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Best Drugstore Acne Face Wash?

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Normally any drugstore cleansers with a chemical in them (be that BP, SA, Sulfur) will yield minimal results. If you want a no nonsense, gets the job done cleanser I would recommend La Roche Posay Effaclar (I use this product). It removes makeup well and my skin feels and smells clean after I use it. I wash morning and night and only need less than a dime size amount. It foams up nicely which is great if you have oily skin. The scent is light and clean (no added fragrances), which will minimize any and all irritation. It is a little pricy (about 25$/bottle), but I have had the same 6 oz tube since May, and I think I can get another month out of what's left. Totally worth the money!

If you really want a product with a chemical agent here's what I recommend:

BP: Try the AcneFree system. It's literally the same thing as Proactiv, but available at any drugstore. If you just want a BP cleanser, try Clean & Clear Advantage cream wash. It dries up your face though, so use a moisturizer post cleansing. Unfortunately, my skin cannot tolerate BP, so this chemical never yielded good results.

SA: <---- I have never used SA cleanser, but I started a thread about it, so you can choose what you want form the opinions that were provided to me.

Sulfur: You can really only get a high quality sulfur wash from a dermatologist, so I wouldn't recommend that you go looking for one at a drugstore or online. Avar e (sulfacetamide 10% sodium 5%) is a great prescription brand for sulfur based products. I use an antibacterial cream by the company, and it really has helped my acne. If you do not want a sulfur cleanser, trying using a sulfur spot treatment. Significantly helps many!

What kind of acne do you have, and what is the severity? There really isn't any method that will "clear up acne fast" unfortunately. Your skin takes very long to heal and finding the right products takes some time in itself.

Hope this helped! Good luck!

AM Regimen:

Cleanse face with La Roche Posay Effaclar

Apply Aczone

Moisturize with Sheseido Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

PM Regimen:

Cleanse face with La Roche Posay Effaclar

Apply Aczone

Moisturize with Sheseido Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

Spot Treat with Clearisil Adult Acne Tinted Spot Treatment (always)

I now do not follow a vitamin regimen and have expanded my eating to include almost all food groups (excluding lactose/dairy). Since I made this change my face has CLEARED UP!

Minimalism people, trust me it works. Develop a skin care regimen, stick to it, and you will see results. All the rest (diet, exercise, supplements) didn't work for me. Less is more.

Status: 98% Clear... Plus a nice bunch of superficial scarring -.-

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There is no definitive answer to this as everyone's skin type and pH level is different. I've tried more than I can count and only some of them mildly helped at best, and only for a temporary time.

In my opinion and experience, the ones at the drugstore are more targeted towards teens or those with the occasional/hormonal pimple here and there. And I say that because it worked for me back then, but it doesn't work now.

The pretty packaging, and added color & fragrance to the cleansers (none of which are necessary unless the color and fragrance come naturally due to the ingredients themselves) are what draw people in and is exactly why they fly off the shelves.

Your best bet with drugstore cleansers are gentle, non-stripping, pH balanced ones with no acne medication in them. As for acne fighters, it's better to invest a little more $$ in those types of cleansers.

Finished my 1st round of Accutane course on 3/29/2015
40mg/day every month for 6 months

Began 2nd round of Accutane on 10/13/2015
My acne came back very mildly & nowhere near as bad as it used to be, I refused any topicals or antibiotics since I've already been through the "last resort" treatment without any problems.

Dosage & length of time is the same as the 1st round.

Update: 10/1/2016
Skin is still completely clear! I'll get an occasional random pimple every few months, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

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I agree with the gentle approach...I use Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash. It's super gentle and doesn't strip my skin. It leaves it very soft and clean. Plus it's super cheap. You get quite a bit for your $3.00. grinwink.gif

Current skin care routine:


Rainwater Botanical's Soap for Troubled Skin

Spot treat with's AHA

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense

Clinique All About Eyes with Baobab oil


Clinique Take the Day Off Balm with Adzuki Micrograin Facial Scrub (All natural-awesome stuff!) Cleanser for extra cleansing ( I wear a full face of makeup)

Frugally Sustainable Blemish Astringent/or Rainwater Botanical's Toner for Troubled Skin (All natural-very soothing and non-drying)

1 1/2 Pumps of's 2.5% BP

Clinique All About Eyes with Baobab oil's Moisturizer (small amount)

When I get home from work, I like to let my face breath, so generally, I will use Clinique Take the Day Off Balm with the Adzuki micrograins, followed by a more gentle regimen. Currently, I am using Bare Minerals Blemish Treatment on any actives...LOVE this stuff!

I've recently added a mask to my routine. It's all natural and very cheap. Bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar mixed with a wee bit of tea tree oil. This is great for blackheads!

I am currently 100% clear with this mostly natural regimen.

Makeup: Merle Norman's Purely Mineral Makeup Powder

Merle Norman Aqua Balance liquid foundation


Studio Gear Primer

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