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    20 Effective Skincare Products Under $20 We Love And Recommend

    Our absolute fave products from Versed, CeraVe, Acure Glossier, and more.

    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 β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A moisturizing cream by CeraVe that's taken TikTok by storm. A big ol' tub like this is an investment worth making, since according to pretty much everyone you'll want to stock up after it saves your dry skin.

    BuzzFeed editor holding the large tub of moisturizer
    Marquaysa Battle / BuzzFeed

    The moisturizer is fragrance- and oil-free. It's also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.

    "Since the spring, I've been dealing with stress acne that I never had before in my life. I resorted to an acne cleanser and spot treatment but those products are typically drying (because they're literally meant to dry out the blemishes) SO this moisturizer has been super key for ensuring my skin doesn't dry out while I try to clear up the pimples. Aside from it living up to its 24-hour hydration promise (game-changer), it has also never broken out my sensitive skin and actually helps soothe the many skin irritations that I experience. In short, it's my holy grail and CeraVe better not ever stop making it. 😊" β€”Marquaysa Battle

    Get it from Amazon for $15.66.

    2. A set of gold collagen masks by La Pure with collagen and hyaluronic acid to plump and brighten your under-eyes if you stayed up a little too late and want to at least *appear* bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

    Jasmin Sandal / BuzzFeed,

    The set comes with 15 pairs of eye masks.

    "I decided to put these golden gems to the test after coming off of a red-eye flight with practically no sleep. After cooling them off in the fridge (which is what was suggested on the packet), I applied them to my purpley, puffy eyes, and...w-o-w. Not only did I feel like I was receiving some kind of royal treatment (because, gold), but after 20 minutes, my undereyes appeared brighter and any fine lines that were once lingering had vanished! After wearing these I didn't feel compelled to apply concealer either, which is usually my go-to to disguise dark circles β€” and I even felt confident enough to go bare-faced for the rest of the day. Now, I find that I integrate these into my routine anytime I want to let my skin breathe free of makeup." β€”Jasmin Sandal

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    3. A brightening facial scrub from Acure that'll wrestle dead skin cells away from your face, but won't leave you feeling overly dry.

    buzzfeed writer holding the tube of product
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    The scrub is paraben-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.

    "My skin is primarily oily, but during the wintertime, it alternates between oily and dry. Luckily, I haven't had to change my facial scrub to match my skin's temperaments because this stuff does the job either way. One tube lasts me for around six months since I use a very small dab (quite literally less than a dime-sized amount). It has a very mossy smell, which I actually kind of like because it's actually a soothing scent first thing in the morning and it makes me feel like I'm using good ingredients on my face. This exfoliates so well that I've actually seen some acne marks on my face lighten up over time with continuous use. And, it always leaves my face feeling soft and smoother." β€”Jasmin Suknanan

    Get it from Amazon for $9.50.

    4. An effective acne drying treatment from Versed to zap breakouts as soon as they start to surface using bentonite clay, kaolin clay, and sulfur.

    model dabbing treatment onto fingertip

    The cleanser is formulated without parabens, silicones, or sulfates and is vegan and cruelty-free.

    I've never used a more effective overnight treatment β€” I put a visible layer over any budding pimples before bed, and usually by morning they're calmed and quelled. Sometimes it takes multiple days for the zit to completely leave, but I think that's super reasonable. I'm always stunned by this product's overnight effectiveness. Thanks for working the night shift, Game Over Drying Treatment!

    Get it from Versed for $16.99.

    5. A double repair moisturizer by La Roche-Posay to provide 48-hour hydration and helps repair your skin's natural protective barrier.

    reviewer's hand holding a squeezable bottle of the moisturizer

    The moisturizer is fragrance-free and paraben-free.

    "Having sensitive skin means that I can't just slap on any ole moisturizer or SPF on my skin and hope for the best. Sunscreen is essential for everyone on this planet, but I'm porcelain-complected and have a pretty bad case of rosacea. So walking outside without SPF is a major no-no. I'm a pretty big fan of La Roche-Posay (h/t to my derm) and this Toleraine Double Repair with SPF 30 has become my go-to daily moisturizer. Now that I'm in my 30s, my skin is dry and I need something that's super moisturizing β€” but not to like, emollient levels of moisture. This is a perfect balance for that. I've been using it for a little over a year and it hasn't failed me yet! Plus, one bottle of it lasts a really long time. Ugh, I love this brand." β€”Elizabeth Lilly

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available with or without UV protection).

    6. A combo pack of 16 K-beauty sheet masks by Dermal that all contain different active ingredients, so no matter how your skin's feeling you always have *just* the thing.,

    "I use these and absolutely love how refreshed and healthy my skin feels afterward. It also doesn't feel thirsty or starved for nutrients after, and my skin naturally looks brighter and dewier." β€”Nusrat Sultana

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    7. Some cute acne patches from BH Cosmetics that are hydrocolloid-infused and will help suck sebum β€” aka face goo β€” out of your breakouts to lessen them, as well as protect them so they can heal. No more picking at your zits, OK?

    Katy Herman / BuzzFeed, BH Cosmetics

    The patches are cruelty-free.

    "I have written at length about how Nexcare patches are the holy grail of pimple patches, and my opinion has not changed after trying BH Cosmetic's new hydrocolloid offering. HOWEVER, even I will admit that Nexcare patches are not exactly...cute. They do not inspire selfie taking or Instagram story posting in the way that these BH cuties do (I got the pack with purple flowers, silver butterflies, and pink hearts, but there are several options). I also think these would be a better pick for people who are low-key grossed out by regular pimple patches. Personally, I LIVE for the moment when I take one off after hours of wear and see all the goop its extracted from my pores, but said goop is much, much less visible with these if that is not your grossly satisfying cup of tea. These are also much thinner than other patches I've used β€” they feel more like a regular sticker. Because of this, I was pretty skeptical that they would work, but they really do shrink zits. Like all acne patches, they work on pimples with a head, not the more cystic, swollen variety. It's not a magic vanishing act, but all of the whiteheads I've put them on this week have been smaller and flatter when I took them off hours later. That + cuteness + vegan and cruelty-free = a win." β€”Katy Herman

    Get them from BH Cosmetics for $9 (available in three styles).

    8. A Glow Tonic toner by Pixi with 5% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate and prep your skin for whatever serums and moisturizer you have in store.

    pink bottle of toner

    The toner is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and alcohol-free.

    "I've been obsessed with the Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic for a little over two years. Back then, I was dealing with a lot of random breakouts that led to hyperpigmentation, so I had some dark spots from pimples, and I wanted to find a way to even out my skin tone. I tried a bunch of different methods, but nothing seemed to work that well. I remember hearing about the Glow Tonic online, so I bought the travel-sized version to try it out. Within the first few weeks, I noticed that my breakouts were clearing up. Eventually, the dark spots faded, and with even more time, they completely went away. I still use the Glow Tonic in my nighttime skin routine (I apply it with a cotton ball after washing my face and before putting on my moisturizer), and it's honestly transformed my skin! Patience and consistency is key!" β€”Liz Richardson

    Get it from Target for $15.

    9. A tube of Keep the Peace Cleanser from Versed that calms acne without drying your skin or stripping your natural oils, making it perfect for twice-daily use. Salicylic acid, blue tansy, and apple extract are the magic ingredients that has made this my favorite cleanser, and the only one to make a real dent in my hormonal breakouts.

    model squeezing tube of blue cleanser

    The cleanser is formulated without parabens, silicones, or sulfates.

    I really can't get enough of this cleanser. It makes my skin feel squeaky clean but not too dry. After using it, I feel like my face is the perfect canvas for serums, treatments, and moisturizers to be maximally effective. It's the only cleanser that's really made a serious dent in the hormonal acne around my mouth and my acne scarring, and I've tried a lot of products over the years. It has a tendency to sell out, so I've been buying two bottles at a time β€” I can't bear to not have this stuff around!

    Get it from Versed for $16.99.

    10. An Argireline Solution serum from The Ordinary for anyone looking to reduce the look of fine lines for a wildly good price.

    A bottle of the serum

    It's always important to stay aware of how your skincare products may interact with one another, but The Ordinary specifically advises that Argireline β€” the active ingredient in this product β€” is a peptide and should not be used alongside products containing direct acids, which include AHA's and BHA's, lactic acid, mandelic acid, and salicylic acid. Learn more in their handy regimen guide.

    "For many years now, I've had these deep tear duct creases in my skin that just always make me look tired β€” even when I'm wide awake! I took a chance on this product, applying it day and night. It's been about two weeks and my creases actually look softer, which in turn makes my entire face look less tired! You do have to be consistent with it, though, for best results. And, the bottle is so affordable that I wouldn't mind having to pay for another one!" β€”Jasmin Suknanan

    Get it from Sephora for $7.90.

    11. An Ultra Hydrating Green Juice Cleanser by Acure formulated with a veritable bouquet of greens like kale, spinach, neem, and spirulina to give your thirsty skin the rich hydration it craves.

    buzzfeed editor holding a bottle of the cleanser
    Genevieve Scarano / BuzzFeed

    The cleanser is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free.

    "Having dry skin is *not* fun and my forehead, T-zone, and cheeks feel like a desert sometimes. This cleanser is like H2O for my face. It's packed with adaptogens and supergreens that help lock in hydration. I use this 'super smoothie' to give my complexion a moisture boost and remove stubborn makeup." β€”Genevieve Scarano

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    12. The cult-favorite Aztec Secret Clay Mask made with natural bentonite clay that reaches into your pores and sucks sebum right out.

    A reviewer wearing the clay mask

    "I've used this mask to clear up dark marks that my cystic breakouts left me with, and this stuff really does work! I've tried mixing the mask with just water and just apple cider vinegar and found that I get a smoother consistency with ACV, so that was my go-to. I literally used just 1 TEASPOON of clay mask with one teaspoon of ACV and that was enough to cover my whole face and neck in a nice, comfortable, thin layer. I would leave the mask on for about 20 minutes β€” it felt like it was strangling the crap out of my pores!!! β€” and washed it off. My face LOOKED clean and FELT fresh afterward. It also helped me dry out the cystic breakouts before they could cause too much trouble." β€”Jasmin Suknanan

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    13. A resurfacing mask from Versed to boost cell turnover and do some serious skin smoothing with AHAs, BHAs, and pineapple enzymes. Best of all, you only need to use this mask for two to three minutes once a week β€” a perfect fit for anyone looking to treat themselves but is short on "me time."


    The mask is vegan and cruelty-free. Versed recommends avoiding other acid-based products and retinoids for 24 hours before and after each use of this mask.

    "I recently incorporated this mask into my skincare routine. Tbh, some days I'm a skincare angel and double cleanse at night, apply my serum and potions exactly how I know I should, and guzzle lots of water and green tea. Other days I realize at 5 p.m. that I've only been drinking coffee today and then totally fail at wiping off my waterproof mascara before bedtime. Whoops! I give that ~context~ because, yes, skincare can feel like a side gig that pays off with consistency but sometimes I'm just so lazy. Knowing my flip-floppy habits, trust me when I say that this mask is VERY easy to use. I'm on week three of using it on Fridays. It goes on very cool and I've even made the genius discovery that, because you leave it on for two to three minutes, I can use my electric toothbrush while it works its magic! (Please, where is my Nobel Peace Prize?) It washes off very easily, which speaks volumes because I've abandoned many masks because they're hard to wash off. I have rosacea (the flat kind that's harder to treat but easier to cover with makeup) and my skin is a teensy bit redder than normal after. But using it as part of my nighttime routine solves that issue. Immediately after washing it off, my skin feels baby smooth and I catch myself running my hands over my cheeks, enjoying the results. So really, even for the mom who's unconcerned with aesthetics and does the bare minimum when it comes to self-care, you can sell 'em on how it's extremely easy to use and has some results you can feel ASAP." β€”Elizabeth Lilly

    Get it from Versed for $17.99.

    14. A cleansing body bar by Alder New York that's formulated with glycolic acid, sea kelp, and jojoba oil and seeds to exfoliate and hydrate your skin from head to toe. For an even more luxe experience, store it on Alder's plant fiber soap dish!

    alder new york cleansing bar and soap dish

    Alder New York is a queer and woman-owned brand based in New York City specializing in nongendered skincare that works for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

    "I have this cleansing bar and soap dish in my shower currently and when I tell you this soap LATHERS, it lathers. I tend to stay away from bars of soap since they tend to get super gunky in my shower, but the soap dish keeps my bar in pristine condition and also fills my neutral, aesthetic-obsessed heart with so much joy. The exfoliation is gentle and not too harsh and is perfect for prepping my skin before I use my self-tanner." β€”Ali Faccenda

    Get the cleansing bar from Alder New York for $12.99 and the soap dish for $12.99.

    15. A clay cleanser by bareMinerals to get your skin feeling fully cleansed while still keeping it hydrated. If you're only down for a one step routine, this should be your go-to. I love it for when I want to feel fresh without much fuss.

    Rachel Dunkel / Via BuzzFeed

    This cleanser is paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

    Most cleansers are too something for me: too exfoliating, too drying, too sticky. This one strikes the perfect balance. It fully cleanses without stripping your skin and lathers into a creamy foam that just feels great. TL;DR: I love it!

    Get it from bareMinerals for $22.

    16. A tube of Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream from Versed if thicker moisturizers tend to feel too heavy on your skin, especially as the weather starts warming up.


    The moisturizer is vegan and cruelty-free.

    "I have this moisturizer and as someone with oily skin, I approve!! Once you squeeze it out of the tube, it looks just like a creamy gel. But once you apply it to your skin, it feels cooling and dries to a soft matte finish (totally wasn't expecting that). Because of that, it doesn't make my face feel excessively oily throughout the day (and I literally wear this all day). I'm also prone to large, painful cystic breakouts and this hasn't aggravated my acne at all. My mom has dry skin β€” the total opposite of mine β€” and when she tried some, it hydrated her face enough to the point where she didn't feel like she needed to reapply during the day. This moisturizer seems to strike the perfect balance for the needs of both dry and oily skin!" β€”Jasmin Suknanan

    Get it from Versed for $14.99.

    17. A soothing toner by Simple for anyone looking to beef up their cleanser and moisturizer-only skincare routine without going too overboard. This will deep clean your pores, soothe, and even hydrate with witch hazel, chamomile, and allantoin.


    The toner is alcohol-free and fragrance-free.

    "I am here to inform you that this has been a staple in my bathroom cabinet since my late teens, and, honestly, something I wish I had introduced into my routine sooner when I first started to get acne. I have very temperamental skin and this has been a constant to soothe and clear my face of impurities after cleansing. I'm also one of ~those~ people who finds it oddly satisfying to see the dirt come off on a cotton pad after I give my face a quick full swipe. (You'd be surprised at how much cleansers can miss!)" β€”Jasmin Sandal

    Get it from Walmart for $9.99.

    18. A Vanilla Pearl Lip Mask by Forth Ray Beauty, because lip care is skincare, imo! Nothing like waking up to a smoothed and soothed pout.

    white shimmering lip mask

    The lip mask is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free.

    "I have and love this lip mask. The jar looks great on my nightstand (OK, not the most important thing to me but it *does* matter some) as a great lil' reminder about putting some on before I go to bed. Like all masks, it's a little sticky at first but it seeps in well enough by the time I drift off to sleep before I really start tossing and turning (I move a lot when I sleep). It never ends up in a sticky mess when I wake up, which is what I expected to happen once I learned that overnight lip masks were a thing a few years back. Plus a lil' goes a long way so it feels like a solid investment." β€”Elizabeth Lilly

    Get it from ColourPop for $10.

    19. An 60-second in-shower facial cleanser by Aveeno that's applied like a mask and whisks away dead skin, oil, and dirt when you wash it off one minute later. Down the drain you go, impurities!

    Model holding the scrub
    @Aveenous / Via

    The cleanser is dye-free and paraben-free.

    "I particularly *love* this as it's not like other exfoliators that feel coarse and contain those bad-for-the-environment beads. The creamy formula consists of gentle white beads that melt into your skin and work with the steam of the shower. Every time I've used this, I've consistently stepped out of the shower with a smooth, and, dare I say, ~glowing~ canvas." β€”Jasmin Sandal

    Get it from Target for $6.79.

    20. Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier to gently remove makeup and cleanse your face all in one fell swoop. No more messing with cotton rounds β€” hooray!


    The cleanser is cruelty-free and vegan.

    "I have extremely sensitive skin, and back in fall 2019 I experienced a sudden onset of cystic acne all over my face, went on birth control for it in December, and now six months later, my skin is completely clear and I finally want to try all of these skincare products I was too scared to use. As someone who was using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for YEARS, I was nervous to make the switch to Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, and full expected I'd try it once and have to retire it. Quite the opposite actually. This cleanser is truly SO gentle. Rather than leaving my skin feeling hot and irritated like some skincare products do, this leaves my skin with a cooling sensation and I actually really look forward to washing my face in the morning and at night, rather than dread it. I haven't worn makeup much lately, but the few times I have since buying this cleanser, it's done an excellent job of removing my makeup, and I can go to sleep with peace of mind that my pores aren't clogged up." β€”Sam Wieder

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

    Realizing you don't have to spend a boatload of money on skincare for it to be high-quality and super effective...


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

    Need more for your skin? Check out Korean skincare products you need to know, cheap skincare products that are even better than luxury brands, products for an even skin tone or to deal with acne scars, or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.

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