Dermatology specialist Dr. Paula Lapinski provides her skin expertise

It’s not much of a secret that more men are taking better care of their skin, as skin care products marketed to guys are occupying more shelf space at stores. Now, according to a recent New York Times story, women are heading into those store aisles and checking out the men’s products in an effort to save money. Many have found certain men’s products are practically the same as the “female” version but cost far less.

I found this story particularly interesting, because when I speak to women from areas such as Downers Grove, Lombard, and Naperville at our dermatology clinic, cost comes up a lot. Patients want to know why they should spend more on a product from a doctor’s office when they can get something that seems similar off the shelf at the drugstore.

The truth is that there are moments when it’s wise to save money on skin care and moments when it’s actually worth it to invest a bit more. Here are some of the tips I offer patients when discussing how to budget for skin care products:

  • Save on sunscreens, cleansers, and lip balms. Applying sunscreen daily is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent your skin from aging prematurely. There are some excellent options at a decent price point, such as Neutrogena Ultra Sheer®. For many patients, I recommend buying gentle cleansers over-the-counter, too, as well as lip balms. You can find good bargains without sacrificing quality on these sorts of products. For anything that you have to reapply frequently or that washes right down the drain, lower-cost products may be a good bet. That said, if you have found your skin is particularly sensitive to sunscreens, lip balms, or cleansers, you may need to upgrade.
  • Splurge on serums, anti-aging treatments, and anything for treating a specific condition. Are you trying to tackle a certain issue with your skin, such as acne, discoloration, or wrinkles? In these cases, it’s worth it to spend more on a medical-grade, high-quality product. Most serums, lighteners, and other top-quality products are very concentrated, so a bottle ends up lasting a long time and delivers better results than anything from the drugstore. Investing early in anti-aging skin care products also pays off as your skin remains healthier and looking younger for years — meaning you won’t need to pay for costlier treatments such as surgery at an early age.
  • Always run your regimen by a specialist. This is really my best tip to help improve your skin and keep you on a smart budget. The best way to promote your skin’s health and appearance is to consult with a specialist about an effective daily skin care regimen that’s tailored to your specific skin type. There is no one-size-fits-all routine, and products affect each of us differently. Qualified skin specialists understand that you have a realistic budget. We can help you find a regimen that optimizes both your spending and your skin health.

Our practice offers a number of skin care products that may suit your needs. I encourage you set up an appointment with one of our skin care professionals by calling (815) 744-8554, or request a consultation online.