The Best Skin Care Products Dermatologists Can't Live Without

If you’re going to sort through every single skin care item on your local drugstore shelves, you better have a lot of time on your hands. That’s why I set out to learn which skin care products dermatologists love and can’t live without, as no one knows better than the pros themselves. After all, just about every other label says something to the effect of “dermatologist approved,” but I for one prefer to hear it right from the professionals’ mouths. I spoke with several skin care specialists, who were more than willing to share their top favorite picks for products that dermatologists can’t live without.

While it’s always a great idea to check in with your own dermatologist if you have an ongoing skin care issue, it’s also pretty cool to hear a collection of different opinions on the best expert-approved skin products. For one thing, every skin care professional runs their practice a little differently. For another thing — and I’m about to drop one of my all-time favorite words here — there’s always bio-individuality, which basically means that every single body is different, and what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. No matter what type of skin you have, check out these dermatologists’ favorite picks for fixing all types of different skin care issues.

1. Sensitive Eyes and Skin? Check Out This Makeup Remover

Klorane Make-Up Remover Water with Soothing Cornflower, $10, Amazon

According to dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Joel Schlessinger, “Klorane Make-Up Remover Water with Soothing Cornflower is an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin and eyes. This award-winning makeup remover gently removes makeup on the face, eyes and lips without causing irritation. Cornflower, the key ingredient, has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and soften the skin.” It also skips the parabens and fragrances, so it’s an awesome option for those with allergies or contact lenses.

2. Lock In The Hydration While You Sleep

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, $23, Amazon

A personal favorite from dermatologic surgeon and RealSelf contributor Dr. Sabrina Fabi, “The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is great and also gives me added moisture when I am on a long plane ride.” No matter what type of skin you have, it keeps your face looking hydrated and bright, and reviewers say it’s a must-have because it soaks in quickly, so you can wake up to a healthy, radiant glow.

3. Get A Great Quality Facial Sunscreen

Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46, $22, Amazon

According to dermatologist Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA, “Elta MD is a phenomenal sunscreen line.” They carry great facial sunscreens like Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46, which “has niacinamide, aka vitamin B3, a natural anti-inflammatory that is ideal for acne, rosacea, sensitive skin, and melasma skin types.” 

(And heads-up for fall: Dr. Palm is especially excited about the new sunscreen that they’re coming out with, Elta MD UV Elements SPF 44. "It is a purely physical sunscreen with nine percent zinc oxide," she said, and the formula will even have hyaluronic acid for a dewy finish — as well as vitamin C to brighten skin and fight free radicals.)

4. For An All-Around Acne Treatment, Check Out This Innovative System

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Dermatological Acne Treatment System, $22, Amazon

Another great suggestion from Dr. Joel Schlessinger is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar dermatological acne treatment system. The gel targets excess oil, the clarifying solution takes care of clogged pores, and the duo benzoyl peroxide solution helps clear up existing acne. “With continued use,” Schlessinger says, “this acne system improves the appearance of blemishes in as little as three days. Best of all, this system is oil-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, dermatologist-tested, and suitable for sensitive skin.”

5. If You’re Too Sensitive For Makeup Wipes, Make Your Own

Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser, $14, Amazon

Dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Heidi Waldorf can’t live without an effective but gentle way to remove makeup. “If [makeup remover cloths] are too irritating,” Waldorf says, “then I recommend using Albolene with a soft cloth or tissue.” It’s a great way to get a clean, clear face — even when you’re wearing the stubborn waterproof kind — and it won’t cause breakouts or rashes for even the most sensitive skin.

6. A No-Fuss Way To Get Rid Of Blemishes

Dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Michele Green says that Neutrogena's On-The-Spot acne treatment is a definite favorite as far as getting rid of blemishes, because it’s “great for stubborn acne spots.” It’s gentle on skin, but still fights the type of bacteria that causes breakouts, and while it won’t clog pores, it has 25 percent benzoyl peroxide, which helps to shrink spots without drying out your face.

7. Check Out This Awesome Moisturizer For Eczema

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, $15, Amazon

“Being a woman with eczema, I can related to my patients,” says Dr. Sabrina Fabi, so she typically suggests “creams over lotions to provide a better skin barrier.” Aveeno's Eczema Therapy moisturizing cream is one of her favorites because it’s gentle, yet ultra hydrating. “As a rule of thumb, a moisturizer that comes out of a tub or tube offers my eczema patients greater relief than those that come out of a pump. Regardless of the moisturizer, the key is to apply the moisturizer within two minutes of getting out of the shower before one is completely dry.”

8. Get 1,000 Times The Moisture

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, $14, Amazon

“One of my favorite skincare products is Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “It's light but rich, goes on smooth but keeps me hydrated all day under makeup or by itself. The hyaluronic acid base provides a great moisturizer in a versatile formulation. And now there's an SPF 15 version, too!”

9. Try A Moisturizing Cleanser For Dry Skin

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $8, Amazon

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a nice, inexpensive facial cleanser that can be appropriate for most skin types (except oily),” says plastic surgeon and RealSelf contributor Dr. Anthony Youn. “It cleans the skin well and isn't as drying as many others.” It has loads of rave reviews because it’s non-irritating and helps to restore the skin’s natural protective functions. A little goes a long way, it lathers up beautifully, and it really helps dry skin.

10. This Natural And Safe Alternative To Sunscreen

Karying Complete Broad Spectrum SPF50, $75, Karyng

“My new favorite skin care product is the new Complete SPF 50 by Karyng,” says Dr. Karyn Grossman of Grossman Dermatology. “I love this product because it is all you need in the AM.” Composed of 90 percent natural ingredients, it’s a “moisturizer, antioxidants, anti-aging, skin tone evening and makeup base in one,” and it’s got “no chemical SPF — just physical block with UVA/UVB protection using zinc and titanium — the best and safest SPF ingredients.”

Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (8); Neutrogena (1); Karyng (1)

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