Our 5 Fave Acne Treatments under $10!

Throughout Cassandra’s years of struggling with acne, she’s narrowed down affordable products that work the best. For those who are struggling with acne, here are some affordable goodies. 

PanOxyl Benzoyl Peroxide Wash -$9.01

This is benzoyl peroxide, and what’s cool about PanOxyl is that they have different strengths. They have 5% and 10%. Both of these percentages can be intense. And even though Benzoyl peroxide has worked for Cassandra, it has dried out her skin in the past. Benzoyl peroxide can also stain bedsheets or clothes. That’s why PanOxyl made a wash-off treatment. You can use it in the shower, back, and chest. Then, you can rinse it off, unlike a benzoyl peroxide moisturizer or Epiduo. PanOxyl formulated these products to be more gentle on the skin than traditional benzoyl peroxide products. There are some relatively hydrating and moisturizing ingredients in the facial wash. So, even though it’s benzoyl peroxide, and it works on acne by exfoliating the skin and killing bacteria, it’s not as drying as some other products. 

Pacifica Dry It Out Spot Gel -$10

This is a maximum strength two percent salicylic acid, but it also has niacinamide. It’s a great spot treatment that works well. However, it does have lavender and menthol which could be irritating. At the same though, menthol has been proven to bind to specific receptors in the skin and help alleviate pain. So, as long you’re okay with plant actives, a lot of stuff in their Pore Warrior line works very well. This gel dries out a pimple, and Cassandra likes it better than some traditional drying gels because it’s less irritating. As mentioned before, it contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is oil soluable. It goes into the pore, helps to clear out oil, and mildly exfoliates. Salicylic acid can even be a little anti-inflammatory. This gel is wonderful, and a little bit goes a long way. 

Inkey List Succinic Acid Spot Treatment- $7.64


This one has salicylic acid, sulfur, and succinic acid, which have both been medically proven to help with acne. This spot treatment is a blue-ish green color, and when you blend it in, it goes on completely sheer. You don’t have to apply that much. If you go in super heavy-handed, it can ball up. You can use it as a spot treatment or all over. Succinic acid has the potential to help with acne and blemishes, and the sulfur in here helps dry pimples. Sulfur also works on fungal infections. So, if you have malassezia or folliculitis, this product may be helpful. These conditions can look like little red bumps on the face, chest, or back,  and they can be itchy. 

AcneFree Adapalene Gel 0.1% Once-daily Topical Retinoid Treatment -$9.47

AcneFree is adapalene Gel. Like retinoic acid, it immediately binds to certain receptors in our skin to stimulate cell turnover and prevent clogged pores. Retinoic acid is naturally made by our skin. It’s bioavailable meaning your skin just takes it in. It helps to renew skin cells, heal active acne, scars, wrinkling, and fine lines. Adapalene is a synthetic molecule (lab-created) substance that mimics retinoic acid, but it is more stable and gentle. Adapalene gel can contribute to more glowing skin, fewer break outs, and skin that looks more plump and hydrated.

Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Solution -$8

Cassandra likes to apply this twice a week to her chest and back. This is a mask that you apply on dry skin, and it helps to exfoliate, renew, and refresh. It mimics a chemical peel, and you may need to work your way up to using it all over. You can use products like the Inkey List salicylic acid cleanser, AHA toners, or BHA toners to work your way up to The Ordinary’s Peeling Solution.  It's one of the highest potency AHA/BHA peels that you can get over the counter. The color comes from the tasmanian pepper berry, and The Ordinary says it helps to decrease irritation. Cassandra has resilient skin so she doesn’t feel irritation, but you may want to patch test first.

Cassandra attests that these are amazing, affordable options that are medically proven to help with acne.

Cover photo cred:AleksandarNakic/Getty Images