The Best Skincare Products to Splurge on, According to an Expert

Dr. Shereene Idriss and skincare bottles.<p>Courtesy of Idriss Dermatology and Vera Livchak/Getty Images</p>
Dr. Shereene Idriss and skincare bottles.

Courtesy of Idriss Dermatology and Vera Livchak/Getty Images

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Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss is aware of the internet and social media culture skincare wave, where everyone seems to be a scientist and influencers can sell out a product within seconds.

The 39-year-old, who received her degree from the seven-year Medical Honors Program at The George Washington University, has grown her own platform to almost two million followers across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

The New York-based doctor is constantly debunking skincare myths and trying new products to tell fans what is actually effective, worth your coin and deserves precious real estate on your top shelf. She rarely takes on brand deals in order to provide followers with authentic, science-backed information.

Dr. Idriss also launched her own skincare line, PillowtalkDerm, a year ago, named after her signature content hashtag that went viral during the pandemic.

When to splurge on skincare

She is adamant about the fact that you can find tons of really great products in the drugstore and at an affordable price point. In fact, the bulk of her own skincare staples include super affordable and accessible products.

“Targeted serums are where you want to spend your coin when it comes to skincare categories. Serums are formulated with active ingredients to treat your problems, key word being treat,” she says. “On the flip side, when it comes to washing your face, save your dinero and go for a basic micellar water and cleanser to cleanse your face instead of washing your money down the drain. However, cleansers with active ingredients targeting a specific problem is a different scenario and holds more value.”

Suggested products

Skin Rocks Retinoid 1, $80 and Retinoid 2, $90 (

Shop Retinoid 1
Shop Retinoid 1
Shop Retinoid 2
Shop Retinoid 2

“If you can only invest in one product in your skincare routine, invest in a serum based on your biggest skin issue. If your issue is fine lines and wrinkles, invest in a retinol for your skin type,” Dr. Idriss suggests. “Skin Rocks has retinoid one [for beginners] and two [for seasoned retinol users] so you can tailor it to your skin’s tolerance.”

Read more about the importance of retinoid here.

PillowtalkDerm Major Fade Hyper Serum, $68 (

Shop It
Shop It

“If your issue is discoloration, invest in a powerhouse serum with ingredients that treat hyperpigmentation,” she says.

This illuminating serum is created for all skin types and is effective at targeting various forms of hyperpigmentation in order to improve uneven skin tone.

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