While some might expect the top derms, estheticians, and med spa founders in the world could be total snobs about playing product faves (most have their own lines), many are actually big fans of the drugstore – yaaas!
Drugstore staples that have stood the test of time have a permanent place on the shelf for a reason, and these aesthetic pros have no problem giving credit to the high-tech creams, gentle cleaners, and do-it-all oils that have impressed them over the years. The best news? They’re not only a fraction of the cost of their pricey counterparts, they actually do what they promise when it comes to helping you put your best face (and body) forward. Time to load up the shopping cart with these affordable skincare products…
The Clean Face Faves
Ildi Pekar – Hungarian facialist to top supermodels Miranda Kerr, Irina Shayk, and Lindsay Ellingson – cups, peels, extracts, and steams Hollywood’s elite all day long, but she can still appreciate a budget-friendly makeup remover.
1. Yes to Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub, $8: “It’s gentle enough so you can use it daily and 99% natural.”
2. Garnier SKINACTIVE Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser, $7: “The micelles lift away dirt, oil, and makeup, without harsh rubbing.”
The Anti-Aging Aces
Derm demi-god Dr. Doris Day is revered for creating flawless faces at her Upper East Side private practice and she’s also the best at navigating the anti-aging section of the drugstore.
1. L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum, $21: “I call hyaluronic acid a powerhouse molecule because it attracts water like no other ingredient. It’s also naturally found in our bodies – specifically in our skin – but as we age, the body’s production of hyaluronic acid is reduced and needs to be replenished.”
2. ProX by Olay Anti-Aging Eye Restoration Complex, $41: “This is an outstanding formula, backed by science, containing some of my most favorite ingredients for the delicate eye area: niacinamide, peptides, and caffeine.”
The Do-It-All Stick
Dermatologic surgeon and RealSelf contributor Dr. Joel Schlessinger favors an all-in-one product that cures most skin ailments, without you having to lug your entire bathroom cabinet around.
1. FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone, $16: “It treats a variety of skin concerns from eczema and psoriasis, to seborrheic dermatitis and insect bites, at a fraction of the cost of prescription-grade products like generic desonide. Combining 1% hydrocortisone with effective hydrators, shea butter, and cocoa butter, this affordable balm deserves a place in every handbag. What’s more, its convenient stick formulation is mess-free and won’t melt in the heat.”
The Corrective Creams
When it comes to mega moisturizers that won’t put a dent in your wallet, Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, turns to a trusty few.
1. CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream, $20: “This is an excellent moisturizer for when the weather starts getting cold and your skin starts losing more moisture. It also contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, which helps even out skin tone.”
2. Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer, $39: “Loaded with ingredients that help with fine lines and wrinkles while achieving brighter skin: glycerin (to moisturize the skin by drawing water from the air into the skin’s outer layer), niacinamide (a potent antioxidant that improves the appearance of enlarged pores and dullness), sodium hyaluronate (super-hydrating with anti-aging properties), and peptides (that trigger the production of collagen).”
The Glow Getters
Nashville-based celebrity esthetician Karee Hays keeps clients like Faith Hill, Lily Aldridge, and Kristin Cavallari glowing 24/7, but she loves a bargain beauty buy for a radiant complexion.
1. Gillette Sensor3 Sensitive Men’s Disposable Razors, $7: “This is the best (un)kept secret in skincare and it’s probably already in your cabinet. GIRL, SHAVE YOUR FACE! Adding an at-home dermaplane to your weekly regimen will slough away dead skin cells, allowing your products to absorb more easily for fresh glowing skin.”
2. Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream, $19: “A makeup artist’s #1 trick to create dewy skin before applying makeup. It’s also a fantastic hand and foot cream.”
3. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Airbrushing Veil, $15: “If you love Tom Ford bronzer, then you’ll love Physician Formula’s version. #springglowgoals”
The Overachiever Oil
As a mother of two and a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Rita V. Linkner has seen her share of stretch marks. Luckily she has a cost-effective way to prevent and reverse them.
1. Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare, $20: “I recommend Bio-Oil to my expecting patients as a way to help prevent the formation of stretch marks by using it one to two times a day on the ‘three bs’ (breasts, belly, and butt). I also recommend that expecting moms pack Bio-Oil in their hospital bag to use in those first few days of post-pregnancy. Most women don’t realize that rapid weight loss during post-pregnancy can also contribute to stretch marks – that’s why it’s best to continue using Bio-Oil to help skin rebound.
The SPF Staples
Legendary derm and creator of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, Dr. Gross, has built an empire around sun protection, but there are affordable (and accessible) SPFs he remains loyal to.
1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45, $12: “I consistently remind my patients that they should be wearing sunscreen all day every day, year round. This sunscreen is very light and doesn’t leave a sticky, uncomfortable residue and is great for everyday use, or to go to the beach.”
2. Chapstick Skin Protectant With SPF 15 & Moisturizer, $5: “The skin on your lips is extremely thin, which makes it especially susceptible to sun damage. Chapstick has SPF 15 to protect against UVA/UVB rays (one of the leading causes of premature aging).”
We don’t know about you guys, but we’re picking some of these up ASAP!