The 19 drugstore skincare products that dermatologists actually buy

Good skin trumps makeup any day. Now while good skincare can get pricey, there are actually many drugstore options that even skin professionals use. We were curious what dermatologists would buy from the drugstore, so we talked to three of them to divulge what they have on their shelves!

Dr. Jeanne Jao of JaoMD Skincare Clinic 

Dr. Jao admits that she doesn’t really shop for beauty items, as a lot of it is given to her by different brands and partners. “I have a lot of these products, and it’s a shame not to use them,” she says. She does like to try on different products to get to know what her clients use  and why they use it. She has even tried some Korean skincare as well as international brands but a lot of them have not merited long-term usage from her. 

Instead, Dr. Jao sticks to tried and tested favorites. She really likes the classic Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, which is a cleanser of choice of those with sensitive skin and as well as those with dry skin. The formula doesn’t feel harsh, and she says that she actually likes that it doesn’t sud up too much. She also likes the lightweight feeling of the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, which she finds particularly well-suited for those with really oily skin. For sun protection, she uses Daylong sunblock because of its lightweight, non-greasy feel and high SPF. 

Still, she cautions against using skincare without prescription. “There are certain products in the market that need to be used under the supervision of a licensed dermatologist. You can’t just buy it over the counter,” she clarifies. “Some products are mahapdi, and some products, like exfoliators, leave your skin looking burned so you need professional guidance.”

Dr. Luisa Borromeo (based in Imus, Cavite)

For Dr. Borromeo, it is essential to moisturize to keep your skin healthy and prevent future problems. She favors using emollient creams or lotions that help keep skin supple and healthy. She also recommends using products that contain less chemicals and can be used for different skin types. Her usual picks are Cetaphil, Physiogel, Aveeno, and Ceraklin. 

As any dermatologist will tell you, sunblocks are a MUST. Whatever brand you decide to use, make sure it’s broad spectrum sunblock that offers both UVA and UVB protection. She reminds, “It’s important to apply sunblock prior to sun exposure to delay aging process, and prevent UV-induced dermatosis or skin problems.” Some of the sunblocks she likes are from Cetaphil, Celeteque, and Avene.

Courtesy of Nikki Paderna

Courtesy of Nikki Paderna

Dr. Nikki Paderna, dermatology resident and blogger at Girl Behind the Glasses

Nikki is a medical doctor who chose to focus on Dermatology because she wanted to help people with various skin concerns. “It’s cliché but the truth is the state of our skin plays a huge factor in our self-esteem,” she says. “I’ve seen how people lose their confidence or get depressed by their skin condition. I’d love nothing more than to see them get themselves back and boost their confidence when I have helped them with their problem.”

Depending on her current skin condition, Nikki uses different products to address her skin’s needs. Most days, she washes her face with Celeteque Hydration Facial or Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser. For toners, her top picks are Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner and Sana Namerakahonpo Skin Lotion. She also loves Sana Namerakahonpo’s Emulsion and Face Cream (which you can both find in the SM Store Beauty section), using the former for day time and the latter at night for deeper moisturization.

Nikki also advocates for daily sunscreen usage. She goes back and forth between Biore UV Perfect Face Milk and UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel. “Both are perfect for oily-skinned people like me who live in a humid country like the Philippines,” she shares. Daylong SPF50+ Light Gel is also a good option. 

Courtesy of Nikki Paderna

Courtesy of Nikki Paderna

For body care, she uses either Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion or Physiogel Calming Relief A.I. Body Lotion after showering to lock the moisture in. For makeup removal, she turns to Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution or Biore Micellar Cleansing Water. She also relies on good ol’ petroleum jelly to keep her lips hydrated and leaves it on as an overnight treatment.

Since Nikki tries on a lot of different makeup and skincare, she also has go-to products to rely on when she has a bad reaction. She shares, “If I have a bad reaction to a new product I’m testing out and I get a lot of bumps, I immediately switch to the Celeteque Acne Solutions Acne Cleansing Gel followed by the Oil Control Toner.“

We’re definitely glad to see that dermas love drugstore products, too! Did any of your favorite drugstore skincare picks make it to the derma-approved list? Which of these products would you want to try out?

Header image courtesy of Nikki Paderna