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    32 Skincare And Haircare Products That Just Plain Do Their Job For Not A Lot Of Money

    So your wallet can *figuratively* take a load off.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A Garnier micellar water for a gentle cleanse that's still powerful enough to remove the fullest of beats (including waterproof makeup!). 

    Promising review: "Definitely does what it’s supposed to do! I only wear waterproof mascara and removing it is such a headache sometimes. I used to use makeup removing wipes but they did burn my eyes a bit (I am prone to having sensitive skin). If you follow the instructions, you’ll be able to avoid having to rub your eyes with the pad to completely remove makeup. Just add the liquid to a pad, press the pad down onto your eyelashes and hold, then wipe away. A couple of wipes was all I needed for complete makeup removal. An added plus was that my skin felt super soft and smooth after using! Definitely recommend." –Nyleve

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97 (available in multipacks, as well as varieties formulated with vitamin C and rose water). 

    2. L’Oréal hair treatment that provides some seriously silky results in *almost* no time. It's a quick and easy step to add in between your normal shampoo and conditioner routine – all you need is eight seconds!

    to the left, an image of brown hair with the text
    @lorealparis / Via

    Simply apply the treatment directly to wet hair (avoiding your roots, which may feel a warming sensation if applied), massage it in for eight seconds, then rinse it out and *voila* you're done! Just be sure to adjust your doses depending on the length and texture of your unique hair. 

    Promising review: "I don’t usually do reviews on products, but for this one I absolutely have to. I have 3c type hair and struggle with a lot a breakage, unmanageability, and moisture. When my mom mentioned this product to me I didn’t take her seriously because of the simple fact that we have two completely different hair textures. I never would of thought this brand would work on my hair...I have never in my 22 years felt my hair like this. I feel like I have a completely different head of hair. This product is so amazing and I will FOREVER be using this product in my hair regimen. Thank you so much!! ♥️" –Theressa Hailey

    Get it from Amazon for $7.55.

    3. carbonated clay face mask with a deceptively hilarious appearance, since its cloud-like exterior is fully equipped with some major blackhead-banishing and impurity-eliminating superpowers. 

    Promising review: ""Wow! I purchased this on a whim after seeing one of my favorite YouTubers try it out. I didn't expect a lot from it. I tried it out and was shocked!!! The mask was simple (and fun) to use. I wasn't sure I felt a lot happening while it was on, but it was pretty cool how the bubbles started to grow off of my face. Upon inspection after using this mask I was completely amazed. My face felt cleaner than it has in a very long time AND my pores looked amazing! I don't remember a time when I felt like my pores looked great before using this mask. I would highly recommend this mask to anyone. It's also so much cheaper than the GlamGlow ones I have been using (and didn't see near these results from)." —Phil Textor

    Get it from Amazon for $8 (available in packs of one, two, and three).

    4. Paula's Choice Salicylic Acid Exfoliant, the holy grail product for anyone with sensitive, acne-prone-, redness-prone-, and textured skin. It gently removes dead skin, unclogs pores, evens your tone, and leaves you with a radiant complexion that'll have people demanding you drop your skincare routine pronto.

    Promising reviews: "I don't know what kind of miracle liquid this stuff is, but let me tell you, IT WORKS! I have been dealing with a patch of red bumps on my cheeks for years, been to dermatologists that say it's 'adult acne' and to try this cream or that cleaner. The prescribed meds worked some, but never completely eliminated the redness or the bumps and that was with consistent use for weeks and months. I've been using this product for only a week and the redness and tiny bumps have almost COMPLETELY vanished as well as my complexion is so much more even and my PORES look amazing. If you're looking for a product to completely change the way you look AND feel, look no further...this is the one! You won't regret it, I promise!" –Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $13+ (available in two sizes).

    5. A bottle of 100% cold-pressed castor oil to intensely nourish your hair and stimulate growth. It also works great for lashes, brows, and skin, making it the ~jack of all trades~ in your self-care routine. 

    Promising review: “​​I’ve been using this on my hairline and it’s worked better than imagined. In three to four weeks I saw new hair growth in areas I was certain hair could not grow back. It has made the hair that was thinning grow thicker and fuller. I have also been using this on a skin condition I’ve had for many years. That area of skin was bumpy and seemed to keep growing. Within the first three weeks of constant use, the growth receded and my skin flattened out and started to heal. I will need to get this condition evaluated by a doctor, I’m not saying this product is a cure-all but it has helped more than anything else natural that I’ve tried. This is a great product for hair and skin and definitely worth a shot.” –crazy

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    6. Some Avarelle acne patches made with tea tree, cica, and calendula oil, which help to reduce swelling and suck out the gunk inside of the breakout that decided to pop up out of nowhere on your face.

    Promising review: "If you are looking for relief from occasional, painful, unwelcome cystic acne, then run, don’t walk and buy this product! I’ve tried other drying products such as sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, toothpaste (??!!)... but I didn’t have any luck and only had dry patches the next morning. I put these patches on as soon as I feel the 'here we go again' tenderness on my chin. Within two to three days, they’re gone. I am 31-years-old and am experiencing cystic acne for the first time. 😑 Go buy this product and experience the magic yourself." –Cheryl

    Get a pack of 40 from Amazon for $8.49 (also available in an XL size).

    For more info, check out our full review of the Avarelle acne patches.

    7. Or a Mario Badescu spot treatment that'll quickly dry up any of your more *persistent* blemishes. It's formulated with salicylic acid to cleanse and exfoliate, sulfur to combat oil, and calamine to soothe your skin.

    reviewer photo of them holding a bottle of pink drying lotion
    reviewer side-by-side of their skin before using the lotion, their skin during, and then after using the spot treatment on their pimples

    Promising review: "Been using this product for years! I have occasional acne and this product dries and heals my zits overnight like magic. I prefer the Mario Badescu to the Kate Somerville version that is more expensive, but not more effective. Love it and highly recommend it!" –Florian R

    Get it from Amazon for $17.

    8. A Sun Bum heat protectant spray made with noni and sea kelp extract, which'll provide tons of hair-healthy nutrients while you shield your locks from damaging heat styling tools and intensely sunny days. Bonus points: it even adds shine and helps your hair dry faster!

    a hand holding a bottle of blue heat protectant spray

    Promising review: "After trying multiple products for sun and heat protection, this one has won my heart. I live in hot, sunny, humid Florida and I will not go outside without this on my hair. I have colored, shoulder length hair and I spray four sprays on my hair after a shower, blow-dry, and flat iron. My hair does not feel greasy, but shiny and smooth. The smell is kind of like tanning oil from the '90s so it’s a bit of nice nostalgia. You have to play with the amount to see how many sprays works for you, but I promise, you won’t be disappointed." –Brit

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    9. A ~handy~ exfoliating mitt that gently scrubs away dead skin, unclogs pores, smooths texture (including keratosis pilaris), and combats anything else that's standing in the way between you and your glowy skin goals.

    reviewer photo of them wearing a black exfoliating mitt in the shower covered in dead skin
    reviewer photo of them revealing dead skin build-up on their leg and on a black exfoliating mitt

    Promising review: "Right out of the box I could tell these mitts were going to be exactly what I needed. Excellent quality and easy to use! I’ve tried them twice already and my skin is now incredibly smooth! After I scrubbed my arm, I looked at the mitt and saw it was covered with dead skin cells. I’ll be buying more of these as gifts for girlfriends (in a fun spa gift basket)!" —Danielle Gill

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available individually or as a pair).

    10. An Esarora Ice Roller you can ~glide~ over your face whenever it's feeling puffy or tense, and even to help soothe things like headaches and sunburns. It's like a facial appointment from the comfort of your own bathroom (or wherever you like to get your skincare on).

    BuzzFeed writer using the green ice roller on their face
    BuzzFeed writer holding a green ice roller in front of a plant
    Clara McMahon / BuzzFeed

    I recently picked up this ice roller to help de-puff and energize my puffy and tired face in the morning. The roller head is detachable, so I keep it in the freezer then pop it onto the body of the tool when I'm ready to use it. I also put a thin layer of facial oil or moisturizer on first, just to help it ~glide~ easier. Oh and BTW, you can *also* use it on sore or tense muscles too (I'm looking at you, neck and shoulders). Just be sure to clean it regularly and roll on, baby!

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99+ (available in nine colors). Be sure to clip the coupon before checkout to save an extra 20%.

    11. A restorative and antioxidant-rich pumpkin and mint deep conditioning hair masque to repair, nourish, and strengthen dry or damaged curls. Hi there, healthy hair, please don't ever go away.

    a tub of the pumpkin and mint masque with a product swatch coming out of the container
    Curls Dynasty

    Apply the masque to wet hair (in sections) and leave it for 10–30 minutes, depending on your dryness and damage level. Once the moisture is locked in, rinse it out and go about your usual biz!

    Curls Dynasty is a Black woman–owned business that creates products for people who are transitioning to natural hair or already wear it natural. No harsh ingredients, preservatives or fragrances here! 

    Promising review: "Great product! I definitely love it. It makes my hair feel so smooth, soft, supple, and beautiful. I actually used it once and my hair looks and feels amazing. I will definitely continue to buy more. Thanks for the good product." –Clara Ewah

    Get it from Curls Dynasty for $14.89.

    12. An all-over CeraVe moisturizer whose lightweight and fragrance-free formula uses hyaluronic acid and essential ceramides to hydrate your skin and help it retain moisture.

    reviewer photo of a bottle of moisturizer
    reviewer photo of their radiant facial complexion

    Promising review: "What’s not to love? Moisturizing, lightweight, and not greasy. Absorbs quickly. Not sticky. Unscented. Pretty much perfect. I go through bottles of this stuff." –Kensington 

    Get it from Amazon for $12.74.

    13. A Good Light water cleanser with a gel-to-foam formula that gently strips your skin of impurities, reduces inflammation, strengthens your barrier, and gives you a celestial glow that'll have people asking if you use literal stardust to wash your face. 

    a model putting the dew water cleanser on their face
    the consistency of the dew water cleanser
    Good Light

    Good Light is a small Korean skincare brand that creates gentle, effective, and inclusive personal care products, regardless of gender identity. 

    Promising review: "I look forward to washing my face every morning and night. This cleanser makes my little ritual feel luxurious and like such a treat. I love the way the formula lathers up, the ever so slight hint of fragrance that doesn’t linger nor irritate my skin and the way my skin feels cleansed but not taut and stripped off." —Aurora W.

    Get it from Good Light or Amazon, both for $18.

    14. A top-rated L'Oréal shampoo and conditioner set chock full of reparative proteins that'll rescue dry, damaged, and frail hair from the depths of its distress.  

    reviewer photo of their platinum blonde hair
    reviewer photo of them holding a brown bottle of conditioner next to a matching bottle of shampoo

    Promising review: "I have noticed considerable improvement in extremely dry and tangled hair since using this product! I am very happy with it and have already ordered seconds because the price is really reasonable." –Gerry.D

    Get the set from Amazon for $15.99Be sure to clip the coupon before checkout to save an extra 20%.

    15. A refreshing aloe face mist so you can give yourself a lil' *spritz* every time you're feeling dull or tired. It's the ideal companion for long days in the sun, exhausting work days spent in front of a screen, or days when the morning came too fast and you feel like you only got a few minutes of sleep.

    three wet purple bottle of face mist
    gif of a model spraying a mist from a purple bottle onto their face
    Everyday Humans

    Promising review: "I threw this baby in the fridge and spritz every time I need a pick me up in this heat in California right now. I will not be buying a different spray ever again. It’s so hydrating and smells fresh and light. It’s perfect!" –Stephanie F.

    Get it from Everyday Humans or Amazon, both for $14.50.

    16. face and body oil, which uses lavender and chamomile plus vitamins A and E to soften your skin as it fights hyperpigmentation and scarring. Some reviewers even use it as a makeup remover!

    Promising review: "I recommend this product! I used to have really bad acne but ever since I incorporated this into my skincare, I only get pimples once in a while and they go away quick thanks to this oil. The first week using this I noticed my skin was getting softer and looking glowy and after one month my skin just literally stop producing acne. Even though I have acne scars, they are fading rather quickly. The only con is that it makes your skin look oily but that's to be expected since it is an oil :)" –Anya

    Get it from Amazon for $8.92+ (available in three sizes).

    17. An octopus-shaped blackhead remover that'll rid your skin of blackheads, whiteheads, and other pore-clogging yuckies in the most adorable way imaginable. 

    reviewer photo of them holding a small black octopus shaped blackhead remover
    reviewer photo of them holding a small black octopus shaped blackhead remover with the cap off

    Promising review: "After just two days of use, this adorable little octopus has done wonders for me, and smells great too. Here's how I used it: I wore down the stick just a little to where the texture from the salt is visible, scrubbed around on my face so there was plenty of product, then I used my fingers to gently massage all the gunk away. Rinse, pat dry, and enjoy the softness. Highly recommended for people with sensitive skin like myself." —LuckLocust

    Get it from Amazon for $12.50

    18. A Batiste dry shampoo for those in-between-wash days – which, if you're anything like me, is the majority of your week. Not to worry, this cult-fave will combat greasiness, add volume, and entirely refresh your dirty do.

    gif of a model spraying dry shampoo into different sections of their hair
    a bottle of dry shampoo against a sandy and watery background
    Ulta, @batiste_hair / Via

    Promising review: "Can't say enough good things about it ❤️ Simply, I can't live without this dry shampoo. Smells fresh, gives wonderful volume to hair, immediate response to oil once you tapped it on the hair – it's like a magical thing. I will keep purchasing this forever." –Hubhub

    Get the original from Ulta for $18.99 (or check out their other varieties here).

    19. A steel foot file that'll shave off an impressive amount of dead skin from your overdue-for-a-pedicure tootsies. Gross? A little. Satisfying? Immensely. 

    reviewer photo of them holding a steel foot file
    Before image of a cracked foot with an after image of the skin smooth

    Promising review: "Honestly, I’m going to be blunt...this product is AMAZING! I’ve struggled with dry, cracked, peeling feet for such a long time! I always thought it was bad lotions, lack of moisturizer or wearing socks for prolonged periods and I’ve tried EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYYYTHING to try and fix my feet. Hiding behind sneakers in the summer, packing lotion on or wearing socks to bed with my man is no longer needed. This product is NEEDED in your life. No BS. I’m obsessed and I want to order one for every one in my family with dry feet like me! DO NOT regret buying this. It was a steal!" —Natalie Gomez

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95.

    20. An anti-frizz hair serum, which uses Moroccan argan oil to instantly hydrate your locks and combat the pouffiest and most frazzled of frizzes. 

    a bluish bottle of anti-frizz serum surrounded by droplets of oil
    before and after of a reviewers frizzy hair and then their less frizzy hair, from using the serum

    Promising review: "I have always had very thick and frizzy hair, and it's been hard for me to find an inexpensive product that will tame it. This stuff is wonderful. I use two pumps because I have so much hair, despite it only being shoulder-length, but it does wonders. I put a little bit more at my roots because that's where the frizz tries to stick around the most, so I'll sometimes end up with an oily appearance at my roots, but it doesn't stay like that. My boyfriend also commented on how soft my hair felt after I used it. I really love this product. The bottles seem tiny but a little really does go a long way." –Kiana

    Get it from Amazon for $3.99.

    21. CeraVe retinol serum that'll help to smooth and brighten your skin and reduce redness, as well as the appearance of pores and post-acne marks. Plus, it's gentle and sensitive skin-friendly, making it a great option for retinol newbies. 

    reviewer before and after of their skin from using the serum
    reviewer photo of them holding a bottle of retinol serum

    Promising review: "FINALLY a resurfacing serum that reduces the size/appearance of my pores. I'm so happy with this product. My dermatologist has told me that CeraVe's products are great at rebuilding/protecting the skin's protective barrier, and this serum definitely does. Noticeably smoother skin and smaller pores within a week of using. I use after I wash my face in the morning and before I go to bed. This is a product I'm definitely keeping and will continue to use." –Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.38.

    22. A vegan multipurpose balm you can lather all over your body for an instant boost of nourishing hydration. It also helps with moisture retention and even adds a bit of ✨luminosity✨ to your skin.

    two pairs of hands holding green tubes of the balm

    Cocokind is a San Francisco-based and woman-owned small biz that makes cruelty-free skincare products with sustainability in mind. They also donate 5% of all of their online sales to One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organization that plants a tree for each dollar they raise. 

    Promising reviews: "I love everything about this balm. My dry, cracked, wintery hands soooo appreciate this balm at the end of the day. I apply it at night on my hands and any dry patches and when I wake up, my skin is moisturized and healthy again. It’s hard to find an intense moisturizer that doesn’t have petrochemicals in it. This feels better than any of those drugstore brands and I can feel better about the pure ingredients." —sarah b.

    Get it from Cocokind for $11 or from Amazon for $11.97.