41 Cheap Skincare Products That Are Better Than Expensive Brands
Skincare under $20 that saves you money and delivers r-e-s-u-l-t-s.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. 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. Etude House Air Masks are already a favorite in Japan, but are now one click away from replacing your overpriced skincare. Each formula is packed with natural ingredients to address different goals (i.e. pomegranate to help you glow, strawberry to brighten, and aloe to hydrate). And! They're super lightweight so you never feel sticky — just refreshed.
2. La Roche-Posay Face Wash Cleanser makes sure a) you get your money's worth (just look at the size of that bottle!) and b) you can wash off all your makeup, remove excess oil, and end the day with a fresh face in a few minutes flat. It's extra gentle, yet super effective! High-end cleansers...explain yourselves.
3. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub multitasks like no other exfoliant by clearing excess oil, treating breakouts, and bringing out a glowing complexion from underneath. Gone are the days of dimming your bank account in the name of brighter skin.
4. Jivi Moisturizer enlists the help of exclusively all-natural ingredients to not only provide all-day hydration thanks to shea butter, cucumber peel, and aloe vera, but also protect you from the sun with SPF 12 mineral sunscreen. SO LONG, overpriced lotions. Come back when you learn how to do it all.
5. Eco Tools Facial Cleansing Brush deep-cleans pores and lightly exfoliates so you can make the most out of even cheap face washes. Tl;dr: this gets rid of makeup, oil, and dirt A LOT more effectively than pricey skincare. I'd like to see them try and scrub like this lil' guy.
7. Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips draw blackheads, dirt, and oil out of clogged pores from your nose and forehead like a flipping magnet. Deep clean does not even BEGIN to define these. We're ready to *turn our noses up* at anything costlier than these life-savers.
8. The Seaweed Bath Co. Body Cream combines the power of argan oil, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and aloe to not only hydrate parched skin, but also dramatically replenish lacking nutrients with bladderwrack seaweed. Think of this as the ultimate green smoothie for your body. Can designer lotions do that? I think NOT.
9. Garnier SkinActive Super Hydrating Sheet Masks rescue thirsty complexions in just 15 minutes, courtesy of its ultra-moisturizing hero ingredient: hyaluronic acid (plus pomegranate seeds to brighten!). No need to ~dry out~ your bank account to get dewy skin.
10. Andalou Naturals Glycolic Brightening Mask gives you a *treat yourself* moment that will leave your skin brighter, smoother, and clearer, courtesy of vitamin C and exfoliating properties. And to think you used to waste your burrito budget on more expensive masks for the same darn effects.
11. Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil helps you ditch your complicated skincare routine that is REALLY adding up by sticking to this one-and-done serum that delivers all the results of designer skincare: it tackles redness, scarring, pimples, and everything in-between. Reviewers say they've ditched $$$ labels and now have ✨glowing✨, healing skin!
12. Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser acts as the only skincare step you need at the end of the day. It effortlessly removes even waterproof makeup, moisturizes, and deep-cleanses your pores — all at once. Oh, and saves you money. This face cream has already achieved more than I ever will.
13. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream helps you flake on super dry and red skin with literally just this product. It's so thick yet effective that it's earned the National Eczema Seal of Acceptance, which you'll definitely understand when your complexion finally feels hydrated for 24 hours. It's officially time to wish pricey routines farewell.
14. Shea Moisture African Black Soap works overtime with its sidekick shea butter to fight acne all over: be it on your face, tuchas, chest, wherever. Strange that I've never heard of a $50 body wash that makes over 1,000 people happy. Coincidence? I don't THINK so.
15. PleasingCare Natural Green Tea Oil Absorbing Tissues take blotting sheets one step further by absorbing excess oil, controlling shine, AND soothing irritated complexions with green tea. Under $15 and more refreshing than most high-end skincare? I call witchcraft.
16. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads laugh in the face of alternative, overpriced peels by resurfacing new skin in no time at all, thanks to their formula of exfoliating 2.8% glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, witch hazel, and a light moisturizer. Even if you're mid-breakout, these are gentle enough to tackle active pimples — and cost less than a dollar per pad.
17. Tend Skin Care Solution shaves your usual spending in half when it comes to nixing ingrown hairs and razor bumps ~in the bud~. When applied before waxing or shaving, it drastically reduces redness, irritation, and bumps — even in the bikini area!
18. Aquaphor Lip Repair moisturizes cracked, dry puckers more than any fancy lip mask on EARTH (in my humble opinion) with nourishing vitamins, shea butter, and soothing chamomile. If you're on a drying acne medication (i.e. Accutane), this is your savior.
19. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel helps you abandon dry skin AND overspending with its water-gel and hyaluronic acid formula. Not to mention it's great for wearing under makeup — so long, foundation dry patches. We won't miss you.
20. Ebanel Bio Drying Lotion kills 👏 that 👏 zit, even if it's not a whitehead yet. No picking, scarring, or tears. Just fast healing overnight — a feat I've yet to see $$$ night creams accomplish.
21. Burt's Bees Hydrating Stick reduces moisturizing to one easy, on-the-go step thanks to its simple aloe-water formula in an even simpler stick design. Pricier brands were just running us dry — this little guy is the real deal.
22. Handmade Heroes Ultra Sexy Scrub helps you kiss expensive lip masks goodbye in favor of this vegan formula — we're talking avocado oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil for both gentle exfoliation *and* hydrating lip repair. Plus, you can use it as a mask overnight!
23. Aztec Indian Healing Clay Mask wages straight war on your tough (even cystic) breakouts, because it's time to show 'em who's boss. No matter how deep your acne goes, this mask will vacuum out clogged pores like there's no tomorrow. You know what will be there tomorrow? All the money you saved.
24. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser gives you MAJOR bang for your buck with pore-minimizing papaya and pineapple enzymes, *plus* acne-clearing exfoliants. Your skin will be brighter, your credit cards will be unscathed, and your bottle will last longer than most pricier alternatives.
25. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water confronts oily skin ~face to face~ with its specialty mattifying formula. It'll effectively remove makeup, purify pores, and cleanse excess oil in just a few swipes. If this were in a race with higher-end brands, it would be the hare...and the tortoise. It would just win.
26. Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil is made with hydrating cocoa butter, restorative retinol, and brightening Vitamin C to give your face the ✨glow✨ of an expensive facial at a fraction of the price.
Promising review: "I came across this looking for a cheaper replacement for my Tarte Maracuja Oil. I tried a few cheaper maracuja oils, but never any that made my skin look or feel anywhere near as good as this one does. I was a little hesitant as I hate the smell of cocoa butter. This has no cocoa butter smell to me at all. It actually works better than the Tarte oil at a fraction of the price. I can’t see ever being without this product. Definitely one - if not the best - budget-friendly beauty or skincare products I’ve ever tried." –Jennifer Salley
Get it from Amazon for $7.50.
27. Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream soothes dry, itchy, and irritated skin with nothing more than oat, soy, kiwi, and blackberry extracts. A few swipes of this > expensive sessions of trial-and-error.
28. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum treats dry skin to this widely loved, holy grail ingredient...for cheap!
29. Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner works just as well (if not better) than most high-end toners, but wins at keeping sensitive skin in mind. It gently treats acne, brightens skin, and tightens pores *without* causing irritation.
30. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream reduces the the look of dark circles and feeds your delicate undereye area with ceramides to boost their plumpness. And with this, your savings can remain plump, too — because spending $50+ on an eye cream makes both my eyes and wallet tearful.
31. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant improves the texture of flaky skin with a brightening formula of salicylic acid and soothing green tea, which deep dive into pores to unclog dirt and debris. And it's praised by reviewers who choose this over spa-priced peels. *Hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and dead winter skin have all left the chat.*
32. Tower 28 Daily Rescue Facial Spray rejuvenates with just three simple skin wonders, including hypochlorous acid and water, that melt skin stressors, hydrate, and soothe the appearance of redness. One spritz of this will make you forget all about overrated facials.
33. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter ends your day on a luxurious note by removing even waterproof makeup while simultaneously refreshing your complexion with a rich chamomile formula. It turns out you *don't* need to drain your savings to feel smooth as silk.
34. PSA: These I Dew Care Mini Scoops Wash-Off Clay Masks might be some of the cutest skincare products we've ever seen and THEY WORK. Go ahead, scrub your skin with those strawberry seeds. You deserve it.
35. I have friends who claim Inkey List's Oil-Control Serum is "holy grail" status. It's pretty much a miracle-worker for taming acne, oily skin, and pores, so...don't mind us as we toss one (or two, or three) into our shopping carts.
36. Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 36 is a hydrating, water-based, everyday sunscreen that’s formulated without parabens and phthalates so it's ideal for people with dry or sensitive skin.
37. The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Face Moisturizer is jam-packed with skin-saving ingredients like pro-retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C to firm and brighten your skin so it feels nice and ~revitalized~.
38. Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream has a lightweight formula with ingredients like vitamin A and vitamin E to help your hands look, feel, and stay ultra-soft.
39. The Banila Co Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm is meant for all skin types and will shorten your forever-growing nighttime skincare routine.
40. Weleda Skin Food has an ultra-rich, plant-based formula designed to keep you soft and *supple*. Extracts of rosemary, chamomile, and pansy hydrate your skin, while a base blend of sunflower and sweet almond oil nourishes.
Promising review: "This is a MUST have! A MUST! I am always looking for that rich moisturizer that leaves your face so hydrated that you look fresh and rejuvenated, that is this stuff!!!! This is the most luxurious cream that truly continues to work, I never breakout or become too greasy, yet my skin looks HYDRATED and beautiful! I have tried Bobbi Brown, and many expensive products, this one tops them all! I wont go without this stuff!! I LOVE IT!!!!" –Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon fo $14.16+ (available in two sizes and multipacks).
41. Rosebud Perfume Co.'s Rosebud Salve is a multipurpose balm made to target dryness on your head, shoulders, knees, and toes (and lips, elbows, eyelids, cuticles, and all of the other dry parts of your body that aren't mentioned in the song).
Promising review: "I’ve used rosebud salve for almost 15 years now and I’ll never go without it! I use it every night before bed to hydrate my lips. I’ve even used it on blemishes, around my eyes during the dead of winter when my skin is very dry, on rashes or dry eczema patches on my kids, booboos…..It works wonders! And don’t expect to keep this in your purse or car- it will melt!" –merritju