Whenever I ask readers what part of their routine they spend the most money on, the answer is always skin care. While I agree that skin care is definitely worth the splurge if you find something that works well for you, I also think it’s worth exploring drugstore skin care products to incorporate in your routine where you can. Over the past several years, drugstore skin care products have really elevated in quality. With some brands, the higher prices have reflected these changes, but the products are still typically more affordable than high-end brands.
Today I’m sharing what I consider to be the best drugstore skin care products that have been staples in my own routine. A few I’ve been using for years, others more recent additions that have seriously impressed me. Keep in mind that I have combination, acne-prone skin, but today I’m focusing on product suggestions that I believe will work with most skin types.
1. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
I am never without a pack of Neutrogena makeup wipes. Sure, I’ll try other towelettes, but these are the ones I buy in bulk and come back to every single time. You only need one to take off almost all of your makeup, and they’re friendly to my sensitive skin. Honestly? These just downright get the job done.
2. Simple Water Boost Micellar Water
Micellar water is a great way to cleanse gently, I use it in the morning as well as after the gym. I love the original product from Simple, but the Water Boost version is awesome for a little extra hydration. It leaves your skin feeling clean and supple.
3. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
This is one of the very few face washes that is a perfect match for my combination acne prone skin. It removes any makeup residue, oil and dirt from my face without drying me out. Even when my face is feeling sensitive or experiencing eczema, this has never irritated me or broken me out. Plus, it comes in a huge pump bottle that lasts a long time for a great value.
4. Pixi Glow Tonic
When I’m NOT using Glow Tonic, it’s obvious. I’ve been using this toner for five years now, and it’s done wonders for my skin tone and texture. It helps even out discoloration and fade hyper-pigmentation, while gently exfoliating and leaving my skin looking smoother over time. It helps keep my breakouts at bay and balances out my combo skin.
5. Physicians Formula The Perfect Matcha Cleansing Balm
This is one of the new additions to my skin care routine and I’m hooked! This cleansing balm is perfect for removing full faces of heavy duty glam makeup when you’re really caked. Whenever I’ve got multiple waterproof products on, have baked my face, or am taking off fake lashes, this is what I grab so that everything melts off effortlessly without tugging at the skin.
6. L’Oreal Pure Sugar Scrub
While my toner offers me a gentle daily exfoliation, I use this when I need a good scrub-down. The Pure Sugar Scrub is packed with three pure sugars, kiwi seeds, peppermint and lemongrass oils (it smells amazing) and gives you a thorough and even polish without being too harsh. You can also use it on the lips, which I’ve been doing a lot this summer! My skin is left incredibly soft, and the formula also helps unclog and tighten pores.
7. Zapzyt Acne Treatment Gel
While I still use my custom Curology acne treatment nightly, sometimes I need to tackle a zit and speed up the healing with a spot treatment. I’ve been using Zapzyt for two years for under-the-skin acne and the spots significantly shrink overnight. It’s a maximum strength 10% benzoyl peroxide gel, so it’s definitely meant to be used sparingly. I only use it if a pimple is being particularly stubborn or painful and I need it healed ASAP.
8. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
This is a great moisturizer that delivers a lot of hydration without the feeling of heavy residue. It’s perfect for layering with other serums and creams in a routine because it’s light and absorbs into the skin quickly. The boost of moisture you get after application lasts all day and instantly relieves the feeling of dryness. It doesn’t clog my pores or break me out, and there’s an SPF 15 version if you prefer the protection in your morning routine — again, it’s a great layering product and it doesn’t disturb makeup application!