From picking the perfect wedding dress and shoes to splurging on just the right hairpiece, your bridal look can get expensive. But luckily, your skincare routine doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can get that bridal glow right at your drugstore with a daily skincare routine full of affordable, dermatologist-approved skincare products.
While you should head to the dermatologist at least six months before the big day for a consultation and start specialized skincare treatments (such as laser treatments or microdermabrasion) at least three months in advance, you can start revamping your daily regimen ASAP with just a stroll through the drugstore aisles. We reached out to dermatologists for their expert opinions on the best drugstore skincare products. Read on to see their top recommendations!
Avène Gentle Exfoliating Gel
For brides-to-be concerned about dull skin, Dr. Julia Tzu, founder and director of Wall Street Dermatology, stresses the importance of staying hydrated and exfoliated. "Depending on the dryness and sensitivity of your skin, consider exfoliating on a weekly to monthly basis. Many of my patients undergo monthly microdermabrasion to ensure consistently radiant, smooth skin." Her drugstore pick, Avène Gentle Exfoliating Gel, gently exfoliates with salicylic acid and jojoba beads.
SHOP NOW: Walgreens, $20
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
For cleansing, Dr. Tzu recommends drugstore staple Vanicream. The gentle facial cleanser is free of fragrances, dyes, and parabens, so it's perfect for those with sensitive skin.
SHOP NOW: Target, $8.99
Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets
If you're concerned about oily skin, Dr. Tzu recommends these oil absorbing sheets that can slip right into your clutch. For those with acne-prone skin, Dr. Tzu suggests using noncomedogenic skincare and makeup products and reducing carbs, whey protein, and certain dairy products, like ice cream, butter, and cheeses.
SHOP NOW: Walmart, $4.47
Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Facial Cleanser
When it comes to your skincare routine, Dr. Howard Sobel of Sobel Skin says, "It is important to start early and not to experiment with anything drastically new. You need a gentle wash if your skin is dry or a degreasing wash if your skin is oily." His cleanser pick is this gentle, brightening cleanser from Aveeno. It's oil-free and hypoallergenic, and it helps improve skin tone and texture with soy extract.
SHOP NOW: Walmart, $5.52
CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 30
For everyday wear, Dr. Sobel recommends a lightweight oil-free moisturizer like CeraVe's facial moisturizing lotion as it's noncomedogenic and has a SPF 30. It's also free of fragrances and dyes, so even those with the most sensitive skin can use it.
SHOP NOW: Target, $13
Olay Complete Cream Moisturizer with SPF 15
Another rec from Dr. Sobel is the lightweight Olay Complete cream with SPF 15. Not only is this rich cream oil-free and non-greasy, but it nourishes skin with vitamin E and A. All that and more for under $10! A good lightweight moisturizer is just one of the keys to glowing skin, says Dr. Sobel, who also suggests reducing stress and improving your diet. "Stress has a huge impact on the skin," Dr. Sobel explains. "Reduce sugar consumption and increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by eating foods like salmon, avocado, and walnuts to help keep the skin glowing."
SHOP NOW: Walmart, $5.94
Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
Dr. Amy Wechsler of Dr. Amy Wechsler Dermatology recommends a cleansing staple that may already be in your shower. She says, "Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar is my go-to soap and cleanser. It cleans without stripping natural oils and doesn’t irritate, and I travel with one to every hotel." The fragrance-free soap bar is hypoallergenic and moisturizing, so it's great for dry skin.
SHOP NOW: Target, $2.32
Vaseline Rosy Lip Therapy
Another of Dr. Wechsler's must-haves is the super affordable Vaseline Lip Therapy. The balm moisturizes and softens lips, while adding a bit of color—perfect for a naturally rosy lip look on your wedding day à la Meghan Markle! And at just under $2, you can afford to stock up.
SHOP NOW: Target, $1.77
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar
Dr. Wechsler also recommends the Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar, a mild cleanser ideal for sensitive, dry skin. She says, "I have been using it since I was a teenager. It’s very mild and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin." Dr. Wechsler also advises that whether or not you have sensitive skin, "don’t schedule a facial, chemical peel, or microdermabrasion the same day as a big event. Give yourself at least a week to allow for any irritation to go away."
SHOP NOW: Walmart, $3.27