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    30 Skincare Products Under $20 That'll Upgrade Your Routine

    You'll feel super luxe without spending tons of money.

    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. Cetaphil Dermacontrol Purifying Clay Mask reduces the appearance of acne while keeping excess sebum at bay — a double win!

    Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

    Elena Garcia, a BuzzFeed Shopping senior writer, swears by this! Here's a bit of what she has to say: "I've never, not once in my entire adult life, not had acne. I don't know a life without at least one little pimple friend. Through my many years, I've tried to treat, adapt, name it, in hopes of dealing with what manifests on my skin. But in the last few years, I've noticed my acne become something much more stubborn and much harder to treat — that was, until I found this mask. The difference in my skin — my sensitive, acne-prone skin — since using this mask is astonishing. My bigger, more painful pimples dried up almost instantly and my pores shrunk down so much! I went from having what looked like a strawberry for a nose to just a regular, smooth nose!"

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    To learn more, check out her full Cetaphil mask review.

    2. Rael Microcrystal Spot Covers zap early stage zits before they hit the surface. The microcrystals in the patch will penetrate deep below your skin's surface to deliver a whole slew of ingredients — like white willow bark extract (to soothe), totarol (to fight bacteria), and hyaluronic acid (to hydrate) — to ensure the zit vanishes before it comes up to say hello.


    Promising review: "Just like the name says, miracle patch, really is a miracle! I used it on a pimple on the side of my cheek and the next day it was significantly less red and the bump decreased in size. I love these patches!" —tiramisu88

    Get a pack of nine from Rael for $12.

    3. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum leaves your skin plumper and smoother. Hyaluronic acid — its main ingredient — can hold 1,000 its weight in water so it'll penetrate deep into the skin with ~lots~ of hydration.

    the hyaluronic acid

    Promising review: "I love this product so much, it leaves my face moisturized and soft. Make sure to put it on while your face is damp so it absorbs better! Definitely something everyone should have in their skincare routine." —minaP26

    Get it from Sephora for $7.99.

    4. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser helps remove dirt and makeup from your face without leaving your skin dry like other cleansers.

    the reviewers before and after

    Promising review: "I was kind of hesitant at first because the texture is like lotion, but don’t let it fool you! It’s such a great face wash! I have struggled with my acne for years and have tried a billion different products and none of them worked like this one. It took about a month of consistent use but it made my skin look almost flawless. I’m not wearing makeup in either picture." —Cassidy Cooper

    Get it from Amazon for $14.64 (available in two sizes).

    5. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion zaps away your blemishes while your catching some much-needed ZZZs. Dab a little of this on, hit the hay, and wake up with a vanished zit. It'll give the same results as getting your zit extracted in a facial, so it's truly a *major* routine upgrade.

    Reviewer's before and after of skin cleaning up from heavy breakout after using the spot treatment

    Promising review: "I discovered this drying lotion when my daughter was a teenager. She used another popular trio of acne prevention products and they were fine, but that occasional uninvited zit before prom or picture day was always cause for major freak outs. I don’t remember how I came across Mario Badescu drying lotion, but to this day, I don’t know how my daughter would have gotten thru high school without it. We turned the entire senior class on to this stuff. You just shake it up, grab a Q-tip, dot it on the break out, go to bed and wake up to a miracle. It is a drying lotion, therefore, it’s not moisturizing. But a little water based moisture after use (not while using) is not a bad idea. It smells OK, a little mediciney, but who cares? It works. So much so, that my most recent purchase was for my teenage granddaughter grappling with her first forehead breakout - who asked for the stuff because my daughter - her mom- has used it for years. A must have for breakouts, no matter your age." —Susanabanana

    Get it from Amazon for $17.

    6. Glossier Milky Oil removes waterproof makeup without irritating your skin — a rarity, I know. Within the squeezable bottle lies a conditioning formula of comfrey root extract, micellar water, and pro-vitamin B5 to ensure ~all~ the makeup is gone — sans a red, puffy face or eyes.

    the makeup remover

    Promising review: "I’ve been looking for something that takes off my waterproof mascara and I'm happy I finally found it! This stuff is amazing and is going to be my new go to." —Ashley

    Get it from Glossier for $12.

    7. Differen Acne Spot Treatment Gel works when your other gentle acne treatments just aren’t cutting it. This one — with its efficacious formula made of Adapalene (an ingredient similar to retinoid that's suitable for everyday use) — will eliminate stubborn acne, halt breakouts in their track, and prevent new acne from returning to your cheeks, chin, and forehead.

    the reviewers progress throughout three and a half months using the gel

    Promising review: "Look I don’t know what kind of magical potion is in this little bottle but I’ve used it approximately four times in the past week and my skin is GLOWING. My pores are suddenly nonexistent and my blackheads have shrunk. This stuff is amazing. Also it’s really moisturizing and not as irritating as other retinoids I have used in the past. The bottle is smaller than I was expecting but it is worth every penny. Great stuff. 11/10." —Demi

    Get it from Amazon for $15.16.

    8. Peace Out Skincare Acne Healing Dots combine hydrocolloid technology with an anti-acne ingredient to help breakouts evaporate overnight. Pop one of these on before bed and bam — bye, bye zit!

    Peace Out Skincare

    Promising review: "I usually get a few pimples here and there and I just put on these stickers on before. I go to bed and it is almost gone when I wake up!!" —Moonbeam

    Get it from Peace Out Skincare for $19.

    9. Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber™ Mask with Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid helps to create ~ultimate~ spa night at home. The mask contains two parts — an ampoule and a rubber mask — that you'll use by applying the ampoule to the skin and then the rubber mask on top. Together the two provide benefits such as increased hydration (due to the hyaluronic acid) and moisture (due to the kelp extract).

    the mask and ampoule

    Promising review: "I used this mask last night and wow. I have never used a mask that worked this well. I am using a prescription retinoid and my face is very very dry right now so I bought this thinking it would just be a nice calming thing for my skin. I had no idea it was going to make my skin so plump and soft and moisturized. I am definitely going to buy this mask before every special occasion now. I still can’t stop staring at my face. It’s glowing." —Teashades

    Get it from Sephora for $14.

    10. Bliss Jelly Glow Peel exfoliates with pineapple and papaya enzymes to gently buff away dead skin to prevent dullness.

    the jelly glow peel

    Promising review: "Bliss Jelly Glow Peel is unlike any other exfoliating product I’ve ever used. The second I began applying it (in small circles, per instructions) I could see something happening to the gel. I thought it was getting congealed and turning white but then I quickly realized that that wasn’t the gel turning white at all. The gel was still light translucent pink and the white beads clumping up was the dead skin! I’m pretty diligent with my skincare, so wow. I was surprised. From now on, this is my go-to skin exfoliant.." —Melinda Barnes

    Get it from Amazon for $9.

    11. The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm dissolves makeup and excess oil without stripping the skin of ~any~ moisture. And, its main ingredient oat, supports the skin's moisture barrier, helps reduce redness, and soothes any irritation so it makes the perfect gentle cleanser.


    Promising review: "Removes makeup like no other. My face felt so smooth and clean. It was not irritating and so gentle on my sensitive skin. This is the way to go!" —Babyrons

    Get it from Sephora for $9.99.

    12. Eva Naturals Vitamin C Serum helps with sun damage, prevents pesky breakouts, and restores hydration.

    before image showing reviewers acne scars and after photo showing clearer skin with less scarring

    Promising review: "Holy Grail!! My skin is clear for the first time in 20 years. This is so amazing. If they discontinue this product or change the formula, I will be heartbroken. This has seriously changed my life. The old spots are even fading and I hardly use any makeup at all now. At this price, even if you e tried everything else and failed, give this serum a chance!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95 (available in two sizes)

    13. Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patches shrink zits overnight which is actually a necessity, especially with MASKNE. You'll wake up with your zit visibly shrunken in size and less inflamed — I can personally attest to this.


    Promising review: "I have been breaking out around my chin area and I think it’s because my face isn’t used to wearing a mask all the time. I’ve tried all kinds of face washes and it just would not budge!! Then, I came across these and gave it a shot and I LOVE THEM. I put them on under my mask or while I sleep and when I peel the patches off my skin just looks soo much better. Top pic is before bed, and the bottom pic is after waking up and taking them off. So very happy with this product and would definitely recommend!" —Luluvita Silva

    Get a pack of 36 from Amazon for $12.50.

    14. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA serum leaves your skin smoother and healthier looking due to its main ingredient, lactic acid. With usage, it'll reduce uneven skin tone, dullness, and more.

    the serum

    Promising review: "I have problem skin, very sensitive to new products so I was worried about this product. I have bad acne scaring and discoloration on my cheeks from my struggle with acne. Using this product every night before I go to bed has made my acne scarring much less noticeable in as little as two months. I will be continuing to use this product to help even my skin tone over time. I recommend this to everyone!!" —cassnow

    Get it from Sephora for $6.80.

    15. Bióre Pore Strips remove blackheads, dirt, and other gunk from clogging your pores. By using their patented C-bond technology, the strips are able to lift the pore plug instead of just the surface level gunk — aka it really gets a deep clean.

    the reviewers pore strip after usage.

    Promising review: "These deep cleansing pore strips are amazing! I warm up my face with hot water and leave areas for application wet, then apply the strips! Having an acne-prone skin this really removes all the blackheads!! I also take a face strip and cut it in half for chin and forehead." —kat12

    Get a pack of 14 from Amazon for $7.52 (available in three sizes).

    16. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm combines shea butter and glycerin to soothe irritated skin in a snap. The multi-purpose balm is suitable for the face, body, lips, and hands, and, according to reviewers, doesn't cause breakouts.

    before and after photo of reviewer on left with visibly red skin labeled "8:41pm" and on right, visibly less red skin labeled "10:47pm"

    Promising review: "I had a terrible allergic reaction to tea tree oil about two weeks ago. Tiny bumps all over my face along with bunches of breakouts and my normally oily skin was so dry the strongest moisturizers I had wouldn’t keep it moisturized for long. I tried this stuff and OVERNIGHT basically all the bumps and my breakouts are gone. I have incredibly sensitive skin (clearly) and this stuff feels so soothing on my face and leaves it looking bright. I can’t speak more highly of this product. I will probably continue using it as a regular daily moisturizer even after my skin goes back to normal because it feels so smooth and I bet it would make a great base for makeup. HIGHLY recommend to anyone with sensitive, combination skin. And I’m acne-prone and this stuff doesn’t break me out. Holy grail people!" —SH

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    17. Versed Brightening, Tightening Mask works to tone, brighten, and tighten your complexion thanks to two superstar ingredients: turmeric and red kaolin clay. Also, did I mention this mask is under $10 and has squeezable packaging that doesn't require any scooping? BRB, adding to cart ASAP.

    white pouch with white nozzle labeled "Versed" / Via @versed

    Promising review: "I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks now and I love this product for my sensitive skin. It really helps to clear blemishes from my skin and brighten my complexion. I definitely recommend it!" —SHHHKYRA

    Get it from Versed for $9.99.

    18. Aveeno Facial Wipes fit anywhere to remove makeup on-the-go. They'll nourish your skin and swipe off everything in a flash — no harsh scrubbing required.

    A person holding makeup wipes and a moisturizer

    Promising review: "Oh how I love these perfect face wipes. ❤😍💖 As a woman "of a certain age", lol, I'm finding myself reaching out for moisturizing products more and more often; but nothing ever worked as beautifully as these little miracles. They cleanse, soothe, refresh, soften, moisturize, make my skin glow, smell amazing, and don't bother my eyes in the least. I also don't need to get a second job in order to afford them, a huge plus in my book. I can't imagine using anything else! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ❤" —Marina M.

    Get it from Amazon $5.97.

    19. e.l.f Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Eye Cream provides your dark circles (from many, many nights staying up late watching Netflix) with a dose of instant hydration with peptides and hyaluronic acid. Luxe eye creams usually cost ~way~ more, so finding an incredible one like this for $10 is an instant add to cart moment.

    the eye cream
    e.l.f. Cosmetics

    Promising review: "I've purchased this eye cream at least three or four times. I haven't stopped using it since I started!" —BiBi101

    Get it from E.l.f Cosmetics for $10.

    20. Eucerin Redness Relief Night Creme soothes your complexion overnight, so you can wake up to smooth, healthy glowing skin. The reason it soothes so brilliantly? It's superstar ingredient, licorice root extract.

    Promising review: "I have rosacea that was flaring up after using an expensive prescription cream for a year. Within a week, I saw a significant improvement in redness and blood vessel appearance. This works as well, if not better, than the $150 prescription I was using." —Kaye Werner

    Get it from Amazon for $10.34.

    21. Nooni Marshmallow Whip Maker makes using ~any~ cleanser into a luxurious experience. Just put a pearl-sized amount of your favorite cleanser and a bit of water inside and pump up and down to create the foam.

    Promising review: "This little item is amazing. It makes a huge amount of foam easily and it is fun to use. If you buy top quality cleansers you will save money because a pea sized amount makes A TON OF FOAM. It seems to make whatever you put into it work better. I had enough lather from one pea sized amount to do my face, shoulders and more and the yummy scent of my soap seemed to get all over me in a nicer way. This is a great product and it would also make a wonderful and fun gift. You will save product and enjoy using your product more. This literally works as promised and it’s nice when things do what they claim. Also when you use warm water the foam is warm.... it’s luxurious. Enjoy." —Kindle Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $7.

    22. Versed Cleansing Balm removes alllll your makeup — including waterproof— magically with just a few quick swipes — no harsh rubbing required.


    Promising review: "This is a staple for me! Removes EVERYTHING, including waterproof mascara without harsh scrubbing. Completely removes every drop of makeup and leaves your skin moisturized. A little goes a long way, and it should last you quite a while." —IMTM1224TL

    Get it from Versed for $17.99.

    23. Bliss Pumpkin Enzyme Resurfacing Mask allows you to gain AHA and BHA level results without the irritation it causes those of us (aka me!) with sensitive skin. Its inclusion of pumpkin enzymes gently eat away at dead skin cells to leave you with a beautifully brightening complexion.


    Promising review: "I felt a mild tingling sensation a few minutes after it was applied, which told me the fruit enzymes were doing their job. Rinses off easily and left my skin nicely exfoliated. Will continue to use!" —Sarah

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    24. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water helps remove your makeup with little to no effort. Just one swipe on a cotton pad is all you need!

    Promising review: "A great makeup remover! This is a drugstore must have product—it’s mentioned all over to have. No alcohol or fragrance in the ingredients which was the important thing to me, as I this frequently use to remove mascara and eyebrow makeup. It does a good job of removing what you need before washing your face. I will be buying the same product but different Micellar (they have three types) that removes waterproof mascara better. I recommend getting this and using it as a two-step in your routine." —Alize V-D

    Get it from Amazon for $6.79.

    25. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser melts even the most stubborn of makeup, oil, or gunk off of your face. Just add a few pumps to wet skin, insert a little mini facial massage, rinse, and that's it!

    Glossier, / Via @glossier

    Promising review: "I love how it’s not heavily fragrance, melts away everything, and doesn’t cause any irritation. I am not acne prone, but I’ve tried other cleaners and omg they break me out so much. THIS ONE however? Chef's kiss. Sooo good and makes my skin look good and feel good." —enellozano

    Get it from Glossier for $9+ (available in two sizes).

    26. Pan Oxyl Acne Foaming Wash kills acne-causing bacteria while it lifts dirt (and other debris) from your pores due to its formula made of benzoyl peroxide. It’ll revitalize your skin *and* prevent future breakouts and blemishes.

    the Reviewer's before and after.

    Promising review: "I’ve been using it for a little over three weeks now and it has cleared all my active pimples and prevented new ones from popping up. I still have acne scars that will take longer to clear, but so far so good! It will dry your face so I recommend using a hydrating night cream or lotion after use. I tried Proactive and Proactive MD and neither have worked as well as this product has in a shorter amount of time." —Krystal

    Get it from Amazon for $9.48.

    27. Vanicream Moisturizing Cream soothes and tackles redness, and irritated, dry, cracked skin with an ultra creamy, fragrance-free formula. Yes, this is basically the holy grail of moisturizers.

    a reviewer showing a before and after of their skin

    Promising review: "I have struggled with very persistent eczema for years and this product has been a godsend. Prior to finding this brand, I had been devoted to the Cerave lotion lines but they were not really helping to heal my skin. Come to find out, I am highly allergic to several of the ingredients commonly found in Cerave and many other lotions and cheap skincare products. Vanicream is so great because it has less ingredients, and more sensitive ingredients than any other lotion brand I have come across. I have never had any irritation from this lotion and it has gone miles towards healing my rashes and open wounds. I have used this religiously for about two years now and I am never going back." —Lauren B.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.29.

    28. Mediheal Intensive Hydrating Mask promises luxury spa results — without spending the big bucks. Infused with hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and water-binding sugars, this cotton liner mask delivers dewy and refreshed skin in just 15 minutes.

    the sheet mask

    Promising review: "I have super dry, sensitive skin and any other sheet mask I've used has always burned or stings my skin. This mask soothes my skin and I can leave it on for 20 minutes or more without any irritation. It always hydrates my skin so much and leaves it super dewy and plump. It is definitely worth the money!!" —cass

    Get it from Amazon for $19.90.

    29. Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Surface Patches treat cluster breakouts — i.e those pesky breakouts on your chin — with a medical-grade hydrocolloid formula. Just peel, stick, and wait for results to happen!

    reviewer photo of the patch

    Promising review: "Awesome product! Perfect for those times, when a group of those nasty, what I call "water pimples", attach! I know it's not water, it's just the name I picked. They just appear and they are full of oil. They don't come to a head or anything, just grow and cause us pain. Well, you get a few of those and it's time for this big patch! I cut mine to whatever size I need, which is the only way to go, for me. This is the best thing that has happened since sliced bread!" —Robyn

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    30. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 50 ensures your skin will be protected on your many, many beach days this summer. It's the little luxuries, ya know?

    the sunscreen in its tube, next to the product packaging

    Promising review: "Since I've started using this, the brown spots have faded significantly and the plague of actinic keratoses seems to have stopped. I now keep one tube in the bathroom and one in the car, where I can apply to hands and arms if I've forgotten to put it on before flying out the door." —Victoria H.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.97.

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

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