We’re no strangers to the Target run for one item that turns into a shopping cart full of random stuff. From clothing and electronics to snacks and home decor (and everything else in between), Target is home to a whole lot — which can make it tough to know where to start and how to avoid spending money on things you won’t love.
And skin care is no exception. With all the different brands, ingredients and types of products involved, it’s no small feat to parse out which products are best for you. So to save you time (and money), we’ve consulted various experts on the skin care products they recommend. From the perfect everyday facial sunscreen to a face wash that targets acne, these 34 affordable skin care goodies at Target are the ones the experts stand by.
PanOxyl 4% Creamy Facial Treatment Wash ($9.49; target.com)
Skin care products that contain benzoyl peroxide can be extremely beneficial for those with inflammatory acne, says Rachel Maiman, a board-certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical. As a bactericidal, it kills bacteria known to contribute to the development of acne. Plus it removes sebum and dead skin cells and prevents the formation of clogged pores, she explains. This foaming wash is available in concentrations of 4% and 10%. For use on the face, Maiman tends to recommend the lower percentage, since it minimizes dryness and irritation without compromising efficacy.
Garnier Skinactiv Micellar Cleansing Water ($6.79; target.com)
“I’ve always loved and used micellar water as a facial cleanser,” says Jeannette Graf, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Instead of using makeup remover wipes, which can be harsher on the skin, Graf recommends applying micellar water to soft cotton pads to clean your face. It’s a more gentle and just as effective way to “remove excess oil and dirt without stripping the skin of the important moisture barrier,” she explains.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser ($14.99; target.com)
This cleanser removes excess oil, impurities and makeup without irritating sensitive skin, Maiman says. As an oil-free and noncomedogenic option, it’s also good for those with acne-prone skin. It’s “limited in unnecessary additive ingredients which have the potential to cause irritation,” she explains, adding that it’s formulated with great ingredients like hydrating ceramides and glycerin (which help to mitigate dryness, soothe skin and prevent conditions like eczema) and niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3 that quells inflammation).
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($9.89; target.com)
“Cleansing is an incredibly important step in your skin care routine,” says Victoria Fu, co-founder of Chemist Confessions and co-author of “Skincare Decoded,” who explains that the right cleanser is all about striking a balance between cleansing power and gentleness on your skin. “You don’t necessarily have to splurge on a fancy cleanser to get that,” she says, recommending this cleanser as a great place to start.
Stryke Club is a skin care line that caters specifically to teens. “The unique ingredient in these cleansers is a dermatologist-favorite called sodium hypochlorite,” says Claire Wolinsky, a board-certified dermatologist at Berkowitz Dermatology and clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital. “It’s an antibacterial which has been proven to decrease pimples in people struggling with acne,” she explains. It can also be soothing to itchy skin and has been shown to work well for those with sensitive skin, she adds.
Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser ($25; target.com)
If you’re looking for a cleanser that will help target acne, Macrene Alexiades, who runs her own dermatology and laser surgery private practice in New York City, recommends this one. “The benzoyl peroxide reduces sebum, the oils that cause acne,” she explains. If you have sensitive skin, she suggests giving your face a brief wash and rinsing immediately after. For those with more oily skin, you can leave the cleanser on your skin for a bit longer.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover ($14.99; target.com)
Wolinsky calls this “the perfect, residue-free makeup remover.” Whether it’s after a night out where you’re sporting a full face of makeup or a day in the sun when you reapplied a ton of sunscreen, she suggests wiping your face down with this lightweight, gentle product. If you suffer from dry skin, it also makes for a great soapless cleanser option.
Toners & serums
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution ($8.70; target.com)
This glycolic acid solution contains a mixture of amino acids, perfect for brightening up your skin. It’s mild enough for at-home use, but strong enough (and contains a high enough percentage of AHAs) to get results and make a visible difference in your skin, explains Alexiades. She recommends using this product once or twice a week (and no more), since overuse can thin out your skin.
Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin ($10.89; target.com)
Who isn’t a fan of a refreshing facial mist? “The hydrating quality and delicious scent of rose makes this perfect for anyone looking for a dewy complexion, hair refresher or pre-bedtime pillow spray,” says Wolinsky. She explains that since it uses minimal ingredients, “it won’t clog or irritate the skin, and is good for both dry and combination skin.”
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum ($16.19; target.com)
“Retinol is known for its anti-wrinkle and hyperpigmentation fighting benefits,” says Gloria Lu, co-founder (with Fu) of Chemist Confessions and co-author (also with Fu) of “Skincare Decoded.” She recommends this serum as a great product for retinol beginners, since it’s gentle enough and will help minimize some of the negative side effects that can result from retinol usage — specifically peeling, flaking, dryness and redness.
Makeup Revolution Skincare Targeted Blemish Serum 2% Salicylic Acid ($11; target.com)
If you’re hoping to get rid of some pesky blackheads or whiteheads (key symptoms of comedonal acne), Maiman suggests salicylic acid, which will help prevent your pores from getting clogged with dead skin cells. This targeted serum is oil-free, lightweight and gentle enough for everyday use. Fu notes that salicylic acid isn’t always going to be most effective as a solo treatment, and recommends pairing a targeted treatment like this one with a salicylic acid cleanser to boost your overall skin care routine.
Pixi Glow Tonic ($15; target.com)
“Target has a great selection of low level chemical exfoliant glycolic acid options,” says Lu, who calls glycolic acid “a fantastic ingredient.” She recommends this option as just one of many that have a low enough concentration of glycolic acid that’s easy to experiment with and get used to. Like many other chemical exfoliants, it’s a great option for those looking to tackle dullness, signs of aging, hyperpigmentation and even breakouts.
Olay Tone Perfection Serum with Niacinamide & Vitamin C ($29.49; target.com)
“This serum is an excellent addition to a morning skin care routine,” says Maiman, “because it contains two potent antioxidants — vitamin C and niacinamide.” Both ingredients work to combat free radical skin damage, which can be caused by daily environmental insults like UV radiation and pollution, she explains. Plus, the two ingredients also happen to be an ideal combo for targeting hyperpigmentation, particularly when caused by acne or conditions like melasma.
Bevel 10% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner Pads ($11.99; target.com)
If you’re looking for a light exfoliation and glowing skin, Wolinsky recommends these glycolic acid toner pads. She suggests starting out by using these twice a week, either in the morning or the evening. Then, you can increase to a frequency that works for your skin. For those with more oily, acne-prone skin, she says you can probably use this more often, but the key is to work your way up to more frequent usage.
Artnaturals Retinol Serum ($12.99; target.com)
Alexiades recommends this retinol serum, explaining that it boasts a host of ingredients your skin will love. “It contains retinol, hyaluronic acid and green tea extract,” she says, adding that these “make for a well-tolerated topical retinol” with tons of added benefits to your skin. From anti-wrinkle benefits to diminishing sun spots and dark circles, the right retinol for your skin will leave it rejuvenated and renewed.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($18.49; target.com)
“This hyaluronic acid serum is excellent for hydrating all skin types,” says Maiman, “and can be used twice daily underneath moisturizer.” She explains that hyaluronic acid is one of the skin’s naturally produced and most effective humectants (a substance that helps the skin hold onto water). This serum works to hydrate dry skin throughout the day, while simultaneously producing an immediate smoothing and plumping effect.
Obagi Clinical Vitamin C Eye Brightener ($60; target.com)
According to Graf, this serum is perfect for combating dark circles in the under-eye area. Not only will the ingredients help to brighten your skin, the product “delivers powerful nutrients into the skin to help address fine lines and wrinkles, adding to a more youthful appearance,” she says.
Moisturizers & sunscreens
Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Face Liquid Sunscreen SPF 50 ($11.99; target.com)
“This is a great ultra-lightweight, 100% mineral, reef-safe sunscreen for all skin types,” says Maiman — even if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. It has a broad-spectrum SPF of 50 and reflects both UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sunburn, decrease the risk of skin cancer and reduce signs of aging due to sun exposure. “The formula is serum-like and cosmetically elegant,” she says. Maiman adds that not only does it blend in translucent to any skin tone, it dries to a hydrating yet matte finish that’s a perfect, flattering base for makeup application.
Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter Moisturizer ($42; target.com)
“This thicker, super hydrating yet not greasy moisturizer is an especially good pick for anyone suffering from dry or itchy skin,” says Wolinsky. With argan oil and shea butter as the main ingredients, it’s no wonder reviewers rave about how nourishing this moisturizer is. “It can also be used as a luxuriant nighttime cream for overnight hydration,” she adds.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Fluid Oxybenzone-Free Face Sunscreen ($29.99; target.com)
“It’s hard to find a sunscreen you can stick with and be willing to reapply,” says Fu. “La Roche Posay has a diverse library of sunscreens to choose from that span from the more nourishing textures to light, dry fluids.” Her go-to is this fluid sunscreen with SPF 60, which she says works well with her oily skin.
CeraVe Ultra-Light Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen ($13.59; target.com)
This lightweight moisturizer is perfect for those with sensitive skin, Alexiades says. “It’s special because it adds back ceramides and lipids to seal in the skin barrier,” she explains, adding that it may also be “therapeutic for those with dry, flaky skin.” The lightweight formulation of this moisturizer also makes it an ideal product for those prone to breakouts or oiliness.
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream ($11.69; target.com)
Alexiades says this daily lotion is full of soothing colloidal oatmeal and panthenol — two ingredients that help hydrate and heal chapped skin. She recommends applying this after your shower or bath, to help the product lock in even more moisture to your skin.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV Face Moisturizer ($19.99; target.com)
This versatile moisturizer is one of Wolinsky’s favorites. “It’s a calming, rich moisturizer that is well tolerated by all skin types, including sensitive skin,” she says. It’s “hydrating enough for dry skin, but also noncomedogenic” (meaning it won’t clog pores), making it a great option for those with acne-prone skin as well. Maiman also recommends this moisturizer, explaining that the addition of niacinamide helps to protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV rays.
Aveeno Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen ($9.59; target.com)
This thick, physical sunscreen has a high percentage — 21.6% -— of zinc oxide, making it perfect for long days in the sun. “Since it’s a pure mineral sunscreen, it’s safe for anyone with a chemical sunscreen allergy,” explains Wolinsky. It’s also sweat- and water-resistant, which makes it a great choice for athletes and kids, she says.
Treatments & masks
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment ($12.29; target.com)
This medical-grade topical acne gel contains adapalene, a synthetic retinoid that’s gentler than many other prescription-strength acne medications. “Topical retinoids are the backbone of most acne regimens,” explains Maiman. “They work to prevent clogging of pores, inflammation and acne.” Alexiades also recommends this product, adding that it’s most effective with consistent use. She suggests applying a pea-sized amount of product to your whole face at bedtime, every night.
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original Acne Patches ($7.99; target.com)
Acne patches like these are perfect for tackling that one really annoying, inconvenient acne spot. “Some studies suggest that hydrocolloid acne patches can help speed up the life cycle of lesions,” says Lu, who also appreciates that the patches help prevent people from unthinkingly picking at their acne.
Bliss Resurfacing Fruit Enzyme Treatment ($4.99; target.com)
When it comes to physical exfoliants, you want a product that’s effective yet gentle enough on your skin — just like with cleansers, says Fu. “Exfoliants that use larger, more jagged molecules like apricot or walnut might be too harsh for many people,” she explains. On the other hand, more gentle products that “use cellulose beads combined with a bit of chemical exfoliants,” like this option, are a great place to start.
Yes To Cucumbers Calming Paper Face Mask ($3.79; target.com)
If you spent too long in the sun, this face mask is designed to help your skin out. Alexiades explains that this cucumber-based mask includes both green tea and chamomile, ingredients that help to soothe redness and sunburn.
ScarAway Scar Treatment Sheets ($18.19; target.com)
Using medical grade silicone scar sheets on newer scars can “minimize the overproduction of scar tissue, leading to better cosmetic outcomes,” explains Wolinsky. In simpler terms, using a product like this one can help soften the appearance of scars, and ease the itching and discomfort that can come along with them. Wolinsky recommends wearing the sheets over your scar for three months, and changing them when they stop sticking to your skin.
Lique Active Face Primer Stick ($13.99; target.com)
This primer stick is lightweight and vegan and features a no-touch applicator, making it great for on-the-go use. Not only is it comfortable for all-day wear, the formulation includes “green tea to help reduce redness and inflammation” in addition to “jojoba and coconut oils that give your skin the ultimate dose of hydration,” explains Graf. All the while, it blurs your pores for a more even skin tone and healthy-looking glow.
Body & lip care
SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Body Wash ($8.99; target.com)
Alexiades says the coconut oil and aloe (among other nourishing ingredients) in this body wash make for a hydrating and naturally aromatic bath experience. She explains that while the shea and coconut replenish the fatty acids to the surface of your skin, the aloe helps to calm redness. All in all, it’s an “excellent organic shea product” that’ll leave you with velvety skin.
Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm ($6.99; target.com)
“Many people neglect to apply SPF to their lips,” says Graf. She recommends finding a good lip balm with SPF (like this option) that you can take with you wherever you go, and so you’re reminded to apply it throughout the day. This option works to protect and hydrate your lips, while leaving a subtle yet flattering color that’s perfect for everyday wear.
Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion ($9.99; target.com)
The second ingredient in this lotion is urea, “a component of our natural skin barrier,” explains Wolinsky. As a result, applying this urea-based cream on a daily basis can help reduce keratosis pilaris, the bumpy skin commonly found on the back of the upper arms and in other spots. “I also like to recommend this cream at night on elbows, soles and other rough areas of the body,” she says.
Sweet Chef Sugarcane + Vitamin E Lip Sleeping Mask ($14.99; target.com)
“This lip mask is so easy to put on before heading to sleep,” says Graf. Formulated with antioxidant-rich sugarcane — an ingredient that contains natural AHAs — the product gently exfoliates your skin while you sleep, leaving you with super smooth lips when you wake up.