Sure, we may be in awe of French pharmacies and fascinated by CVS over the pond, but Boots could easily rival both… honest! There are tonnes of cult favourites and little-known products lining the shelves at everyone's favourite chemist. To help you zero in on the best buys, we called on the experts: dermatologists, to be precise. You see, these skincare know-it-alls are best placed to advise us on the products we choose to slather on our bodies and faces every day. And it's not just lotions: They've recommended a bath oil, a foundation and a lip balm that are going straight on our shopping list. We rounded all the top dermatologist-recommended beauty buys on Boots.
This tried-and-true ointment is beloved by dermatologists the world over. "It's excellent to heal dry cracked skin on the heels and fingertips," says board-certified dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, MD. "It also makes a very effective lip balm. Better yet, it's free of any potential irritants like neomycin, so it's safe for everyone."
"As a dermatologist, I am always asked about dark circles, what causes them and what to do. I always talk about sleep, a healthy diet and keeping skin hydrated. Another tip I always recommend is this concealer with its yellow tint is perfect at helping to neutralize that brown discoloration, without being too heavy or powdery," says dermatologist Justine Hextall, MD. "I also love Benefit's primer, That Gal ($29), it suits all skin tones and gives skin that dewy glow. I can recommend all sorts of procedures, but in my view, a touch of the right concealer, a good primer and a flattering dab of blusher can work wonders."
According to board-certified NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, this is the best lip balm at the drugstore. "It is super hydrating and comes in a container that is easy to travel with," she says. "It contains vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, as well as jojoba oil and shea butter, which are very moisturizing."
"I love Cetaphil gentle cleanser, for me, it is one of the few cleansers that in my view will remove all of the dirt and oil at the end of the day without stripping my skin," says Hextall. "The telltale sign is my skin doesn't feel tight after rinsing, and as such, I do not need as much moisturizer. I can recommend across the board in my practice, as it works equally well for those with normal skin as it does for those with acne or eczema."
"My favorite thing is the BareMinerals makeup line—mineral-based makeup is great for acne-prone skin," says Mara Weinstein, MD. "It's lightweight and doesn't clog pores. It also gives great coverage without worrying about causing breakouts."
"After a long day I love to have a bath with this oil," says Hextall. "It reminds me of a fabulous holiday we had with an outside bath overlooking the sea. After a day on the beach, this was such a treat; the scent always reminds me of that wonderful time. I find bath oils a very easy way to hydrate skin and always recommend them in my practice."
"I always have this balm in my bathroom. It is so moisturizing and leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day. Because it has a special cap that does not allow air into the tube, it doesn't require preservatives like other creams. As such, I feel very confident to recommend it to those with concerns about allergies. Because it contains the soothing water from Avène, it is fantastic at calming skin and reducing itch. A patient once said it felt like giving her skin a glass of water, and I thought that described it perfectly," says Hextall.
Many top dermatologists are fans of La Roche-Posay's products, and this three-step system is a standout for treating acne. "This system includes active ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide to target the major causes of breakouts," says board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Joel Schlessinger, MD. "With continued use, this acne system improves the appearance of blemishes in as little as three days. Best of all, this system is oil-free, noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, dermatologist-tested and suitable for sensitive skin."
"I often recommend these exfoliating socks," says Hextall. "This is not a treatment for the faint-hearted, as the exfoliation it brings about is quite remarkable. I always joke that it is akin to shedding your exoskeleton, so maybe not a treatment to start at the beginning of a relationship. That said it works wonders; my feet have never felt so smooth, so I am always willing to recommend it with the aforementioned caveat."