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Best Drugstore Skincare Routine

Last Updated on November 30, 2021

Love skincare but on a budget?

Not all of us have the money to invest in a 12-step skincare routine using high end products. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t care what we put on our face, or that we don’t also crave gorgeous glowing skin. If you wondering how you can build a skincare routine drugstore on a budget and tailored to you, then read on.

There is an abundance of expensive skincare products out there, but does that mean they all work? You probably already some of the best skin care products in your collection. From hydrating cleansers to moisturizers and toners, what should you be using and in what order?

I’m here to help you out.

I will be taking you through different dermatologist drugstore skincare routines using drugstore products. I’ll show you which the best skincare products you should be including for your skin type, as well as how to incorporate them into your routine. If you want to build a morning routine, why not try using the products featured in best drugstore skincare products which have been independently selected.

Here’s a tip-You need to know what your skin type is and which skin concerns you wish to target. That way you’ll be able to purchase only the products you really need, without wasting money on products you won’t be using. You may also be interested in essential oils in skincare.

Check this out, you’ll love it.

Best drugstore skincare routine

Here are different skincare routines for your skin types.

Skincare routine for Dry skin

Does your skin often feel tight or even itchy after cleansing or throughout the day? Chances are you have dry skin. This skin type needs to be extra careful to keep their skin moisturized and avoid stripping ingredients that could damage your skin’s natural barrier.

Special ingredient- Find products that contain Hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient. It is naturally found in the skin to cushion and lubricate joints, hair, skin and eyes. In skincare it seals moisture in the skin, attaching itself to water to plump.


The first step in almost any skincare routine is a skin cleanser. A good option is CeraVe hydrating cleanser that is not stripping and gentle to use on dry skin. They include vital ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help restore moisture to the skin’s barrier.


You can then use a moisturizing toner with water as a first ingredient to restore moisture after cleansing. A toner with a lightweight liquid texture is ideal for dry skin types.


After this, you can also choose to include a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum to restore moisture directly into the skin. The Ordinary produce some excellent facial serums, but for dry skin types I’d recommend hyaluronic acid.


A moisturizer with water as a first ingredient is key. My favorites include CeraVe daily moisturizing lotion or even Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel. It’s important to find one that contains hyaluronic acid and a thicker texture for better hydration. You may prefer to use a lightweight texture for day, and a heavier night cream for optimal hydration. Use ingredients like shea butter or soy complex that is rich in fatty acids or petroleum jelly for soothing dry skin. Of course always use sun protection to prevent chapped lips and protect the skin.

Here’s a tip- if your skin gets dry during the day, it’s a good idea to invest in a face mist that hydrates and replumps the face.

Oily or Acne prone skin routine

If your skin gets shiny throughout the day, or if you suffer with constant breakouts and acne, then you might want to give this skin routine a try. If you have combination skin, try mixing products for dry skin and oily skin if necessary.

Special ingredients- Salicylic acid. This ingredient actively fights acne and helps to keep shine at bay.


As a face cleanser, I’d recommend CeraVe smoothing cleanser that contains salicylic acid. This will help to target acne daily and unclog pores. You’ll find it helps prevent breakouts and deep clean your face.

Facial Serum

For acne prone skin, a niacinamide facial serum is a good idea. It’s a form of vitamin and can help to nourish the skin whilst preventing and treating breakouts at the same time.


For active acne, you may need to speak with a dermatologist to treat your acne if it is more severe. This is the time to use this acne treatment, bear in mind you may only need to use it in the evening.


Retinol can be powerful against acne, just check with your dermatologist if you are using another acne treatment. Retinol can be used at the same time as niacinamide. Just make sure to build up use of it and only use it in the evening.

Moisturizer and SPF

Every skin routine finishes off with a moisturizer. In this case, it’s a non comedogenic moisturizer with oil-absorbing qualities. Of course, even with oily skin needs moisture, so you need to find a moisturizer that won’t turn you into a shiny mess by midday. You need to include a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to prevent hyper[pigmentation and scarring, Many acne treatments are sensitive to the sun, so using sunscreen is vital, especially for retinol.

Sensitive Skin routine

Trust me, you would know if you had sensitive skin. Many products often leave your skin red, itchy, blotchy and even a burning sernsation at times. Or you may find these symptoms come up later, making your eyes water. That usually means your skin doesn’t like the products, and so you have sensitive skin my friend.

Special ingredient- An ingredient to look out for, or I should say a lack of ingredient is fragrance. Make sure your products are fragrance free and non comdeogenic, and free from lanolin, dye, parabens, or preservatives. You need to be using gentle products and reading the ingredients list to avoid harsh ingredients that could set off your skin allergies.


Find a cleanser that is suited to sensitive skin. What isn’t in it is actually more important than what is. You want to ensure it isn’t too stripping, and is gentle for everyday use. Some good options include the Vanicream cleanser or a CeraVe hydrating cleanser. A face wash for a gentle cleanse to remove makeup and toning with glycolic acid can help.

Face Serum

For sensitive skin, keeping a healthy moisture barrier is a good idea, which is why using a hyaluronic acid serum is great. This will not irritate your skin and can be a great way of restoring moisture. I would also recommend using an oil based serum such as a rosehip oil to nourish your skin, just ensure there are no added ingredients. Natural oils can help skin cell turnover and collagen production.


Finally, finish off with a moisturizer that is free from irritants. Some good examples are pharmacy brands such as La Roche Posay that has developed a range, especially for sensitive skin. A fragrance free formula with vitamin e is great for an eye cream. Of course, finish off with sunscreen to prevent free radical damage.

If you have normal skin, then congratulations, you can pretty much use whatever you want. Go for simple products that are not made for extremes of dry or oily skin.

Final Thoughts

No matter your budget, you should be able to find a skincare routine that works for your skin tone. The good news is there are a host of drugstore products that can help with collagen and elastin production, as well as fine lines and skin texture.

A few drops of vitamin c serum, or a toner of lactic and glycolic acids, or a hydrating serum with a brightening vitamin. Drugstore brands have it all so you can achieve smooth skin free from dark spots and sun damage.

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