What’s The Best Skin Care For Nurses? Here’s 19 Cutting Edge Products!

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Have you ever thought about, what is the best skin care for nurses specifically?

As a licensed esthetician, and current BSN student, I’m super excited to chat with you about skin care as it relates to the lifestyle of a nurse.

When it comes to the preferred lifestyle of most nurses, simplicity is key. Therefore, the best skin care for nurses should be no different. Simple. Affordable. Safe.

After a long shift you probably don’t feel like spending 20+ minutes on your skin care routine. Believe me, I get it. Even as an esthetician, when my skin care routines were super complicated, it actually deterred me from following through and using my super expensive investment.

So, in an effort to keep this list as simple as possible, we have organized our skin care recommendations by skin type. At the end of this article, we recommend “extras” that you may also want to add to your routine for specific purposes.

It is also important to note that male nurses can use these products as well. These are all “unisex” items.

So let’s kick off our best skin care for nurses list for nurses who desire simplicity, affordability and safety when it comes to their skin care routines.

*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Read more on our privacy policy page.


La Roche Posay Is The Clear Winner When It Comes To The Best Skin Care For Nurses

best skin care for nurses

You will definitely be seeing a theme in our list of recommended best skin care for nurses. La Roche Posay is hands down the best “drug store” skin care brand I have ever found. As a healthcare professional especially, I have been extremely impressed.

La Roche Posay is a New York Based company, but is a French skin care brand. It is dermatologist recommended, and known for its safety, especially for sensitive skin. This was the main reason I decided to give it a try. Watch this YouTube video where a critical care (CCU) physician shares his story and experience working with La Roche Posay here.

Most of the products that will be recommended are going to be from La Roche Posay due to their high standards, and use of scientific studies, and research.


Best Skin Care For Nurses With Dry Skin:

The following products are going to be the best skin care for nurses with dry, sensitive and tight feeling skin. It is not uncommon for people with dry skin to still feel oily as the day goes on.

This is because the skin tries to overcompensate for excessive dryness. The sebaceous glands start to work overtime giving even dry skin a shiny appearance.

These products will help nourish and moisturize nurses with dry skin properly, and with regular use can retrain those sebaceous glands to settle down.

1. La Roche Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Body & Face Wash

Amazon Link To This Item

My sister and I have struggled for years to find a cleanser that didn’t make us feel dry, tight, and red after using it. Even the most popular “gentle” cleansers on the market sensitized and dried out our skin.

This cleanser by La Roche Posay is a game-changer if you have dry sensitive skin. This cleanser feels creamy, silky, and has a very gentle lather.

If you struggle with feeling tight and irritated after washing your face, definitely give this cleanser a try. You won’t feel the rush to get moisturizer on your face immediately after cleansing.

2. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, Face Mist

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This thermal water is literally sourced from La Roche-Posay, France. A spring that has been flowing for thousands of years. This spring is rich in selenium which is an essential antioxidant for sensitive skin.

After washing your face with the La Roche Lipikar Wash, and then spritzing this spring water on your face, you will almost feel like you don’t even need to use moisturizer. But do, of course.

You can also bring this toner to work and spritz throughout the day as needed if you are feeling dry and tired. It is also a nice refresher when working night shift.

3. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

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This moisturizer is known for its 48-hour capacity of providing hydration. This is great for a busy nurse working back-to-back shifts. If you forget to do your skincare routine one night, because it definitely happens, this moisturizer should carry you through.

This moisturizer is also oil-free which is important for those with dry skin who can still be acne-prone. It is also sensitive skin tested and safe.

Since this moisturizer is more on the rich side, it would likely be a better night cream than day cream for most. For day cream, we recommend the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV SPF Moisturizer for the Face for nurses with dry and sensitive skin, which we talk about toward the end of this article.


Best Skin Care For Nurses With Normal Skin:

The best skin care for nurses with normal skin is going to be products that provide more of a maintenance goal, rather than trying to treat a specific skin care problem.

You can have normal skin and still struggle with slight dryness and/or oiliness and breakouts. However, we suggest starting with this simple regimen, and then re-evaluating after 6-8 weeks if you are still having any dryness or oiliness problems.

After that, you should know which products are working and which aren’t, and then you can make any as-needed swaps.

1. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

Amazon Link To This Item

This is a cleanser for normal to dry skin and is safe for sensitive skin as well. When it comes to “normal” skin, I always suggest a more hydrating gentle cleanser. Why? Because many people think they need to use a much stronger cleanser than they actually need for their skin.

Using too strong of a cleanser can strip your skin of its natural protective barrier. This can actually be the cause of many peoples dryness, and even excessive oiliness leading to acne breakouts and irritation.

So if you have normal skin, this is a great hydrating cleanser to help bring back your skin to a normal pH.

You can also use this cleanser to remove eye makeup which testifies to how gentle and safe this cleanser is.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Toner for Face, Alcohol Free

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An important part of maintaining your normal and healthy skin is to ALWAYS try to avoid products with alcohol. So many toners on the market contain alcohol and the skin just really doesn’t like it.

What I like about this CeraVe toner is that it contains hyaluronic acid which holds 10-50 times its weight in water. Read this article here where the writer performed an experiment to prove the claims that HA holds very large amounts of water.

If you have “normal” skin, the goal should really be maintenance and anti-aging. The most effective way to prevent premature and excessive aging when it comes to the skin is hydration, hydration, hydration.

3. L’Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Triple Power Fragrance-Free Face Moisturizer

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As a licensed esthetician, if you told me ten years ago that I would be recommending a drug store moisturizer made by L’Oreal, I would have told you to “get behind thee Satan”! Lol.

No, but really, and sadly, we are programmed in esthetician schools to ONLY use, and recommend skin care lines that work directly with spas. Never products people can easily get at the store.

While exclusive spa lines are very high in quality, they are just too expensive for the majority. In my personal experience, this L’Oreal Revitalift moisturizer works just as good if not BETTER than any professional moisturizer I have ever used. L’Oreal is truly a leader in the skincare industry and deserves way more respect from estheticians and spas in my opinion.

This moisturizer is a great addition to our best skin care for nurses list because it aligns with our standards of simplicity, affordability, and safety. Containing the powerful hyaluronic acid and retinol, it is an excellent anti-aging moisturizer for normal and even dry skin. It is also fragrance-free which is SO important for those who struggle with redness and sensitivity.

4. IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream, Anti-Aging Facial Moisturizer

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This is another excellent moisturizer when it comes to the best skin care for nurses. This is one of the most popular moisturizers on the market, and you have to try it to see why.

This moisturizer leaves your skin feeling supple, and hydrated with a nice dewy glow. This moisturizer also contains hyaluronic acid, but instead of retinol, they have added collagen and peptides. The hyaluronic acid locks in moisture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The collagen aids in firming the skin.

Regular moisturizing is so important as a nurse. Working long hours in the recycled air in the hospital is extremely drying. This moisturizer is a safe and reputable product for nurses with normal and dry skin.


Best Skin Care For Nurses With Oily Skin:

Having oily and acne prone skin is one of the most frustrating concerns, next to sensitivity, that people can have.

It can be really difficult to pinpoint the cause. You can do everything right and the problem still persists.

This regimen is a great base regimen to get back to basics. Just because you have oily and acne prone skin doesn’t mean you need to strip it dry and irritate it. La Roche Posays acne line is gentle, and safe if you have sensitive skin along with your acne and oiliness.

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin, Alcohol-Free

Amazon Link To This Item

We love this cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin for so many reasons, but especially because it is alcohol-free!

Again, avoid alcohol in your skincare like the plague! It is so drying, and horrible for anti-aging, and just because you have acne-prone and oily skin, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about anti-aging goals.

This is a gentle cleanser that will not overly dry out your skin, but will still eliminate excess oil. Remember, you can have acne and oily prone skin and STILL be sensitive. This cleanser is safe for those who still struggle with sensitivity.

2. La Roche-Posay Serozinc Face Toner for Oily Skin with Zinc, Mattifying Face Spray

Amazon Link To This Item

This toner contains zinc which not only helps to heal acne, but it also helps reduce oil.

This toner is also safe for sensitive skin. Again, just because you are oily and/or have acne prone skin, does not mean you need to use irritating and harsh products. “Burning” does not mean it is working better.

With the exception of chemical peels performed by a professional, your at home products should not be burning your skin.

If you are self conscious about getting shiny at work, bring this along and spritz throughout your shift.

3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

Amazon Link To This Item

This is an easy addition to our best skin care for nurses, with oily skin specifically. If you have oily and/or acne prone skin, your moisturizer is one of the most important things to get right. Why? Because this is designed to stay on your skin for long periods of time.

This moisturizer is oil free, mattifying, pore reducing and non-comodogenic. It is safe for sensitive skin, and additionally, it’s hydrating.

We still want anti-aging and hydrating benefits if we have oily and acne prone skin.


Best Skin Care For Nurses – Additional Needs:

best skin care for nurses

The following skin care products are the products used outside of your “base” skin care routine.

Again, the best skin care for nurses needs to be simple, affordable and safe. These recommendations still stay true to this philosophy.

1. La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin, and Makeup Remover

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If you are a nurse who likes to wear a little makeup to work, a good eye-makeup remover is critical. The skin around the eyes is so delicate and at risk for damage and pre-mature aging. Greasy and oily eye makeup removers can cause those little white bumps under the eyes called milia.

What I especially love about this product is that you can use it to remove your face make-up as well in a pinch. Let’s face it. Sometimes after a long shift you just don’t feel like putting up your hair and getting water everywhere.

You can apply this micellar water to a little makeup pad and your makeup comes off very easily and efficiently. Importantly it is also safe for sensitive skin and does not cause breakouts.

2. La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Salicylic Acid

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If you are a nurse who likes to go the extra mile in your skin care routine, here is the perfect serum to add to your nighttime routine.

Vitamin C is brightening, anti-aging and hydrating. If you have pigmentation and age spots, this is a great serum to target those concerns.

This serum also includes salycilic acid, so if you struggle with breakouts it is also beneficial for acne prone skin.

Premature aging is a lot of nurses concerns with how hard the lifestyle can be on our bodies. Serums are formulated to penetrate deep into the skin layers, and are one of the most beneficial anti-aging steps you can add to your routine, next to your moisturizer.

3. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV SPF 30 Moisturizer for Face

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This is a great daycream for those with dry and normal skin types. It is oil free and safe for sensitive skin. If you have oily and acne prone skin, this product can also work for you. Just give it a test.

I was trained that SPF 30 is truly the highest SPF and that anything higher may not be very accurate. Therefore, this is the perfect amount of sun protection coverage when it comes to daily life.

Did you know that you should still wear sunscreen indoors? Artificial lights still give off UV rays, and blue light as well. Read more here.

So yes nurses, when it comes to the best skin care for nurses, don’t forget your SPF.

4. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

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If you are a nurse who doesn’t want to wear makeup on shift, this is a great product to give you an even skin tone. I love this tinted moisturizer because it makes you look dewy, and just makes your skin look super healthy and youthful.

This tinted moisturizer by bareMinerals should be suitable for all skin types. It is hydrating, gives great coverage and satisfies that need for SPF in the day as well.

5. NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Shine Killer Mattifying Primer

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If you really struggle with oil and shine, especially after about hour 6 of your nursing shift, you may want to look into an oil controlling primer.

You would apply this after your moisturizer has absorbed, under your foundation. You only need to apply oil control primers to your T zone where you get the most shiny, not your whole face.

This is a vegan oil control primer that uses charcoal and offers all day shine control.

An additional benefit to shine control primers is that they help keep your makeup on and looking fresh longer. This is especially nice when you are working 12-13 hour shifts.

6. ETUDE HOUSE Zero Sebum Drying Powder – Oil Control

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If you prefer not to use an oil control primer applied directly to the skin, powder is another great alternative.

This is a very popular oil control powder to wear over your skin care, and/or makeup. This company uses a sugar polymer and cotton to get the job done, which is pretty unique and innovative.

This would be a great product to keep in your bag to apply if and as needed throughout your shift.

7. O’Keeffe’s Unscented Lip Repair Lip Balm for Dry, Cracked Lips

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When it comes to the best skin care for nurses, we HAVE to of course bring in O’Keeffe’s. If you have not heard of this brand yet, we are so happy to be the ones to introduce it to you. This brand has helped a lot of people with very dry and damaged skin.

When it comes to the “nursing lifestyle”, that hospital air can especially be hard on our lips.

This chapstick brings instant relief to dry and chapped lips. It also claims to provide all day moisture after just one use. But this comes with a two pack so I would personally keep one at home where you get ready, and then bring one with you in your bag to work, just in case.

This chapstick also has a matte finish, therefore many men like this one as well.

8. O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream

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Here is the HOLY GRAIL of hand creams for nurses. It provides nearly INSTANT relief to extra dry hands.

I know I don’t have to tell you this, but working in the hospital is intensely hard on healthcare staffs hands. Intensely.

I remember when I first started in healthcare, I was shocked by how raw my hands got in just the first couple weeks of working. My knuckles looked like I got in a fight.

This hand cream actually creates a protective layer on your hands, and you really can feel it when you wash your hands throughout the day after using it. This company markets their product for “working hands”. This truly is their specialty.

So if you don’t have this hand cream, and you don’t want your hands to start pre-maturely aging, make sure you have this on you during your shifts and at home as well.

9. Body Moisturizer by CETAPHIL, Hydrating Moisturizing Lotion for All Skin Types

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No responsible skin care routine is complete without a full body lotion. We are recommending this moisturizer because it is for ALL skin types.

This Cetaphil body lotion is safe for sensitive skin, offers 48 hour hydration, and is hypoallergenic. It meets the standards that nurses and healthcare workers care about.


Final Thoughts On The Best Skin Care For Nurses

best skin care for nurses

Long shifts, busy days off, and exposure to very drying environments.

These are some of the reasons why we need lists that are tailored to nurses needs specifically.

Also, just because nurses make decent money, doesn’t mean nurses want to spend hundreds of dollars on their skin care routines. Therefore, affordability and products that will last for months was important to us when creating this list.

Here is a sample daily skin care routine recommended by a licensed esthetician:

AM Skincare Routine1. Cleanse face with micellar water and cotton pad.
2. Tone
3. SPF moisturizer (plain or tinted)
4. Oil control primer or powder (optional)
5. Lip balm
PM Skincare Routine1. Wash face with appropriate cleanser for skin type
2. Remove eye makeup with micellar water as needed
3. Tone
4. Vitamin C Serum
5. Moisturize with appropriate (non SPF) moisturizer
6. Lip balm

Food For Thought:

  • You don’t need to wash your face with a foaming cleanser in the morning if you wash your face at night. It can add to redness and sensitivity issues.
  • For best anti-aging results, get a professional facial with a chemical exfoliation every 2-3 months.
  • Eye creams are optional, but we did not recommend one because we personally believe they are not necessary. Your face moisturizer can, and will, do the same thing. Also, eye creams shouldn’t ever be applied to the eye lid or directly under the eye anyway. So you end up putting a cream over where you already put your facial cream.
  • Exfoliation can be a slippery slope. Many people end up over exfoliating and irritating their skin at home. That is why we recommended products with active ingredients such as the serum and moisturizers.
  • Your diet is an important lifestyle factor when it comes to the health of your skin. Drink plenty of water, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in your day.
  • Exercise is important for good circulation and detoxifying the skin.

To Conclude our Best Skin Care For Nurses List

The best skin care for nurses is going to be the skin care routine you can stick to consistently. This is why simplicity, affordability and safety is so important.

If you invest hundreds of dollars into a simple skin care routine, and that was a stretch for you? It is not going to work in the long run. As you can see, there are potent and very affordable skin care products that are easily accessible out there.

Simplicty as we mentioned before is important to nurses due to the stressful and demanding nature of the job. It is not realistic to expect a nurse to come home after a 12-13 hour shift and implement a time consuming and complicated skin care routine consistently.

Safety and scientific proof is also important to most nurses. There is a lot of noise and buzz when it comes to the skin care market. The brands we have recommended in this article are tried and true with science to back them up.

Feel free to leave us a comment below what you think of our list! Do you use any of these products? As a nurse, do you agree with our philosophy when it comes to skin care? Thank you for visiting Midlife Nursing! Read more about us here.

Jackie Jimenez BSN, RN
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