Skip To Content

    31 Affordable Products From Target To Try If You’re Just Starting A Skincare Routine

    Your one-stop skincare destination begins here.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An ‎e.l.f. makeup-removing balm that melts off every stubborn trace of makeup in a snap — everything from waterproof mascaras to long-wearing eyeshadows. It's like magic in a bottle.

    e.l.f. cleansing balm submerged in water

    Promising review: "This is seriously the BEST first step in a double-cleansing routine. I use this nightly to remove my makeup and it takes everything off — including waterproof makeup — SO effortlessly. This product was out of stock for a while so when it came back I bought SEVERAL because I NEVER want to be without it. Such a great price. I will be a repeat customer." —Delanie

    Price: $10

    2. A jar of Versed's rich moisture cream to provide skin with a much-needed dose of hydration for any dryness that the seasons bring. Its key ingredients — which include algae extract, vitamin E, and glycerin — are real hydration heroes.

    jar of versed skin soak against peach background

    Promising review: "My new favorite night cream! I like it more than the more expensive creams that I have tried. I tend to have really dry skin and this  moisturizes without leaving my face greasy. Highly recommend!" —Kge110

    Price: $17.99

    3. A bottle of Naturium niacinamide serum that helps hide the appearance of oversized pores, improves skin texture, and vanishes breakouts. The serum's main ingredient, niacinamide, is known to improve a variety of skin concerns without causing any irritation.

    model hand holding Naturium Niacinamide Serum

    Promising review: "Ummmmm I’m pretty sure this stuff is magic? I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and my pores look smaller and my bumps are flatter/gone. Zero fragrance, feels good going on, good ingredients. A new product I now can’t live without. Definitely worth the price and I will be repurchasing!" —LindsR

    Price: $16

    4. A bottle of ‎BYBI bakuchiol facial treatment to improve texture, reduce pigmentation, and make skin feel smoother and softer. If you're someone whose skin is too sensitive for retinol, this plant-based retinol alternative will give you similar results.

    the bakuchiol

    Promising review: "I’ve been using this serum for three weeks now, and it has cleared up my acne and is starting to visibly fade my acne scars that I’ve had for about a year. It has also helped minimize the appearance of fine wrinkles I have around my eyes and on my forehead. I will definitely be buying another bottle when I run out of this one! A little goes a long way!" —Regan H

    Price: $9.99

    5. A jar of turmeric and vitamin C eye cream that brightens, smooths, and eliminates puffy eyes with anti-inflammatory ingredients, turmeric, and vitamin C. The gel formula also works fabulously under makeup or on its own.

    The jar of eye cream
    @sweetchefskincare / Via

    Promising review: "Love this eye cream! I’ve tried quite a few eye creams from high-end to drugstore, and this is the ONLY cream that has shown results. I actually skip concealer with confidence and that’s something I wouldn’t normally leave the house without. This is my official eye cream so please don’t change it or stop making it! It brightens and tightens and just leaves a wonderful glow!" —Lorie0707

    Price: $17.99

    6. A tube of La Roche-Posay UV-repairing moisturizer to provide soothing hydration to damaged skin while protecting it from harmful UV rays. (Read: your skin savior all year round.)

    the product in its tube on a counter next to cotton swabs

    Promising review: "I have dry, eczema-prone skin and I was very surprised that I wasn’t allergic to this! It’s both hydrating and a sunscreen. I was searching high and low for a sunscreen. Another sunscreen lotion made my face so itchy. But this one made my face hydrated and a little dewy. It makes me look glowy. Plus it’s not too expensive. Definitely recommend it for anyone with dry, eczema-prone skin. It doesn’t pill or leave a white cast, which is another plus!" —Jlove28

    Price: $24.49

    7. A pack of Mighty Patches that help reduce the size of zits overnight — which is actually a necessity, especially with ~all~ the breakouts we've been experiencing (hello, MASKNE!). You'll wake up with your zit visibly shrunken in size and less inflamed — a win for us all!

    the acne patches

    Promising review: "A must-have for acne! I have tried other (more expensive) patches that tear my skin up and don’t pull out the pus as much as these do. These are gentle enough, but actually work even for cystic acne spots and carbuncles. Seriously, just get these." —Target reviewer 

    Price: $7.99 for a 24-pack

    8. A little tub of Neutrogena's Hydro Boost gel moisturizer – it attracts and locks in moisture, leaving you super hydrated. Did we mention it also has an oil-free formula that won't trigger breakouts?

    three jars of the moisturizer

    Promising review: "I'm never one to write reviews but I always check reviews before I buy a product. Let me tell you, this product is amazing. I have extremely sensitive, acne-prone, and dry/tight skin. I had been looking for a moisturizer that doesn't pill with my vitamin C and goes on well under my SPF, and this is IT. This is so hydrating, smoothing, and makes my skin instantly plump! It doesn't make sense but it's truly amazing. Give it a try! I am currently on my third little tub of it!" —KWHIT27

    Price: $17.59

    9. A ROC retinol correction serum that reduces the appearance of deep-set lines (ya know, the pesky one on your forehead), decreases hyperpigmentation, and clears any and all breakouts. Pro tip: Make sure you use SPF with it to avoid irritation!

    the product in a gold jar with a white pump

    Promising review: "Around the time I turned 30, my skin started looking duller and grainier. This product made an incredible, noticeable difference in my skin. I've always tried to take good care of my skin without breaking the bank; this product does just that." —Tiffany377

    Price: $21.99

    10. A tube of SLMD's salicylic acid cleanser – it targets blackheads and acne while improving your skin's texture and tone. Because it is super potent, reviewers recommend using it every other day.

    Hand squeezing SLMD cleanser into palm

    Promising review: "This saved my skin! I have normal skin and breakouts pretty often, along with fungal acne. This cleared all of it. I don’t recommend using it every day because it will damage your moisture barrier, but overall it's my favorite cleanser." —Adriana

    Price: $24.99

    11. A 14-pack of ‎I Dew Care's "Let's Get Sheet Faced" masks that do it ALL: soothe skin, provide a burst of hydration, brighten tired complexions, and much, much more. And, since you can use the masks every day, you can give your skin some much-needed TLC.

    Set of face masks scattered across each other

    Promising review: "Love these masks — skin is so soft and glows after! Good price, and the cute packaging is a plus!" —Melika81

    Price: $18.06

    12. A bottle of vitamin C and tripeptides brightening serum – it brightens your complexion and reduces dullness with every use. Licorice root — the MVP ingredient — adds an extra boost of brightening power, eliminating acne and dark spots, too!

    bottle of bliss bright idea lying on mirror

    Promising review: "I was excited to try this product. Reasonably priced and had good reviews. I’m in my late 30s and wanted to give my skin a glow. I loved the Murad vitamin C serum, but not the price. After using this product, I noticed my skin tone was almost immediately better. The formula soaks up in the skin quickly." —Thirtysomethingmom

    Price: $26.99

    13. A tube of La Roche-Posay's multipurpose cream to heal, soothe, and moisturize eczema, dry skin, and other skin conditions. It also contains a whole slew of ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin.

    La Roche-Posay Cicaplast

    Promising review: "I've tried some luxury cica creams and I honestly prefer this one. It's been great for keeping my skin hydrated and calm post–Retin-A application. There is no scent and it absorbs quickly. I usually put a night cream over it, but if your skin is less dry, it could probably work as a standalone moisturizer." —ngc

    Price: $17.69

    14. A bottle of Cerave's hydrating face wash that removes dirt and other buildup on your face without stripping your skin of any moisture. Plus, it'll help restore your skin's moisture barrier with each wash.

    CeraVe cleanser on bathroom sink

    Promising review: "The best face wash! At first, I felt weird about getting a facial cleanser that doesn’t foam up, but it leaves my face feeling so clean and nourished afterward. I have pretty dry skin and my face loves this stuff!" —Love

    Price: $6.29

    15. A jar of Sweet Chef's sugarcane and vitamin E lip mask to smooth and exfoliate lips, keeping them baby soft. Just apply before bed and leave on overnight!


    Promising review: "I am loving this lip mask! I was using the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, which I've really enjoyed, but I honestly think this works better. It stays on my lips all night and my lips are plump in the morning. Would definitely recommend." —Cassi

    Price: $14.99

    16. A cute bottle of Pixi's glow serum that hydrates and exfoliates your skin to achieve the ultimate glow, thanks to ingredients like glycolic acid, aloe vera, and ginseng.

    Pixi Glow tonic serum in someone's hand

    Promising review: "This is my holy grail skincare item. I have oily, breakout-prone skin, and since I've started using this, my breakouts have become practically nonexistent. When I do break out, the pimples are smaller, less angry, and usually go away in a day or two. This stuff is miraculous." —Allie

    Price: $24

    17. A tub of Olay's retinol nighttime moisturizer – it hydrates underneath the skin's surface with its powerful complex of retinol, niacinamide, and peptides. It moisturizes skin while tackling wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and texture issues.

    Fingers dipping into Olay retinol cream

    Promising review: "This moisturizer is my new favorite evening routine product! So smooth and silky and noticeable results in just a few days." —Gazoleen

    Price: $40.49

    18. ‎A bottle of La Roche-Posay's gentle face cleanser to remove dirt and makeup effectively. It's also wonderful for sensitive skin types and has a comfortable creamy formula free from parabens and sulfates.

    Hand holding cleanser while other hand shows formula in palm

    Promising review: "Made my face feel amazing! So hydrating and did not clog my pores. Also a great value with how much product you are getting compared to other face washes." —skincaregal

    Price: $18.29

    19. A plant-powered ultra-rich body-moisturizing cream that uses botanical extracts made from organic chamomile, calendula, and wild pansy, plus nourishing sunflower and sweet almond oils, to help add a heavy dose of hydration.

    Weleda skin cream lying flat near flower and fresh lavender

    Promising review: "This cream is so thick and moisturizing. I put it on at night because it’s a little too thick for me for the daytime. It does a great job moisturizing and it may feel like it’s going to leave your skin greasy, but give it time to work in and by morning your skin will feel great. There’s a reason so many people are obsessed with this cream!" —Bethany12

    Price: $18.99

    20. A bottle of Naturium's glycolic acid resurfacing gel – it uses a chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid) to smooth uneven skin tone, texture, and fine lines.

    a bottle of glycolic acid

    Promising review: "I’m in love with this. Never in my life have I had so much improvement on my pores and this actually makes me look way younger. I love it and will never stop using it. I really recommend this product. It’s incredible, magic, in love, have no words." —Jeaneida

    Price: $23

    21. A luxurious facial steamer that opens pores, hydrates skin, and feels ~so~ relaxing. To take it up a notch, add a few drops of your fave essential oil for a spa-like experience.


    Promising review: "I did some research on facial steamers and decided on this one. I've been using it mainly during winter or whenever my skin feels dry and doesn't look as good. This is a really good steamer — never fails and lots of steam comes out. Very well made and you can remove the water container to let it air out. I just bought the Vanity Planet facial brush with the silicone brush attachment and can't wait for that one!" —Marie

    Price: $49.99

    22. A Bliss cream-to-water moisturizer to add next-level hydration to your skin with the infusion of four types of hyaluronic acid. Apply both morning and night if your skin needs a boost.

    An open jar Bliss cream-to-water moisturizer

    Promising review: "A must-have for my skincare routine. Put this on at night, keeps my face hydrated for the entire next day. Not heavy. Light. Does not break out my skin. I have combo skin, acne-prone." —Christy

    Price: $24.49

    23. Or! A Bliss vitamin C and tripeptide moisturizer that uses clinical-grade vitamin C to give you undeniably glowing results. Did we mention it also delivers intense hydration and helps elasticity with every use?

    An orange jar of vitamin C moisturizer

    Promising review: "I use this moisturizer at night along with the serum and I love this! My skin gets dry between the season changes and my daily makeup wearing. This moisturizer is thick and I feel like I'm really taking care of my skin as I apply it. I have not used this as a morning moisturizer." —Target reviewer

    Price: $25.49

    24. An all-in-one hydrating milk toner – it reintroduces hydration to your skin after cleansing. For the best results, apply right after you wash your face but before you apply any serums.


    Promising review: "Great to use just before my serums. It brings back moisture to my dry, dehydrated skin and helps my skin stay hydrated for most of the day. A wonderful new addition to my skincare routine! Also, the pump is perfect and makes it easy to use!" —Bubstex

    Price: $17.99

    25. A tube of Black Girl Sunscreen that prevents sun damage, hyperpigmentation and fine lines without the dreaded white patina. We *love* a multitasking product!

    a model using the sunscreen

    Promising review: "I deal with hyperpigmentation and needed a sunscreen to go with my new skincare routine. I looked online for a sunscreen for African American women. Due to the name and price, I ordered this sunscreen. I LOVE IT! No white residue on your face. It is a moisturizer that applies smoothly and feels light on your skin. Also, it works. I have finally found a sunscreen after all these years of looking." —Angel

    Price: $15.99

    26. A packet of under-eye–brightening patches with vitamin C – it plays no games in brightening and boosting hydration. Apply in the morning to *pretend* you actually got eight hours of sleep last night.

    A woman wearing blue under eye masks

    Promising review: "Finally an under-eye patch that works for me! Pretty easy to separate from the backing. Did not dry out under my eyes even leaving them on for longer. The skin under my eyes was noticeably brighter!" —Lauri

    Price: $4.99

    27. A Versed microcrystal exfoliator to gently exfoliate using microcrystalline (a plant-based, biodegradable alternative to harmful microbeads) that leaves your skin soft, smooth, and *glowing*!

    a model holding a tube of the exfoliator / Via @versed

    Promising review: "I was looking for an exfoliator that was free of nasty stuff and also didn't have either plastic or nuts in it for the exfoliator. I love this product. It says to use it one to two times a week, and I honestly don't need it more than that. It works so well. I'd been having breakouts on my chin (hello, masks!) and this really helped." —Cass

    Price: $16.99

    28. A quintessential bottle of Thayers rose witch hazel that'll fight acne while providing a dewy glow. Reviewers also claim it helps smooth out skin texture, too!

    a bottle of rose petal witch hazel standing in red rose petals

    Promising review: "I could hardly wait to try this product after reading other happy reviewers. I was not disappointed! It has improved the texture of my skin. Softer with no dryness, smaller pores, and reduced the bumps on my chin." —Must Buy

    Price: $11.99

    29. An even-tone cleansing bar – it acts as a three-in-one cleanser, exfoliator, and brightener. Fans of the product also say that it helps with acne while preventing scarring.

    Urban Skin RX Event Tone Cleansing Bar on a vanity with earrings on top of it

    Promising review: "OMG. I'm a Brown girl (South Asian/Indian) and I have skin discoloration. I randomly picked this up and it makes a huge difference! My coworkers noticed a difference a few weeks after I bought it. By the time I was finished with my first container I had clear and even skin. This is the best thing ever for a Brown girl. GET IT. I just bought my second."" —Binka

    Price: $15.89

    30. A ginger and vitamin C serum that protects skin against free radicals, fights acne, reduces dark spots, and balances out skin tone. It deserves hero status, if you ask us!

    Sweet Chef Ginger Vitamin C serum shot on top of ginger root

    Promising review: "This is my very first experience using a vitamin C serum and so far it's been great. Not only is this little serum so hydrating but I really feel like my skin is glowing. It's so much more even-toned and my acne scarring has diminished greatly. Huge plus is that it didn't make me break out which can happen often starting out a new skincare product." —hamin

    Price: $19.99

    31. A La Roche-Posay salicylic acid toner to reduce breakouts, exfoliate dead skin cells, and unclog pores. Some say that this is an affordable dupe for Biologique Recherche's P50.

    Three products from La Roche-Posay Effaclar line

    Promising review: "I have large pores and oily skin with a lot of nose blackheads. After a couple weeks of using this under my moisturizer before bed I can see an improvement. I also get small breakouts maybe once a week and I haven’t had a single one since using this." —AngtheLobster

    Price: $19.99

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated banner

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form