The skincare market is saturated with amazing luxury products that will give you flawless skin, but won’t always be kind to your bank account. If you suffer from one too many pimples and can’t seem to get the situation under control, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and resolve yourself to spending any amount of money to fix the problem. But before you go into debt on your quest for clear skin, you should know that dermatologists, those pros who have skincare products in every price point at their feet, are not convinced that more expensive equals more effective.
Of all of the many over-the-counter acne products on drugstore shelves, Dr. Estee Williams, a dermatologist in NYC, says her number one choice costs less than $30: the Effaclar 3-Step Acne System by La Roche Posay.
“This system combines the antibacterial properties of benzoyl peroxide, the comedolytic and exfoliating powers of glycolic acid, and salicylic acid,” Williams says. In layman’s terms, these ingredients make for the most effective acne-fighting and healing trifecta you can find.
Before you say $30 isn’t exactly chump change, consider what you’re getting for this price: a system that contains a medicated gel cleanser, clarifying solution, and topical acne treatment with 5.5% benzoyl peroxide. Add your own non-comedogenic moisturizer with sunscreen and you have the makings of a first class skincare regiment. Fans of the system rave about how it clears up pimples and whiteheads quicker than other treatments and without leaving their skin a dry, irritating, and flaky mess.
As with most skincare treatments, however, this OTC solution has its limits. If you suffer from hormonal cystic acne, don’t shell out a cent until you’ve visited a dermatologist.
“When a patient has recurring cystic acne, or even widespread acne involving not only the face but also the trunk, I would recommend that they make an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss oral medications,” Williams says. “I do not recommend splurging on expensive acne products without seeing a doctor first.”
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