Finding new products is usually a matter of scrolling forums, reading reviews and watching YouTube videos. And while picking up skin care recommendations from friends is great, getting suggestions from professionals is better.
We went straight to the source and spoke with top dermatologists to learn the moisturizers, serums, masks and more that aren’t getting the love they deserve. Here they are, in no particular order.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.
1. Theraplex Healing Emollient
When you’ve tried everything to heal your skin, turn to this product for real results. “For dry skin, especially hands, Theraplex Healing Emollient can be the right answer,” said Anjali Vekaria, a board-certified dermatologist at The Dermatology Specialists in New York. Recommended by eczema experts, this emollient can be used on the body, hands and even lips. It uses an ingredient called hydrosilicone, which allows moisture to penetrate deep into skin.
2. FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Lip Balm
You’ll need to try something medicated when dry lips turn from an annoyance to a bloody problem. “For those with already chapped or irritated lips, FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Lip Balm is a great solution and avoids many of the common allergens and irritants in other products.” Vekaria said. There’s also a vanilla-flavored lip balm if you prefer something with a yummy scent.
3. Joesoef Skin Care Anti-Acne Soap
Although it’s pricey for a bar of soap (each costs a little more than $10), Vekaria said the sulfur in this cleanser can be great for those with acne, rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis. “Joesoef Skin Care’s Anti-Acne Soap with sulfur is an effective product for decreasing microorganisms that often make these conditions worse,” she told HuffPost. Just rinse well to avoid the strong sulfur smell from lingering.
4. L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum
While you’re sure to be familiar with L’Oreal, when’s the last time you tried its skin care?
If you’re looking to even skin tone and reduce wrinkles and dark spots, Shereene Idriss, a dermatologist at New York’s Union Square Laser Dermatology (you may already follow her on Instagram), suggests this drugstore product. “I love the L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum, as it’s effective at toning and soothing skin. A little goes a long way,” Idriss said.
5. Embryolisse Moisturizers
This French brand’s moisturizers, like its Lait Creme Concentre, are also recommended by Idriss. “The face moisturizers from Embryolisse are great since they provide a ton of moisture. I often apply mine before makeup as a primer,” she said. It’s formulated with aloe vera and shea butter to nourish skin, and has a light texture that makes it work well as a primer.
6. Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion
For dry skin on the body, there’s no need to spend money on expensive moisturizers to hydrate. “Despite countless numbers of products that have come to the market, nothing beats the moisturizing benefits of this lotion,” said Joshua Zeichner, dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “Triple purified petrolatum protects the skin and this easy-to-spread, light lotion will not leave you feeling heavy or greasy.”
7. Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream
Those with eczema — or other forms of dry, itchy skin — will like that this cruelty-free cream is proven to work. “Besides the traditional skin protectants, this cream contains a blend of Chinese botanicals that have been clinically shown to improve the signs and symptoms of eczema,” Zeichner said. “They also have been shown to help balance the skin’s microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria that normally live on the skin and becomes disrupted in conditions like eczema or dry skin.” It’s an Allure Best of Beauty 2019 Award Winner, too.
8. Isdin Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+
No good skin care list is complete without a sunscreen, and this one was recommended by two dermatologists we spoke to because of its ability to actually repair sun-damaged skin. “This is a new sunscreen product with SPF 50 and repairsomes that help repair sun-damaged cells in your skin,” said dermatologist Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York. “The beauty of this product is that it’s very cosmetically appealing ― it’s light and rubs in easily.”
Dermatologist Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York said, “It’s a smarter way to wear sunscreen for my sun-worshiping patients … although I can’t believe they still exist!!”
9. PCA SKIN Ideal Restorative Eye Complex
Goldenberg recommends this eye cream for its moisturizing-but-not-greasy texture, along with its ability to treat skin. “It helps to restore and nourish the skin around the eyes without causing acne and breakouts. One of the ingredients is niacinamide, which has been shown to improve health of skin cells,” he said.
10. Bioderma Atoderm Ultra-Nourishing Anti-Irritation Shower Oil
Bioderma is famous for its makeup remover, but Goldenberg loves its shower oil, too. “This product is great for in-shower use for patients with dry, sensitive skin, or even psoriasis and eczema. It’s moisturizing and nourishing, improving skin hydration. And it doesn’t cause acne and breakouts, despite the fact that it’s oil-based,” he said.
11. Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula Capsules
Nazarian recommends Heliocare for its protective effects on the skin, though it doesn’t provide any sun protection on its own. “Essentially, I take this as a daily supplement; many years of clinical trials and research has shown that it protects skin against oxidative stress, damage from daily pollution, visible light and ultraviolet radiation,” she said.
12. Vanicream Lite Lotion
For a simple, no frills and affordable moisturizer, this is it. “This company never seems to break through to the mass public but their products are phenomenal,” Nazarian said. “They are formulated without dyes, lanolin, parabens and added perfumes — they’re wonderful for sensitive skin people — and they contain ingredients that strengthen and support healthy skin. The packaging isn’t fancy or glamorous, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts!”
13. Conture Kinetic HydraMask
The Conture mask not only comes with a built-in brush, but promises results, too. “This mask is packed full of antioxidants to brighten, combat free radical damage and calm the skin,” said Dendy Engleman, a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York. “The added amino acids replenish moisture, which in turn strengthens the skin barrier. This is a must for improving dull-looking skin and anti-aging.”
14. Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser
“I like this cleanser for oily skin because it removes dirt and grime without stripping the skin of its natural oils, which will cause oil production to go into overdrive,” Engleman said. Though ideal for oily skin, it’s gentle enough for all skin types because it cleanses without disturbing the skin’s moisture barrier. Menthol and willow bark in the formulation calm inflammation.
15. BetterYou Magnesium Oil
“Magnesium helps reduce inflammation caused by E-selectin, which is a molecule that causes inflammation in the endothelial layer of the skin,” Engleman said. Why is this important for skin? “As inflammation is the root of most things evil in health, magnesium helps to lower inflammation, therefore, improving skin health, function and appearance,” she said. And since magnesium is more easily absorbed via the skin, a body spray like this makes sense.
16. iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum
Acne scars can be tough to treat, which is why going big with an antioxidant-rich serum like this one is a dermatologist-recommended approach. “When it comes to treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for acne, I like to use iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum when the scar is fresh,” Engleman said. It’s formulated with tons of good-for-skin ingredients like vitamin C, E and A, zinc sulfate and kojic acid.