Remember the giddy feeling of early fall when you’d stock up on new notebooks and pens for the upcoming school year? Well, transitioning your beauty cabinet to include must-have autumn essentials is the adult version of the much-anticipated back-to-school shopping spree.
This time, though, we’re swapping the pens and pencils for hydrating cleansers, supercharged makeup, and more so your routine can handle whatever this new season brings. “Skin care is especially important in the cooler months because the propensity to lose moisture and hydration from the skin into the surrounding environment is much greater,” says Rachel Nazarian MD, board-certified dermatologist in NYC.
“Many people discuss the phenomenon of ‘winter itch’ (which can happen even in the fall), when people are not good about protecting their skin’s moisture barrier and experience dryness that can lead to inflammation and itching,” says Dr. Nazarian.
Luckily, we can all avoid dreaded cold-weather fueled dryness—and cross off some other beauty goals, too—with expert-backed ingredients and products to fill your fall beauty cabinet full of glow-boosting staples. And guess what? Each of Dr. Nazarian’s top picks are under $100 and you can find them in one central spot: saks.com. Ready to start back-to-glow shopping?
Keep scrolling for this derm’s list of fall beauty essentials you can snag for under $100.
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask — $54.00
Skin typically repairs itself while we sleep, says Dr. Nazarian—so the p.m. hours are a vital time to address hydration in the cooler months. This revitalizing, K-beauty sleep mask locks in all of the overnight moisture, thanks to Sulwhasoo’s exclusive Nutritive RED Elixir™ formula, along with jujube and pomegranate extract to help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer — $31.00
If you thought your concealer was only meant to cover up blemishes, you’re due for an upgrade. Made with skin-boosting ingredients like magnolia bark extract (“shown to be an anti-inflammatory ingredient capable of calming irritated skin,” says Dr. Nazarian) and grape seed extract (“also a potent antioxidant”), this fan favorite with over 400 4.5-star reviews also works to diminish fine lines and signs of fatigue while hydrating your skin.
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firmx™ Eye — $38.00
This one has several viral TikToks to its name, and for good reason. Here’s the skin-tightening secret: “Many creams use ingredients that contain silicates, a substance that applies like a liquid but tightens and firms as it dries on the skin,” Dr. Nazarian says. So, now we know how this magical stuff works.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Powder — $45.00
If you’re bustling from commute to office and back again, a setting powder that really works will be a welcome addition to your makeup toolkit—and this one is another TikTok favorite. The super-fine powder reduces shine while rose wax and almond oil allow it to blend seamlessly (no caked-on look here).
Kiehl’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum With Ceramides And Peptide — $62.00
Dr. Nazarian says micro-dose serums could be your answer to integrating more potent ingredients if your skin takes a turn for the dry and sensitive come fall. Kiehl’s retinol micro-dose serum helps deliver results (minimizing lines and wrinkles), but with less redness, dryness, or peeling that could follow a normal dose of retinol.
La Mer The Lip Balm — $75.00
We know, $75 might seem like a lot to spend on a lip balm, but hear us out: Your relationship with other balms will never be quite the same once you slide this velvety formula with a touch of mint over your lips.
By Terry Tea To Tan Face & Body Water-Mist — $88.00
Keep your summer glow for, well, as long as your heart desires with this ultra-sheer bronzing water that makes self-tanning a total streak-free breeze. Made with antioxidant-rich black and red tea extracts and cold-pressed fruit active essence, this formula blends in with your skin to create a natural-looking glow, sans the beach or warm weather (but we can still pretend).
La Prairie Foam Cleanser — $95.00
This one makes the cut because the brand rarely has products under $100, and this cleanser has loads of great reviews. With its water-activated foam formula, you can delicately remove makeup and dirt, while also soothing your skin for a fresh, radiant finish.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++
If you stop applying SPF once summer comes to a close, consider this a call-in, not a callout. “SPFs are still very important because although the temperature drops, there’s still radiation year-round, and even small amounts of radiation can add up to the cumulative damage that leads to skin cancer, wrinkles, pigmentary problems, and aging of skin,” Dr. Nazarian says.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean slathering on a ton of sticky lotion everywhere. Instead, this totally invisible and weightless sunscreen contains SPF 40 and doubles as makeup primer, so it’ll slide on as effortlessly as your new fall coat.