Dermatologists Name the Best Skin-Care Products Under $20

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Dermatologists Name the Best Skin-Care Products Under $20 featured image

Who says solid skin care has to break the bank? From a body retinol to “look-like-you’re-on-vacation” sunscreen, dermatologists say these under-$20 products take tops.

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CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint ($17)

Calling it his “travel go-to,” Phoenix, AZ dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal praises this mineral sunscreen for “giving a great vacation glow” with a light tint. “It’s also safe for all skin types.” Another outstanding accolade for the derm-approved brand: “You really cannot go wrong with CeraVe,” says Louisville, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD.

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Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($12)

“This is the best cleanser out there,” Dr. Lal says of the derm-designed wash. “It doesn’t even need to be washed off! It’s also safe for all skin types, all ages, and it won’t dry you out.”

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e.l.f. Beauty Shield Vitamin C Pollution Prevention Serum ($16)

e.l.f. may get the mega-approval when it comes to makeup, but Dr. Lal says don’t discount the brand’s solid skin care offerings. “This is a great vitamin C serum with hyaluronic acid. It’s affordable and it gets the job done.”

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La-Roche Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Body Moisturizing Cream for Dry Skin ($20)

“This is an OG moisturizer under $20,” Dr. Lal says of the long-standing LRP favorite that recently added ceramides to the mix. “It will keep you hydrated without feeling greasy.” Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD likes the cream as well, calling it “such a great body cream for the dry, cool season, as it is moisturizing and soothing for the skin barrier.”

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Naturium Salicylic Acid Serum 2% ($20)

Dr. Lal likes this affordable serum for “those with acne or for those who want gentle exfoliation.” Another advantage: “It also has a very elegant product application.” Target.com reviewers concur, with one buyer saying: “I have struggled with acne my whole life, this little blue bottle has completely changed my acne…my blackheads are even clearer. This is my holy grail.”

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Baebody Retinol Moisturizer Cream for Face, Neck and Decolletage ($20)

This no-frills newer retinol clocks in right at $20. Dr. Lal says he’s a fan because it “has shea butter so it won’t dry you out.”

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Avène Thermal Spring Water (Starting at $14)

“I love this product,” says Dr. Buss Cassis. “I used to be completely skeptical of facial spring-water sprays, until I started using this. I don’t miss a day without spraying my face after my skin care or makeup. It sets the products and gives me the hydration I desperately need.”

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Vaseline (Starting at $2.50)

New York dermatologist Jody A. Levine, MD says her favorite product to recommend for under $20 is Vaseline. “I know it has been said often by other dermatologists, but it really is an all-around great product. It can be used to moisturize the skin, especially when you wet the skin and then rub some Vaseline on top to seal-in the moisture. It can also be used for the lips and to protect the cheeks from cold, windy weather.” Some other uses to add to the long list of benefits: “It can even be used to take off makeup for people who are sensitive to the ingredients,” Dr. Levine adds. “Plus, it’s very healing. You can put Vaseline on top of an open area and it helps the skin heal quicker.”

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