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As much as we love learning and reading about skin care, the abundance of products can feel a little overwhelming—not to mention expensive. Do you really need to spend hundreds of dollars on products that actually work? No, which is why we checked in with Elizabeth Mullans, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Uptown Dermatology in Houston, Texas, for her favorite drugstore brand skin-care picks.

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cerave facial cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

We should be cleansing our face thoroughly before applying any skin care, right? Right. But what’s the best way? Per Dr. Mullans, this CeraVe cleanser is non-irritating and non-drying, and removes all traces of makeup. Oh, and for what it’s worth, it’s also fragrance-free.

Buy it ($14)

neutrogena toner

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner

Post-cleansing, a toner restores hydration and rebalances your skin’s pH levels, making it easier to absorb serums and creams. This one doesn’t cause any irritation, making it an excellent option for those with sensitive skin. If yours is oily, Dr. Mullans recommends a toner with witch hazel (like this one from Thayer’s).

Buy it ($6)

differin gel acne solution

Differin Gel 0.1%

This stuff used to be available only by prescription but is now sold over the counter. Per Dr. Mullans, this is stronger than retinol, and has two effects: unclogging pores and repairing previous sun damage, which causes fine lines and wrinkles. Because it’s so strong, you only need to use a pea-sized amount for your entire face—and shouldn’t use it around your eyes. She also suggests starting out using it three nights a week, and gradually increasing to every night to prevent irritation.

Buy it ($10)

roc eye cream

RoC Correxion Eye Cream

For something that is eye-safe, Dr. Mullans is a fan of this affordable eye cream, which is formulated for sensitive eyes and contains retinol to help correct fine lines and wrinkles.

Buy it ($16)

neutrogena hydro boost

Neutrogena Hydroboost Gel

According to Dr. Mullans, this gel formula prevents dryness without clogging pores and absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any residue. It’s perfect for year-round use, but it’s especially lovely in the summer thanks to the gel’s cooling effect.

Buy it ($16)

la roche posay sunscreen

LaRoche Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 60

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to wear sunscreen every day, but we can tell you which one comes with a dermatologist’s seal of approval. This one, she tells us, absorbs quickly without leaving any chalky residue behind.

Buy it ($30)

vitafusion vitamins

Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin, and Nails

These little gummies contain biotin, which promotes healthier skin and enhances hair and nail growth, as well as antioxidants that are essential for overall health. Dr. Mullans adds that, since they’re gummies, they’re easier to take—and tastier—than tablets or capsules.

Buy it ($12)

RELATED: Why Do Skin-Care Experts Love Oil Cleansers?

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