With the breadth of skin-care knowledge that the Internet has to offer, you’re bound to come across a lot of different opinions. Often times, you’ll see an influencer wax poetic about a certain serum or moisturizer on TikTok, then have a dermatologist swoop in and reveal that actually, it’s not so great after all.
Because of this, it can be admittedly confusing to try to figure out which products are worth spending your money on (and which ones are better left in your Instagram ads), but one place you know you can go for intel you can trust? Reddit’s “skincareaddiction” thread. The message board has become the go-to destination for crowd-sourced skin-care information, which is why it’s no surprise that the community’s top beauty brands of 2020 also happen to be the ones that derms couldn’t stop talking about this year.
Scroll through for the best skin care of 2020 that reddit users and skin pros alike couldn’t get enough of. And the best part? Not a single one of them will run you more than $30.
CeraVe landed the top spot on Reddit’s list for the second year in a row, and it’s for good reason. Aside from going viral on TikTok, the brand’s formulas have also remained strong as dermatologist’s faves. We spoke to dozens of skin pros this year about the best CeraVe products for every type of skin, and the one SKU that came up time and time again was the hydrating cleanser. “It’s an excellent wash that works for dry skin, but does great on oily skin too,” says Dustin Portela, DO, a board-certified dermatologist and TikTok star. “It is perfect for patients with acne, or those who want a great cleanser in their skin-care routine.” Plus, it’s only $14, which means it’s well worth trying out for yourself.
Shop now: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, $14
2. The Ordinary
When The Ordinary launched in the U.S. back in 2016, its affordable, efficacious quickly became cult-faves. And this year, sales of its new vitamin C serum spiked 186 percent. “This vitamin C serum contains 30 percent L-ascorbic acid, which is among the highest concentrations of vitamin C on the market,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. L-ascorbic acid is one of the most potent forms of vitamin C you can get. Plus, according to the brand, it works to visibly target uneven skin tone, dullness, textural irregularities, and signs of aging.
Shop now: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, $7
Neutrogena has long been behind some of the best-of-the best drugstore skin-care products, and this year, the brand took its technology north of our faces to deliver a skin-friendly line of hair-care products that put scalp health at the forefront of its formulations. “Reducing inflammation is important, and we do that by keeping our scalps free of debris with a cleanser that allows us to cleanse, hydrate, and treat the scalp so that we can wash our hair as frequently as we need to for our hair type,” says board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD. The line has products for every hair type and scalp concern, and this particular shampoo and conditioner combo will hydrate your hair from root to tip for only $9 a bottle.
Shop now: Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Hydro Boost with Hyaluronic Acid Shampoo and Conditioner, $9 each
Of all the brands we’ve loved before, La Roche Posay continues to deserve a spot at the top of the list of the best skin care of 2020. Its skin-care and sun-care products are constantly recommended by derms, and its hyaluronic acid is one of the best our beauty editors have ever tried. “It satisfies all the criteria: It’s hypoallergenic and great for all skin types,” says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, board-certified dermatologist from Mudgil Dermatology. Plus, it’s infused with vitamin B5, to give your skin a little extra moisture while also promoting cell turnover.
Shop now: La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $30
5. Paula’s Choice
For ingredients that pack a powerful punch, look no further than Paula’s Choice. The brand’s exfoliating toner has long been one of the industry’s favorites for fighting acne and sloughing off dead skin thanks to its 2 percent concentration of salicylic acid, and according to Annie Gonzalez, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami, it’s an “extremely effective exfoliating cleanser that is also gentle enough for everyday use.”
Shop now: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant, $10
Looking for more intel on what skin-care products are worth spending your money on? Check out the video below to see what a derm uses in her own routine.
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