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Our Favorite Drugstore Skincare Products

Posted on February 02, 2018

Our Favorite Drugstore Skincare Products
You don’t have to spend a fortune on skin care. Here are a few of The Woodruff Institute’s favorite products…

Vaseline, Aquaphor or Vaniply Ointment: Yes, “good old” Vaseline, also known also as petroleum jelly or petrolatum. Vaseline was originally called “Wonder Jelly” and is a mixture of natural waxes and mineral oils that together moisturize, repair and relieve dry skin. Vaseline is hugely versatile, and it’s used all over the world to protect and heal dry skin, from dry, cracked hands to hard skin on heels, as well as for beauty purposes, like softening the lips or highlighting the cheekbones. For those with petrolatum sensitivities, we recommend Aquaphor or Vaniply ointment. These ointments are excellent for quicker healing of minor cuts and scrapes. Dermatology providers may recommend using these types of ointments after some procedures, to aid in having the skin heal faster compared to being left open to dry. Consult your dermatology provider for specific wound care instructions when you have procedures performed.

Benzoyl peroxide wash: If you are prone to mild to moderate acne, benzoyl peroxide washes may be a good first step. This is the active ingredient in the worldwide best-selling acne product that is sold through monthly membership. You can get this ingredient in a more cost-effective way at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Lather this to face up to once daily and rinse off with water. Use a white towel to dry your face since benzoyl peroxide will bleach fabrics. To avoid irritation or overdrying, start three times weekly before slowly increasing use.  Be sure to use an oil-free moisturizer afterwards. Do not use benzoyl peroxide washes to exfoliate or scrub the face. Decrease use if irritation occurs, as some people may be very prone to irritation. Also, limit the concentration to between 2.5% to 5%; the lower the better.

Some examples include Neutrogena “Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask” (contains benzoyl peroxide 3.5%, use as a cleanser/wash), Clean and Clear “Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser” (contains benzoyl peroxide 5%), or Panoxyl. If you use retinoid products, use the benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the retinoid product at night to maximize effectiveness.

Facial moisturizers: Those that work best for most skin types are the ones that are oil-free and “non-comedogenic” (does not clog pores). We recommend moisturizing one to two times daily. Some examples include Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30, and Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (look for the Sensitive Skin version if your skin is sensitive).

Here’s another tip: If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, make sure you have the clearance to use even over-the-counter products from your OB/Gyn, and from your child’s pediatrician if you are breastfeeding. For example, some providers may recommend stopping retinoids and benzoyl peroxide products during these periods.

To find out more…

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