14 Effective Acne Products in the Philippines (Mercury Drug, Watsons)

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With many anti-acne products in the market, it can be confusing to pick the right one for you. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate your options wisely and zap those zits asap.

 

DISCLAIMERS

The products listed here treat mild to moderate acne only. For severe, persistent, and widespread acne, kindly seek the help of a dermatologist. Your breakout may be a symptom of another health concern.

An acne treatment product should be supported by a solid skincare routine, proper diet, hygiene, and a healthy lifestyle.

⚠️ Your experience may vary. ⚠️

The currency is Philippine peso. All prices are as of January 2021.

 

Effective Acne Products in the Philippines (Mercury Drug, Watsons)

 

ACNE PATCH

Acne patches are great for pus-filled acne. They absorb the goo and promote fast healing.

There are 3 major types of acne patches:

1. Hydrocolloid, the regular one that absorbs fluid.

2. Medicated, which has a layer of acne-treating ingredient/s.

3. Microneedle has tiny dissolving needles that contain acne-treating ingredient/s.

⚠️ Regardless of type, use acne patches on clean, untreated skin only. Anything that goes under the patch, whether dirt or treatment, gets trapped and may cause irritation.

⚠️ DON’T use hydrocolloid and medicated acne patches on acne without fluid. They will only dry out your skin’s surface and produce very little effect.

For deep-skin pimples like cystic acne and new, “unripe” acne, use BHA or retinoid instead.

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COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
Php 200 for 24 patches

Miacare Spotcare Patch For Day and Night
Php 229 for 18 patches

Luxe Organix Hydrocolloid Acne Patch Night Time
Php 119 for 48 patches
Exclusive at Watsons

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SPOT TREATMENT

Spot treatments contain high concentrations of anti-acne ingredient/s that dry out pimples in record time.

Depending on its active ingredient, the product can treat both fluid-filled and deep-skin acne OR just fluid-filled ones.

⚠️ Active ingredients in spot treatments can make your skin sensitive to UV rays. Wear face sunscreen daily.

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Belo AcnePro Pimple Gel
Php 190 for 10 g
Active ingredient: Bee venom

Benzac Spots Treatment Gel
Php 401 for 5% 50 g; Php 981 for 10% 60 g
Active ingredient: Benzoyl peroxide

Celeteque Acne Spot Corrector Gel
Php 169 for 5 ml; Php 449 for 15 ml
Active ingredients: Salicylic acid, tea tree oil

 

BHA

BHA (beta hydroxy acid) goes deep into the pores to treat acne and dissolve dead skin cells that may cause further clogging.

BHA’s ability to both treat and prevent acne makes it a common ingredient in anti-acne products, including spot treatments and medicated acne patches.

Furthermore, it’s effective against BOTH fluid-filled and deep-skin acne (cystic acne, new “unripe” acne).

⚠️ Start at the lowest concentration (%) at the lowest frequency (e.g. 1x a week). Dial up frequency and/or strength as needed and as tolerated by your skin.

⚠️ You may experience ‘purging’ or a temporary breakout as a result of BHA cleaning out your pores.

⚠️ With increased skin cell turnover comes increased sun sensitivity. Wear face sunscreen daily.

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The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
Php 550 for 30 ml (BeautyMNL)

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Php 990 for 100 ml (BeautyMNL)

The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid Exfoliant
Php 790 for 30 ml (Sephora PH)

 

RETINOID

Retinoids are the miracle workers of skincare. They have both strong anti-acne and anti-aging properties.

Retinol, a type of retinoid, is considered the gold standard of both acne and anti-aging treatments. Its prescription strengths are used to treat severe cases of acne and skin aging.

If you are 20+ years old with persistent adult acne, retinoids are a great choice to “hit two birds with one stone”.

⚠️ Start at the lowest concentration (%) at the lowest frequency (e.g. 1x a week). Dial up frequency and/or strength as needed and as tolerated by your skin.

⚠️ You may experience ‘purging’ or a temporary breakout as a result of retinoid cleaning out your pores.

⚠️ Retinoids can make your skin sensitive to UV rays. Wear face sunscreen daily.

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Celeteque Age Spot Erasing Serum
*Contains Rose Hip Seed Oil
Php 899 for 30 ml

Pond’s Age Miracle Youthful Glow Double Action Serum
Php 649 for 30 ml

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
Php 850 for 30 ml (BeautyMNL)

 

TEA TREE OIL

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to be effective in calming down and clearing acne.

If you find other anti-acne ingredients too harsh and drying, tea tree oil is a gentler option—however, slower.

⚠️ DON’T use pure tea tree oil directly on your skin. Dilute it or use anti-acne products that are formulated with tea tree oil.

⚠️ May still cause sun sensitivity. Wear face sunscreen daily.

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Human Nature Acne Defense Solution
Php 200 for 20 g

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil
Php 795 for 20 ml

PRO TIP: Save more when you shop online using Shopback. Get up to 60% cashback on Lazada, Shopee, Watsons, Uniqlo, Zalora, and more. Sign up with my referral link to get a FREE Php 100 welcome gift.

 

FAQs

What’s the best acne treatment product?

This is NOT a medical advice, but here’s a great rule of thumb:

If you only have occasional, hormonal acne: acne patches or spot treatments.

If you have frequent active pimples and a lot of clogged pores (“whiteheads” and “blackheads”): a BHA toner or retinoid + acne patch / spot treatment for “ripe”, fluid-filled ones.

If you have severe, persistent, and widespread acne despite diligent skincare and hygiene practices, please seek the help of a dermatologist. Your breakout may be a symptom of another health concern (e.g. polycystic ovary syndrome for women).

What’s the best cystic acne treatment?

For occasional cystic acne, BHA or retinoid or benzoyl peroxide. Some women saw success in using birth control pills too.

For severe and persistent cystic acne, visiting a dermatologist is highly recommended.

What’s the best acne treatment for sensitive skin?

Tea tree oil-infused product, unmedicated acne patch (for fluid-filled acne), or betaine salicylate (a gentler BHA).

Any retinoid or exfoliant at low concentrations can work too. It really depends on what your skin tolerates.

 

⚠️ IMPORTANT ⚠️

An anti-acne product alone may NOT cure your acne. It should be supported by and incorporated in a solid skincare routine.

Also, other lifestyle practices should also be considered in addressing acne.

In some cases, acne is NOT an isolated issue but a symptom of another, more serious health concern (e.g. polycystic ovary syndrome for women).

For best results, try looking into these areas and make healthier changes for a more holistic approach to treating acne.

  • Diet
  • Hygiene
  • Sleep
  • Mental health
  • Digestive issues
  • Hormonal issues (if female)
  • Reproductive diseases (if female)

 

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READ NEXT: 6-Step Affordable Skin Care Routine for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

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