Dermatologists Reveal Their Top Over-the-Counter Beauty Picks

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years—it’s that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great skin. Compliance is far more important than cash. If I had a dollar for every person who’s asked me what product they need to have, I’d be writing this from my villa in Capri. Seriously.

The answer isn’t a hard one, and even better, the rock star ingredient I’m about to reveal is readily available at a variety of price points. So what’s the greatest anti-ager that everyone should have in their arsenal? Anything with SPF.

Don’t believe me? Just ask any dermatologist. All the pricey procedures they offer won’t do a bit of good if you aren’t caring for your skin. That means a gentle face wash, hydrating moisturizer, and of course—some SPF. Read on to learn how else they save face.

Face Wash

  • Olay Foaming Face Wash (Sensitive Skin). This product is “soap-, oil-, and fragrance-free which makes it ideal for dry, sensitive, and acneic types,” says Craig Austin, a dermatoligst in New York.
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. “This mild face wash is fragrance-free, non-drying, non-comedogenic, and contains glycerin for moisture,” says Debra Jaliman, a NYC derm and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.


  • Elta MD UV Physical. “It’s an SPF 41, oil-free, water-resistant, and contains high percentages of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It’s also tinted so you don’t have to wear makeup over top,” says Dr. Jaliman.
  • Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream“A great everyday brightening cream with broad spectrum protection, vitamin C (my favorite topical antioxidant) and hydrating hyaluronic acid. At $13 it’s great price quality value,” says Dr. Schultz.
  • Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen“Great for women on-the-go who need to reapply sunscreen but don’t want anything too gloppy,” says Omaha-based derm, Joel Schlessinger.


Eye Cream

Eczema Treatment

  • Lac-Hydrin 12%. “Contains lacticare which is soothing to extremely dry skin and eczema,” says Dr. Austin.

Lip Treatment

Sunless Tanner

  • St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. “I’m not a fan of getting a real tan, so this self tanner lends a believable tint to arms and legs, and dries quickly,” says Dr. Jaliman.


  • Clarisonic Mia. “This portable sonic cleansing machine is ideal for removing oil and makeup. I recommend the delicate brush head for patients with sensitive skin,” says Dr. Jaliman.Melissa Milrad Goldstein; from

What are your fave over-the-counter beauty buys?

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