Acne products that work

If you are like most women, you have quickly discovered that pimples and breakouts are not just a thing that affects teenagers. Adult acne is something a lot of women deal with, and finding a solution can often feel exhausting and sometimes even feels impossible. While there are a lot of factors that cause the development of acne and pimples--including your genes, your diet and your overall health--there are ways to treat your pesky little zits with products that won't totally break the bank. 

Clearing your acne or preventing new pimples from forming can sometimes require a lot of trial and error and finding products that really work and that won't be a waste of money is challenging. There are plenty of creams, lotions and facial cleansers on the market that promise clearer skin but thanks to online reviews from other people who are on the same boat, we can have a better understanding of what we're buying before we do so. 

More from MamásLatinas: 20 Drugstore skin care products that are effective & affordable

Before going on a skincare journey on your own, it's important to speak to a professional who can help you better understand the underlying cause behind your breakouts so you can find the proper way to tackle them. It could be something serious like your hormones being out of wack, poor eating habits or the type of makeup you're using. It could also be that the cleansing products you are using are causing overdrying or irritation that is only making your skin worse. 

If having clear skin is your goal and drinking plenty of water hasn't helped, look to products that can help keep your pores unclogged, that help with cell turnover and that keep your skin moisturized. While oil and sebum are often the culprits of causing zits, sometimes dry skin causes our skin to break out, too. Whether you're into natural remedies or need something a little stronger, take a look at our list of affordable anti-acne products that will help with the appearance of your skin.  

Psst: If you choose to purchase an item on this list, MamásLatinas may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

A daily exfoliant is a must-have. 1

This Daily Microfoliant from Dermalogica is gentle enough to be used on acne-prone skin and it's so efficient in cleaning out impurities from your skin. The rice-based enzyme powder helps accelerate cell renewal. The bottle might be small but a little product goes a long way so it will last you. Use it in the shower or as part of your skincare routine, and you'll notice it'll leave behind a gorgeous glow and radiant, clear skin.  

Buy it at Ulta for $15.


Tea tree oil is a natural remedy for acne-prone skin. 2

This essential oil 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil Natural Essential Oil and its anitmicrobial compounds will go deep into your skin to clear and unclog pores. After thorougly cleaning your skin, apply it to treat a spot or on larger areas where breakouts occur, but be careful, when it's pure it has a strong scent. 

Buy it for $10 on Amazon.


A basic facial cleanser is a must-have. 3

If you love that extremely clean feeling after washing your face, the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is right for you. It leaves your skin feeling balanced and fresh. It is gentle enough for everyday use but if you live in colder regions, pair it with a thick moisturizer during the winter months. 

Buy it from for $9.

Scarring is something people with acne really struggle with. 4

Once a breakout is cleared, the new problem that often arises is the scarring that those pesky pimples leave behind--especially if you've picked at them. Apply this DERMA E Scar Gel twice a day for eight weeks for results to watch the redness and scarring slowly disappear. 

Buy it at Ulta for $20.


There's a reason why people swear by the Trader Joe's face wash. 5

While it might be harsh for those with sensitive or dry skin, this Trader Joe's SPA Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil will remove all impurities and leave your face extra clean. The tea tree oil will help with breakouts and the orange peel and lavender will help calm your skin. 

Try it for $12 on Amazon.


Toner is a must-have when it comes to cleansing your skin. 6

While face wash is important, it only cleans the surface while toner is a deeper clean. There's been a comparison between how we clean our face to how we clean your floors. Think of facial cleansers as sweeping with a broom and toner as mopping. The Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is alcohol-free and it helps tighten your pores, which is essential to keep dirt and oil out. 

Buy it at Target at $7.


Add this popular mask to your skincare routine. 7

The Aztec Secret - Indian Healing Clay is super popular among Amazon customers. After mixing it with water or apple cider vinegar once a week, apply it to your face and feel a slight tingle. It thoroughly clears your pores giving you a deep, clean feeling. 

Buy it on Amazon for $11

These patches will help soothe that pesky pimple in no time. 8

Pimples can sometimes pop up when you least expect them and Mighty Patch Hydrocolloid Acne Absorbing Spot Dot will come in handy when one does. Whether you have multiple pimples to tackle or occassionally break out, these patches help absorb pus and bacteria and protect the pimples and help them heal overnight. 

Buy a pack on Amazon for $12.


Moisturizers that won't clog your pores are ideal. 9

Most people believe that oily skin is what causes breakouts, but dry skin can be also be a main cause for acne. Keep your skin nourished and moisturized after applying your acne-fighting products with the CeraVe AM Face Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum Protection, SPF 30. It's oil-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and protects the skin's barrier and seals in its natural moisture. 

Buy the AM version and the night time version for $13 at Walmart. 

This quick-drying lotion from Mario Badescu is beloved by skincare fans. 10

This Drying Lotion by Mario Badescu will help you dry your most prominent pimples in no time. The combination of salicylic acid and calamine makes this product essential when you need a quick-drying solution to a white head. Apply overnight right to the problem area with a cotton swab for best results. 

Buy it at Ulta for $17.


It's never a good feeling when a pimple pops up before an important day. 11

Voted one of the Best in Beauty products by Allure magazine in 2018, the Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment by Murad is so popular, it's currently sold out at Sephora. One drop of the gel on a blemish will help reduce redness and size in just four hours. 

Get it when it's back in stock at Sephora for $22

A lightweight moisturizing gel is perfect for after deeply cleansing your skin. 12

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel Face Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will hydrate and smooth your extra dry skin. It's perfect to wear at nighttime or under your makeup, to keep your skin healthy and nourished. It absorbs quickly into your skin and feels light and refreshing. 

Buy it for $16 at Walmart



While oil-based cleansers might make someone struggling with acne weary, this one is worth a try. 13

The PreCleanse from Dermalogica will make removing makeup so much easier. This plant-based cleansing oil melts layers of excess sebum, sunscreen, waterproof make-up, environmental pollutants and residual skin products that build-up during the day and often are the cause of breakouts. 

Buy it at Ulta for $45.

Some breakouts require a stronger method. 14

Differin Adapalene Gel is a prescription strength retinoid acne treatment that previously required a prescription. The ingredients help improve cell turnover, which helps with inflammation and clogged pores. It helps clear current breakouts as well preventing new ones from forming. 

Buy it on Amazon for $29.


Wearing makeup during breakouts can be tricky, so find some that helps treat your skin. 15

BareMinerals has an entire line of products that were created to treat acne-prone skin. The Blemish Rescue skin-clearing loose powder will not only will it help conceal your pimples and blemishes but it will also help you heal and treat them. 

Buy it at for $29.

Don't just cover up your breakouts, heal them too. 16

The Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer will help you not just cover up the breakout, it will help you clear it out as well. The natural-looking concelear is perfect for treating spots and the formular is made with a blemish treatment with salicylic acid.

Buy one now at Walmart for $8.


Add this skin-clearing primer to your makeup bag. 17

The Blemish Rescue Anti-Redness Mattifying Primer by BareMinerals was created specially for people with acne-prone skin. Apply to your skin after moisturizing and before makeup to reduce the look of redness and purify pores. 

Get it now at Sephora for $26

Heavy products like sunblock can often exacerbate your breakouts. 18

Neutrogena has a Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunblock that will protect your skin from the sun's rays without clogging your pores or hurting your skin. The non-comedogenic formula has broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and is SPF 30. 

Buy it at Ulta for $11.


Charcoal has become a staple in skin-clearing products. 19

This Biore Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser is perfect for oily skin. It penetrates pores and absorbs oil to clear breakouts without overdrying or irritating the skin, while preventing new acne blemishes from developing. 

Buy it on Amazon for $6

Make sure you're using makeup wipes that are made for sensitive skin. 20

Acne-prone skin requires a lot of extra special love and care. Use this Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes made especially for sensitive skin. They are fragrance free, hypoallergenic, allergy tested and remove pore-clogging dirt, makeup and oils without stripping your skin. 

Buy them at Walmart for $5