Dr. Vélez’s Drugstore Recommendations

Good skin care doesn’t need to be expensive! There are lots of great over-the-counter products available for under $25. The key is sorting through the shelves, fancy labels, and advertisements.

Most dermatologists will tell you that the four key tenants of a good skin care regimen are:
(1) Cleanser
(2) Daily (rain or shine!) Sunscreen
(3) Nightly Retinol
(4) Moisturizer

Here are some of my favorite drugstore finds (to be applied in this order):


I recommend Cerave facial cleansers for daily use. These cleansers remove dirt and makeup and clean without stripping skin of its natural moisture. Use 2x daily (morning and night) for best results. Choose the hydrating cleanser if you tend to have dry skin and the foaming cleanser for a more oily skin type.


If you struggle with acne, I suggest you check out Neutrogena Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Cleanser (with salicylic acid) when breaking out.


I love Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 Moisturizer…a 2-in-1 win for gals on the go! Work sunscreen into your daily routine by applying immediately following your morning face wash, and allow to dry before applying your makeup. Not only is this product hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog stubborn pores), but it also doesn’t leave you with a greasy feeling post-application.



Retinol treatments can be expensive, but Differin (Adapalene) Gel provides prescription-grade treatment for half the price! Apply a small amount two nights per week to start, increasing use over time. When used consistently, you should see reduced acne and wrinkles, and a more even skin tone and complexion!



Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel is a gem! This Hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer instantly nourishes and helps to restore volume. Even as a drugstore product, this moisturizer feels rich to the touch. Apply it directly over your retinol to keep skin feeling soft and looking plump. Also available to treat extra dry skin – I recommend both!