Ordinary is better for dry skin and acne.
BeMinimalist Salicylic Acid 02% -$9.99
This is in Cassandra’s current routine, and it’s a beautiful salicylic acid serum from BeMinimalist. This brand was created in India, and they’re kind of seen as The Ordinary of India. But, Cassandra actually thinks they’re quite different and that they stand on their own. This is such a good serum, and it soaks in so well. This serum also blends EGCG and Omega peptide 10. So, this actually helps to nourish the skin barrier and protect against environmental damage as well. If you live in a big polluted city, EGCG is excellent. If you’re oily and acne prone, it’s so good, but what if you’re dry?
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution Exfoliator -$7.20
This formula is super unique because it is salicylic acid in oil. Given that a lot of acne products tend to dry skin out, this formula is wonderful for anyone who is struggling with acne and dry skin. You can use this on its own or as part of an entire acne routine. This is a beautiful formula for dry-skinned people that still tend to break out.
What if you’re super sensitive?
Acne Free Adapalene Gel 0.1% - $9.97
This is a 3rd generation adapalene gel. This is from AcneFree, and it used to be a prescription-only product called Differen. But now, it’s available in OTC form and cruelty-free forms. Adapalene gel is known to be less irritating than other forms of retinoids. It’s known to cause less redness, itching, and irritation. For anyone who is a teenager, struggling with acne, or has fine lines and wrinkles, Adapalene gel is a good choice. When you use it, watch your eyes, and you’ll find that it’s so good for problem areas like the T-zone. You can use itall over the face as a serum or underneath your sunscreen during the day. The great thing about adapalene is that it is not as photosensitive as other retinoids, meaning it’s not as sensitive to light. You could get 3 of these for $35 and still have a little left over!
ZitSticka Killa Sticka Pimple Patch - $29
But, what if you’re someone who gets zits that pop up at the most random times? Whether it’s that time of the month, or you’re stressed before a big event, pimple patches come to the rescue. Cassandra’s favorite pimple patches, especially for people with acne, are those with micro darts and acne-fighting ingredients. While a lot of hydrocolloid patches get goo or gunk out of the skin, they don’t treat the skin with ingredients like salicylic acid. What's special about the ZitSticka patches is that they have microdarts that dissolve in the skin. Cassandra has tested out many microdart patches, and these are the firmest.
They actually get the product into the skin and into the middle of the pimple. Cassandra believes they get rid of redness faster than any other patch on the market, and they even come with two steps! The product not only comes with the patches, but little wipes to sanitize the skin and help the patch stick. The wipes contain salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and vitamin E, and the microdarts have hyaluronic acid, oligopeptide 76, salicylic acid, and niacinamide. So, the whole package helps with active breakouts, discoloration, and redness.
We’re so happy that we’ve found budget-friendly products that help us embrace our skin while treating it, making it look its best, and feel its best!