Save Money on Acne Treatment Products

5 Ways to Save Your Money on Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments

Can you save money on your over-the-counter acne treatment products and still get great results? You bet!

With just a little know-how, you can cut costs while still treating your acne effectively and get a great skin care routine to boot. Here are five tips that will help you do just that.

Use a Cheaper Alternative to Expensive Acne Products

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Expensive name brands don't necessarily work any better than a less expensive product. Instead of spending a ton on a pricey high-end product, you'll save some serious dough by purchasing a similar product with a smaller price tag.

This is where reading ingredient labels comes in handy. You can find a bargain alternative to that high priced acne product by taking a look at the active ingredient. If the active ingredient is the same, you'll get the same type of results.

For example, many of the Proactiv products contain benzoyl peroxide. But so do plenty of the less expensive skin care kits you can find at the drug store.

Don't be afraid of the generic acne products, either. If you like the way a skin care product makes your skin feel, and you like the results you're getting, then it's a good product for you regardless of the name on the bottle.

You don't have to stop at OTC products.  Many of your prescription medications also come in generic versions (i.e. Retin-A and tretinoin).

Again, generic brands aren't less effective but can make a big difference at the checkout counter.  Ask your doctor to prescribe a generic version, if available.

Avoid Product Overload

Do you have a cabinet full of skin care products you've only used a handful of times? Are you tempted to buy that salicylic acid cleanser on the store shelf even though you already have three others at home?

We're always on the lookout for that next product that we hope will clear up our skin fast. And it's tempting to buy that sleek-looking bottle promising clear skin.

But jumping from product to product isn't going to improve your skin faster, and it's definitely not good for your wallet. Because what happens when you get that new product home? The old ones get pushed to the back of the cabinet, never to be used again.

Not only do you end up with a ton of half-used acne products that you've spent good money on, but you may not have given any of them long enough to actually work.

If you stop using a treatment after just a few days, you'll never get the results you want. Remember, it takes at least eight weeks before you should expect to really notice an improvement of your skin.

Stick with a product for at least that long before moving on to something else. You'll give the treatment a chance to work, and avoid an overload of half-empty bottles on your bathroom shelf.

Use Your Products Correctly

You may be tempted to slather gobs of acne treatment products on your skin, in the hopes it will clear pimples fast. But if the directions say to apply a pea-sized amount, that's really all that you need. Use any more, and you're wasting your money.

Over-applying your treatments, whether it's by using more product than directed or by applying your treatment more often than directed, won't clear acne any faster. Instead, you're setting yourself up for extra dry, flaky, peeling skin.

Using too much acne treatment won't put you on the fast-track to clear skin. Instead, it will cause irritation. So, stick with the usage directions. Your products will last longer and you'll save yourself some possible discomfort.

On the flip side, if you constantly forget to use your products, you may find yourself with a nearly full tube that's past its expiration date. That's just like throwing money down the drain.

If you need help remembering your treatments, leave your medication out on the counter in plain sight. Or try setting it near your toothbrush.

Seeing your treatment will remind you to use it. The more consistent you are with your treatments, the better they will work.

Try a Product with a Different Active Ingredient

If you've used a product for eight to 10 weeks and you're not seeing any improvement at all, simply switching to another OTC acne treatment may not do any good.

Take a look at those active ingredients again. If you've been using treatment pads with salicylic acid without good results, don't just try a different brand. Try a different active ingredient instead.

Different active ingredients work in different ways. If a salicylic acid product isn't clearing your skin, you may see better results with a benzoyl peroxide product, or a sulfur product. 

Not getting results with one product? There's no use in buying another (and another and another) if they all have the same active ingredient, even if they are different brands. You'll be spending money on a product that will give you the same mediocre results.

Instead, try a product with a new active ingredient. With luck, that ingredient with work better for your skin.

Try a Prescription Acne Medication

So, you've tried many OTC products with many different active ingredients. And you still have acne. It's time to switch to a prescription acne medication.

Depending on your health insurance plan, a prescription acne medication may be comparable in cost to the OTC products you are using.

But even if the acne medication is more expensive than the products you can buy at the store, in the long run it will be more cost effective. You won't be spending money on OTC products that just aren't working.

Plus, you'll actually see results, which is the ultimate goal!

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