It’s no secret that skincare can be expensive, with hopeful consumers willing to pay top dollar for the promise of a more radiant and youthful glow. Sure, many people would consider a solid product lineup a smart investment—a quality formula has the power to appreciate over time, working wonders for your outward complexion and inner confidence in the process. However, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank in order to obtain products that make your skin look and feel its best. From Olay and CeraVe to Neutrogena and La Roche-Posay, here are 12 expert-approved brands that are making quality skincare accessible to everyone.
La Roche-Posay’s Lipkar Balm AP+ Moisturizer ($20; amazon.com), which has a five-star rating, is Dr. Madfes’ go-to lotion. “This product contains prebiotic thermal water, shea butter, and glycerin for keeping the skin barrier protected. It absorbs instantly, soothing and keeping skin soft all day. Not a day goes by that I don’t use this, especially in my office when washing hands all day,” she says. La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum With Sunscreen ($42; cvs.com) is also a must-have. “It provides protection against sun and free radicals to prevent skin cancer, brown spots, and wrinkles.”
New to retinol? Dr. Madfes considers Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regeneration Cream ($32; ulta.com) one of your best drugstore bets. “Retinols can be irritating to the skin for first-time users. This retinol is in a moisturizing base to help keep the epidermal barrier intact and minimize irritation,” she says, noting that patients typically notice positive changes in skin texture around four weeks of use.
For a multitasking product, try Garnier SkinActive Charcoal 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask ($7; amazon.com). “Charcoal absorbs toxins, oils, skin cell debris and allergens. The white clay is a key ingredient as well. I also love that there are no microplastic beads! I use this myself and, after removing the mask, my skin is ready for my serums and peptides,” says Dr. Madfes, who suggests those with oily skin apply a thicker layer for a leave-on mask treatment once a week.
One of her go-tos include RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($16; amazon.com). “The quality of the retinol and other anti-aging ingredients is superior with a lot of scientific data behind it. It is the OTC retinol I reach for when I’ve left my RX products home.” Anna Guanche, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and celebrity beauty expert based in California, is another believer: “I love RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream ($18; walgreens.com) for helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkles!”
Top picks: For those looking to experience the brand, Dr. Roberts suggests the cult classic Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Hydrating Moisturizer ($29; olay.com). “Look for products that have antioxidants, collagen stimulators and collagen-plumping molecules to combat the signs of aging.”
These are some good skin care products to invest in.