Drugstore skincare brands may not have cool packaging or celebrity ambassadors, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Here’s a roundup of our favourite drugstore skincare products, boring and clinical packaging be damned.
1. Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution
$40.90 for a 500ml bottle. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
Ahh…how could we go through this list without including the holy grail of all makeup cleansers? When Bioderma first introduced its H20 Micelle Solution – a gentle and rinse-free makeup remover – it took the beauty world by storm. Since then, various beauty brands have launched similar micellar lotions, but Bioderma still remains one of the best in the market.
The gentle cleanser is suitable even for sensitive skin types, as its hypoallergenic formula is free of alcohol, fragrances and parabens. Plus, the fuss-free cleanser doesn’t have to be rinsed off, so now you really have no excuse to skip makeup removal before bedtime.
2. Avène Thermal Spring Water
$10.10 for a 50ml bottle. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
Avène’s Thermal Spring Water may seem like expensive French water in a spray can, but it can actually work wonders on irritated or itchy skin. The hydrating mist is designed to soothe redness and calm skin troubles like sunburn, eczema and itching, but you can also use it to give your skin a refreshing boost in the morning. Just spritz a little all over your face after cleansing, then finish off with moisturiser and sunscreen.
3. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
$21.90 for a 500ml bottle. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
When it comes to sensitive skin, Cetaphil is the holy grail of all cleansers. Even if you have normal skin, you’ll be amazed at how effective this gentle cleanser can be. In an attempt to reduce acne-causing sebum, most cleansers marketed for acne skin types often contain chemicals that strip oil from the skin. However, this can actually be counter-productive, as the skin will respond by producing even more oil to compensate for the loss. I know, who would have thought right?
A mild cleanser like Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is more suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin types, because its pH-balanced non-soap formula cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural oils. The formula can also be used with or without water, and works for both the face and body.
4. Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cleanser
$23.90 per bottle. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
While we’re on the topic of gentle cleansers, Eucerine’s DermoPURIFYER Cleanser is another good bet for sensitive skin types. The soap-free formula is suitable for acne-prone skin, as it is designed to remove impurities and excess sebum without stripping the skin of its natural oils. The non-comedogenic cleanser also helps to inhibit bacterial production, which is always a good thing right?
5. Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF 30
$49.90 per tube. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
Bioderma’s Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF 30 may look like your standard moisturiser, but its ingredient list is actually comparable to high-end skincare brands. The product acts as a moisturiser, base and sunscreen (although you should always double up with a separate sunscreen product, just to be safe), so it’s great for those who are always on the go.
Multi-purpose products aren’t usually very impressive, but Bioderma’s Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30 is particularly good as a makeup base for sensitive skin types. The non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic formula helps to smoothen out the skin’s surface, so that base makeup goes on more flawlessly. The only drawback is that the formula has a slight scent, so avoid this if your skin is sensitive to fragrances.
6. Avène Skin Recovery Cream
$40.70 per tube. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
Although its products may be on the pricier side for drugstore brands, Avène has some of the best solutions for irritated, sensitive or dehydrated skin types. The Skin Recovery Cream, in particular, works wonders on irritated or inflamed skin. The alcohol-free formula provides intense hydration without weighing the skin down (or clogging pores), and also helps to soothe inflammation or itchiness. Although the Skin Recovery Cream was designed for post-surgery care (hence the name), it is still gentle enough to be used as a daily moisturiser.
7. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
$14.90 per bottle. Available at leading pharmacies and drugstores.
OK, this isn’t exactly skincare but Klorane’s Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk still deserves a mention – especially if you’re lazy about uh, washing your hair daily. There are many good dry shampoos in the market, but Klorane’s is not only effective, but affordable as well. The product combats oily hair and adds volume with just a few spritzes, so it’s perfect for maintaining your mane in between hair washes. If you have limp or fine hair, you can also use the product to add more texture before styling.