If she were stuck on a deserted island, New York dermatologistHeidi A. Waldorf, MD, would wantsunscreen andVaseline. “My number-one skin care product under $10 isVaseline petroleum jelly ($4). It can be used as a moisturizer, lip balm,makeup remover, wound dressing, blister blocker, and cuticle softener. And it’s just petrolatum—there’s no lanolin—so anyone can use it.”
“Vanicream is a wonderful line developed for sensitive skin and eczema, formulated free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde. The CREAM (not the lotion) is particularly hydrating and emollient. I use it myself,” says Campbell, CA, dermatologistAmelia K. Hausauer, MD, who adds that the 4-ounce tube is usually around $7, but if you want thehuge, one-pound tub, that’s less than $15.
A second must from Dr. Hausauer: TheCetaphil Baby line. “Most of the products are less than $10 and the range helps restore the skin’s barrier function, while keeping it hydrated and moist.”
“Aquaphor ointment is a great inexpensive topical,” says Greenwich, CT, dermatologistLynne Haven, MD. “It is useful for chapped lips, superficial abrasions,eczema, and after certain laser procedures.” Greenwich, CT, dermatologistKim Nichols, MD, also gives the product an A-plus—especially during this time of year. “Whether in a tube or a container, this is a must-have for lips, dry patches, feet and hands! It both hydrates and soothes chapped skin from the winter.”
It took five years of testing and 54 different prototypes, but Omaha, NE, dermatologistJoel Schlessinger, MD, and his son, Daniel, developed the $10FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Lip Balmafter wondering why regular lip balms didn’t work on dry skin on the body (VERY good question). “This product is a great product for dry lips and other areas of the body, especially during these cold, winter months,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “The beauty of it is that it contains essential oils and no petrolatum, so it glides on easily and coats the lips nicely without the bitter taste of petrolatum. It works on many conditions, ranging from eczema to psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis and is particularly great for lips that are dry from medications such as Accutane.”