If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years—it’s that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great skin. Compliance is far more important than cash. If I had a dollar for every person who’s asked me what product they need to have, I’d be writing this from my villa in Capri. Seriously.
The answer isn’t a hard one, and even better, the rock star ingredient I’m about to reveal is readily available at a variety of price points. So what’s the greatest anti-ager that everyone should have in their arsenal? Anything with SPF.
Don’t believe me? Just ask any dermatologist. All the pricey procedures they offer won’t do a bit of good if you aren’t caring for your skin. That means a gentle face wash, hydrating moisturizer, and of course—some SPF. Read on to learn how else they save face.
Face Wash

  • Olay Foaming Face Wash (Sensitive Skin). This product is "soap-, oil-, and fragrance-free which makes it ideal for dry, sensitive, and acneic types,” says Craig Austin, a dermatoligst in New York.
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. “This mild face wash is fragrance-free, non-drying, non-comedogenic, and contains glycerin for moisture,” says Debra Jaliman, a NYC derm and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.
Protection
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion (SPF 15). This is “a great moisturizer with SPF and alpha hydroxyl to fight the signs of aging,” says Dr. Austin.
  • Elta MD UV Physical. “It’s an SPF 41, oil-free, water-resistant, and contains high percentages of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It’s also tinted so you don’t have to wear makeup over top,” says Dr. Jaliman.
  • Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream. “A great everyday brightening cream with broad spectrum protection, vitamin C (my favorite topical antioxidant) and hydrating hyaluronic acid. At $13 it’s great price quality value,” says Dr. Schultz.
  • Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreens. “Great for women on-the-go who need to reapply sunscreen but don’t want anything too gloppy,” says Omaha-based derm, Joel Schlessinger.
Exfoliators
  • Trish McEvoy Even Skin Beta Hydroxy Pads. “Excellent for gentle exfoliation. This blend of salicylic acid, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe ensures it won’t irritate skin,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Eye Cream
  • NeoCutis Lumière Bio-restorative Eye Cream. “My staff always rates the best eye creams out there and this is one of their favorites,” says Dr. Schlessinger.
Eczema Treatment
  • Lac-Hydrin 12%. “Contains lacticare which is soothing to extremely dry skin and eczema,” says Dr. Austin.
  • FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Balm. “Enough hydrocortisone to treat eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and allergic rashes,” says Dr. Schlessinger.
Lip Treatment
  • Aquaphor Lip Repair. “Relieves chapped, cracked, and irritated lips,” says Dr. Austin.
Sunless Tanner
  • St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. “I’m not a fan of getting a real tan, so this self tanner lends a believable tint to arms and legs, and dries quickly,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Gadgets
  • Clarisonic Mia. “This portable sonic cleansing machine is ideal for removing oil and makeup. I recommend the delicate brush head for patients with sensitive skin,” says Dr. Jaliman.
What are your fave over-the-counter beauty buys?
Photo credit: Getty Images