We have yet to meet someone who doesn’t appreciate a good Target shopping trip. Talk about deriving pleasure from the simplest of activities. And while it’s obviously a great spot to pick-up everything from workout wear to Windex, it’s also a treasure trove of — very affordable — skin care staples. Since we already have what some might call a “problem” overspending during our Target-paloozas, we gave three top dermatologists a $50 budget to shop the skin care aisles. The only rule: Don’t go over! Here’s what they picked.
The Dermatologist: Jordan Carqueville, MD, a celebrity dermatologist in Chicago
If you’re looking to save on skin care, opt for a cheaper cleanser. It’s one product that isn’t on your skin long enough for any active ingredients to truly make a difference, so all you really need is something that washes off gunk and grime, but won’t wreak havoc on your skin. That’s why Dr. Carqueville likes this, “sensitive skin cleanser that effectively removes make-up, dirt and oils without drying out the skin.”
“The active ingredient here is 2-percent salicylic acid, which helps lightly exfoliate the skin, both keeping the pores clear to prevent and treat acne, and your complexion glowing,” she says.
“I like a moisturizer that I know will keep my skin hydrated without being greasy or clogging pores. This one contains hyaluronic acid, which is light and binds water to the skin to keep it hydrated for hours,” says Dr. Carqueville, who adds that this formula can be used day or night. The caveat: Be sure to follow it with an SPF if you’re using it during the day. And on that note…
You better believe sunscreen is a staple in Dr. Carqueville’s Target skin care cart. She chooses this one for its high SPF — derived from non-irritating, mineral blockers — and lightweight feel that “blends in easily, doesn’t clog pores, and wears well under make-up.”
Grand Total: $47.36
The Dermatologist: Jessica Krant, MD, of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York in NYC
The star of the show here is hyaluronic acid, which Dr. Krant says acts like a sponge for dry skin. “This is my favorite moisturizer since it provides long-lasting moisture, but also because it’s a gel-cream that is still gentle and light,” she explains, adding that it can also be layered under anything or used solo day or night.
It should come as no surprise that a derm chose a retinoid product, considering the vitamin A derivatives are tried-and-true anti-aging ingredients. “This is my go-to, one-stop-shop for an anti-aging retinoid. Retinol works in several different ways to keep skin looking younger, and this particular option is a great value,” she says.
Lazy (and busy) girls, take note: For those who only want to apply on product in the morning, a moisturizer-SPF combo can’t be beat. “This is a one-step moisturizer with built-in, broad spectrum SPF 50, the minimum I use on my face no matter what,” says Dr. Krant of her pick. She also likes the addition of antioxidants, and the non-greasy, hypoallergenic formula.
The Dermatologist: Devika Icecreamwala, MD, a dermatologist in Berkeley, CA
Got breakouts? Dr. Icecreamwala recommends this powerful product: “It’s an effective retinoid gel that used to be available by prescription-only and is great for acne-prone skin.” She suggests using a pea-size amount on your face (and chest and back if body breakouts are an issue) nightly.
“I like this cleanser because it’s gentle and simple. It doesn’t have fragrance, but it does have a moisturizing cream built-in so your skin is never left feeling dry,” she explains. Hey, there’s a reason it’s one of those iconic beauty products that can withstand the test of time.
“This body cream has ceramides to help protect the skin barrier,” says Dr. Icecreamwala. Pro tip: Do like she does and slather it on immediately post-shower to help seal in even more moisture and quench dry skin.
And there you have it, the best skin care buys at Target.
You might also like: 11 Signs Your Skin Care Routine Isn’t Working