Skip To Content

    25 Products Under $20 Your Dermatologist Would Probably Be Proud Of You For Using

    Your derm will definitely rave about you to all their other patients.

    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 brightening CeraVe serum with a healthy dose of vitamin C — because it does more than just boost your immune system! It'll help even out your skin tone and provide some extra antioxidant protection at the same time.

    Model applying CeraVe vitamin C serum to finger
    Reviewer showing results of using CeraVe vitamin C serum

    Promising review: "I have sensitive, dry, pale skin. My skin breaks out all the time and the red marks never seem to fade. I wanted to try a vitamin C serum to see if it would help with redness. Holy moly this stuff works! There's no strong fragrance and the serum absorbs into skin quickly leaving no residue. I apply a light moisturizer over before applying makeup in the morning. I have not even finished the entire tube and I can already tell my skin is softer and I have not had any breakouts. Old red spots are also fading. I know this isn't all in my head either ... My boyfriend actually noticed and commented that my skin was looking better totally unprompted. This dude doesn't even notice when I get a haircut so I consider this a big deal." —cmoney

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    2. A gentle everyday facial lotion by La Roche-Posay with an oil-free formula that sinks in almost instantly, so it's perfect for anyone who hates the feeling of putting moisturizer all over their face. But don't let the lightweight texture fool you — the niacinamide and prebiotic thermal water will have your skin feeling just as smooth and moisturized as it would after using a heavy-duty cream.

    Promising review: "It is lightweight, nongreasy, absorbs very quickly, and lasts all day. It has never caused the hair around my face to get greasy, a frequent issue of mine, nor caused my glasses to slide up and down my nose on an oil slick. I do not leave face prints on my cellphone either. My skin has improved so dramatically in the last few weeks of using this that I am tempted to believe it's a bit magical. My pores have visibly shrunk around my nose and cheeks...always the worst area for me. My skin color has dramatically evened out and improved with much less redness. And, most importantly, I always feel hydrated now and don't have any dry skin on my face." —supersjh

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    3. The multifaceted CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser for anyone with acne-prone skin that gets easily irritated by most acne-fighting facial cleansers. This one has a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid so your skin will still feel smooth and hydrated when you rinse it off.

    Promising review: "I've struggled with incredibly sensitive, acne-prone, textured skin for a lot of my adult life. I stumbled onto this cleanser via TikTok (I wish I was kidding) and bought this in conjunction with CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream and, LET ME TELL YOU, these products have become holy grail skincare items for me. Prior to this, I was using homemade soap and an exfoliating mitt to wash my face, but my skin would quickly develop uneven texture in between exfoliations. This cleanser makes my skin smooth and it doesn't irritate it. My breakouts are already a lot smaller and I've noticed a huge difference in the overall appearance. This is a holy grail cleanser." —C. Hallgrimson

    Get it from Amazon for $11.47.

    4. Or a luxuriously creamy CeraVe facial cleanser if you have excessively dry skin. It feels just like a lotion when you apply it, but it magically breaks down dirt and oil as you work it into the skin. If your skin is constantly flaky and sensitive, this one's for you! 

    Promising review: "This was recommended to me by a dermatologist friend with beautiful skin. She uses CeraVe cleanser once in the morning, once at night, with the regular CeraVe lotion, and I was so jealous of her skin and tired of buying expensive junk that promises the moon, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm very glad I did!

    This cleanser/lotion combo works beautifully. My skin is cleansed and refreshed and looks great, never feels over-dry, and I'm not paying an arm and a leg for snail goop or milky jelly or whatever marketing bull I was buying before. It feels great to wash my face, too, not like I'm doing a chemical peel or scrubbing a layer of skin off." —E. Giffen

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    5. Or! A purifying foaming cleanser by La Roche-Posay for skin that's more on the combination side. It starts off as a creamy gel formula that's soft enough for your dry spots and then lathers up into a rich foam that'll break down all the excess oil that's making your nose and forehead a little too glowy.

    Promising review: "I have found the HOLY GRAIL of face wash for sensitive skin. This product cuts through a full face of makeup with just one pump and lather. Leaves my skin smooth and soft. I have had less acne since using this for a month or so. This entire bottle has lasted me for three months (one pump per day)." —Kat

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    6. OR! A medicated gel cleanser that uses the power of salicylic acid to banish breakouts and reduce excess surface oil by 47%, so you'll be looking matte and breakout-free in no time. It also contains lipohydroxy acid to lightly exfoliate any dead skin, so this is basically like a brand-new face in a bottle.

    Reviewer holding bottle of La Roche-Posay medicated gel cleanser
    Reviewer's before-and-after results after using the La Roche-Posay medicated gel cleanser for over a year

    Promising review: "I have been using La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash for cystic/hormonal acne, and it has seriously been the best product I have tried so far. I have very sensitive and dry skin, so I also follow up with an eye cream and moisturizer (because this product can be drying if you don't). This cleansing gel has completely changed my skin in just 10 days; it is more clear, smooth, and even-toned. I think this product is great for all skin types that struggle with acne, as long as you follow up with the proper moisturizer/skin regimen according to your skin type." —Chelsea

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    7. OR!!! Krave Beauty Matcha Hemp Cleanser — it proves a face wash doesn't have to be super harsh to be super cleansing. The jelly-like texture will feel soft and gentle on your skin, but the generous lather still puts in enough work to lift away dirt and oil. 

    cleanser on top of matcha powder
    @kravebeauty / Via

    Promising review: "Upon first use, my sensitive skin didn't turn red or breakout! This is a great gentle cleanser that doesn't strip and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized. There is a slight fragrance but nothing overpowering which I love. This is also one of the few gel like cleansers that I've tried that's easier to wash off. Some of them feel a bit too slimey and take a bit more effort to completely wash off, but not this one. I'll definitely be repurchasing in the future!" —Sydney

    Krave Beauty is a Korean woman-owned small biz that believes in simplicity and aims to make skincare easy and stress-free in an oversaturated and complicated industry. They believe in respecting the skin and restoring it back to health.

    Get it from Krave Beauty for $16.

    8. Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil, which is basically a bottle of magical skin elixir. This nourishing oil will help brighten your skin tone and banish pesky blemishes at the same time — and you can even use it in your hair to tame flyaways and add extra shine! 

    Promising review: "My new holy grail! I have super sensitive, acne-prone skin in a very dry climate. This stuff is seriously so amazing. I use it from my face to my toes. It’s completely eradicated any dry skin I had and makes me glow. I’ve gotten so many compliments on my skin since I’ve started using it, even my boyfriend noticed! I love it after chemical peels too. It gets rid of peeling and dry patches as well as soothing any redness. It’s a decent-sized bottle for what you pay!" —Brynnieb09

    Get it from Amazon for $15.95.

    To learn more, check out this facial oil review.

    9. A skin-clearing salicylic acid treatment from Paula's Choice to show those pesky blackheads on your nose who's boss. Just dap some on a cotton pad and wipe over your skin to get rid of acne, uneven texture, and even stubborn dark spots.

    Reviewer before using Paula's Choice BHA serum
    Reviewer's nose after using Paula's Choice BHA serum

    Check out this TikToker's review here

    Promising review: "I have always struggled with blackheads on my nose. It was something I was super self-conscious about, always. I tried pore strips, masks, scrubs, etc., and nothing ever worked for me. But after using this product, I saw results after 10 days! I have been using it for about a month-and-a-half, and now I can barely see the pores on my nose. The redness around my nose also went away." —Taylor

    Get it from Amazon for $11+ (available in two sizes and a two-piece set).

    10. A super lightweight Missha sun milk with SPF 50 that's basically a sunscreen and mattifying powder in one bottle. If you have oily skin, this is the sunscreen you've been dreaming of.

    Model holding Missha Soft Finish sun milk

    I finally found it: the PERFECT sunscreen. I've had a constant battle with facial sunscreens — most make my already oily skin look ridiculously greasy and consistently cause me to break out. I refused to give up on my search since basically every dermatologist goes on and on about how SPF is basically the magic ingredient for healthy skin.

    I thought the Missha Sun Milk would be like the rest — but it is everything I've been looking for in a sunscreen. The lightweight formula absorbs almost immediately and — here's the exciting part! — it dries down to a powdery smooth finish that keeps me matte all day long. It's basically a mattifying powder and sunscreen in the same bottle. If you hate most sunscreens, trust me, give this one a shot.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.

    11. A bottle of Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil to help reduce the appearance of pesky scars thanks to a special blend of vitamin A, chamomile, sunflower, lavender, and vitamin E oils.

    a reviewer selfie of their face dotted with acne and acne scars
    the same reviewer with the look of the scars improved

    See a TikToker's before and after here.

    Promising review: "After just about three weeks of use I’ve seen such a positive change in both the evenness of time and of the texture of my skin. Melasma and acne scarring have faded pretty dramatically — I don’t even bother putting on foundation when I do my makeup in the morning. The oil is so lightweight and doesn’t exacerbate my already oily complexion." —L T C

    Get it from Amazon for $8.92.

    12. A tub of Aquaphor healing ointment, which can basically do everything ever in the history of the world. Try some on your cracked elbows, chapped lips, roughed-up feet, over-washed hands — this magical potion has you covered. You can even dab it on your cheekbones as a highlighter! ✨

    Jar of Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

    Psst: Try it on new tattoos to keep the color from fading while they heal! 

    Promising review: "Awesome!! I’m on Accutane so I use this for my lips to keep them from getting super chapped and they really help! It’s super moisturizing and I love that it’s in a big tub so I don’t have to keep repurchasing! If you have chapped lips I definitely recommend, it’s super moisturizing and hasn’t caused any breakouts around my lips so far." —M

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    13. A tube of Roc retinol night cream that puts in serious work while you sleep. It's powerful enough to plump and firm your skin but gentle enough to use it every night. And seriously — retinol is basically a time machine in a bottle.

    Reviewer holding tube of Roc Retinol night cream
    Reviewer showing results of using Roc retinol cream

    Promising review: "I cannot believe how well this is working! I've been using it consistently every night with moisturizer for one week and I'm already seeing drastic results to smooth out my cystic-acne scars on my cheeks! I'm so excited that I've found something that doesn't break out my acne-prone, eczema-prone, highly sensitive skin." —Emily H.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    14. And a gentle yet effective Neutrogena retinol eye cream to tackle dark circles and those pesky crow's feet that are starting to creep in at the corners of your eyes. It still contains a good amount of soothing hyaluronic acid, so no need to worry about it being too intense for sensitive skin.

    Tube of Neutrogena eye cream placed on decorative background

    Promising review: "I have been using this product for almost a month now and speaking from a person with really bad allergies and sinuses since childhood (which is one of many benefactors of dark circles), I've noticed a difference. My dark circles seem to be lighter and not as dark. It is a work in progress but overall I do see a difference!" —Norela

    Get it from Amazon for $14.70 (also available in various bundles).

    15. Or a super-gentle yet hydrating CeraVe eye cream that'll perk up your puffy eyes and fool people into thinking you got a full eight hours of sleep last night. It contains hyaluronic acid for extra moisture and three essential ceramides to protect the delicate skin around your eye. 

    Reviewer showing results of using CeraVe eye cream
    Reviewer showing results of using CeraVe eye cream

    Promising review: "I've been embarrassed for years about the bags under my eyes, but with two preschoolers at home, stress, and mild insomnia, I didn't see a way out. This is like a little miracle tube. I use it before bed and then in the morning too. I use it even if I didn't wash my face. I've gone from looking like there are bruises under my eyes to looking normal again. I no longer feel the need to use concealer under my eyes on a regular basis. I highly recommend!" —Amber J.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.49.

    16. A tube of a celebrity-beloved moisturizer which has so many uses. You can slather it on as a lotion, use it as a smoothing makeup primer, or apply it as a nourishing face mask when your skin needs a good pick-me-up.

    Model applying Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré to other model's face

    Promising review: "Many have said this already, but this stuff is life-changing! My skin was getting dried out from a new retinol routine. I used this for the fist time before bed and woke up with a GLOW, no joke. I now use it every night after I cleanse and tone, and every morning beneath my sunscreen." —JJSerge

    Get it from Amazon for $16+ (available in two sizes and four packaging styles).

    17. A clay mask designed to soak up excess oil and wash off the bacteria that causes breakouts, so it's basically a must if you've been dealing with maskne for the past two years.

    BuzzFeeder holding bottle of Bolden clay face mask
    Daniel Boan/BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "So far this has been a great product. I've only been using it for a month, but I like what it's doing for my skin and how my skin feels after using it." —shallor mcdonald

    Bolden is a Black-owned, woman-owned skincare brand.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.49.

    18. This outrageously popular Differin gel that has compelled thousands of Amazon reviewers to leave a review as glowing as their skin. It's a prescription-strength retinoid that gets deep down in your pores to promote skin turnover, so you'll basically have a brand-new face after a few uses.

    Promising review: "I don't have too much of an issue with acne, however I do have hormonally based pimples once a month, with a few pimples that break through every now and then. I really purchased because it is a retinoid that you don't have to go to the doctor for and I wanted it to help with some sun damage on my face and fine lines. I've only been using this for a month, but I can honestly say that within the first week I could see a change in my skin. I have absolutely had not one breakout of any kind and my skin is so smooth. I sincerely believe that the discoloration and hyperpigmentation on my skin is beginning to fade." —Catattack

    Get it from Amazon for $15.89+ (available in two sizes and two bottle styles).

    19. A moisturizing and lightly exfoliating cream you can apply to particularly stubborn areas you just know are about to break out, or simply slather all over your face as an extra preventative measure.

    Bottle of CedarCreekEssentials Clear Skin Balancing Cream
    Open bottle of CedarCreekEssentials Clear Skin Balancing Cream
    Cedar Creek Essentials/Etsy

    Promising review: "I've been using this moisturizer for about three weeks and it is the best one I've ever had. It makes my skin silky smooth, and has really helped with my acne and scarring. It's great for under makeup, and I will be purchasing this again and considering other products in this shop!" —Nailah

    Cedar Creek Essentials is a small Etsy shop based in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

    Get it from Cedar Creek Essentials on Etsy for $6.99+ (available in two sizes).

    20. A sprayable body acne mist that will have you screaming "WHY DON'T MORE BRANDS MAKE THIS?!" It features a blend of salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and witch hazel to keep body breakouts under control and a nozzle that sprays at any angle, so you can really target those problem areas with ease.

    Model holding bottle of Versed Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist
    Model spraying bottle of Versed Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist

    Promising review: "I bought this a few months back just to try it out and I can honestly say I love it. I spray it all over my back, chest, bum, back of my legs, basically anywhere on my body that I tend to have breakouts, and it has cleared my acne tremendously. I also stopped getting those stubborn ingrown hairs on my bum and legs! Must try it out!!!" —MISSCHAVEZ604

    Get it from Versed for $14.99.

    21. An all-natural pimple potion with a super-convenient rollerball applicator so you can quickly swipe it over your skin the second you feel a breakout occurring.

    Bottle of Pimple Potion from RootedEarth
    Rooted Earth/Etsy

    Promising review: "My hormonal acne is pretty bad. Applied pimple potion at 4:30 p.m. and it went down dramatically by 7:30. This stuff is MAGICAL." —Rosemary Perez

    Rooted Earth is a small Etsy shop based in Casco, Maine.

    Get it from Rooted Earth on Etsy for $14.99+ (also available in a pack of three).