Dr. Shirley Chi of the Center for Advanced Dermatology went on a drug store run recently to show us the best beauty bargains. She started with a dermatologist favorite: the inexpensive Cetaphil facial cleanser.
"I like the normal or sensitive skin formula and if you look in the back it doesn't have very many ingredients, which is something that I always look for," she says.
Chi says you can turn it into an exfoliate by adding a few pinches of baking soda. Plus, it contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin.
For an anti-oxidant cream, she likes La Roche-Posay's Active C.
To get more bang for your buck, Chi says instead of using the moisturizing version of Active C, use the eye serum and put it on your face. It'll save you $10.
"The eye serum on the face is just a lighter formula, so you can moisturize like you normally do and then put the eye serum all over," Chi says.
The Queen Helene's cleansing clay mask contains sulphur and will only set you back $4. Or, you can make your own mask to help brighten dull skin and prevent acne. Just take aloe vera gel, crush five uncoated aspirin tablets and mix together.
"Aspirin basically breaks down into salicylic acid," Chi says. "Salicylic acid is used in peels, the Beta-Lift peel, it's used for acne treatments, it's in a lot of the over-the-counter and prescription acne products."
Finally, use sunscreen every day. The FDA recommends mineral-based sun screens for the best protection.
"On my drug store run, I found that the Eucerin for sensitive skin, daily protection, has the mineral in it, it's got titanium oxide in it and zinc oxide," Chi says.
While some skin care regimens can run you thousands of dollars, these all total up to about $70.
Also in that group of products is the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. Chi says for an over-the-counter treatment, it contains a good amount. She says only use it at night because retinols breaks up in the sun.