[REVIEW] Which Drugstore Cleanser is Best for Blemish Prone Skin?

Are you one of those people who buy skincare products based on their “promises” of amazing, clear skin? Well, you’re not the only sucker. Before the internet came about, there was no other way for us to decide if a product was good other than to try it ourselves. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 adults suffer from blemish prone skin and those of us who aren’t blessed with acne-free skin are often forced to endure a rigorous daily skincare regime to keep both black and whiteheads at bay.

If you frequently suffer from acne, you need to use products that won’t strip moisture or irritate your skin. They should also be oil and alcohol free to remove excess oil from your skin’s surface. There are many drugstore face cleansers in the market and you would have at least bought them once throughout your life.

Often, the first product you purchase will not be the last and consumers tend to brand hop until they find a product that suits their skin because no two skin are the same and some may react negatively compared to others.

Here are five drugstore facial washes for blemish prone skin which we tested out over the past 4 months, read on to find out what we liked or didn’t like about them.

Note: This writer has oily/combination skin with occasional breakouts and all products were tested for at least three weeks each.

1. Superdrug’s Deep Action Daily Cream Wash

Price: RM12.90
Claims: Deeply purify pores, help prevents spots and blemishes as well as control shine. Visible results from day one. With oil control, this will leave skin refreshed and mattified. It’s ideal for everyday use and has been tested on spot prone skin.
Ingredients: Salicylic acid, aloe vera and cucumber juice to deeply purify pores and help soothe and reduce the redness of inflamed skin.

Our Two Cents:
Hailing from the UK, this Deep Action Daily Cream Wash is an affordable drugstore brand by Superdrug and it’s a creamy white clinical smelling substance that doesn’t foam up when applied to your face. Instructions advises to massage into areas where excess oil builds up such as your cheeks and T-zone. If you’re wearing makeup, you may have to double cleanse because this face wash doesn’t remove oil very well.

Efficiency ★★☆☆☆
Packaging ★★★★☆
Value for Money ★★★☆☆

2. Garnier Pure-3-in-1 Wash Scrub Mask

Price: RM19.99
Garnier Pure Three-in-One Wash, Scrub and Mask helps to remove excess sebum, unclog pores and unify skin tone. Suitable for oily or combination skin prone to blemishes and blackheads.

Contains zinc to regulate skin tone, eucalyptus to soothe irritated skin and clay to purify and tighten pores. Pumice stone as face scrubs and white clay for the mask.

How to Use

1. As a Daily wash
Apply product to a damp face, massage and rinse with warm water.

2. As a Scrub
Apply to skin and firmly massage in a circular motion, allowing the exfoliating beads to polish the surface of skin and get rid of impurities. Rinse with warm water.

3. As a Mask
Apply a generous amount and allow the formula to dry. Leave the mask on for three minutes and gently rinse away with warm water. Use once or twice a week.

Our Thoughts: At less than RM20, it’s a bargain for 150ml of product that delivers three benefits daily wash, a scrub and a mask. It doesn’t lather into a foam but I love how it feels on my skin because of its cucumber-like scent and when I wash it all off, my face feels amazingly clean and refreshed.

I like this product better as a scrub and mask but you need to be slightly generous with the product as a mask because it really does works wonders and I like how it dries without tightening the skin. It also shrinks pimples but doesn’t unclog blackheads. It has a thick consistency and leaves no residues after washing. However it doesn’t remove eye-makeup and thick foundation well so it’s best used in the morning as a fantastic pick-me-up.

Efficiency ★★★★☆
Packaging ★★★★☆
Value for Money ★★★★☆

3. St. Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub

Price: RM16.88
Size: 170g
Claims: Exfoliates to prevent blemishes, cleans pores and helps stop breakouts before they occur.

How to use: Pump out a twenty cent coin amount and spread evenly across your face before rubbing in circular motions. Concentrate on areas that are blemish prone. Rinse with warm water and moisturize your face after.

Our Thoughts: St. Ives are synonymous for their scrubs and the first thing I loved about it was the smell. You’re advised to use it twice or thrice a week but I ended up using it daily for a week when I got it initially because I ran out of face wash and used it as a temporary substitute. I thought it would be too harsh for my face but it turned out to be the exact opposite. It worked amazingly to scrub off all my dead skin cells leaving me with soft skin which went well with my skincare and makeup products after that. I feel that it’s great as a scrub but it doesn’t exactly rid my blackheads.

Efficiency ★★★☆☆
Packaging ★★★☆☆
Value for Money ★★★★☆

4. Naruko Tea Tree Oil Out Acne Clay Cleanser

Price: RM28.00
Size: 120ml
Claims: Gently exfoliate skin and lightens acne scars.

How to Use:

1. As a cleanser
Squeeze out a dime-sized amount of the clay cleanser and add water to make it into a foam. Spread it evenly on the face and massage it thoroughly. Rinse off with water.

2. As a mask:
Apply a small amount of the clay and spread it evenly on your nose. Wait for 3 minutes and rinse it off with water. The clay cleanser mask helps dissolve oil and other impurities from the pores.

Our Thoughts: This product claims to be a deep cleansing clay mask, basic facial cleanser and exfoliant, kind of like the Garnier Pure 3-in-1 Wash Scrub Mask. This clay cleanser is more expensive and contains lesser than the latter but it’s much thicker in consistency with tiny jojoba beads and you need to work it on a slightly wet face to lather it up. The inclusion of mint as one of the ingredients leaves skin feeling cool and refreshed, which I’m a total sucker for.

While I was using this cleanser I was highly stressed and was breaking out every other day around my forehead and T-zone. I used this as a cleanser rather than a mask because of the price but whenever I had a huge pimple coming around, I would dab a thick layer onto the spot and leave it for a few hours before washing off and the pimple will be reduced in size and dried by the next day. One tube can last a two months with frequent use.

Efficiency ★★★★☆
Packaging ★★★★☆
Value for Money ★★★☆☆

5. Himalaya Purifying Neem Foaming Face Wash

Price: RM34.90
Size: 150ml
Claims: A soap-free herbal formulation that gently removes impurities from skin and prevents pimples. Enriched with Neem, Turmeric & Vetiver which is well known for antibacterial, antiseptic and cooling activities that help to control acne and soothes skin.

How to Use: Moisten face, pump 3 times and gently work up lather with a circular motion. Wash off & pat dry.

Our Thoughts:
Unlike their creams and masks, this face wash did not reek of herbs and was rather pleasant. It is said that foam washes like these are more efficient because the molecules are much smaller than your usual face washes, enabling their particles to penetrate and cleanse pores better. Again, we feel that it shouldn’t be used to clean off makeup but its light texture worked well to cleanse my face. I didn’t notice any reduction of pimples but it did keep my face oil free for almost half a day.

Efficiency ★★★☆☆
Packaging ★★★★★
Value for Money ★★★☆☆

It looks like the Garnier Pure 3-in-1 Wash Scrub Mask is a win in our books because of its value for money and effectiveness with the Naruko Oil Out Tea Tree Clay Cleanser coming in a close second. It’s no surprise that we’re leaning towards these clay infused face washes because oily/combination skin girls like us need a formula that will cleanse our face thoroughly while preventing or drying up any acne in the process.

As mentioned earlier, face wash for blemish skin usually do not lather up well so make sure to remove all traces of makeup using cleansing milk prior to cleansing.

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