Get clearer, softer, smoother Skin on the cheap with the affordable (most cost under $20!) drugstore finds that skin docs love.
Klorane Makeup Remover Wipes with Soothing CornflowerEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Kloraneusa.com
These towelettes really refresh, but they don’t strip skin, even when you’re removing long-lasting makeup, Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC, told Redbook. The key ingredient, cornflower, is an anti-inflammatory that soothes sensitive skin. Bonus: The wipes are 100 percent biodegradable.
Instrumental Beauty Sonic Touch Cleansing SystemEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Instrumental Beauty
This facial brush features silicone points that pulsate to cleanse skin and boost radiance. And because it’s so gentle, you can use it twice a day, NYC dermatologist Hadley King, MD, told stylecaster.com. Just don’t pair it with an exfoliating wash, which could potentially damage the silicone. And watch out for this other bad skincare advice that dermatologists commonly hear.
Cetaphil Liquid Cleanser Gentle Skin CleanserEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Cetaphil
There’s a reason this cleanser has a cult following: “It’s the gold standard for gentle cleansing,” says David Bank, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. Or try these simple natural cleansers you can make yourself.
Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore StripsEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Bioré
When it comes to pore strips, Bioré is the original, and—judging by how many derms recommend them—the best. Yes, they’re a temporary fix, but they’re great for degunking pores on the nose and chin, says Bank, who recommends applying them to damp skin after washing your face. Check out these other beauty secrets your skin wants to tell you.
Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration ComplexEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Olay
Want to improve the view around your eyes? Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, uses this cream herself at night. As she told Allure, it contains retinol to thicken skin, plus niacinamide (a form of vitamin B) to even tone, caffeine to reduce puffiness, and antioxidants to protect against future damage. Check out these other tiny tweaks to your beauty routine for a major skincare payoff.
Garnier Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye RollerEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Garnier
If cucumbers aren’t getting rid of your undereye baggage, Dr. Bank suggests this targeted treatment. The rolling metal tip reduces swelling by cooling skin, while the caffeinated gel formula minimizes puffiness by constricting blood vessels. These like-magic makeup tricks can also help your eyes look less tired.
EOS Lip BalmEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Eos
To coddle the very sensitive skin on the lips (it’s the thinnest on the body), NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, tells youbeauty.com that she uses this balm. Packed with olive oil, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and vitamins E and C, it really means business when it comes to moisturizing! Or try these other DIY salves for dry, chapped lips.
40 Carrots Vitamin C SerumEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Walgreens
“I love antioxidant serums to help fight off free radical damage from UV rays,” says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “This is cosmetically elegant, easy to layer, and gets the job done.” Check out the morning habits of people with beautiful skin.
Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, Walgreens
Seeing (brown) spots? This gentle lotion contains soy to reduce pigmentation as well as high SPF with UVA protection to prevent more discoloration, says NYC dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD, in Good Housekeeping. Don’t ignore any brown spots that have changed over time—it could be a sign of cancer.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night CreamEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Amazon.com
When it comes to skin rejuvenation, no ingredient works better (or faster) than a retinoid. Rx versions are more potent, but this PM option delivers the vitamin-A-based anti-ager without the hefty price tag, says Dr. Bank. “It’s the go-to OTC retinol product.” Don’t miss these other dermatologists’ tricks to looking younger.
Olay ProX Microdermabrasion KitEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Amazon.com
For an exfoliation boost, Dr. Day uses this treatment kit weekly. “I’m completely addicted,” she told refinery29.com.
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, SPF 30Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, Amazon.com
Nothing prevents the signs of aging like daily use of sunscreen, and this moisturizer provides excellent protection against UV rays, says Dr. Bank. It also contains niacinamide, a form of vitamin B that reduces redness and dark spots. If all that isn’t enough, the lightweight lotion wears well under makeup too!
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Therapy LotionEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Vaseline
“This contains Vaseline petroleum jelly, but it’s delivered in a lighter lotion. It goes beyond moisturizing to actually repair barrier damage, leaving skin soft, supple, and less prone to irritation,” says Dr. Gohara. Save time by moisturizing skin in the shower.
Aquaphor Healing OintmentEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Aquaphor
“I always have a sample size with me,” says Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at NYU School of Medicine. The multi-tasking ointment is great for protecting cuts and scrapes, smoothing dry lips, and healing dry, cracked skin. If you have dry skin, these common makeup mistakes can make it look even drier.
La Roche Posay Effaclar SystemEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, La Roche-Posay
You can really send pimples packing with this packaged deal of cleanser, toner, and spot treatment. Derms, like Dr. Kauvar, love (and recommend) it because the formulas are gentle, non-irritating, and contain proven anti-acne agents like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot TreatmentEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Burt's Bees
Many spot treatments can leave skin feeling dry and itchy, so Michele Green, MD, a dermatologist in NYC, recommended this cream to Self as a gentler solution that still works.
Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 50+Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, Amazon.com
Not only is the entire line of Vanicream products fragrance-free, dye-free, gluten-free, formaldehyde-free, and paraben-free, but this sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, the active ingredients derms like Encino, California-based Helene Rosenzweig, MD, recommend to patients with sensitive skin. You’ll also want to check out these life-changing beauty tricks for allergy-prone skin.
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Spray SPF 70Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, Neutrogena ©
One and done is a recipe for disaster when it comes to sunscreen, which needs to be reapplied at least every two hours—more often if you’re swimming or perspiring heavily. “This is great for reapplying on the fly, especially at the beach,” says Kauvar. Make sure you’re not making these other sunscreen mistakes that could mean sunburn and wrinkles down the road.
Jergens Natural Glow Daily MoisturizerEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Jergens
This gives you the most natural-looking tan you can find in a bottle, Whitney Bowe, MD, told Dr. Oz The Good Life. “It’s streak-free, goes on easily, and has antioxidants to help protect and soften skin.” The best part, says Dr. Bowe, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC? “It doesn’t have that gross self-tanner smell.” Here are some beauty products you just don’t need—period.
Sally Hansen Salon Airbrush Legs Water Resistant Leg MakeupEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, Sally Hansen
“It covers anything—even little veins or sun spots—plus it stays on in the water, so you don’t feel the urge to bake in the sun for camouflage,” Ellen Marmur, MD, an associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology and the department of genetics and genomic research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, told Allure.