When it comes to beauty, we all want to make sure the products we’re using are great for our skin and overall health. But while it can seem like the products that are best for our skin are also the most expensive, not all quality beauty products come with a hefty price tag. After nearly a year working around dermatologists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in the cosmetic dermatology industry, I got the inside scoop on some of their skincare must-haves. Here’s the breakdown of which products in your everyday routine that are really worth investing in.
Anyone who is invested in their skincare knows that sunscreen is a non-negotiable part of a skincare routine and is the key to aging gracefully. Therefore, don’t skimp on your sunscreen! According to the pros, the holy grail of sunscreens is Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46. Seriously, this stuff is magic for your skin. It’s formulated with niacinamide to calm and protect skin, making it ideal for those with acne and rosacea-prone skin. And unlike so many other sunscreens, it works really well with all skin tones and does not leave behind a white cast or any greasy residue.
A good cleanser doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive one. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, opt for a gentle cleanser with acne fighting ingredients like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash. This drugstore product, loved by dermatologists, is made with salicylic acid which is great for destroying pore-clogging debris that gets trapped in the skin. If you have sensitive skin that tends to be on the drier side, a great affordable option is Facile Skin Bare Necessity Gel Cleanser. This non-stripping cleanser is becoming a rising star in the skincare scene, and is made in compliance with EU, UK, and Canada ingredient standards, ensuring its ingredients (including hydrating hyaluronic acid) are gentle and safe for your skin.
Just like cleansers, great moisturizers can be found in the drugstore as well. For those with acne-prone skin, try Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer. It is packed with moisture-retaining ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and is a favorite among derms and patients alike. Those with dry, cracked skin would benefit from ultra-healing La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5. Pros swear by this product for post-treatment skincare.
While targeted serums are an essential part of a skin care routine, they also don’t need to exceed your budget (unless you’re willing to spend a little more). If you’re looking to tackle specific skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, texture, and acne, you’ll want to look for serums with active ingredients like anti-aging retinol, brightening vitamin C, and exfoliating and clearing AHAs and BHAs. While many higher end serums boast higher concentrations of these active ingredients, there are a few affordable options that are worth trying.
A favorite among the pros is Facile Skin Brighten Serum. It’s formulated with a nourishing cocktail of azelaic acid, tranexamic acid, and niacinamide, which is perfect for evening out skin tone and lightening discoloration. For retinol, try Facile Skin Reverse Serum, which boasts an impressive 2.5% pure retinol – a steal for its $38 price tag.
However, if you do want to splurge on serum (it’s understandable if you do), consider iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance, a concentrated vitamin c formula. This formula brightens skin, adds antioxidant protection, and heals acne-prone and rosacea-prone skin. Definitely worth your coin. But again, there are amazing formulas at all price points.
All in all, a good skincare routine doesn’t need 10 steps or a ton of product. Cleanser, moisturizer, a serum, and sunscreen are enough to keep your skin at its best. Any other skin care products are simply an added bonus to your skincare routine.