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At this point, Target is basically known as “Impulse Buys Central.” Just take it from the countless memes on the internet that all read something along the lines of “Goes to Target to buy a pen. Leaves hours later with an inflatable pool, a monogrammed mug, and a collection of scented candles.” And while seemingly everyone can fall prey to the store’s enticing stock, skin-care enthusiasts, in particular, might seriously struggle to remain selective when faced with all of the jars, tubes, and bottles lining the beauty aisle. (Related: Black-Owned Beauty Brands You’ll Love for Great Hair, Skin, and More)
It’s all too easy to end up buying a few mediocre products that ultimately take up camp in the back of your medicine cabinet. So, you resolve to come prepared next time with a thoroughly researched list of dermatologist-backed items. After all, if anyone uses a discerning eye while shopping the Target skin-care aisle, it’s going to be the people who have studied skin and treat it for a living.
No need to wait until your next appointment to ask for recs. Keep reading for some of the best skin-care products at Target, according to dermatologists. (Related: The Best Natural Beauty Products You Can Buy at Target)
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
Recommended by Azadeh Shirazi, M.D., F.A.A.D., a dermatologist at La Jolla Dermatology and Laser Center in California, this acne treatment boasts an ability to regulate cell turnover to keep pores from clogging, preventing acne from ever occuring. It contains adapalene (a retinoid) at 0.1 percent concentration, a strength that used to be only available with a prescription. The gel, which you apply to your entire face rather than using as a spot treatment, is “effective at renewing and exfoliating the skin while preventing and treating acne,” says Dr. Shirazi.
Welly Face Saver Clear Spot Bandages
Dr. Shirazi is also a fan of hydrocolloid patches, which, despite being stocked in the store’s first aid section, are one of the best Target skin-care finds. Choose between small bandages made specifically for the face (see: these pimple sticker-esque ones from Welly) and larger patches that can be cut to size. “Hydrocolloid patches are so versatile and serve to protect and thus aid in healing the skin,” says Dr. Shirazi. “They can be applied to bug bites to avoid scratching or to pimples to avoid picking while protecting the area for optimal healing. Applying them to the skin under masks or helmet chin straps reduces breakouts, maskne, or eczema flares, as friction and rubbing often worsen skin conditions.” (Related: Hydrocolloid Bandaids Are TikTok’s DIY Alternative to Pimple Patches)
Aquaphor Healing Ointment For Dry & Cracked Skin
Dermatologists are constantly shouting out this multipurpose drugstore product for its ability to help control maskne, soothe irritation, treat sunburns, among many other things. So, it should come as no surprise that Dr. Shirazi considers Aquaphor Healing Ointment one of the best Target skin-care finds. “It protects the skin and reduces transepidermal water loss [moisture loss through the surface of your skin], thereby hydrating the skin and creating the optimal environment for skin healing,” she says. “It’s great to use on the lips, nails, and cuticles overnight, or on diaper rashes, eczema, cuts, and wounds.”
La Roche-Posay Anti-Aging Vitamin C Face Serum
Vitamin C serums have the power to prevent and repair damage from free radicals (aka potentially damaging molecules from light, pollution, and more) and fight hyperpigmentation. But being such a powerhouse means vitamin C serums often come with hefty price tags. That’s why La Roche Posay’s relatively affordable pick gets a thumbs up from Blair Murphy-Rose, M.D., F.A.A.D., a cosmetic dermatologist at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. The La Roche Posay Vitamin C Serum is a notable antioxidant serum with “anti-aging, wrinkle-preventing benefits,” she says. “It contains a potent 10 percent pure L-ascorbic acid [a particularly potent type of vitamin C] at about a quarter the price of other vitamin C serums on the market.”
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover
French company Bioderma created the O.G. micellar water, before similar makeup removers took off in the U.S. The formula, which is intended to suit sensitive skin, is still a popular pick. ICYDK, micellar water contains tiny balls of oil suspended in water. The oil attracts dirt grime and oil without disrupting the natural pH of your skin, making it an ideal item for those with dry or sensitive skin. “Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water is a go-to of mine for makeup and sunscreen removal before washing my face,” says Dr. Murphy-Rose. “Water and very mild surfactants [specifically Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides] combine to gently remove dirt, oil, and debris without drying out the skin. It is a great option for a morning face wash and as part of a two-step cleanse at the end of the day.”
Cerave Moisturizing Cream
Dr. Murphy-Rose loves Cerave Moisturizing Cream and notes that she’s far from the only dermatologist who considers it to be an A+ skin-care creation, be it at Target or any other retailer. Made to restore even the driest of skin, the face and body moisturizer combines hyaluronic acid — which draws moisture to the surface of the skin — and three types of ceramides — which then seal in that moisture. Being “rich in ceramides and emollients” like such allows the Target skin-care product to hydrate and replenish the skin barrier, explains Dr. Murphy-Rose. “It’s an excellent body moisturizer for normal-to-dry skin and is particularly good for sensitive skin,” she adds. “[Plus] it contains hypoallergenic ingredients.”
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Moisturizer
Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., a dermatologist at New York City-based Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery counts this Olay nighttime moisturizer as one of the best Target skin-care products. It “includes retinol to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while also evening out skin tone, but doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry,” she says. “It also contains niacinamide and is fragrance-free, making it a good option for those with sensitive skin.”
Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash
Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash is another one of the best Target skin-care products in Dr. Garshick’s book. The body wash is formulated to simultaneously cleanse and moisturize without throwing the skin’s pH out of whack. As its name implies, it is “especially suitable for those with sensitive or acne- and eczema-prone skin, says Dr. Garshick. Why? Because it features a lineup of gentle, hypoallergenic ingredients and is free of fragrances. That being said, this Target skin-care item can also be used by those with any skin type, she adds.