Doctor Prescribed OTC Acne Treatment
Have you ever paid a co-pay for a doctor’s visit, and left with a treatment plan you could have found with Google? Unfortunately, it’s happened to me more than once! A few months ago I went to my doctor seeking treatment for acne. I left with an intense OTC acne treatment plan. Five of the six skin care products my doctor prescribed are available over-the-counter.
Related Post: the Tricare Acne Treatment that Works
The 5 over-the-counter-prescription-alternatives were easy to locate (at cheap prices no less). I just checked my favorite #adulting dynamic duo. I’m talking Google + Amazon.com.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about going to the doctor if you’re sick. But having acne isn’t exactly being sick. And it’s a lot easier to get to a drug store than to a doctor.
OTC Acne Treatment Products
If you’re any good at adulting, then you probably know seeing a doctor costs $$$$ dollars.
I prefer going to the doctor after exhausting OTC treatment plans. If your doctor knows you’ve used OTC acne products appropriately (but still have bad acne)… then he/she is more likely to prescribe something worth your time and copay.
The 5 OTC skin care products my doctor prescribed as the first line of defense against acne are: 1) a gentle cleanser, 2) a topical retinol cream, 3) a benzoyl peroxide wash, 4) an alcohol free toner, and 5) a daily moisturizer. I got three of these products from my pharmacy free of charge, (yay health insurance). But you can buy cheap OTC versions with the same active ingredients at a drug store/from the internet.
Below are the over-the-counter equivalents I recommend. These are the brands I am comfortable with, and the products that I am using today.
A gentle cleanser
My Tricare branch pharmacy gave me Ketaphil, but the over-the-counter version is Cetaphil. Cetaphil is not new to me. My sister has very sensitive skin and Cetaphil is her face wash of choice. In the past, I used Cetaphil at her suggestion. Cetaphil is available at Amazon, Target, and ULTA.
A topical retinol cream
There are a lot of retinol products out there. Just take a look at this Amazon search.
But I recommend Neutrogena OTC retinol product. Because Neutrogena is recommended by dermatologists. FOR REAL. They advertise being “the #1 brand recommended by dermatologists.” And they are actually recommended by dermatologists! My brother had the pleasure of seeing a dermatologist in high school for acne much worse than mine. The dermatologist advised my brother to use Neutrogena.
A benzoyl peroxide face-wash
Ironically enough, the benzolyn peroxide face-wash that is available over-the-counter is stronger than the pharmacy version I received. At 10% benzoyl peroxide, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser has the same active ingredient at 200% of my prescription skin care treatment. Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser is available at Amazon, Target, and ULTA (listed from least to most expensive).
An alcohol free toner
Product number one not provided by my pharmacy is alcohol free toner. Here is the Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner that I am loyal to. This is the only OTC toner advertised as “alcohol free” at my drug store. And I’ve stuck with it! You can buy the Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner at Amazon, Target, and ULTA (Amazon and Target are equal in price, ULTA is more expensive).
Product number two not provided by my pharmacy is Moisturizer. It’s also the most
uhh duhhhcommon sense skin care product within my prescribed OTC acne treatment plan.
I’ve been using moisturizer in my skin care routine for years. But I started using Burt’s Bees moisturizer about 2 years ago. The older I get the more I care about using natural and organic products. If you’re looking for products that are both organic and cost effective, Burt’s Bees is the bomb!
I’ve tried a couple of the many Burt’s Bees Daily Moisturizers. I usually pick the cheapest one from those available on my drug store shelf or sold via Amazon Prime. Strangely enough the Sensitive Skin version will be cheaper one day, while the Intense Hydration version is cheaper the next.
Pro tip: Facial moisturizers are often sold in plastic containers larger than the amount of product they contain. When comparing the cost of moisturizers make sure you compare the ml listed in fine print.
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!
Have you tried any of these OTC acne treatment products? Did they work for you?
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