It's not just you—everyone is obsessed with skincare right now. From savvy Sephora employees to the always-glowing Jennifer Aniston, everyone seems to be sharing their holy-grail skincare products, and we're taking note. But just because self-care feels indulgent doesn't mean that it has to come with a luxury price tag. (Case in point: The $0 anti-aging treatment Meghan Markle swears by.)
In search of affordable skincare buys that get results (think: Moisturizes, smooths, protects), we tapped our go-to dermatologists for their tried-and-true thrifty recommendations—and they did not disappoint. Keep scrolling to shop 12 dermatologist-approved drugstore night creams under $35, including a $5 steal that "protects, heals, and hydrates all in one," according to one derm. Now, we don't know about you, but we're clearing off space on our top shelves for these thrifty skin saviors.
"Coco and shea butter drive and keep moisture in the skin overnight," says Mona Gohara, MD, of Advanced DermCare. "It is cosmetically elegant and smells delish."
"This product is priced well and has a prized possession—retinol! Retinol is key for anti-aging results," explains Gary Goldenberg, MD, of Goldenberg Dermatology. "It helps the skin look youthful and even and delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles." Gohara adds, "With its signature retinol infusion, this helps to build collagen as you snooze."
Those with acne prone skin will like this drugstore night cream, too.
"Containing pure retinol and an essential mineral complex, this night cream helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, leaving skin smoother," says Jenna Queller, MD, FAAD, of MFC Dermatology. "It's also lightweight and not as greasy as some of the more heavy duty night creams. I also like that it is oil-free and non-comedogenic, especially helpful for those patients who have acne-prone skin who want to use a night cream."
"This beloved ointment has a loyal following for good reason," says Parvaneh Rafaeloff, MD, of Le Jolie Medi Spa. "It's excellent for creating a protective barrier for the skin," she explains. "It's extremely hydrating, and a superb choice for a nighttime cream due to its sheer versatility," she adds. "It protects, heals, and hydrates all in one."
"What’s great about this cream is that it can be used at night or during the day since the non-greasy formula wears well under makeup," recommends Rafaeloff. "To boost your moisture level at night, simply use a thicker layer as an overnight face mask. It’s supremely hydrating while offering key anti-aging benefits."
"Differin gel is great to use at night," according to Goldenberg. "This retinoid helps exfoliate the skin, shrink pores, remove blackheads and whiteheads, and delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles." Cynthia Rivas, a medical aesthetician with Monica Halem MD adds Differin is "a great retinoid product available without a prescription to help clear acne."
"I like this product because it has a ceramide and peptide complex that makes it ideal for hydration of the skin," says Goldenberg. "It is great for patients with sensitive skin as it will not cause any irritation." Rivas adds, "This cream has retinol to stimulate collagen production." The impressive thing about hyaluronic acid, she says, is that "hyaluronic acid allows your skin cells to retain 1000x its weight in water, giving your skin a healthy glow and basically a drink of water!"
"This product is well priced and offers vitamin D3 to help balance skin’s oil levels," recommends Goldenberg. "It’s non-comedogenic and can be used by all skin types."
"This product contains arctic cloudberry seed oil and potent antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C," offers Goldenberg. "This can help balance the skin and improve radiance and skin tone."
"This night moisturizer has an amino-peptide complex that not only hydrates the skin but also helps to regenerate surface skin cells and exfoliates to aid in cell turnover," explains Queller. "The anti-aging moisturizer's fragrance-free formula is non-greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin."
"Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from oxidative damage from the environment," offers Rivas. "It prevents free radical damage to the skin and also neutralizes them if already in your skin. This ingredient also has been found to stimulate collagen production," she adds. "CoQ10 allows your body to regenerate collagen and elastic."
There's a reason this drugstore night cream has been around a while. "Hyaluronic acid is known for its ability to retain up to 1000x its weight in water, which makes it an essential ingredient in moisturizers to hydrate skin," says dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, of Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Centers. "Additionally, it has pro-vitamin complex and olive extract."
"An essential product for anyone suffering from excessively dry skin, eczema, and/or atopic dermatitis, this cream soothes skin and restores skin barriers via Cer-Omega, derived from evening primrose and rich in omega-6 and ceramides," explains Engelman.