Drug Store Skincare

When you all took the reader survey I was surprised at how many of you asked what my skincare routine was! I’ve always been a low/high kind of girl in all aspects of life – mixing thrift store finds with Pottery Barn pillows and drugstore products with my must haves from Sephora.

As far as my skin goes, I tend to stick to the drug store aisles because I just have a few tried and true products that I love! What I use probably would work for women of most any age as well, unless you’re like 12 then bask in your glorious wrinkle free skin and slather on the sunscreen, so it stays that way(!), but for the rest of us read on..

Drugstore Skincare Products

I try to wash my face every morning and night and follow this general routine, but I will readily admit to breaking that cardinal rule and going to bed without washing my makeup off at least once a week! The other thing I do is probably 1 or 2 days a week I don’t wear any makeup. I really think this give my skin a break, I just slather on moisturizer instead.

SOAP – Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, 12 Ounce I love this Soap, I’ve been using it about 2 years now and it is really gentle on my skin. There is no annoying smell and it removes my makeup well. I use a washcloth sometimes if I really feel like my face is dirty, but that’s it.

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EYE MAKEUP REMOVER – Almay Oil Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads, 120 ct I have been using these for like 10 years! I have contacts and really sensitive eyes and these are the only thing strong enough to take my eye makeup off without irritating my eyes.

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DAYTIME -Then I apply this lotion in the morning –  Olay Total Effects 7 in one, Anti-Aging Moisturizer With SPF 30, 1.7 Fluid Ounce Notice the SPF 30! When I was in my early 20’s my mom had some major skin cancer issues that totally scared me straight! Since then I have become CRAZY about sunscreen, and it has probably saved me from a wrinkle or two. I wear it every single day, even in the glorious gray winter time here in Michigan where we go days without seeing the sun. I love this lotion under my makeup, because it’s moisturizing without being oily and bonus it helps out with the little fine lines that magically show up on your 30th birthday.

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NIGHTTIME –  This is my go to right before bed – Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Night Firming Treatment, 1.7 fl. Oz. I love how super moisturizing this is and the smell is really nice too. I can definitely tell a huge difference with how my skin looks in the morning on those nights that I skip it.



EXFOLIATOR – Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System Ok this is my favorite product that I have been using for about 9 months and I’m totally obsessed with it. I’m sure you have all seen those super expensive Clarisonic brushes to wash your face with? Well, I’m just not ready to shell out the big bucks for one of those, but I did grab this at the grocery store one day when it was on sale and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I just use it once a week to really deep clean and get rid of the dead dry skin. All you do is wet one of the pads that comes with it (refills are available too) attach it to the handle, flip it on and exfoliate away. It totally leaves my skin glowy and fresh feeling.


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SUNSCREENNeutrogena Sunscreen Ultra Sheer Stick SPF 70, 1.5 Ounce Again with the sunscreen, this is the heavy duty stuff I break out in the summer for days when I know I’m going to be outside all day with my munchkins. I slide this on right under my makeup and throw it in my bag to reaply during the day. I also basically always have a hat glued to my head as well.

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PRIMER –  Ulta Matte Primer One of the things that has also seemed to make a big difference in my skin is using a primer. I like this fairly inexpensive one from Ulta, but there are a zillion out there. One – they help your makeup stay put, but two – it forms a barrier between your face and your makeup. My makeup seems to sit on top of my skin vs soaking into my pores. I really think this has helped keep my breakouts under control.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.39.46 AMSo that’s my super simple Drug Store Skincare routine, how about you guys, any favorite products you love that you can’t live without? I’d love to hear about them! And if you’re wondering what I splurge on, check out my post on 5 makeup products that are worth every penny! 

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  1. so funny, I was reading your posts about drugstore skincare and makeup splurges. I tend to be the exact opposite! I splurge on my skincare (because hey, the best wrinkle is one you never get right??) and because my skin is so healthy now I need minimal makeup. I use Rodan and Fields for my skin care, but I do need a good eye makeup remover. I’ll have to try the almay pads. thanks for the recommendation. PS LOVE your blog and all your ideas!!!

  2. I thought of this post when I was picking up toothpaste at walmart so I decided to look for few things. I picked up the night cream and cleanser and eye makeup remover – looking forward to trying them out. Thanks for sharing your picks.

  3. I will have to give those makeup remover pads a try! I have yet to find one that doesn’t make my eyes swell up! I’m a big believer in spf 70, like always. Thanks for the tips

  4. I also use the same facewash and eye makeup remover pads. Both are great for sensitive skin. I just bought the Olay moisturizer tonight and hopefully it will work well with my sensitive skin. I just started using Burts Bees new antiaging line and it has been ok so far. I really like anything from Burts Bees plus they are mostly all natural but i am excited that olay has an spf 30 moisturizer. That’s hard to find!

    1. Yes! Why don’t they put sunscreen in everything?? All. The. Things! I haven’t tried anything from Burts Bees but chopstick I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks!

  5. I have tried more expensive brands but don’t see any difference. Cunning marketing sucks us into buying their products. I use Olay Regenerist cream on my face, along with their serum during the day. I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen, especially on my face. Even my husband is using it now, because of it’s non greasy feel. I’ve been thinking of trying Roc. Any feedback on this product would be appreciated.

  6. Great post Kel, with really good practical tips. Love to hear about products that actually deliver!

  7. Thank you for the heads ups!! I’m quite a bit like you whereby I buy some expensive products and then some drugstore (big box) store products. My eyes are very sensitive to some creams so thank you for the tip. I have to confess that in August of last year I bought Clarins Face and Eye creams instead of my Estee Lauder products and I ended up at my dermatologists office. I broke out so badly with rashes and my face really itched. It must have been the perfume they used. That was an expensive mistake. I do use my Neutrogena sun products — that’s a must. I’ll try out the Sephora make up — I’ve never tried it but I’ll have to wait to go to the store so they can make a skin match. Have a great day!!

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