cleansers to targeted treatments, all manner of hidden gems are currently lining the shelves in pharmacies up and down the UK, but how do you know which to stockpile? Ahead, seven R29 editors share the brilliant pharmacy products that have totally transformed their skin, and exactly why you should give them a go. Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us. Jessica Morgan, Staff Writer
has to be one of the greatest skincare inventions ever. This removes makeup and eye makeup, cleanses and soothes, and leaves skin feeling refreshed thanks to cucumber extract. It's one of my favourites and I take it everywhere with me because it's super gentle and suitable for
. If I don’t have time to wash my face properly (which is rare but, after a night out, who really has time or is sober enough?), I swipe a soaked cotton pad all over my face to get rid of all my makeup. It's a true skincare staple I always come back to."
Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, $15.80
Buy **PROMO FEATURE** Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
"This clever, gel-serum hybrid quenches tight, dehydrated skin fast. It boasts two buzzy ingredients:
(which helps skin hold on to moisture and minimises fine lines) and
(which attracts water, soothes and hydrates). Both make my skin appear plump, bouncy and, most importantly, glowing. I apply two pumps to a clean face in the morning followed by SPF 50 and I'm good to go for the day. You can also use it as part of a nighttime skincare routine (before moisturiser) for deeply hydrated, radiant skin in the morning."
Hyaluron Filler Moisture Booster Serum, $25.00
Buy Georgia Murray, Fashion Editor
"You'd be forgiven for mistaking me for a baby. No, not because I cry a lot, but because my beauty drawer is brimming with pharmacy products made for wee'uns. From
healing fresh tattoos
Johnson's Baby Shampoo
and dyes, so perfect for
), I rely on a host of gentle-as-they-come products that cost a fraction of brands for, well, grown-ups. My everyday hero is Sudocrem. Yes, this is a nappy rash cream but it's also the only thing that takes the bite out of
red, angry spots
. I dab a small amount on spots before bed (it will transfer on non-white sheets though) and wake up with far less aggressive whiteheads. It's perfect for squeezers (guilty) as it's antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal. A single pot will last you ages, too."
Antiseptic Healing Cream, $2.99
Buy Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Health & Living Writer
"After suddenly developing
in my early 20s (and finally pinning it to
a few years later), I've been on a long journey with my skin. While finding the right
and even moisturiser took a couple of years, that's nothing compared to my mission to find a cleanser. I kept trying expensive or beautifully packaged ones that promised the world to my oily, painful skin, but they were all too aggravating, too drying, or just wiped the grease around my face. It was only when I once again searched the
subreddit that I found
. I tried the hydrating cleanser first, which I liked fine enough, but I have settled on the foaming cleanser. After nearly 18 months of constant use I am devoted to it. It's non-irritating, effective, leaves my skin soft and clean and (at least before it
went viral on TikTok
) I could find it practically anywhere. I get why it went viral but I'm running low so...chill out, lads!"
Foaming Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin, $9.50
Buy Alicia Lansom, Editorial Assistant
"This emollient cream was prescribed to me for my eye
when I was around 14, and I haven't used another product around my eyes since. Unlike other dermatological creams, this one actually soaks deep into the skin and contains zero fragrance, which my sensitive skin adores. While my eczema isn't as pronounced as it was when I was younger, I've continued to use this as an everyday eye cream. I'm quite convinced it has also prevented me from developing eye bags. You can buy a gigantic 500ml tub or a tiny 50ml travel-size tube, which is even more reason to love it. I think I will still be purchasing this stuff at 90."
Buy Jess Commons, Lifestyle Director
"I used to use this as a teenager and then stopped throughout my 20s when I started experimenting with all sorts of expensive lotions and potions. I bought it again on holiday a few years ago and I can't believe I ever stopped. For
oily or combination skin
, it's just the best. There's no greasy feeling afterwards, no spots and skin feels fully moisturised without makeup sliding right off. I overlay with
Bioré Watery Essence SPF 50+++
(a great SPF for oily skin) and if my skin is looking a bit dull I include
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone
in the mix."
Clean & Clear
Skin Balancing Moisturiser, $3.39
Buy Gillian Orr, Content Director
"A couple of years ago I went through such a stressful period that I developed acne for the first time in my adult life. My previously clear (if a little oily) skin was dotted with painful red lumps all around my cheeks and jawline. I turned to my skincare guardian angel, Refinery29's Beauty Editor Jacqueline Kilikita, who
sent me to a wonderful dermatologist
that gave me a long list of products to use, including La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Cleansing Cream. I don't know if it was the cleanser, or the fact that the stressful situation in my life eventually lifted, but my skin was soon back to looking its best. Even though the bottle stresses that it is for '
oily acne-prone skin
' I still swear it's the best cleanser I've ever used. Fragrance-free, effective at lifting makeup, and never drying, it's a must every morning (no one's actually doing an evening cleanse in lockdown, are they?)."
Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream, $12.50