Best Drugstore Makeup and Skincare Essentials of 2022

If you appreciate the rush of a great, inexpensive product, may these 26 finds bring some joy to your day. From a holy grail hand wash to shampoos with rave reviews, these staples are available almost anywhere (grab on your next Target run!) and approved by experts.

Parents Beauty Awards Essentials 2021

Face

Best Moisturizer With SPF: RoC Multi Correxion Hydrate + Plump Moisturizer SPF 30

RoC Multi Correxion Hydrate Plump Moisturizer SPF 30
Jeffrey Westbrook

Surprisingly lightweight and transparent, this moisturizer may have you double-checking that it actually has sunscreen. It does—a broad-spectrum chemical SPF 30—along with hydrating hyaluronic acid.

To buy: RoC Multi Correxion Hydrate + Plump Moisturizer SPF 30, $25; target.com.

Best Makeup Remover: CeraVe Hydrating Makeup Removing Plant-Based Wipes

CeraVe Hydrating Makeup Removing Plant-Based Wipes
Jeffrey Westbrook

On nights when a single makeup wipe represents the entirety of your skin-care routine, you can feel good about these biodegradable ones. They're gentle on the face and have ceramides to protect the skin barrier, but they can still take off waterproof mascara in a few swipes, says Shari Marchbein, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City with 7-year-old twins..

To buy: CeraVe Hydrating Makeup Removing Plant-Based Wipes, $13.50; target.com.

Best Moisturizer: Aveeno Positively Radiant Gel Moisturizer

Aveeno Positively Radiant Gel Moisturizer
Jeffrey Westbrook

This night cream keeps skin hydrated and can appeal to moms and dads equally. "I find that men don't want to see or feel a product on their skin, and this gel sinks in instantly," says dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, M.D., the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, and a dad of two.

To buy: Aveeno Positively Radiant Gel Moisturizer, $14; amazon.com.

Best Face Wash: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Jeffrey Westbrook

The iconic wash received an exciting upgrade this year with the addition of hydrating glycerin and skin-calming vitamins B3 and B5. Devotees will be glad the fragrance-free formula feels the same and is still a win for sensitive skin.

To buy: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $12; amazon.com.

Hair

Best For Fine Hair: Generation Beauty by Pantene Full & Vibrant Shampoo and Conditioner

Generation Beauty by Pantene Full Vibrant Shampoo and Conditioner
Jeffrey Westbrook

This shampoo-and-conditioner duo is made to help with the hair loss that can accompany stress or having a baby. "It doesn't weigh down fine-hair types," says new mom Cristina B., a hairstylist at Rita Hazan Salon, in New York City. "And the fresh scent is divine."

To buy: Generation Beauty by Pantene Full & Vibrant Shampoo and Conditioner, $15; cvs.com.

Best For Color-Treated Hair: Garnier Whole Blends Sulfate Free Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner With Red Rose Extract & Vinegar Blend

Garnier Whole Blends Sulfate Free Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner With Red Rose Extract Vinegar Blend
Peter Ardito

Prevent fresh color from going down the drain (and push the next appointment back by a few more weeks) with a shampoo and conditioner designed to extend it.

To buy: Garnier Whole Blends Sulfate Free Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner With Red Rose Extract & Vinegar Blend, $16 for a kit; amazon.com.

Best For Dry Or Damaged Hair: Herbal Essences Avocado & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essences Avocado Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
Jeffrey Westbrook

If washing your hair tends to land low on your priorities list, these sulfate-free blends come in clutch when you get around to it. The shampoo creates a foamy lather that "thoroughly cleans hair," Cristina B. says. "And avocado and argan oil manage frizz and tangles."

To buy: Herbal Essences Avocado & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, $6 each; target.com.

Best Styler: TRESemmé One-Step Stylers Collection

TRESemmé One-Step Stylers Collection
Jeffrey Westbrook

The idea behind this line is that you need only one product to style your hair. Choose the iteration that's right for you—Volume, Texture, Waves, Repair, or Smooth—then apply to damp strands before air- or blow-drying. "All are great. Go with Smooth if you have thick, frizzy hair, Volume if you have fine strands," Rosenkranz says.

To buy: TRESemmé One-Step Stylers Collection, $6; target.com.

Best Curl Treatment: OGX Quenching + Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter

OGX Quenching Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter
Peter Ardito

Coils need a fair amount of moisture to stay defined, and this thick cream has coconut oil and shea butter, two top hydrators. Plus, it works as a rinse-out mask (when you have time) or a leave-in conditioner (when you don't).

To buy: OGX Quenching + Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter, $6; amazon.com.

Best Short-Hair Styler: Dove Men+Care Molding Paste

Dove Men Care Molding Paste
Peter Ardito

"Not too soft, not too stiff, it's just the right amount of hold," says Nathan Rosenkranz, a hairstylist and dad in Montclair, New Jersey. Warm a dab between palms, then run through hair to sculpt.

To buy: Dove Men+Care Molding Paste, $7; amazon.com.

Body

Best Body Lotion: Olay Collagen Firming & Hydrating Body Lotion

Olay Collagen Firming Hydrating Body Lotion
Jeffrey Westbrook

It's the time of year when body lotion transitions from nice to have to an absolute must-have. This one is thick coming out but absorbs as quickly as it takes the kids to say, "Can you come here??"

To buy: Olay Collagen Firming & Hydrating Body Lotion, $10; target.com.

Best Hand Wash: Burt's Bees Naturally Clean Hand Soap

Burts Bees Naturally Clean Hand Soap
Jeffrey Westbrook

"It might seem odd to be obsessed with a hand wash, but this honey-and-lavender one smells that good," Dr. Marchbein says. "Plus, the formula doesn't dry out or strip my hands."

To buy: Burt's Bees Naturally Clean Hand Soap, $6; target.com.

Best Body Balm: Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel

Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel
Jeffrey Westbrook

The dry-skin salve gets a moisturized thumbs-up from Dr. Hartman: "I layer it over my body moisturizer as a way to fortify the skin barrier and seal in hydration. It doesn't leave me sticky." A little goes a long way—a scoop on the tip of your finger is enough for both arms. Grab a bit more for legs.

To buy: Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, $6; amazon.com.

Best Hand Cream: Curél Extreme Dry Hand Relief

Curel Extreme Dry Hand Relief
Jeffrey Westbrook

For anyone dealing with cracks and dryness that feel more intense than ever, this is the reparative big gun: Its vitamin E–infused formula locks moisture into dry skin. It's worth having one at the ready next to each sink.

To buy: Curél Extreme Dry Hand Relief, $4; target.com.

Best Body Wash: Ivory Fragrance-Free Body Wash

Ivory Fragrance-Free Body Wash
Courtesy of Ivory

A shower staple the whole family can use, this dye-and perfume-free formula is gentle enough for parents, kids, and babies, and comes in a convenient pump bottle.

To buy: Ivory Fragrance-Free Body Wash, $4; walmart.com.

Best For Shaving: Dollar Shave Club Shave Gel

Dollar Shave Club Shave Gel
Jeffrey Westbrook

As great for beards as it is for legs, "this gel becomes a luxuriously thick layer of foam that I really like," Dr. Hartman says. Shea butter and aloe help blades glide, preventing nicks or irritation.

To buy: Dollar Shave Club Shave Gel, $7; dollarshaveclub.com.

Best Deodorant Stick: Degree Men's Aluminum Free Deodorant

Degree Mens Aluminum Free Deodorant
Courtesy of Degree

Novel scents like coconut and mint, and mandarin and vetiver set this deodorant apart from the usual big-brand sticks. "I like that the aluminum-free version doesn't stain my shirts," Dr. Hartman says.

To buy: Degree Men's Aluminum Free Deodorant, $5; walmart.com.

Best Deodorant Spray: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Spray

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Spray
Courtesy of Schmidt's

Pulling off a big feat in the natural-deodorant category, this aluminum-free formula comes in a spray that's powered by air, not aerosol, for a more ozone-friendly delivery of natural scents like rose & vanilla, lavender & sage, and clean powder. Available soon.

To buy: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Stick, $10; amazon.com.

Best Antiperspirant: Secret Weightless Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Secret Weightless Dry Spray Antiperspirant
Courtesy of Secret

This argan oil–infused antiperspirant offers impressive wetness control sans drying alcohol. Plus, scents like wild rose, water lily, and white peach manage to cover up BO better than a body spray.

To buy: Secret Weightless Dry Spray Antiperspirant, $6.50; walmart.com.

Best Whitening Toothpaste: Colgate Optic White Pro Series

Colgate Optic White Pro Series
Courtesy of Colgate

Regular nursers of coffee and tea can benefit from this new 5 percent hydrogen peroxide (the highest OTC concentration) formula, which can remove stains in a few weeks but won't damage enamel. Oh, and the taste: minty, not burny.

To buy: Colgate Optic White Pro Series Toothpaste, $13; riteaid.com.

Makeup

Best Blush: Revlon Powder Blush

Revlon Powder Blush
Jeffrey Westbrook

Found in makeup artists' kits and with good reason: The blush comes in an array of shades, is foolproof to apply, and has staying power. Toby Fleischman, a makeup artist in Santa Monica, California, and a mom of twins, is partial to Apricute, a pinky-coral that gives an I-just-played-a-round-of-tag flush (without your actually chasing after the kids).

To buy: Revlon Powder Blush, $8; amazon.com.

Best Skin Tint: Neutrogena Clear Coverage Matte CC Cream

Neutrogena Clear Coverage Matte CC Cream
Jeffrey Westbrook

There's a side of skin care included in this medium coverage foundation, thanks to vitamin B3, which helps brighten skin over time. "I smoothed on a light layer with my fingers, and it gave a natural result that lasted throughout the day," Fleischman says.

To buy: Neutrogena Clear Coverage Matte CC Cream, $12; amazon.com.

Best Concealer: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear More Than Concealer
Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris

Possibly the fullest-coverage concealer we've tried—a few tiny dots blended under the eyes are enough to hide deep, dark circles. Think of this as your snooze button in a tube after a long night of kid feet on your face.

To buy: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer, $13; target.com.

Best Lip Treatment: COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm

COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm
Jeffrey Westbrook

All the hydrating, smoothing properties you want in a balm with an added hint of color. "It locked in moisture immediately. Then I forgot I had it on until I looked in the mirror a few hours later, and the bright tint was still there," Fleischman says.

To buy: COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm, $5; target.com.

Best Mascara: Maybelline New York the Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara

Maybelline New York the Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara
Courtesy of Maybelline New York

The wand can coat each lash in the time it takes to tell your fam to get into the car. And unlike wriggly kids, lashes stay in place, thanks to polymers in the formula that act a little like hairspray. We tested it in a hard-core HIIT class: no panda-ring effects.

To buy: Maybelline New York the Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara, $10; amazon.com.

Best Nail Treatment: Essie Hard to Resist Nail Strengthener

Essie Hard to Resist Nail Strengthener
Jeffrey Westbrook

amazon.comIf the state of your nails reflects the era we're in, this polish may help: A few no-need-to-be-exact swipes can help build nail toughness and add shine.

To buy: Essie Hard to Resist Nail Strengthener, $10; amazon.com.

Our Process

Judging each product on effectiveness, findability, and price, our beauty editors narrowed down their top picks, then enlisted this panel of esteemed experts for additional testing.

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's March 2022 issue as "The Best Basics for Moms and Dads." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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