2 luxurious drugstore moisturizers to elevate your routine

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If there’s anything I’ve learned working in the beauty industry, it’s that skincare doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Example: I tried a $320 moisturizer that was indistinguishable from the $20 moisturizer. And according to Southern California board-certified dermatologist Shirley Chi, MD, that information follows.

“To be honest, I would never even recommend department store moisturizers, not even the ‘superstar’ ones,” she says. “When I look for a moisturizer, I look for the presence of certain ingredients and the absence of others.” The good ones? Ceramides, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, in that order.

Dr. Chi then avoids ingredients like dyes, botanicals, fragrances, and (if possible) preservatives. “If you look at the most common contact allergens, that is, the things that can cause rashes,” says Dr Chi, one-third of them are preservatives and then another third are preservatives. perfumes. So if you can remove fragrances and preservatives, you’re golden.

Unfortunately, these ingredients are common in luxury products, to make them feel premium.

“And then the other thing you pay for is marketing,” says Dr. Chi. “So now you have the expensive bottle made out of a fancy glass, and then you need Julia Roberts to be your spokesperson, so now you have to pay for her. You end up paying mostly for things that don’t are not necessary and, in fact, not preferred.”

Below, you can shop the two drugstore moisturizers that Dr. Chi says will improve your routine without breaking the bank.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra — $32.00

“The Toleriane Ultra is by far the best face moisturizer for sensitive skin in my book,” she says. It is housed in an airtight packaging that prevents contamination, allowing this formula to be free of preservatives. “It feels very rich, but it’s still great for layering.”

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream — $17.00 to $20.00

“CeraVe moisturizer in the tub, that one is better than most department store moisturizers,” says Dr. Chi. “It almost feels whipped, which gives it a lighter feel. I like this one for the body.

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