Woman splashing face with water above bathroom sink

The Best Inexpensive Skincare Products My Dermatologist Recommends

High-quality and effective skincare should not be considered a luxury available only to the wealthy. With the right information, we can find excellent quality, reasonably priced skincare products in drugstores, discount department stores, also online.

Woman splashing face with water above bathroom sink

Some years ago, as my dermatologist was wrapping up my routine office visit, I asked what specific products he recommends I use for daily skincare. Without hesitation, he pulled out a notepad and listed the products that follow, which I love and still use to this day.

Best Inexpensive Skincare Products


Cetaphil makes is an excellent line of affordable skincare products, including my doctor’s first choice:  Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.


      WALMART $7.97


Other cleansers that receive high marks with my doctor are Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser Moisturizing Deep Cleanser; Basis Sensitive Skin Bar; Lever 2000, and Dove for Sensitive Skin.


Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Very Dry/Sensitive Skin is fragrance-free, and my doctor’s top choice for a daily moisturizer.

       WALMART $20.99




If you are concerned about wrinkles and avoiding skin cancer (tell me who’s not), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream is a Retinol facial treatment with multi-vitamins—an excellent product you should consider. This is more than a moisturizer. It’s a skin preservation system and much cheaper than a very expensive dermatologist’s pre-cancer procedure.


      WALMT $31.75

Eye-Makeup Remover

Johnson’s Tear-Free Baby Shampoo is an excellent eye-makeup remover. My ophthalmologist tells me that he prescribes this baby shampoo for his patients who wear contact lenses because the product also removes protein build-up that plagues many lens wearers. It is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and dyes. Can be used full strength. Rinse well.


      WALMART $8.92


Instead of purchasing a name-brand astringent for use in your skin-care regimen, use witch hazel, an old natural stand-by that has been recommended by skin professionals for decades. As a natural astringent, witch hazel has the ability to remove excess oil from the skin and shrink down pores.

A topical application can help reduce the number of contaminants that enter the skin’s pores and can potentially aggravate skin conditions like blemishes, blackheads, and even acne.

Witch hazel is available over the counter at any drugstore and most supermarkets. Any generic brand performs equally well to any brand astringent no matter how expensive.



Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar with the juice of one whole lemon to form a paste. While showering invigorate your skin with the paste. Rub heels and elbows with the inside of the lemon rinds. You will swear you’ve just had a spa treatment with a very expensive skincare product!


Daily Sunscreen

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen with SPF 45 is the skincare product my doctor recommends to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. It is available online but also in nearly every drug store and Costco. I love this brand because it is ultra sheer and non-greasy.



Updated 5-3-22

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10 replies
  1. Debbie says:

    I wear very little makeup, but always go back to Ponds Cold Cream for removal of my blush and mascara. I tissue it off and follow with a warm washcloth. My grandmother always used Lady Esther cold cream and she had such pretty skin.

  2. Imogene says:

    In the early 60s my mother had guests who allowed their children to walk all over brand new living room carpet- with TAR on their feet! Mom cried and called my Aunt who arrived with Witch Hazel. She and Mom scrubbed the tar right out of the carpet. That is a cleanser!

  3. Gina Hill says:

    I tried the baby shampoo for my eye makeup remover, but was not very successful. I use waterproof mascara. I tried rubbing the straight shampoo on with my fingers, as well as on a cotton ball. How do others apply and are they successful with waterproof mascara?

    • Julie says:

      Baby Oil. I’ve used it (generic brand) for more than 30 years, it works perfectly!
      (1) Gently rub a small amount of Baby Oil over eyes.
      (2) Gently wipe eyes with toilet paper.
      (3) Gently wipe eyes with Witch Hazel (generic brand) on a cotton square.
      (4) Gently wash eyes with sudsy Baby Shampoo.

  4. Nancy says:

    As I’ve aged, I’ve become sensitive to every skin care product that I’ve tried (and I tried most of them!) My go-to at this point is coconut oil for just about everything. I cleanse with a rough washcloth and plain hot water, then use a tea tree oil roll on (mixed with coconut oil) on blemishes and moisturize with coconut oil. I also use it as a body lotion. I have a Vitamin E salve for dryer areas like my feet or places where I’ve come in contact with something that has broken me out. (Recently wore an acrylic hat while out shoveling snow and broke out everywhere it touched.) I use a goats milk/oatmeal soap with no perfume or dye. Biggest challenge at the moment is finding a shampoo as I’ve become allergic to the “non-allergenic” one I was using. I’m sensitive to all petroleum product/polyesters/perfumes — including the fiberfill in mattresses and pillows, polyester clothes, every mask I wore during the pandemic. I have four cotton mattress pads and cotton sheets between me and the mattress — and still feel like I’m burning some nights. Didn’t have allergies as a kid, but sure am blessed in my later years! I’ve stopped buying any of the commercial “non-allergenic” products — they might work for a little while, but then I become sensitive to them. It is a huge waste of money. Sometimes the basic pure products are the answer!

  5. Teresa says:

    I use a generic baby shampoo, 2 parts water to 1 part shampoo, and it is still very effective to remove eye makeup.


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