Affordable Acne Treatment Options for Students

By Sam Casteris on November 7, 2018

Struggling with acne is a very difficult life obstacle many of us have to overcome. It may seem like an easy fix to some, but for many who suffer from frequent breakouts and redness, it is far from that. Acne comes in many shapes and sizes so it’s hard to figure out what works for each skin type.

For students, it is especially hard to battle acne without a big budget to try several different treatment options. Student life can also come with a good deal of stress and anxiety, a common cause of acne. Having acne can affect our self-esteem and confidence levels, which is huge for young people. For anyone experiencing pesky breakouts on a budget,  here are a few things to try that may help get rid of that stubborn breakout for good.

via Pixabay

Home Remedies

While home remedies are usually not the first step for people who are having trouble with blemishes, it should absolutely be considered. Trying natural products and natural DIY concoctions that can be made at home will be a lot more gentle on the skin rather than slapping on all kinds of chemicals to see what works best. Not to mention, home remedies are usually the cheapest option.

Before diving into these natural treatments, it is important to remember that treating acne is as internal as it is external. Meaning that if a healthy diet is implemented, mental health is steady, and stress is low, there is a higher chance that any kind of treatment will have increased effectiveness. For a natural remedy that has been tried and true, try using raw honey as a soothing face mask a few times a week. There are many health benefits of natural and raw honey, including cleansing pores and getting rid of those stubborn blackheads.

Another great natural cleansing agent is baking soda. To make a quick cleansing mask, simply mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste, apply to the skin, let it dry, and rinse with warm water and a clean towel. To reduce any redness on the skin, coconut oil is a great natural option. Coconut oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties which have many benefits for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Apply this directly to the skin at night, or whenever moisture relief is needed.

OTC Products

If home remedies simply don’t work, which is the case for many young adults, it is time to make a trip to the local drugstore for some over-the-counter products. With so many different acne products available claiming to improve and restore the skin, however, it can be tough to figure out which one is the right one. To start, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

The two most common ingredients to keep an eye out for are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These ingredients are meant to treat mild to moderate acne breakouts. While brands don’t matter as much as the ingredients, Clearasil has always been a top choice for dermatologists. For a benzoyl peroxide cream, pick up the Clearasil Daily Clear Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream. This cream fights bacteria that can cause painful pimples and can be found at a low price of $4.95.

For an all-around treatment kit, dermatologists strongly recommend the La Roche Posay Effaclar Dermatological Acne System. With both active ingredients benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, it works hard to combat acne at all angles. It also cleans pores gently without irritating the skin. This kit goes for $30, however it comes with three essential products – a medicated gel cleanser, a clarifying solution (toner), and a dual action acne treatment.


If the above methods don’t seem to make a difference, a trip to the dermatologist may be wise. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional when it comes to prescription-grade acne treatments. Some of the more popular prescription acne medications include topical retinoids like Tazarotene. Retinoids are medicines derived from Vitamin A. For stopping the growth process of acne, a topical antibiotic may be prescribed. This method can also reduce inflammation and decrease the number of clogged pores.

Being a student is difficult as it is. However, when faced with a dreadful case of dermatological nightmares such as acne breakouts, it may get unbearable. Luckily, there are many choices for treatment no matter the budget. It’s wise to also keep in mind the things one can do to speed up the treatment process that require no extra money. Things such as getting enough sleep, not touching the face or popping pimples, choosing to eat healthier, and keeping mental health, well, healthy are all great ways to start one’s journey to clean skin. Hopefully, one of these acne treatments above will help!

Virginia Commonwealth University Student out to learn all I can about travel, personal finance, and student success.

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