Woman splashing face with water above bathroom sink

The Best Skincare Products Recommended by My Dermatologist That Are Also Inexpensive

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 skincare products at reasonable prices in drugstores, discount department stores, and online.

Woman splashing face with water above bathroom sink

Some years ago, during a routine office visit with my dermatologist, Dr. Newman, M.D., I asked for his recommendations on specific products 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

The products and brands listed below are available in drugstores and discount stores, such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Amazon.

You will find an Amazon link for each product. This will allow you to view the packaging and explore the item further with just one click. Remember that, although Amazon is a great option, you should be able to walk into your local drugstore or discount store and find the item in the skincare aisle

Best Inexpensive Skincare Products


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




Other cleansers that receive high marks from Dr. Newman:


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





If you are concerned about wrinkles and preventing skin cancer (who isn’t?), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream is a Retinol facial treatment with multi-vitamins, and in my opinion, an excellent product to consider. It’s more than just a moisturizer; it’s a skin preservation system and much more affordable than an expensive dermatologist’s pre-cancer procedure.


Eye-Makeup Remover

Johnson’s Tear-Free Baby Shampoo is an excellent choice for removing eye makeup. My ophthalmologist recommends this baby shampoo for his patients who wear contact lenses because it effectively removes protein build-up that often troubles lens wearers. It is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and dyes. My ophthamologist adivses me to use this full strength, but be sure to rinse thoroughly.



Instead of purchasing a name-brand astringent for your skincare regimen, consider using witch hazel, a natural remedy that skin professionals have recommended for decades. Witch hazel, as a natural astringent, can effectively remove excess oil from the skin and reduce pore size.

When applied topically, it can help minimize the number of impurities that can clog the skin’s pores and potentially exacerbate conditions like blemishes, blackheads, and even acne.

Witch hazel is readily available over the counter at most drugstores and supermarkets. I find that generic brands perform just as well as expensive brand-name astringents.



DIY Exfoliant

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

Ask any dermatologist which ingredient they won’t leave the house without, and I guarantee it will be sunscreen. I’ve learned from my doctor that sun damage is cumulative, and the easiest way to protect your skin is to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen with SPF 45 is the skincare product Dr. Newman 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.




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  1. B says:

    “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.”
    Removes protein build-up from the eyes? From the contact lenses? I have worn contact lenses for decades and I don’t understand this sentence, despite re-reading it multiple times. Please elaborate. Thank you in advance for clarifying. Really enjoy your website.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Amyloidosis is a rare disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs. This condition can sometimes affect the eyes, the areas around the eyes, the eyelids, and even the inside of the eye. Amyloidosis in the eyes can result in symptoms ranging from slight discomfort to serious vision problems. Baby shampoo is recommended by doctors to remove eye makeup, to clean the areas around the eye because it does a good job at that, and removes the buildup of protein at the same time.

  2. Jane says:

    Hi Mary, I’m a big fan of yours. Thank you for all your posts. Can you please recommend an affordable collagen cream that really works on the face & neck area. Thank you.

  3. Cindy J says:

    I am adding that it’s always a good idea to consult with an esthetician on skin care for best options for skin type/age, etc. Some dermatologists employ estheticians and others do not. Many licensed estheticians offer free consultation.

  4. Jan S says:

    Thanks for your list of great skin care products!! I’ve always been a KISS girl – keep it simple, stupid – so I appreciate simple and inexpensive.

    Also – as far as gardening – my local library just started a Seed Catalog where residents can go and pick up seeds or donate seeds. We have a fabulous collection of vegetables and flowers so far. So CHECK YOUR LIBRARY – it is, by far, the BEST return for your tax dollar!!

  5. Debbie says:

    Long ago I had a well-known Dermatologist in my big city tell me to use Crisco in a tub as a moisturizer. It works on the body and face. I just smear a small amount on me before bedtime. Doesn’t clog pores either.

  6. Pat C says:

    Suddenly, I’m getting all these ads for serums containing hyaluronic acid. Did your dermatologist mention anything about these, very expensive, products?

  7. Kat says:

    For about 20 years I have used extra virgin olive oil to clean my face when showering. I get compliments on my complexion and at 70+ years of age that is nice. The foods we eat have a profound impact on not just our skin but also on overall health.

  8. Donna says:

    A beauty expert once told me to mix cornmeal and coconut oil for a great exfoliant. Great for sensitive skin and Rosea as well as allergy prone (except if you’re allergic to corn and/or coconut!).

  9. Kari says:

    Hi, Mary! First, thank you for all your research, tips, and sharing of information! I loved this post today, as I use Cetaphil snd am able to purchase it brand new for as cheap as $2.50 a bottle for the moisturizer. Our city has a local homeless shelter that is supported by a thrift store. Once a month, the thrift store runs a 50% off sale on everything in the store. I usually try to stock up on Cetaphil during those times. Even when the 50% sale is not on, the thrift store usually has Cetaphil products for around $5. This is a wonderful resource for products such as this, plus supports the community and helping others. Just thought I would share! Again, thank you for all your work.

  10. K. Martin says:

    I’m not too sure about that Dickinson’s toner. It’s 14% alcohol, which is very drying, and at my age, the last thing I need is drier skin.

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