There’s few places that excite more than the drugstore — a mecca of cheap and cheerful skincare products that are designed to improve your complexion without hurting your wallet.
But it is also a minefield of hyped-up marketing and underwhelming formulas, which is why it’s helpful to have an expert guide you through it.
So here, Grazia’s contributing beauty editor has curated 10 of the best drugstore buys — those that deliver results well outside their price bracket.
Keep scrolling to shop.
La Roche-Posay Serozinc, $26. SHOP NOW
If you have oily, sensitised skin, this mist is gold class. Rich in zinc sulphate and thermal mineral water, it soothes the skin, subdues shine and calms down redness. Use it between your serum and moisturiser.
Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, $30. SHOP NOW
The original and the best, cleansing doesn’t really get any easier that Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water. The concept behind micelles is that they are surfactants with a lipid tail attached, so as they’re swept over the skin they lift and dissolve both water and oil-based substances including sunscreen, makeup and oil. Use it as your first cleanse, your morning cleanse or your only cleanse (just be sure to repeat the process if its the latter).
Weleda Skin food, $27. SHOP NOw
Buttery and supremely nourishing, Skin Food is a rich ointment that can be all over the face and body. Ingredients like lanolin, sunflower oil, bees wax and sweet almond oil give it occlusive properties, so it can be used to soothe broken, chapped skin whilst preventing further water loss. If your complexion is extremely dry, it works well as a night cream, too.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast baume B5,$18. shop now
Cicaplast Baume B5 is a barrier cream that soothes and heals irritated, red, sensitised skin. It contains calming ingredients like glycerin, panthenol and shea butter, so is a great choice if you’ve compromised your acid mantle (i.e. over-exfoliated). It’s also excellent on minor cuts, scratches, or during long-haul flights ( I mean, we can dream…).
The Ordinary Buffet peptide serum, $24. shop now
Peptides are an incredible ingredient because they work in synergy with our skin’s natural processes, encouraging it to function at its best. The Ordinary’s Buffet serum is full of peptides that improve collagen and elastin production, so try it out if you’re looking to lift and firm. This is a formula that would easily cost upwards of $100 if it had a luxury label on the front.
La roche-posay anthelios Invisible sun fluid spf50+, $32. shop now
SPF is by and large the hardest category to nail across the board, but La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Fluid is pretty close to perfect. Light and milky, it’s a chemical-based, broad spectrum formula that works well for normal to dry skin (or anyone who prefers a luminous finish). Apply ist as the last step in your morning skincare routine.
CINCH Sleep + Glow 5 in 1 Overnight Booster Mask, $40. shop now
Cinch Beauty have literally ticked every box with this Overnight Booster Mask — there’s papaya enzymes and glycolic acid to exfoliate, peptides to firm, sodium hyaluronate and glycerin to hydrate and Kakadu plum extract to brighten. Slather it on before bed and wake up to brighter, bouncier skin. And at $40, it rivals products three times the price.
NO7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate, $62. SHOP NOW
Effective retinol formulations are surprisingly difficult to find in the drugstore. But in exciting news mega-brand No.7 has just launched at Priceline, along with it this Advanced Retinol 1.5% Night Concentrate. A potent anti-ager, it utilises peptides, 0.3% retinol and a slow-release technology to encourage smoother, brighter skin with continued use. Because it’s a relatively low concentration, it’s a great option for beginners. Just start slow and pair it with a nourishing, simple moisturiser.
SKIN REPUBLIC Reusable Silicone Face Mask, $20. shop now
While not exactly necessary, this reusable silicone mask is a fun addition to your routine as it can assist with product absorption. Try wearing it on top of a hydrating mask or serum — it will form a barrier that prevents evaporation, helping you to get the most out of your skincare.
Avene A-Oxitive Eye Contour Gel, $55. SHOP NOW
Some eye creams are simply nourishing, but Avene’s Contour Gel is formulated with a very gentle form of vitmain A to firm, brighten and soften lines and wrinkles. It’s really lightweight, so won’t congest the area either. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s effective and worth the price if you really want to affect change.