Sensational Skin for Pennies a Day

Americans spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics, but according to new research, you may not need all those pricey creams and cleansers.

Dermatologists and researchers say that people can take great care of their faces using less expensive brands commonly found at the drugstore. University of Miami dermatology professor and the author of "Six Weeks to Sensational Skin" Dr. Loretta Ciraldo shared her skin care tips and product picks on "Good Morning America."

Don't Overwork Your Skin or Your Budget

Some dermatologists are putting their patients on a "cosmetics restriction diet." If you are totally happy with what you're doing and not overworking your skin or your budget, then you don't have to change. This diet is for people who may be using too many products and overworking their skin in the process.

Your Daily Regimen

Every day, you should be cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and regenerating and you can do that with just a few products. For example, you can moisturize and protect with the Neutrogena Healthy Skin SPF 15. Add rejuvenation by using Neutrogena Healthy Skin SPF 15 Anti-Wrinkle.

Lancome Paris Renergie vs. Olay Regenerist Products

Both Lancome Paris Renergie ($88) and Olay Regenerist ($19) are highly rated. Because of the price difference, Olay Regenerist is the better option.

La Prairie Cellular Cream, Eucerin Redness Relief and Vaseline Intensive Care

A lot of Ciraldo's patients find that Eucerin ($14.99) works well for reducing redness. Similarly, Vasaline (less than $5) is a good moisturizer; Vasaline Intensive Therapy or Intensive Moisture Lotion also work well. In comparison, La Prairie Cellular Cream can cost up to $195.

Stretch Marks: Strivectiv-SD vs. Cocoa Butter

Strivectiv-SD Intensive Concentrate ($135) has been lauded for its use on reducing the appearance of existing stretch marks. As an alternative, cocoa butter (under $5) also works really well for moisturizing and reducing stretch marks.

Read the Label

To tell if a cheaper product will be just as good as the more expensive brand, read the label. Ingredients largely determine a product's quality. Don't buy a product just for the brand.

What SPF to Use

Do not use the highest level of sunscreen. You can have too much of a good thing. For SPF to get to the very high numbers requires a lot of chemicals – too many chemicals for your face. Instead of 45, go with a product that has an SPF of 30.

Are Bleaching Creams Too Harsh?

In Europe, all of the bleaching creams are by prescription only and the FDA may soon do the same thing in the United States. The problem is that people are overusing them. Using these creams too often can cause skin irritation and other problems.

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