How do you buy buzzy ingredients at the drugstore?

Ccertain beauty ingredients have an aura of prestige around them. Whether it’s their skin-enhancing powers, celebrity love or time in the trending spotlight, all you have to do is know when you hear them they are a must have in your beauty bag.

That’s not to say you should spend serious money on beauty boutiques or department stores to get the retinols or vitamin C serums of the world — because your trusty drugstore has them, too. “I’ve been telling patients for years that there’s no reason you can’t have an excellent, robust skincare regimen that can address many of your cosmetic and some of your medical needs (like acne or dandruff) from a drugstore,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York-based dermatologist.

If you think the buzzy skincare ingredients have to be fancy to be effective, Dr. Fusco to be different. “Drugstore brands are not inferior in quality,” says Dr. Fusco. “Glycerin is glycerin, retinol is retinol — if there’s 0.01 percent retinol in an expensive product and the same amount in a drugstore, that doesn’t necessarily mean the expensive one will behave differently.”

Basically it all comes down to one big difference between your cheaper finds and branded products: the packaging. “Sometimes drugstore packaging just isn’t that sexy,” says Dr. fusco. “And sometimes scent is a big part of that — sometimes more expensive brands have a scent that people find appealing. Other than that, I don’t see much difference.” So there you have it – you don’t have to be a big spender to have glowing skin. Here’s how to lock down your best beauty buys ingredient-by-ingredient.

Keep scrolling to buy the dermatologist-approved ingredient guide at the drugstore.

To round out your routine, here are the best drugstore mascaras and beauty products for your décolleté.

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