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Acne Treatment Features (continued)

Cheap Acne Creams, Washes, and Spot Treatments.

There's no shortage of options when it comes to applying acne therapies. There are spot treatments, cleansers, and multi-part kits: You can rub ointment, gel, or acne cream on your skin with your fingers or a pad, squeeze it out of tube and dab where necessary, wash/lather your entire face, or use a combination approach that may also involve a moisturizer.
Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System (starting at $20) is an example of the latter: it's a kit containing Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser with salicylic acid, Acne Control Lotion with benzoyl peroxide, and Oil-Free SPF 15 Lotion, a total package that suits people who get results by using products with both active ingredients.

The cheap acne therapies we researched declare themselves by their names: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser and Clean & Clear Cleansers Blackhead Eraser Scrub are acne face washes that also exfoliate (remove dead skin); Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads are wiped over your skin; and Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment and Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 are cheap acne creams (in a tube) that are dabbed onto outbreaks.

Acne Treatment Plans.

When considering the price of an acne cure, factors like unit size and treatment duration are critical. Most cheap spot treatments for acne come in packages with up to two ounces of product; cleansers usually come in bottles or plastic tubes of five to eight ounces; the Noxzema Triple Clean container holds 90 pads. Although the product amount might seem meager, you don't have to slather it on -- target the application to the breakout areas.

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Sometimes acne breaks out on other parts of your body, like the back or chest. Although most acne cures are formulated for the face, some users apply them elsewhere and get good results. Alba Botanica Natural ACNEdote Face & Body Scrub (starting at $5.60) is an exfoliant specifically intended for more than just your face.

Many over-the-counter therapies are meant to be used several times a day. Recommendations for the cheap acne cures on our list suggest starting off with once a day and gradually increasing up to two or three times daily. Some products may leave an odor on your skin. Users report that Burt's Bees Natural Target Spot Treatment (starting at $10) is one of the offenders, perhaps due to the eucalyptus in the formula; some users find it pleasant, others call it stinky. The scent of Noxzema Triple Clean pads puts off some users, as does the smell of Clean & Clear Cleansers Scrub despite specs that say it's unscented.

Remember that treatment may take a month or two to kick in. You won't necessarily "feel" anything when it starts working and the current outbreak might not noticeably diminish -- some products also reduce future eruptions. How fast an acne therapy works depends on how bad the acne is, your skin type, and whether you're using it properly. If you ignore the instructions, you're unlikely to get the results you expect.

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