Who says you have to spend big bucks to see real results when it comes to beauty? Way back in the day I wrote a post about some of my favorite drugstore makeup (you can check it out here) and the amazingness that is the Walgreens Look Boutique (check that one out here). This time, let's focus on my favorite beauty topic: skincare!
Over the past year or so, there has been a real boom in quality skincare at the drugstore. It does tend to come at the expense of higher price tags ($50 for drugstore eye cream is just insane), but you can still find some great products at reasonable price points with the convenience (and coupons!) that make up the drugstore experience.
LA ROCHE POSAY Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser - La Roche Posay is a fantastic skincare line that brings the allure of shopping French pharmacies to drugstores here in the US. The entire range is high quality, and while there are some products that I like better than others, I've yet to try a product in the line that I straight up dislike. They do have some products that creep into the $40+ price zone, which in my mind means you are really comparing it to a Sephora purchase and not the drugstore, but this cleanser comes in at a cool $15 for a HUGE bottle. Seriously, it will last.
It also comes in a version for oily complexions, but I've found that my combination skin loves the hydrating version more (oil slicks in my t-zone with dry patches from acne treatments...so much fun). I've learned that hydrating my oily skin actually makes it less oily since my skin doesn't feel the need to overcompensate for dryness with excess oil production. Counterintuitive at first, but makes a ton of sense when you think about it, and my complexion has really evened out while using this cleanser.
CERAVE Facial Moisturizing Lotion - I ended up buying this one on a whim because I was looking for a daytime moisturizer with physical SPF protection (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) as opposed to chemical sunscreen (avobenzone, oxybenzone, etc...) because my foundation has physical SPF protection. I read an article a while back claiming that some ingredients in physical sunscreens can destabilize avobenzone, so mixing physical and chemical sunscreens isn't the greatest idea. I'm not a chemist, so I have no way to sense check this, but I've bought into it enough to make sure I'm always either wearing physical sunscreen or chemical sunscreen, not a combination of the two.
This is really a long way of saying that I was in the market for a new daytime moisturizer and I was open to trying something from the drugstore to save a bit of money. After checking a few quick online reviews (anyone else do this standing in the aisle while they're shopping?) I decided to pick this guy up. And I'm very happy I did! There is some whiteness (just the way it goes with physical sunscreens) but it's pretty easy to rub in completely, and I'm very impressed with how nicely it sits under makeup.
NEUTROGENA On The Spot Acne Treatment - This one is the real bargain buy of the day at under $5! My skin has changed quite a bit over the past 8 months or so, and it seems as though benzoyl peroxide is now the only thing that keeps my acne away. Benzoyl peroxide is generally my last resort when it comes to acne treatments because it can be pretty harsh on sensitive skin, so I was very happy to find this product with only 2.5% concentration. It still works but without all the irritation from the super strength versions. If your skin can handle a bit more benzoyl peroxide, the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo is also excellent. It has 5.5% benzoyl peroxide, however, so it may leave dry, red patches on sensitive skin types.
Note, the U.S. and European versions of the Effaclar Duo are different. The European version does not have benzoyl peroxide, and I used to use it pretty regularly. Surprisingly, it's not crazy expensive to ship it to the U.S. from the Escentual website. Just an idea...
What are some of your favorite drugstore skincare buys? I'm always looking for new recommendations! Let me know in the comments below.
This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. I would never suggest a product that I wouldn't want to buy myself :)