Affordable Skincare Routine: 15 Must-Try Products For Budget Skincare

Affordable Skincare Routine: 15 Must-Try Products For Budget Skincare

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Great things take time. And the same can be said for having great skin.

Despite the many developments in cosmetic technology, there is still no quick fix when it comes to achieving healthy glowing skin.

Like all great things in life, healthy skin is achieved with effort, commitment, and regular use of good skincare products for your specific needs. 

The best part? These products don’t need to cost an arm and a leg.

Yes, you read that right! Skincare products don’t have to be expensive for them to work. 

a woman with body wrapped in green towel is applying her skincare routine at the bathroom

When buying skincare products, don’t focus solely on the price. Instead, start paying attention to what products can do for your skin. 

Understandably, looking at the long list of strange ingredient names of most skincare products can be a little daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

We’re sharing our best affordable skincare routine products that you should try, as well as essential tips you need to know to help you achieve healthy and happy skin.

Tips Before Starting A Skincare Routine

Before you look for the best budget skincare routine products, we’re sharing helpful reminders to guide you as you design your skincare rituals.

Don’t forget these five tips on your journey toward healthy skin:

Prioritize Your Skin’s Needs Above All

Be attentive to the nourishment needs of your skin rather than the overhyped product marketing on the internet. 

Don’t treat other people’s experiences with products as your bible. What might be true to them might not be true to you. 

When buying a product, you first need to consider how your skin will benefit from it. 

Refrain from experimenting too much because not only will it cost you more money, but you’ll also waste precious time.

Simplicity is Key

Trust us, you don’t need 10 products on your skin for it to be healthy. 

Keeping your skincare simple will not only save you time and money but also helps you avoid applying too many ingredients that may cause more harm than good.

And honestly, nobody wants to go through 10 steps of skincare every day, especially when you’re running late in the morning or you’re dead tired at night.

Fancy isn’t Always Better

Ingredients don’t always dictate the price of the product. More often than not, the one to blame for a higher price tag is a brand name.

Simply put, expensive products don’t always offer the best results. 

You can also find fantastic ingredients in affordable skincare products.

Looking into the product’s ingredient list should come first before other things like packaging and scent. 

Commit to What Works

If you’ve already found your holy-grail skincare products, stick with them.

Don’t jump from one product to another. Doing so may overwhelm and eventually irritate your skin.

Plus, buying way too many products isn’t good for your wallet, either!

After all, you don’t need five different facial cleansers to keep skin problems at bay!

Don’t Apply Too Much, Except for Sunscreen

Too much of something can sometimes be bad. The same is also true with skincare.

You only need a pea-sized amount because our skin can really only absorb this much from every product. 

For example, using too much cleanser can cause skin dehydration, while excessive amounts of serums and moisturizers will end up sitting on the skin’s surface.

Hence, applying more than what is required is a waste. 

Sunscreen is the only product you should generously apply to your face.

Letting it sit on your skin will provide an excellent protective layer from harmful ultraviolet rays.

a woman with hair wrapped in white towel is laughing while applying moisturizer on face

Know Your Skin Type

The skincare products that work for your friend may not necessarily work for you. 

Why? Because the two of you may have different skin types. 

Each skin type has unique characteristics and needs. Thus, it’s best to know your skin type to care for it properly.

Knowing what kind of skin you have can help you determine the perfect products for your inexpensive skin care routine.

Normal Skin

The term widely used for well-balanced skin is “Normal.”

This skin type has:

  • Regular texture
  • Hardly any visible pores
  • Little to no imperfections
  • No serious sensitivity
  • A glowing complexion

Dry Skin

This skin type is described as “Dry” because it does not produce enough sebum or oil compared to normal skin.

For people with this skin type, these may be among the symptoms:

  • Rough, dull complexion
  • Skin tightness
  • Visible cracks and fine lines
  • Red, itchy patches
  • Less supple skin
  • Slight to extreme skin flaking
  • Slight to extreme skin peeling

Oily Skin

The skin type that produces excessive sebum is widely described as “Oily.”

The severity of the symptoms of oily skin varies from one person to another and is usually determined by genetic and/or hormonal causes, or even high-stress levels. 

Symptoms of oily skin type include:

  • Visible, enlarged pores
  • Greasy skin appearance
  • Clogged pores, blackheads, and whiteheads
  • Prone to pimples or acne

Combination Skin Type

“Combination” is used for skin types with dry and oily areas. 

The oily parts result from the overproduction of sebum, while the drier areas are caused by insufficient sebum. 

This skin type usually requires combination care, so make sure to check out our best affordable skincare routine for combination skin products to get the best bang for your buck.

These are the signs if you have combination skin:

  • An oily forehead, nose, and chin (T-zone)
  • The appearance of enlarged pores
  • Dry cheeks
  • Persistent or occasional acne breakouts
  • Blackheads and whiteheads

Sensitive Skin

Although sensitive skin isn’t frequently referred to as its own skin type, it’s still important to know if you have sensitive skin.

Some people may experience dry sensitive skin, oily sensitive skin, or even normal sensitive skin.

Skin sensitivity occurs when the skin’s natural barrier is jeopardized. This causes loss of water and enables infiltration of irritants.

Several elements easily irritate sensitive skin, including high or low temperatures and certain cosmetic products

Sensitive skin can show up as:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Burning or stinging
  • Itching 
  • Dryness that may crack and blister
a young woman smiling at the mirror feeling satisfied with her skin condition after skincare routine

15 Best Affordable Products To Build Your Skincare Routine

Feeling good in your skin is definitely possible with an inexpensive skin care regimen.

Here are our 15 best affordable skincare routine products that you can start with to build your budget-friendly skin care routine:

Best Budget Cleansers

Our skin comes in contact with several external aggressors, such as dirt and pollutants, which need to be cleaned and removed to keep skin healthy.

Washing twice daily (morning and night) is non-negotiable to avoid clogged pores leading to pimple growth or acne. 

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser
Editor's Choice
  • Ideal for normal, dry, or sensitive skin
  • Gentle formula
  • Maintains skin’s moisture barrier and pH
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
Budget Pick
  • Ideal for normal to dry, sensitive skin
  • Moisturizing
  • Doesn’t clog pores
Paula's Choice RESIST Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser
Premium Pick
  • Cruelty-free
  • Anti-aging
  • Free of harsh cleansing agents
Editor’s Choice
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

If you're looking for a daily facial cleanser that doesn't dry the skin, this is one of the best finds in the market!

Key Benefits: Gently cleans dirt and impurities; maintains skin's PH and moisture barrier; leaves skin feeling hydrated

Features:

  • Gentle cream formula
  • Recommended for normal, dry, or sensitive skin
  • Free of ingredients that cause skin irritation or reactions

Those with sensitive skin need not worry about irritation because this product is free of harsh chemicals like paraben, oil, and fragrance. It is also rinsed easily from the skin.

Budget Pick
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

This moisturizing but effective facial cleanser is a must-have for your skincare routine on a budget.

Key Benefits: Cleans off makeup and excess oil without drying the skin; keeps skin clean and hydrated; doesn’t clog pores

Features:

  • No harsh cleansing agents
  • Moisturizing
  • Ideal for normal to dry, sensitive skin

This product features carefully selected gentle ingredients perfect for sensitive skin.

Premium Pick
Paula's Choice RESIST Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser

This product definitely gets the “Premium Pick” title because it has moisturizing properties and can also prevent premature aging.

Key Benefits: Quickly removes makeup and daily grime; restores natural moisture; anti-aging

Features:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of chemical irritants and harsh cleansing agents
  • Ideal for dry, sensitive skin

If you prefer buying certified cruelty-free products, this is definitely for you!

Best Budget Exfoliator

Keeping your skin moisturized and healthy requires exfoliating dead skin cells and other impurities. Exfoliating regularly not only cleans your skin but also encourages collagen production, which helps delay signs of aging.

Incorporate any of these budget-friendly exfoliators into your budget-friendly skincare routine to rejuvenate and smoothen your skin:

Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub
Editor's Choice
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Specially formulated with micro-fine granules
  • For combination, oily, and even sensitive skin
Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
Budget Pick
  • Enhances skin’s natural radiance
  • Free of harmful chemics
  • Hypoallergenic
L'Oreal Paris Pure Sugar Scrub
Premium Pick
  • May be used for the lips too
  • Tightens pores
  • Ideal for all skin types
Editor's Choice
Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub

Afraid of exfoliating because it might overdry or irritate your skin? Try this product!

Key Benefits: Hypoallergenic; cleanses without overdrying; gently exfoliates the skin

Features:

  • Specially formulated with micro-fine granules
  • For combination, oily, and even sensitive skin
  • Infused with skin conditioners and a vitamin complex

This product is gentle enough for everyday use.

Budget Pick
Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

This product is for you if you're looking for a budget-friendly brightening exfoliator to incorporate into your cheap skincare routine!

Key Benefits: Hypoallergenic; helps improve skin's tone and texture; enhances skin's natural radiance

Features:

  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Free from harmful chemics
  • Non-comedogenic (so it doesn't clog pores)

Not only is it effective, but it also comes with an affordable price tag!

Premium Pick
L'Oreal Paris Pure Sugar Scrub

Looking for a product that hits two birds with one stone? Try this out.

Key Benefits: Tightens pores; can be used for the lips; gently polishes away dull skin

Features:

  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Made with three pure sugars and real natural kiwi seeds
  • Paraben-free

You can already see visible results if you use this three times a week.

Best Budget Serums

Some people prefer serums over toners, and we totally understand why.

Serums are lightweight products with a watery consistency despite their high concentrations of active ingredients. 

Because of their formulation, they are easily absorbed by the skin.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Editor's Choice
  • Speeds up wound healing
  • Ideal on all skin types
  • Cruelty-free
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
Budget Pick
  • Renews complexion
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Soothes sensitive skin
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
Premium Pick
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • With anti-aging properties
Editor's Choice
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

This serum may be the perfect solution for people with perpetually dry skin.

Key Benefits: Instant hydration boost; speeds up wound healing; reduces wrinkles

Features:

  • Safe to use on all skin types
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Cruelty-free

This product is big on incorporating cruelty-free ingredients and provides several skin-loving properties. And for that, we give them a thumbs up!

Budget Pick
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

Isn't it amazing that a single product that helps solve various skin problems doesn't cost a fortune?

Key Benefits: Soothes sensitive skin; fades dark spots; renews complexion

Features:

  • Absorbs quickly
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • No harmful chemicals added

If you're having problems with premature skin aging, this very affordable serum can help solve your woes. 

Premium Pick
TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum

This is one of our favorite picks in the affordable skincare routine category because it provides a host of skincare benefits. 

Key Benefits: Anti-aging; gives brighter and fresher looking skin; hydrating

Features:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of synthetic and harmful chemicals
  • Ideal for all skin types

This anti-aging Vitamin C serum can be used day or night.

Best Budget Moisturizers

After topically applying your chosen serum, it’s time to lock in all that moisture and actives into the skin.

How to do that? Apply a moisturizer. 

This will create a barrier on the skin’s surface, preventing moisture from escaping and skin from drying.

Bioderma - Hydrabio Face Gel Moisturizer
Editor's Choice
  • Ideal for combination, oily or sensitive skin
  • Smoothens skin texture
  • Lightweight gel
Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid
Budget Pick
  • Hypoallergenic
  • With daily SPF protection
  • Non-greasy and fast absorbing
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Premium Pick
  • Provides hydration for 48 hours
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Lightweight cream texture
Editor's Choice
Bioderma - Hydrabio Face Gel Moisturizer

Have you been looking for a product perfect for a combo skincare routine? Give this one a try!

Key Benefits: Intensely hydrates; smoothens skin texture; enhances skin radiance

Features:

  • Ideal for combination to oily or sensitive skin
  • Lightweight gel
  • Fast-absorbing

This is perfect for you if you’re more into lightweight and fast-absorbing moisturizers.

Budget Pick
Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid

A moisturizer with SPF protection that’s not heavy on the wallet? We found it!

Key Benefits: Hypoallergenic; protects sensitive and combination skin; gives long-lasting hydration

Features:

  • Free of irritating chemicals
  • With daily SPF protection
  • Non-greasy and fast absorbing

With all its skin-loving ingredients, this should be in your budget-friendly skincare routine!

Premium Pick
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

Not all affordable moisturizers provide hydration for more than a day. Well, except for a couple of notable few like this product.

Key Benefits: Soothes redness; provides hydration for 48 hours; repairs skin protective barrier

Features:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Free from irritating chemicals
  • Lightweight cream texture

Another bonus is that its soft, oil-free texture is easily absorbed.

Best Budget Sunscreens

You can never apply “too much” sunscreen because temperatures continue to rise, and there are many environmental aggressors.

Sunscreen’s spot in your best skincare routine is non-negotiable!

Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence
Editor's Choice
  • Suitable for both face and body
  • Leaves skin feeling soft and plump
  • Leaves no white cast
Neutrogena Clear Face Oil-Free Sunscreen With SPF 55
Budget Pick
  • Treats acne breakouts
  • Ultra-lightweight matte-finish
  • Prevents early signs of aging
Vichy Capital Soleil Face Sunscreen Lotion
Premium Pick
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Leaves no white cast
  • Anti-aging
Editor's Choice
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

Looking for an affordable sunscreen that is not runny and is easy to apply? This product is for you!

Key Benefits: Leaves skin feeling soft and plump; easy to wear; hydrating

Features:

  • Leaves no white cast
  • Suitable for face and body
  • Waterproof for up to 80 minutes

This is a great product, especially if you prefer effective sunscreens with no white cast.

Budget Pick
Neutrogena Clear Face Oil-Free Sunscreen With SPF 55

This product is an excellent option for the price.

Key Benefits: Treats acne breakouts; prevents sunburns; prevents early skin aging

Features:

  • Ultra-lightweight and matte-finish
  • Ideal for acne-prone skin
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

If you’re one of those who avoid greasy sunscreens and prefer matte-finish, we highly recommend this for you!

Premium Pick
Vichy Capital Soleil Face Sunscreen Lotion

You don’t need to worry about whether or not this sunscreen suits your skin because it is ideal for all known skin types!

Key Benefits: Protects skin at a cellular level; anti-aging, prevents skin dryness and irritation

Features:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Ultra-weight formula, matte-finish
  • Leaves no white cast

With its many skin-loving ingredients, who wouldn’t want this excellent skincare find?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Okay To Exfoliate Your Face Every Day?

The answer to this depends on your exfoliator’s ingredients because some may be too strong for everyday use. 

Some experts say that daily exfoliating isn’t recommended for some skin types as it strips the skin of its natural oils, making it overly dry. 

Too much exfoliation may result in irritation.

When Should I Start Using Retinol?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as everyone’s skincare needs are different, and everyone’s skin may react differently to retinol

However, if you are going to begin, starting with a low-concentration product every other night is advisable, and then increasing frequency as your skin gets used to it and if you need it.

Is Vitamin C Safe For Dry Skin?

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. 

It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of dry skin. 

However, it is essential to choose a product suitable for your skin type and follow the instructions on how to use it for best results.

Also, you have to see how your skin reacts. It may be beneficial to others, but that doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.

Discontinue use if your skin reacts badly.

five arms holding different skincare products at the camera

Skin Care Products Don’t Need To Be Expensive

At the end of the day, good skincare products aren’t necessarily expensive. And expensive skincare products aren’t always necessarily good.

Don’t use the price tag as your only gauge when buying.

Prioritize your skin’s needs when choosing products and realize that being expensive does not always mean a product will work for you.

Just be diligent and patient, and you’ll find your holy-grail products. Remember, great things take time and effort!

Here Are Other Skincare Products You Can Try:

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