Between fancy moisturizers and pricey anti-aging products, we spend a lot of money on our skin. But do we really need that extra eye cream? What about that high-end moisturizer? We asked a skin care pro those questions, and more.
You go to the drugstore and you're bombarded by so many products making so many promises. They're going to make you look younger, fade your under-eye circles, brighten your skin. So, what products are going to give you the most bang for your skincare buck?
I asked a dermatologist what products she uses on her own skin.
Dermatologist Dr. Gabrielle Sabini gets peppered with skin care questions every day on the job.
Like does a $120 department store moisturizer really work better than a $10 drugstore cream? Her answer was no.
"For most people you do not have to go to the store and buy a $120 cream. You just don't! You're going to get what you want," said dermatologist Dr. Gabrielle Sabini.
Dr. Sabini says first figure out what type of skin you have, and what your issues are.
For certain people, certain creams are going to work a lot better than others, and it really comes down to how dry you are, what other skin diseases you have or what you're trying to accomplish.
If your skin is "normal", you can use almost any moisturizer. If it's "sensitive," go with fragrance-free, more gentle products.
Sabini recommends products with "ceramides," or fatty acids that moisturize the skin. And if your problem is "dull" skin, you may just need to exfoliate.
"Your skin exfoliates by itself all the time. But for some people, it's not enough. Alphahydroxies are fantastic for that. You can buy a ton of alphahdroxies over the counter," said Sabini.
Look exfoliants like "glycolic acid" or "alpha hydroxy acids" on the label. And what about an eye cream? Do you really need one?
"I don't use a separate eye cream. I use the same cream I use on my face, and I put it around my eyes."
If you want to turn back the clock, give your skin a boost, Sabini uses and recommends two products.
"I love Retin A, I love Vitamin C. Those are my two favorite products. I recommend them every day,"
Retin A - available only by prescription - penetrates into the skin and turns on collagen. Don't use it if you're pregnant, and you may want to avoid it if your skin is sensitive.
Vitamin C - which Sabini says is most effective in an over the counter serum can also boost and brighten skin.
And Dr. Sabini also swears by sunscreen, everyday, even in winter. If you don't wear one because it stings, try a zinc oxide- based sunscreen.
"Those don't irritate your skin. And generally even if you can't use any sunscreen, you can rub these right over your eyes and nothing happens."
Dr. Sabini says some creams may be worth paying more for if you have problematic skin. But most of the time, the price difference has more to do with marketing and packaging than what's in the product.
If you compare a brand name cream with a store-brand product - they often have the same active ingredients.