Any serious skincare enthusiast will own an interesting shelfie. The pharmacy skincare section will have a tube that is well squeezed and unglamorous next to the gleaming glass bottles with USD 1,000 serums. It’s the Romy and Michelle of skincare, the USD 1000 cica-hyaluronic-ceramide-mugwort-blue pea-rice flour serum next to the 2-buck face wash–the unassuming dynamic duo who dared to give great skin. Most bets on which product is more effective are placed on the tube that looks like a pharmacy. It’s from the pharmacy. It did cost two dollars. Yes, it is the bomb.

Pharmacy skincare is gaining ground on Sephora and Ulta’s bestsellers. The products are less expensive, easier to access, and sometimes more effective. This could be due to the fact that they are made with fewer ingredients and less likely skin irritation. Pharma products are concentrated, or the right ingredient is in the correct strength. “It gives the desired result,” explains Yavana Aesthetics Clinic’s Dr Madhuri Agarwal. These are also less expensive because they haven’t invested much in their appearance or message. They need to be affordable for a broad range of people, says Dr Mikki Singh at Bodycraft. These companies prefer to spend money on R&D while cosmetics spend their resources on celebrity marketing and endorsement. So, you can try the “active of the year” without spending a fortune only to find out that you are allergic. The country’s top dermatologists told us what products they recommend for the pharmacy.

Dr Meghna Gupta, Delhi Skin Centre

“A little information is dangerous.” They don’t pay attention to the finer details of how to slowly incorporate new products into your routine. The finer details of how to gradually incorporate new products are not discussed. MaxRich Yu Cream is a barrier repair cream that contains colloidal oatmeal, squalene, or ceramides. It also protects and nourishes the skin. Choose from Rivela Sunscreen lotion SPF 50 or ZScreen Sinc Oxide Sunscreen gel, says Dr Gupta.

Dr Mikki Singh, Head Dermatologist at Bodycraft Skin Clinic

“Start by using a cleanser like Cetaphil daily face cleaner. Next, use a moisturiser such as Bioderma Sebium Hydra. Finally, apply a sunscreen such as UV Skrin SPF 30 Gel. Dermatica Aze Proactive Lotion contains several active ingredients. “It is great for acne sufferers and can be used even during pregnancy.”

Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Yavana Aesthetics Clinic

  • Cleanser–Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion, Sebamed Foaming Face Wash, Glownise Face Wash
  • Moisturiser–Moiz LMF 48 lotion, Cetaphil DAM lotion, Ahaglow Acne Control Moisturising Gel
  • Sunscreen — Sebamed Multiprotect Sun Lotion, UV Doux Silicon Sunscreen Gel, Cetaphil Sun SPF50, UV Avo Pro Gel SPF30+

Dr Janet Castelino, DermaZeal

It is best to seek professional advice, as the skin type, issue and objective will vary. Most actives can cause irritation and redness when used incorrectly. It’s best to use caution. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF if you are going to the beach. If you suffer from acne, choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen that is lightweight. actives can be used for different skin indications. Topical retinoids are used to treat acne, while kojic and azelaic acids are used for hyperpigmentation or melasma.

Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra, Director, Alive Wellness Clinics

Dr. Chabbra recommends sunblocks by Neutrogena Sesderma, and Dermalogica. I would recommend using a retinol cream that contains 1% retinol and can be applied overnight. It helps to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and lines over time. It stimulates exfoliation, and helps with hyperpigmentation.