If you didn’t think Target’s many strengths go beyond its stellar home décor and on-point fashion options—and its uncanny knack for making you spend way more than you planned—then think again. As if these assets weren’t enough, now the big-box giant’s ultra-affordable beauty buys rival those found in high-end department stores (and seen on dermatologists’ shelves) thanks to its huge selection of just-as-potent offerings that often include natural and organic ingredients.
Dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann, MD, concurs: “Many skincare products found at Target are fantastic—and you don’t need to have a vanity full of pricey potions to keep skin healthy and vibrant.”
But just because Target’s skincare products are bottom-dollar doesn’t mean you should go and buy them all. Instead, says Herrmann, find just a handful of items you know will work for your particular skin type, stick to them, and apply them consistently. After researching top-rated skincare products at Target, and consulting with a celebrity dermatologist, we landed on these favorite picks, taking into consideration different skin types and concerns.
Best Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin
Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser
We love this fragrance-free, non-comedogenic face wash that gently removes impurities and helps lock in moisture, letting skin retain its bouncy, cushiony feel. “The light foaming action cleanses without stripping essential oils, and zinc helps cut shine,” says Herrmann.
Price at time of publish: $8
Active Ingredients: Glycerin, vitamin E | Skin Type: Combination, oily, acne-prone, sensitive | Size: 8 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Treatment for Acne-Prone Skin
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
While retinoids used to be prescription-only, “this is the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter, prescription-strength retinoid,” Herrmann says. “Retinoids help peel away dead skin cells and encourage cellular turnover, which helps open clogged pores. And continued use helps prevent new blackheads and breakouts, too.”
Price at time of publish: $15
Active Ingredients: Adapalene | Skin Type: Combination, oily, acne-prone | Size: 0.5 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Serum for Acne-Prone Skin
Rosen Skincare Bright Citrus Serum
If you’re not a fan of using retinoids, this vitamin C serum is a great choice to reduce both acne and the dark spots that can be left behind. This formula contains 20% ascorbic acid to fade hyperpigmentation and soothe inflammation, as well as mulberry extract to brighten dull skin.
Price at time of publish: $18
Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, mulberry extract | Skin Type: Combination, acne-prone | Size: 1 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Face Moisturizer
Using an oil-free moisturizer with hyaluronic acid adds hydration without increasing oil, says Herrmann. For very oily skin, choose a product that contains ingredients that break up sebum (a light yellow, oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands), such as diisopropyl sebacate and silicates. “This is a non-comedogenic, hyaluronic acid-packed moisturizer that binds in and traps water, leaving skin feeling hydrated but not oily,” she adds.
Price at time of publish: $20
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: Dry, combination | Size: 1.7 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen Lotion
“This lightweight, water-based liquid sunscreen gives a matte finish so the skin can breathe,” Herrmann explains. “It’s specifically formulated to be non-comedogenic, so it won’t worsen acne.” We love that it offers protection, while shielding from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Price at time of publish: $12
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene | Skin Type: All | Size: 3 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Creamy Facial Cleanser
“This is a hypoallergenic cleanser that’s free of known skin allergens and irritating essential oils that cleanses without stripping oils,” says Herrmann. We love this as a daily cleanser, as it’s formulated to be gentle enough to use twice a day.
Price at time of publish: $9
Active Ingredients: Glycerin | Skin Type: Sensitive, acne-prone | Size: 12 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Unscented
“A physical sunscreen, as opposed to one with chemical absorbers, is less irritating to sensitive skin,” explains Herrmann. “This one is non-greasy, non-irritating, and fragrance-free—and the micronized titanium dioxide won’t leave a filmy, white residue, either.”
Price at time of publish: $15
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Octocrylene | Skin Type: All | Size: 4 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Serum for Sensitive Skin
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
“A product containing ceramides helps repair a damaged or sensitive skin barrier,” says Herrmann. This serum from CeraVe not only has ceramides, but vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to heal and nourish skin without causing irritation.
Price at time of publish: $22
Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, ceramides | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
GlowRx Skincare Hydrating Gel Cream
Sensitive skin types need a night moisturizer that will hydrate without causing irritation. This moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, aloe leaf juice and more to lock in hydration for 72 hours.
Price at time of publish: $35
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, squalane | Skin Type: Sensitive, dry | Size: 2 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Cleanser for Aging Skin
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cleanser
“Hyaluronic acid keeps skin looking plump and dewy—not flat and wrinkled,” Herrmann says. It’s the key ingredient in this cleanser, which increases hydration levels in the skin while removing makeup, dirt, oil and other impurities that have accumulated throughout the day.
Price at time of publish: $3
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 2 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Serum for Aging Skin
La Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum
Herrmann notes, “this product’s antioxidants help squelch the damaging free radicals that contribute to aging while its SPF 50 sunscreen protects against harmful UV rays.” The antioxidants include vitamin C and vitamin E, which are considered essential for healthy, aging skin.
Price at time of publish: $43
Active Ingredients: Octocrylene, vitamin C, vitamin E | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer
“Its amino-peptide complex helps target fine lines, its niacinamide aids in repair, and its hyaluronic acid keeps skin plump and dewy,” explains Herrmann. We also love that it’s fragrance-free and non-irritating, so it’s compatible for all skin types.
Price at time of publish: $28
Active Ingredients: Niacinamide, vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: All | Size: 1.7 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Retinol for Aging Skin
RoC Retinol Anti-Aging + Firming Night Face Moisturizer
“Although this is high-strength, retinol, its key ingredient, isn’t as irritating as retinoids,” says Herrmann. “Retinol helps encourage skin turnover to eliminate dullness, decrease inflammation, and boost collagen production.” This brand is known for their retinol products and have conducted over 100 clinical studies, so it’s guaranteed to show results.
Price at time of publish: $22
Active Ingredients: Retinol, squalane, glycolic acid | Skin Type: Normal | Size: 1 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Skincare from Target may be considered “drugstore” by many, but that doesn’t mean that their products aren’t just as effective as anything else on the market. We love the La Roche Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum, which not only protects the skin from UV rays, but also improves signs of aging. Another favorite is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer, as it’s lightweight and hydrates without making the skin greasy.
What to Look for in Target Skincare
“At a glance” Badge
All products on the Target website have an “At a glance” section where you can see certain certifications or properties that apply to the product, such as it being cruelty-free, vegan, Black-owned, and more. If you’re searching for something specific, pay attention to these to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. They even have badges for the skin type that the product is meant for, so keep yours in mind while looking through the retailer’s skincare catalog.
To ensure you’re buying quality skincare, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients listed on the label—and even what order they’re in (as they’re listed from highest to lowest concentration). You’ll want to make sure that the product has ingredients that cater to your skin type or concerns. For example, the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, Hermann’s moisturizer pick for aging skin, has multiple ingredients to treat signs of aging. It includes niacinamide and amino-peptides, which have both been shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles, as well as fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and age spots. The same can be said of the Differin Adapalene Gel, as adapalene has been proven to work quickly to reduce acne and inflammation.
Skincare has an extremely wide range in price—products from Target can cost you anywhere from less than $10 to hundreds of dollars. When it comes to the cost of the product, you should consider multiple factors before shelling out a lot of money—for example, the size and amount for effective application. If a product is out of your budget —but only requires a pea-sized amount for application and is full of nourishing, active ingredients—it may be worth the purchase. The same goes for the opposite, you wouldn’t want to buy a cheap product that isn’t as effective, as it could take more time and product to show results.
What does a dermatologist buy at Target?
All of the products mentioned above are recommended by Hermann, a board-certified dermatologist with specialty in skin conditions and cosmetic procedures. Some other brands that are commonly recommended by dermatologists at Target are Cerave, Cetaphil, and La Roche-Posay.
What are the best skincare brands at Target?
Target has a large variety of skincare brands to choose from, having everything from affordable drugstore picks to high-end options. We love all of the brands mentioned above, and some of our other favorites include Versed, BEVEL, Naturium, and more.