Is There a Cheaper Alternative to Proactiv?

Microzoa/The Image Bank/Getty Images

You've heard good things about Proactiv and want to try it. Until you look at the price tag—uh oh. It's not cheap, especially when you take into account you'll need to buy a new kit every month.

Are there any alternatives to Proactiv that aren't as expensive? 

When you're on a limited budget, higher priced skin care products like Proactiv may not be within your means. But that doesn't mean that you're out of luck.

Proactiv isn't the only skin care line that is made for acne-prone skin. There are many other options, and less expensive alternatives can be just as effective. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get good results. It just takes a little know-how.

Check the Active Ingredients

The active ingredient in the Proactiv skin care line is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is the most effective over-the-counter acne-fighting ingredient available. It reduces the amount of the pimple-producing bacteria, Propionibacteria acnes, decreases inflammation, and helps keep pores clear.

Benzoyl peroxide isn't just found in Proactiv products, though. Scores of over-the-counter acne products contain this ingredient. Any OTC product that contains benzoyl peroxide is going to work in basically the same way.

Some products in the Proactiv line also contain glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that works as an exfoliant, helping to loosen the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. This, in turn, reduce pore blockages.

To get products that have the same ingredients that are found in Proactiv, head to the skin care aisle at your local drug store or big box store (like Target or Walmart). Look for an acne treatment product that has benzoyl peroxide listed as the active ingredient. It will be very obviously posted on the back label of the product near the top.

Bargain-Hunt for Other Complete Acne Treatment Kits

What may have drawn you to the the Proactiv line is that you get a complete skin care system—cleanser, toning solution, treatment lotion and, in some cases, a treatment mask. This was a new idea when Proactiv first hit the market, but now other acne skin care lines also offer complete OTC acne treatment kits. Proactiv just does a better job of marketing their product.

You can find these kits sold at your local drug store. Some reasonably priced skin care lines that offer multi-step acne treatment systems include:

Least Expensive of All: Create Your Own 3-Step Acne Treatment System with Drugstore Products

If you really want to save yourself some money, you can build your own OTC acne treatment regimen. Part of what we love about complete acne treatment kits is that everything is put together for you. But you're paying for that convenience.

You can pick up separately an acne-fighting cleanser, toner, and treatment lotion at the local drug store to make your own three-step acne treatment treatment routine. You may even be able to utilize some of the products you already have a home.

Just look at those active ingredients again. Choose a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, a toner with salicylic acid, and a lotion with benzoyl peroxide. It doesn't matter which brands you pick, you can even mix and match brands if you like.

Your DIY regimen can be just as effective as any pre-packaged acne treatment kit. If you want a more detailed step-by-step on how to do this, this article will walk you through: How To Build Your Own 3-Step Acne Treatment Kit with Drugstore Products.

A Word from Verywell

Remember, you don't have to purchase the most expensive, name brand products to get great results. There are many OTC acne products that work effectively.

The most important point to remember, though, is not every case of acne can be treated with over-the-counter products. OTC products work just fine for mild acne, but they won't have any effect on severe acne.

If your breakouts are very inflamed, deep, or widespread, skip the OTC products in favor of prescription acne medications. Yes, this does mean a trip to the dermatologist. But the results that you get from prescription treatments are well worth the hassle of seeing a physician.

Also know too that if you've used over-the-counter acne treatment kits for 10 to 12 weeks with no improvement, it's also time for a prescription medication. Don't simply try another brand; you'll get similar results with all OTC products. Sometimes prescription medications are needed to really see good improvement of acne.

 

Was this page helpful?
View Article Sources