affordable skincare for those on a budget
Skincare took the internet by storm almost entirely overnight. Call me easily persuaded but I couldn’t ignore the influence of the skincare
cult community for long. So I gave in and bought as many products as I could. But like every girl in their early 20s who’s pinching pennies to get through school, I didn’t have the luxury of splurging on super expensive skincare, so frugal I was. And It taught me pretty early on that a skincare routine can be simple, affordable and effective.
There are so many ingredients out there, from the cult-favourite ingredient Niacinamide, to upcoming favourites like Tranexamic Acid. And with all the opinions and beautiful brands out there it’s tempting to bite the bullet and splurge on that fifty-dollar serum you’ve been eyeing.
Tempting, but the best skincare products in my collection fall under that sweet $25 price range. So read on if you’re looking for the best and most affordable skincare that will actually make a difference in your self-care routine.
Affordable Skincare Under $25
1. Cerave Foaming Cleanser – $17.99
Oily skin people know the struggle of needing a cleanser that will properly cleanse the skin without leaving that annoying tight feeling. Most cleansers for oily skin are just a little bit too stripping, and the ones that are formulated well are a bit on the pricey side.
Cerave’s foaming cleaner does not disappoint. It’s formulated with Niacinamide (the ingredient everyone’s raving about) and Hyaluronic Acid. It foams up just enough to leave the skin clean and glowing without stripping. The affordability is unbeatable for its size and capabilities. Though, it isn’t recommended for dry skin. Cerave has a separate silky smooth cleanser dedicated to dry skin folks.
2. Cerave Moisturizing Lotion – $11.50
This moisturizing lotion is one of the best skincare products money can buy. It’s by no means fancy or exciting looking but for the money, it’s a no-brainer. First of all, the bottle is huge for a moisturizer. My first bottle still lasted close to a year even though I used it on my body. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, the ultimate combination for keeping your skin healthy and happy. It’s fragrance-free too, so perfect for days your skin is feeling a bit irritated. Did I mention the bottle is huge?
3. COSRX Good Morning Cleanser – $14.00
This cleanser is a godsend. Firstly, it’s the cheapest thing on this list, and secondly, it’s the perfect cleanser for literally every skin type. It feels absolutely amazing on the skin, especially in the morning (hence the name) The first time I used this I was blown away by its gentle cooling effect minus the skin irritation like similar products do.
This is my go-to everyday cleanser. Truly, if I had to pick one cleanser to use for the rest of my life this would be it!
4. Hatomugi Skin Conditioner – $15.99
There isn’t enough hype around this product or skin conditioners in general. I didn’t think I’d like this product as much as I would because it’s basically the consistency of water. But I found it a perfect alternative to my more viscous toners as an ‘in-between skincare step’ to my actual routine.
The main ingredient in this skin conditioner is hatomugi, according to the brand itself “It’s rich in B group vitamins, protein and amino acids, and has been used since ancient times for beauty and health. Hatomugi Essence, which is extracted from Hatomugi, is a beauty ingredient that enhances the skin’s moisture retention capability leading to better skin hydration.”
You won’t have to worry about your skin being too dry in between applications. Or risk using actual water from the tap. Products spread and lay a lot easier too.
Plus, this product is pretty generous at 500ml.
5. Cerave Resurfacing Retinol – $19.00
“Retinol is one of the best-known skincare ingredients on the market,” Says Clare Wightman from healthline.com, “retinol is made from vitamin A and is primarily used to treat mature-looking skin concerns as well as acne,” she continues
Retinol is the ultimate skincare ingredient. Fine lines? That’s what it was made for. Acne? With its skin turnover abilities, there are multiple testimonials of its effectiveness to cure and maintain acne-free skin. Don’t even get me started on how much my pores have minimized since I started using it.
Retinol is a long game though. In most cases, it takes at least 4-6 months to start really seeing the benefits. But once you do, it’ll open a whole new world of anti-ageing and pore care for you.
Cerave’s retinol is the beginner retinol and an affordable skincare product anyone new to retinol will love. When starting out with retinol, firstly, I didn’t want to splurge on this potentially super irritating ingredient, so I settled on this one. If your retinol game is already on point, then this product definitely isn’t for you.
6. COSRX Snail Mucin Power Essence – $25.00
The idea of this product is a bit funny. Snail mucin? Doesn’t really sound like something you’d want to slather on your face. But before I get into the benefits I want to explain my experience of using this for the first time
For starters, the bottle is kinda small, as are most K-beauty products. But a little goes a long way. I’ve had the same bottle for about 6 months now and I still use more than I need to.
The consistency is as you’d expect. It’s sticky, yes, but it does not leave a tacky feeling on the skin. It blends with other skincare rather nicely and is the perfect step after a more traditional watery toner or essence. After using this plus the Haruharu WONDER – Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner for a few weeks, I noticed my skin was a lot less sensitive, no kidding it was wild.
This, combined with any fragrance-free hydrating toner will benefit anyone who has trouble with sensitive skin or finding skincare that works well with that skin type. You can find it on Amazon for around $25, but it is super cheap on stylevana; usually half the price.
7. Nivea Sun Water Gel SPF35
Sunscreen is the most important step in your routine. We can talk about toners and moisturizers all day, but when it comes to sunscreen; weighing the benefits, especially when it comes to anti-ageing sunscreen takes the cake.
I tried to avoid sunscreen when I first started getting into skincare, I really did because sunscreen and oily skin have a love-hate relationship. But after a brief run-in with a very powerful chemical exfoliant and my lack of SPF usage, let’s just say my skin barrier was left a complete wreck.
Learn from my mistake; don’t think for a second that sunscreen is optional.
This SPF was the first sunscreen I truly fell in love with. The bottle is pretty big, for sunscreen at least. I do have to admit, this sunscreen is perfect for dry skin. It’s lightweight with a non-sticky finish and it leaves a very dewy finish.
Having oily skin; it is wearable, but my skin does look a little bit oilier than I’d like at the end of the day. But it works and the white cast is almost non-existent. It lingers for a bit but it does disappear after a few minutes.
The pump bottle comes with a little bonus too. Two pumps dispense the recommended amount of sunscreen for the everyday person, so you won’t have to worry about using too much or too little
In conclusion, taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many affordable skincare products available in the market that can help you achieve healthy and radiant skin without breaking the bank.