Skip To Content

    We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

    38 Cheap Skincare Products That Are Actually Much Better Than Luxury Brands

    What do we want? RESULTS. How do we want it? For as cheap as possible tbh.

    1. 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 multitask.

    2. 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.

    a hand holding the grey cleansing brush

    3. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum wards off wrinkles, evens out dark spots, and helps brighten your overall complexion with a 🍃plant-based🍃 blend of ingredients including hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, and jojoba oil.

    4. Mighty Patches drain your zits overnight so you can avoid picking or any of the other lovely benefits of a usually longer-lasting breakout. Not to mention they get rid of acne faster than most complicated luxury routines.

    5. Mizon Black Snail All In One Moisturizer Cream brings the rewards of the lauded ~black snail~ right to your fingertips. It won't be slow to show you why it's usually so expensive: minimized pores, cleared blackheads, and a brighter complexion are just some of what this brings to the table.

    the black jar of all-in-one cream

    6. The Inkey List Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser targets things like dark spots and texture on your face by gently cleaning, exfoliating, and brightening your skin. And that price point? Your wallet might actually say thank you. 

    Hand squeezing out product from a tube of the fulvic acid cleanser

    Promising review: "I like trying out a lot of different skincare products, but I always find myself coming back to this cleanser. It takes makeup off fully, leaves my skin feeling clean, and moisturizes and brightens. I’ll definitely be sticking with this in the future." –Paige441

    Get it from Sephora for $5.49+ (available in two sizes). 

    7. Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips draw blackheads, dirt, and oil out of clogged pores from your nose and forehead like a freaking 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.

    reviewer's photo of a used strip with blackheads on it

    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.

    the green bottle of body scrub

    9. Eva Naturals Skin-Clearing Serum boasts one heck of a formula to attack breakouts ~head on~. We're talking 5% hyaluronic acid, 2% salicylic acid, and 20% vitamin C — just to name a few. I'm not saying life will be perfect, but you WILL have clearer skin and a fuller wallet. So it'll be pretty darn close.

    10. Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner tightens up pores, reduces redness, and keeps oil production in check with rose petal water, witch hazel extract, and aloe vera. As far as curb appeal goes (or counter, if you will), we also love that the bottle looks like it came from an old-timey apothecary.

    11. 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.

    the bottle of cold cream cleanser next to a set of false eyelashes

    12. CeraVe SA Body Wash needs only a few ingredients to cancel rough and bumpy skin: essential ceramides to restore natural hydration and salicylic acid to exfoliate and soften. The best part? It's all achieved with a few good lathers in the shower. Farewell, inexplicably expensive body washes. It's down the drain for you.

    the bottle of body wash which says it has three essential ceramides and salicylic acid

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    15. Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask saves the day whenever your skin is feeling *the blues*. Dead sea minerals absorb excess oil, purify clogged pores, and show pesky breakouts the door (all in just ten minutes). It even relaxes you with lavender aromatherapy. Can spas do this? Maybe, but not for $3.

    16. BlushLips helps you kiss expensive lip masks goodbye in favor of this quick and easy exfoliating tool. This + any lip balm or scrub = a smoother, happier pucker.

    a model holding three of the brushes

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. Noxzema Ult-Clear Anti-Blemish Pads clear breakouts with just the flick of your wrist, courtesy of their formula of eucalyptus oil and menthol. They'll end your day with a *refreshing tingle*, smooth your complexion, and will never make you pay the price for having a dang pimple.

    the blue container of anti-blemish pads

    20. 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.

    a hand holding the clear bottle of mattifying cleansing water

    21. Bliss That's Incredi-peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads for canceling your next appointment for a pricey peels. Their spa-strength formula of glycolic acid targets acne, fine lines, and discoloration to reveal brighter, clearer skin. Feel free to tip yourself.

    three of the individually wrapped pads

    22. Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel calms irritation and redness, fades acne scars, and even brightens your complexion in one quick step. Aloe and propolis, I declare you the winner over $$$ moisturizers with unknown ingredients.

    reviewer's before and after picture which shows acne on their forehead and then a near-clear forehead

    23. Teena Clar-i-ty Face Wash streamlines your routine when treating breakouts thanks to its vegan formula of vitamin B5, rosehip oil, and hemp seed oil. It'll deep clean pores, improve clarity, and soften skin in one easy step. Not to mention, what fancy face wash is PINK?! Take. My. Money.

    24. Eve Hansen Peptide Eye Gel *smooths* over any tension you have with expensive eye creams — by telling you to toss 'em in the trash. This fast-acting formula of plant stem cells, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E are all you'll need to minimize fine lines, dark circles, and any proof you slept less than eight hours.

    the black bottle which is 0.5 ounces

    25. 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.

    26. Pacifica Beauty Super Flower Rapid Response Face Oil is loaded with rose and blue tansy oils, vitamins A and C, and fatty acids to not only soothe irritated skin and reduce redness, but also make sure your complexion never *wilts*. You know what else won't? Your bank account.

    a tube of the face oil

    27. Nature Republic Forest Garden Cleansing Oil brings you all the benefits of (usually expensive) double oil cleansing even if you use this alone. Its combo of jojoba oil and chamomile extract remove makeup, soothe breakouts, and refresh your complexion without the need for investing in any other face wash.

    the yellow bottle which has flowers on it

    28. SkinFood Peach Jelly Soothing Gel sweetens the deal of its low cost by soothing parched skin with 90% peach extract (rich in vitamins A and C) and leaving your complexion smoother than a baby's 🍑. Interesting that a tub of this works better than most tiny $80 serums.

    the pink tub of soothing gel which is clear

    29. 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.

    a reviewer's before and after photo which show acne and then no acne

    30. 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.

    a hand pouring toner onto a cotton pad

    31. PleasingCare Natural Green Tea Oil Absorbing Tissues take blotting sheets one step further by absorbing excess oil and controlling shine AND soothing irritated complexions with green tea. Under $10 and more refreshing than most high-end skincare? I call witchcraft.

    32. 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 almost 1,000 people happy. Coincidence? I think NOT.

    the black 8-ounce bar of soap

    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. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment may be a conventional solution to pesky zits, but it WORKS, thanks to its 2% salicylic acid acne medication. It'll dramatically reduce swelling, redness, and size while you simply sleep. Sometimes old school is still best, especially when it's this cheap.

    a reviewer's before and after photo which shows inflamed pimples and then much less noticeable pimples

    35. Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme boasts jojoba oil and vitamin E to drastically hydrate your chapped face, hands, or body practically overnight. AND! Its formula is still lightweight so you won't break out. There's a certain brand that rhymes with Shmiehl's that owes me $30.

    36. Dr. Pawpaw Multi-Purpose Balm is a one-stop remedy for chapped lips, dry hair, sunburned skin, cracked cuticles — you name it. The formula harnesses the power of pawpaw fruit, aloe vera leaf juice, and olive fruit oil in order to naturally address all of your skincare concerns.

    The yellow tube of original Dr. PAWPAW and a model showing the vaseline-like consistency of the product

    37. A popular and affordable hyaluronic acid serum with vitamin B5 because healthy hydration is ~so in~, and this is *basically* just a bottle of effective, dewy goodness for your face. 

    Facial hyaluronic serums work to help your skin produce more moisture, while also making other hydrating products, like your daily moisturizer(s), more effective.

    Promising reviews: "This serum makes my skin so much softer and smooth to the touch immediately after applying. Before I started using it, I had really oily skin and this has definitely managed my skins barrier really well by maintaining its hydration throughout the day and preventing my skin from overproduction of oils on my face." –MinnieDW15

    "I recently picked this up again and I can’t believe I ever stopped using it! My skin is very dry and this hydrates it so well without leaving any sticky or tacky residue. The rest of my skincare and makeup goes on flawlessly on top of it." –librab4by

    Get it from Sephora for $7.50+ (available in two sizes). 

    38. CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum is a beginner-friendly and top-rated retinol product that gently smooths skin and reduces redness, as well as the appearance of pores and post-acne marks. Effective skincare doesn't have to break the bank!