Who says you have to blow the budget for really effective skin care? These seven derm-backed product picks prove you definitely don’t.


If she were stuck on a deserted island, New York dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, MD, would want sunscreen and Vaseline. “My number-one skin care product under $10 is Vaseline petroleum jelly ($4). It can be used as a moisturizer, lip balm, makeup remover, wound dressing, blister blocker, and cuticle softener. And it’s just petrolatum—there’s no lanolin—so anyone can use it.”



Delray Beach, FL, dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby takes the food-grade, grocery-store route when it comes to her pick. “I love coconut oil used for cooking. I use it as an additive to extend my body treatments and skin care products.”



“Vanicream is a wonderful line developed for sensitive skin and eczema, formulated free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde. The CREAM (not the lotion) is particularly hydrating and emollient. I use it myself,” says Campbell, CA, dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, MD, who adds that the 4-ounce tube is usually around $7, but if you want the huge, one-pound tub, that’s less than $15. A second must from Dr. Hausauer: The Cetaphil Baby line. “Most of the products are less than $10 and the range helps restore the skin’s barrier function, while keeping it hydrated and moist.”



Beverly Hills, CA, dermatologist Rhonda Rand, MD, says making the less-than-$10 selection is tough, but she would recommend a small tube of Albolene to remove eye makeup or face makeup. “It’s greasy, but I’ve never seen an allergy from it and it’s great for cold, dry climates.”



Aquaphor ointment is a great inexpensive topical,” says Greenwich, CT, dermatologist Lynne Haven, MD. “It is useful for chapped lips, superficial abrasions, eczema, and after certain laser procedures.” Greenwich, CT, dermatologist Kim Nichols, MD, also gives the product an A-plus—especially during this time of year. “Whether in a tube or a container, this is a must-have for lips, dry patches, feet and hands! It both hydrates and soothes chapped skin from the winter.”



It took five years of testing and 54 different prototypes, but Omaha, NE, dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD, and his son, Daniel, developed the $10 FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Lip Balm after wondering why regular lip balms didn’t work on dry skin on the body (VERY good question). “This product is a great product for dry lips and other areas of the body, especially during these cold, winter months,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “The beauty of it is that it contains essential oils and no petrolatum, so it glides on easily and coats the lips nicely without the bitter taste of petrolatum. It works on many conditions, ranging from eczema to psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis and is particularly great for lips that are dry from medications such as Accutane.”


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