Derm-Approved Drugstore Skin Care Products You Should Know About

Victoria Moorhouse

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Fact. Beauty products don’t have to cost a ton of cash in order for them to work. It’s a beautiful thing, and it true of all genres, including skin care! Yes, you can find beneficial formulas that treat and nourish your complexion at the drugstore, all while putting some $$$ in your savings account. Still skeptical? We went to Dr. Hadley King, MD, dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa in New York City, to get her opinions on the best drugstore skin care products out there. Here’s what she has to say about shopping on the cheap and her favorite buys below.

According to Dr. King, the main difference between expensive products and drugstore products is more in the marketing and packaging, and less about the “quality, effectiveness, and ingredients.” That’s great to hear, considering cleansers, moisturizers, and serums can seriously add up! However, Dr. King notes that if you want stronger anti-aging results from something like a retinoid, you should consult your derm for a prescription.

Now on to a few of her favorites!

eucerin lotion

Photo: Eucerin

Eucerin Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin Lotion ($8,

 At only 8 bucks and targeting one of our winter skin woes (ugh, dryness), our ears perked up when we heard this is one of Dr. King’s top picks. “The ingredients include both emollients as well as urea and lactic acid,” she explains.”This means that the lotion both moisturizes and exfoliates—effectively allowing the moisture to penetrate more deeply into the skin layers and helping to remove the dead skin layers that can dull the surface.” Sounds like a deal to us!

ultra gentle neutrogena

Photo: Neutogena

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser ($9,

Need a new facial cleanser? Dr. King suggests something like Neutogena’s super gentle formula or even Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser ($10, drugstore), if you need another pick, as both “effectively cleanse without drying out the skin.”

aquaphor lips

Photo: Aquaphor

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment ($14,

Dr. Hadley King says this is one of her top picks for lips, and it happens to be a product we Daily Makeover editors swear by for fixing chapped or irritated skin. It’s one of the best beauty multitaskers we’ve ever tried.

olay Derm Approved Drugstore Skin Care Products You Should Know About

Photo: Olay

Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum ($17,

Dr. King suggests trying something like Olay’s Regenerist Regenerating Serum or even Boots No 7 Serum Advanced Protect and Perfect ($18, if you’re looking for a product that targets anti-aging. While Olay’s formula targets concerns elasticity and works to restore firmness, Boots’ version actually includes salicylic acid to keep your complexion clear.

instrumental beauty

Photo: Instrumental Beauty

Instrumental Beauty Sonic Touch Cleansing System ($40, available at in February)

To boost your face washing and exfoliating routine, reach for a facial brush like this new, super gentle innovation from Instrumental Beauty. It features silicone points that pulsate to cleanse your skin and promote a healthier, radiant complexion. And because it’s so gentle, Dr. King says that you can use it twice a day. She recommends using it with a creamy or foaming cleansing, but notes you should avoid using it with an exfoliating wash, which could potentially damage the silicone.

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