Photo-Illustration: The Strategist
Black Friday has come early at Dermstore this year, with sales kicking off today and continuing through Cyber Monday. The beauty e-tailer is a must-shop during the holiday because all of the pricey, dermatologist-recommended beauty products become a bit more budget-friendly. The site is also well-curated and well-stocked. It’s one of my go-tos for product discovery and restocking longtime favorites like 111Skin’s depuffing mask, which I slap on before big events and after sodium-heavy dinners.
There’s also lots of Strategist-tested and -approved picks — like Avene retinol (which we’ve said is the best for dry skin) and Slip’s mulberry silk pillowcase, a dermatologist and celebrity favorite that we’ve written about before. Like previous years, there are good deals to be had, with lots of products being discounted up to 30 percent. Some brands are also offering triple points on every dollar, which you can redeem for Dermstore dollars later on. I have a few things on my shopping list this year, but I’m most looking forward to diversifying my scent wardrobe. Status-y heritage candlemaker and fragrance house Trudon (the brand has been around since the reign of King Louis XIV) is 25 percent off, and with its full-size perfumes on sale for a little over $200, right now they’re a very good deal.
Below you’ll find the best of the Dermstore sale. All of the products are Strategist-tested or -approved, meaning they’ve been recommended by dermatologists, our beauty columnist Rio, and even Vanderpump Rules’ Lala Kent, who says the Goldfaden MD facial scrub (currently 30 percent off) gives “the perfect glow.” The sale starts today and continues through Cyber Monday, November 28, so you have a few days to compile your cart. And in case you have more shopping to do, check out our Black Friday hub, where we’ve rounded up the best deals on everything from bedding to winter boots.
Whether you’re new to retinol or have dry skin, Dr. Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, owner of Dallas-based practice Houshmand Dermatology, recommends this retinol from Avène, which is one of the brand’s best-selling products at Dermstore. It’s moisturizing and contains pro-elastin peptides, which Houshmand says help with fine lines, and vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against sun damage and helps to fade discoloration over time.
When we asked beauty obsessives about the skin care they’re excited to gift and receive, beauty writer and content creator Hajar Mohammed mentioned an Elemis gift set that has seven of the brand’s most popular products. That includes the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which uses botanical and marine extracts to firm up and hydrate the skin. It also contains SPF 30, which offers an added layer of protection in addition to your sunscreen. You can snag the full size at 30 percent off, bringing the luxe moisturizer down to $92. If you spend $100 on Elemis, you’ll also receive a Elemis x Rixo gift set from the brand that includes a few of the brand’s most popular items and a custom, co-branded bag.
If you’re ultrasensitive (or trying to repair a compromised skin barrier), the oft-recommended Senté Dermal Repair cream is 20 percent off. Facialist Candace Marino made the case for the splurge-worthy moisturizer in our best night-creams story and the best products for sensitive skin: “It hits heavy with moisture, without the weight you feel with most creams,” she says. “It promotes deep hydration, decreases inflammation, and stimulates collagen and elastin production.”
For soft and supple post-waxing skin, Great Jones Spa’s skin-care manager Mihoko Ninomiya likes to use this deeply hydrating Naturopathica moisturizer that contains skin-quenching and -soothing ingredients like calendula, borage seed oil, aloe vera, and damask rose oil extract.
For a makeup-sunscreen hybrid, there’s this BB fluid from Exuviance, which first popped up on our radar when former Strategist writer Chloe Anello investigated blue-light-specific skin care in 2020. It has an ultralight “universal” tint that evens out skin tone, along with green tea and vitamin E to further shield skin from environmental damage.
Avène is generally known for its soothing, hydrating products that work well for dry and sensitive skin. This mineral-infused thermal water is one of them. It’s a favorite of both Rio and Elle Magazine beauty director Kathleen Hou, who says it “delivers a mist fine enough to water an orchid.”
People who deal with redness and rosacea love this anti-redness serum, which uses peptides and antioxidants to reduce the appearance of facial flushing. It also contains azelaic acid (good for hyperpigmentation) along with a hydrating cocktail of shea butter, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid. Marino says it’s “the most compelling rosacea product I have ever worked with.”
Rio first alerted us to the NuFace in 2018, when she tried it after seeing it transform someone’s face shape on Instagram. Since then it’s blown up, due in large part to its popularity on TikTok. It also comes recommended by skin-care professionals. “I have yet to see anything surpass the efficacy and design of NuFace Trinity where you can switch out the applicator so you can target different concerns in different parts of the face, and it only takes about five minutes a day, but you can help define and contour,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, who spotlighted it for our story on the best skin-care devices. And if you need any more convincing, Lana Condor’s an evangelist too.
Slip makes some of the softest silk products on the market. I’ve been wearing its scrunchies and sleeping with the sleep mask consistently for the past few years, and can attest that they’re worth the cost. I’m far from alone in this — we’ve been covering the brand since 2017, and it’s popped up periodically since. The silk pillowcases are a standout (we dubbed it the best luxury option), but they’re very expensive (it’s $89 for one), so this sale is as good a time as any to try one out (or stock up).
Celebrity stylist Alexander-Julian Gibbson (whose clientele includes Lucky Daye) discovered this skin-brightening mask back in 2016 while he was working at GQ and stuck with it because it gave him impressive results after just one use. It contains vitamin C, antioxidants, shea butter, and dimethicone — a moisturizing, discoloration-fighting cocktail that will give you facial-like results in just a few minutes. And if you’re a fan of the brand (or in the mood to splurge), you’ll get a complimentary Age Defying Duo gift set from the brand when you spend over $350.
“Addicted,” says Taraji P. Henson of the Peter Thomas Roth hyaluronic-acid-infused gel eye patches. She used them all throughout filming Empire, and has been using them since. “I can literally see the difference: I can see the puffiness shrink in the morning. I’ve even put one on one eye — because I’m a Virgo and I’m crazy — and left the other eye without it, and I could see the difference right away.”
During Prime Day in 2019, this was the top-selling product on day one — and for good reason. It has all the trappings of a good eye gel: firming, depuffing, and fine-line-smoothing. Rio likes to wear them while traveling. “They help hydrate and bring circulation to my under-eye bags, which are always worsened on long-haul flights,” she says.
In our roundup of best dry shampoos, we dubbed Klorane Oat Milk the best overall pick because it’s both lightweight and versatile. Hairstylist Benjamin Talbott said that it’s especially good for very oily hair because the oat milk in the formula acts as an astringent and soaks all that extra grease up.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.