Anyway, as pretty and fun as expensive skincare is, it’s possible to keep up an effective, healthy routine on a budget. I’ve acquired many higher end products from Glossier, or for PR, or just from times when I’ve had the extra money to invest in products, but some of the best products I use have comparable “dupes” or are drugstore products themselves. Here I’ll share some of my favorite drugstore products under $10 that I have tested or now use regularly in my routine, so that you can build your own on a budget!
CLEANSERS: Finding good, cheap cleansers is the easy part.
- My holy grail cleanser and one that I use almost daily (especially when my skin is very red or irritated) is the Clearly Naturals Aloe Vera bar soap ($2.00 for one bar.) Aloe is soothing and gentle and really the best product for my skin, personally (I’m planning a whole post on aloe and its benefits don’t worry) but this cleanser is perfect for any skin type at any time of the day.
- Another bar that’s amazing, especially when breakouts happen and my skin is acting up is the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bar ($5.99 for one bar/price varies by store). It is an exfoliant with skin-healing properties that’s still gentle enough to be effective on my sensitive skin.
- If bars aren’t your thing, Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($6.39 for 8oz/price varies by store) has always been a go-to for me. It cleared my acne last summer when nothing else would work without over-drying my already bone dry skin.
- Aveeno Ultra-Calming Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($6.99 for 6 oz. online, $5.99 in most stores) is the perfect gentle, unscented, redness relieving foaming cleanser. Ingredient-wise, it’s been formulated specifically for very sensitive skin, but I’ve been using it and so have my two sisters (who have oily/combo oily skin) and we’ve all seen results!
TONERS: Now this was the hard part.
- I found one, good, versatile drugstore toner in my search: L’oreal Hydrafresh Toner ($6.29 for 8.5 fl oz.) Despite being the only great toner for my skin, it well rivals other very expensive toners on the market. It’s alcohol free, infused with Vitamin B-5 for hydration, and is an overall texture and brightness booster. Though I only found one toner that was well worth it, and effective for all skin types, I’m glad I found this one because it’s amazing!
MOISTURIZERS: A bit easier than toners, but not much.
- I found two amazing moisturizers, both versatile enough for day and night use. The first is L’oreal Hydrafresh Moisture Cream ($7.99 in most stores) and Cetaphil Redness Relief Night Moisturizer (ok I know I promised this would all be under $10 and this is $13.94 but it’s life-changing I am so sorry.) The L’oreal cream keeps my skin feeling fresh, hydrated, and not heavy ALL day; and the Cetaphil Redness Reliever works overnight!
MASKS: My personal favorite 🙂
- No matter what, the Que Bella Beauty face masks will be my all-time favorite masks–and they’re all UNDER $3. The Purifying Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Mud Mask ($1.97) is my own little miracle worker and best-kept secret, that I’m now sharing with all of you. They come in a single-use pouch, but each package contains enough product for at least 5 uses (just don’t open the pouch fully, and store it in an airtight container like a Ziploc bag.) I find all mine at Target!
So that’s it for the strictly drugstore products under $10, but some other drugstore-priced products and brands to check out I’ll link here!
- DECIEM–The Ordinary: Perfect for serums, chemical exfoliants, vitamins, and acids all under $10!
- Mario Badescu: Most Mario products are $15 or under, and they have very good outline routines for each skin type and concern; and their physical exfoliants are amazing as well. The Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Aloe Vera Toner, Orange Cleansing Soap are some of my favorite Mario products, and the $8 trial size of the Enzyme Gel lasts a very long time!
- Kiehls: Again, not a drugstore brand but some of their basics (Ultra Facial Cleanser, Ultra Facial Cream) are priced as such! ($10 and $16, respectively)
And don’t forget, if you really want high-end skincare without your debit card breaking itself in half, trial sizes (if used properly) can last a very long time and are usually priced reasonably for the amount you get!