Best Drugstore Beauty Products for 2013

Not to toot my own horn over here, but I get asked pretty frequently what I use for my skin, and I get the same eye roll when I tell people drugstore products as those skinny bitches who say they never work out. I’ve made the mistake of spending too much money on skin care products, but I always go back to my tried and true products from good old Walgreens which probably contain most of the same ingredients as the high-end stuff. So without further delay, here are my picks for the best drugstore beauty products for 2013.

Neutrogena face washBest Facewash: Neutrogena Deep Clean ($8.25 on Amazon)

I have been using this facial cleanser for about 8 years now. I love it because it foams up nicely and removes all of my eye makeup without ever drying or irritating my face. I’m lazy with my cleaning regiment, so I’m grateful to not have to do the extra step of spreading creamy makeup remover all over my eyes.  I should note that I only wash my face with cleanser at night before bed, and rinse it with cold water in the mornings so my skin doesn’t get dried out (but I effectively get the crusties out of my eyes).

Best Facial moisturizer: Aveeno positively radiant SPF 15 ($13.43 on Amazon)

Drug store moisturizerI have also been using this moisturizer for as long as I can remember. It’s super light and never makes my skin feel or look oily, even as the day goes on. I actually blend it with a dab of Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (which is a bit more pricey at $43) to create a nice even tone. The SPF 15 also makes sure I’m protected without being too thick and streaky – and it smells fresh which is great.

Night cream: Oil of Olay Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream ($24.30 on Amazon)

I tried the super high end stuff, but this product has been amazing for me. It’s light and absorbs quickly and doesn’t have an old lady drug store beauty perfume smell like some of the high-end creams I’ve tried. Since I get comments pretty frequently that I don’t look my age, I’m going to go ahead and assume that it’s doing it’s job.

Inexpensive soapBest Body Wash: Dove gentle exfoliating beauty bar ($6.88 for 6 at WalMart)

I personally think that loofas are disgusting. They sit in your shower all wet, just asking for bacteria to come cuddle in it. On top of that, body wash is way more expensive and alot more wasteful than a bar of soap. For both of these reasons, I am a loyal Dove soap user. I love the smell of the exfoliating bar, and the little crystals inside of it act in the same way a loofa would (but without all the ickyness).

Best Shampoo/Conditioner: Pantene Expert Collection AgeDefy ($7.99 each at Target)

So I did a giveaway with Pantene recently where they sent me a giftbag of free products, and this was one of them. My first thought was that this must be for old ladies who are losing their hair. My second thought was that if this helps old ladies from losing their hair, then I bet it will keep my hair full too. So far I really love it, and I feel like my hair is definitely fuller and healthier looking since I started using it (and I was using a more expensive Aveda product before). Try the starter kit below if you want to give the whole series a try before committing to full sized product:

Best Hair Thickening Serum: Pantene Expert Agedefy advanced thickening treatment ($18.99 at Target)

Yup, you guessed it – got this gem for free too. You spritz it into your roots when you get out of the shower and rub it into your scalp. I saw an immediate difference, and your hair never gets weighed down or oily. It’s a great product, and I’m not just saying that because I got it for free. Promise.

herbal essence mousseBest Volumizing Mousse: Herbal Essence Body Envy ($4.29 at CVS)

This was one of those random picks at the drugstore that really worked out well for me. This mousse is great for my fine, generally limp hair on days that I end up curling it and want more body. The bonus is that it’s infused with white nectar and pink coral flower, so it smells delicious and makes your hair ready to be nuzzled. I just had a flashback to those Herbal Essence commercials of girls sexually screaming in a waterfall. Those were so creepy.

Best Hairspray: Tresemme Tres Two Spray (4.79 at Walgreens)

This is the “Firm control” version that I bought after buying the travel size and really liking it. It keeps your curls in place without having that 80’s crispy hair look that’s so attractive. I’ve tried so many different hairsprays, and this is the one I always go back to.

What drugstore products do you swear by? I’m always looking for new things to try….



  1. I love L’Oreal True Match powder. The coverage is great for the days you don’t want to wear heavy foundation.

  2. Such a great piece Ash! You know I love me a deal. I’m going to go pick up those Pantene products today:)

  3. I love your blog and the honesty behind your recommendations and information! My fave soap is the Dove exfoliating as I’ve used it for years and still do today. I’ll have to try the herbal essence mousse as I have really curly hair and am always looking for inexpensive products for my hair!

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  5. That’s right, as you say, no amount of money is going to make one look 18 again. Aren’t you under 30, though, author? If so, your skin situation is probably nowhere near dire yet.


    I’m 46, and agree with you that Olay has some great products. I use them and appreciate that they don’t cost an arm and a leg.

    • I’m 31!! I need all the defense I can get!

    • I have used Olay moisturizer (in the jar) for at least thirty years. I am a senior citizen and many people comment on not looking my age. I would never used anything else. I also love Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner, I have used it for years. I have tried other brands for something different, but I always go back to my favorite. Thank you for posting this article.

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