I’m a little bit of a product junkie. When it comes to skincare products choosing the right one is tough! There is just so much out there to try! I’ve used expensive creams and serums from department and specialty stores and I have also tried numerous DIY concoctions on Pinterest. One of my favorite things is trying more “Luxurious” (expensive) products and finding a similar budget friendly- just as fabulous product at the drugstore or Target! When I worked as an Esthetician one thing I noticed is that a lot of women think expensive means better While sometimes I agree, I have to say there are truly wonderful products out there that won’t break the bank. Here are the best drugstore skincare products to add to your skincare regimen.
**The title says drugstore but you can also find a lot of these at Target or online at Ulta. In my experience, La Roche-Posay’s selection is better online or at Target than at my local drugstore. **
Ahhhhh…CeraVe! Anyone who has ever chatted skin with me knows I am a die hard CeraVe fan!! I would have to say almost all their products are awesome!!!! CeraVe is affordable, effective, and packed with some amazing ingredients that you find in department store brands! I have combination skin, its oily in the t-zone and slightly sensitive everywhere else. This Cleanser has Salicylic acid which is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) BHA’s are oil soluble so it goes into your pores and unclogs any blackheads, blemishes and helps with bumpy skin. Salicylic acid is a natural exfoliant so even if you are not prone to blemishes you can still use this every few days as a gentle exfoliant. I never use anything to exfoliate my skin containing microbeads, or harsh walnut shell granules-much too harsh! This cleanser is super gentle and one of my staples!
This is my go-to summer cleanser! I spend a lot of time at the beach slathered with sunscreen and I feel like a once a week all over scrub with this body wash keep my skin nice and smooth. This product has 2% Salicylic acid and is perfect to use if you wax or shave to prevent ingrown hairs. Also, I have Keratosis Pilaris or as my husband says…chicken skin on my upper arms and this works like a dream to keep my skin from feeling super bumpy.
If there is one product I love more than CeraVe it would definitely be LaRoche-Posay!! This Toleriane Hydrating Cleanser is ahhhhmazing!! It’s an oil-free, soap free, paraben free, creamy, milky cleanser. This cleanser contains skin plumping, moisture retaining, Ceramide-3, and Niacinamide. It leaves your skin so soft! The ONLY problem???? Most people I know hate cream cleansers! Actually, almost everyone I get to try a cream cleanser hates it. Mostly the reason I hear is that “It feels like I am not getting my skin clean…there are no suds!” or “It feels too creamy.” To which I reply…YEP, YEP.
If you are used to washing your face with a gel, or a foam you will probably not be down with the creamy consistency. When I used to see clients in the spa they would come to me complaining of oily skin. Turns out a lot of them were using products that were too harsh for their skin-gel cleansers, foam cleansers, acne products, charcoal cleansers, etc. These women were actually stripping their skin of its natural oils and in response, their skin was overproducing oil like mad. ok…end rant. If you don’t love cream cleansers and cant be converted no matter what…try La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Foaming Cream Cleanser. It has a little bit more oomph creates a rich creamy foam and is still amazingly gentle and perfect for sensitive skin.
I live in South Florida and I’m pretty sure on a cloudy day the UV index is still 11! I wear a hat daily mostly because hats are the perfect accessory for pretty much every outfit but also because shielding your skin from UV rays in so so important. It actually took me a while to find a good moisturizer containing SPF that didn’t leave a white cast on my face, was light enough to wear with makeup and didn’t leave me looking like a grease ball. I didn’t start using sunscreen daily until I was in my mid/late twenties and now that I am just shy of the big 4-0 I can see the hyperpigmentation on my face, tops of hands and decollete. So, ladies in your twenties please slather up. Your forty-year-old self with thank you.
I use this every night. This night lotion is packed not only with 3 Ceramides but also contains Hyaluronic Acid. It absorbs quickly, it’s not greasy and softens your skin beautifully. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant that keeps your skin plump and hydrated. It is moisture binding so it smooths out any fine lines you have. You will find Hyaluronic Acid in a lot of high-end products but before you spend a ton of money try this out first. I think you will love it.
I swear I’m not a CeraVe affiliate. I just really love their stuff! This foot cream is the JAM! I am obsessed with Aveda’s foot relief cream but for 3oz it’s around $24 dollars. So, after trying a bunch of foot creams I stumbled across this one. And guess what?!!? It has the same Lactic Acid and Salicylic acid as the Aveda one for $11 dollars! Plus, CeraVe always has a $2.00 off coupon on their website. So, it’s less expensive and works equally as well. It doesn’t have the peppermint tingling that Aveda’s does but I’m good with that. This is a must-have for anyone who has dry heels or just wants some sexy smooth feet for sandal season. I wouldn’t use this every day though, Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid are two powerful exfoliants especially when mixed. I think once a week is good at bedtime with some Aquaphor and socks. Hello, smooth feet!
This body wash leaves your skin really soft and hydrated. Its gentle enough to use on kids too. The only thing I will mention is that it is a cream cleanser so you will not have that squeaky tight clean feeling on your skin. I know a lot of people who prefer suds and bubbles and this cleanser won’t produce that. I workout almost every day and I feel it does a phenomenal job cleaning my skin.
I started using this a few months ago and so far I have been pleased with it. While I don’t have any deep lines or wrinkles, I am noticing some stubborn forehead lines and hyperpigmentation on my decollete. I only use this twice a week and have noticed that my skin looks smoother which is always a good thing. I’ll let you know more of my thoughts after a few more months pass.
Some things to remember when using a product containing retinol.
If you are going to go get waxed and you have been using any topical skin product containing retinol, vitamin A or retinoid, stop at least a two weeks before your waxing appointment. If you get waxed and forget to mention it there is a good (100,000%) chance your skin will either come off or be incredibly red and irritated. It is no fun. It’s happened to me, I’ve seen it happen. Next, wear sunscreen. Because retinol products are essentially replacing old skin with new skin, you need to protect that fresh new skin from UV Rays. Last, I know there are products that contain retinoids that you can use during the day but, I say stick to using retinol at night. Whenever retinol is exposed to direct sunlight it becomes less effective, the main ingredient is broken down. If you notice sensitivity try using this product once a week and then gradually increase the usage if you feel like you need to.
I know people use this on baby’s butts but, it’s also divine on your hands and feet for a bedtime moisturizing treat. Just try it!
If you are not using sheet masks you need to stop what you’re doing and go to the store, like now. Sheet masks are the ultimate lazy girl’s skin care product. Sheet masks are easy to apply, not messy and you can get one for every skincare concern you have. The great thing about sheet masks is when you are done masking, you simply rub the excess into your skin. No messy stuff to clean. You can see some of my other favorite sheet masks here.
I have to admit, I am not a makeup person. I don’t wear foundation and trying to understand how to contour like Kim K makes my head spin. So, if you are like me and prefer something simple and natural-ish. Then I highly recommend a BB cream. I have tried a few and Maybelline is my favorite. I have worn this when I workout and I feel like it stays on and doesn’t make me feel stuffy or greasy. It brightens and evens my skin tone all while protecting my skin since it has SPF 30. It’s oil-free and super hydrating too. Win-Win!
I have dark circles. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to mix and blend concealer to get them looking less raccoonish. But, this concealer is one that I use and like that takes off some of the heat. I have tried others that would by the end of the day end up looking cakey. This concealer has light-reflecting pigments that seem to make the bluish blackish (eek) circles less noticeable. If anyone has any good tips on concealing dark circles let me know in the comments.
I feel like Physicians Formula doesn’t get the attention it deserves! I use bronzer almost every day. For the longest time, I was using Benefit’s Coralista. But, I decided to try Physicians Formula because, well, I liked all the different shades on the palette. Hey, I’m an impulse shopper sometimes! Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it just as much as Coralista and it’s less expensive too. There are so many shades but, this one is my favorite. It gives you a perfect summer glow without any shimmer stuff on your face. Some of their bronzers do have shimmer if you like that look, but for me, it’s a bit much on my skin.
Get ready to Horde this lip balm in every shade! I am so glad I stumbled upon this lip gloss. It’s incredibly hydrating, not sticky at all and gives you a pop of color! My favorite is the Berry Burst, the color and texture remind me of Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey which is one of my loyal favorites! Oh, and it has SPF 20!
Last but not least is Micellar water. I use this cleansing water in the morning and at night before I shower if I have had makeup on my face. This is the only brand I have used so far and I really like it. It’s gentle, doesn’t dry out my skin and my face feels clean and soft. Micellar is perfect to use right after working out or if you feel you need a little freshen up during the day (If you aren’t wearing makeup).
It’s like a cleanser, makeup remover and moisturizer in one. I bought the one recommended for waterproof mascara and I was surprised at how easily it removed my eye makeup. Usually, I go through several cotton balls and still have a lingering residue beneath the lash line but, the micellar water only used two cotton pads and didn’t leave any oily residue behind. I have also used this water to wash my makeup brushes and it left my bristles silky smooth.
What are some of your favorite drugstore skincare products? Leave a comment, I am always looking for new products to try!!