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32 Cheap Skin Care Products That Work Just As Well As The Luxury Brands

Because giving your skin the attention it deserves shouldn't cost more than $20. Who's with me?

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1. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches are magical clear dots that stop pimples 💀 dead in their tracks 💀 — just stick 'em on overnight and let them do their thing.

amazon.com

Promising review: “These have already done more for my skin than a dermatologist has ever been able to. These stickers are hydrocolloid bandages that gradually draw gunk out of the skin and into the patch. These are REALLY great for cysts that might otherwise warrant a cortisone injection from a dermatologist. Since they don’t traumatize the skin in any way, let’s just say they’re basically gold. These patches also lend pimples an ‘invisible barrier’ — since I’m a notorious picker, not being able to mindlessly pick at my face is definitely another benefit.” —J. Frank

Get a sheet of 24 from Amazon for $4.97.

Other fab options include Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers and Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots.

2. Sephora Collection Sleeping Masks are rich gel-cream overnight masks that do all the work while you snooze away *and* there's no messy washing off needed.

sephora.com

Promising review: "I'm a big fan of sheet masks, but they can get so messy. These masks are no muss, no fuss. You basically just slather them on your face, get your beauty rest, and wake up refreshed, renewed, and glowing. You can wash off in the morning, but you don't have to. I always get compliments when I use them! Absolutely perfect for traveling, too. Rose, Pearl, and Algae are my personal favorites." —Weesie Viera

Read a BuzzFeeder's full review here!

Get them from Sephora for $4 each (available in nine varieties).

3. Thayers Original Witch Hazel Toner does away with frills, yet still works miracles on uneven skin.

@thayersnatural / Via instagram.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "Wonderful product. It cleanses, tones, and I believe it has disinfecting qualities too. Drugstore varieties have alcohol in them so I don't like to use them. I use this on my face (applied with a cotton round) after washing and my face is totally dry. It aids in keeping my acne problems clear when used with other products (Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foam Wash and Moisturizer and Paula's Choice Benzoyl Peroxide)." —LadyS

Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (also available in unscented, cucumber, lavender, etc.).

4. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is a powder-to-paste mask you create by mixing with equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar and/or water.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "Wow. Just wow. I've been dealing with cystic acne since I was a teenager (I'm 24 now) and I've tried absolutely everything on the market, but I have very sensitive skin and have never seen any real improvement. However, I have been blown away by the long-term results of using this mask. I mix it with apple cider vinegar and apply it several times a week when my skin is really bad – and no irritation, no dryness, nothing. My skin hasn't been bad for a while so I only use it about once a week now, and it always destroys every single pimple that emerges. It does bring underlying pimples to a head and that can be a little disturbing at first, but it is so worth it for the end result. I had been considering taking Accutane, but this product has made me completely reconsider." —Heather E.

Get it from Amazon for $9.79+.

5. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water removes any and all of your makeup with a few gentle swipes — no harsh rubbing required.

amazon.com

Promising review: "My new HG facial cleanser. I've been loyal to Philosophy Purity for years but wanted something for a quick refresher in the mornings. This stuff is fabulous — so fabulous that I've been using it in the evenings and mornings, and have all but retired Philosophy. It is so simple and fast to use. I love that I don't have to pull my hair back and inevitably get my hair wet when I wash my face. Anyway, I use this with a facecloth and to help do some light exfoliating. It dries quickly and once it does my skin is silky smooth and clean. Best of all, my pores are literally gone and so tiny that I rarely even wear foundation any more." —Mrs. Warren

Get one from Amazon for $6.59 or a three-pack for $19.77.

6. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 gives you no-nonsense (read: "friendly to sensitive skin") hydration that leaves your skin looking visibly smoother and softer.

Megan Paolone / BuzzFeed

Not to mention it has a pH of 6.50-7.50 and is vegan, alcohol-free, and cruelty-free!

Promising review: "My sensitive, rosacea-breakout-prone skin has been drinking this stuff right up. I put it on at night post-toner and pre-moisturizer, and in the morning before my moisturizer and under BB cream. I don’t think my skin has ever felt smoother in the morning after I wake up than when I use it." —Megan Paolone

Read a BuzzFeeder's full review here!

Get it from The Ordinary for $6.80.

7. Weleda Skin Food contains sustainably-sourced ingredients like pansy flower, rosemary leaf, and organic sunflower seed oil that'll work wonders on your face and hands.

@weleda_usa / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "I LOVE this stuff. I use it on my face every single morning. I am now well into my fabulous fifties and this stuff gives me better skin than what I had in my thirties! It's quite thick and will leave a sheen, but that is part of the magic. I have had several estheticians tell me that I have amazing skin and I credit this product. I have tried all of the fancy, super-pricey skin care lines, but I keep coming back to this because nothing else gets the job done quite as well." —KAB from AK (to CA)

Get it from Amazon for $11.34+.

8. Tsururi Pore Peeling Scrub is a gentle exfoliant that rewards you with the immediate satisfaction of sloughing off bundles of dirt and dead skin cells.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

Promising review: "Few things in life are as satisfying as watching all your dead skin just slough off your face. I’ve never used something so effective at making my face feel baby-smooth. You apply it on your skin and seconds later you’re rubbing off these little balls of skin. I’ve been using it for like the past two years, and I can’t find a product that's anywhere near as effective as this." —Jeff Barron

Read a BuzzFeeder's full review here!

Get it from Amazon for $9.39.

9. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel delivers straightforward hydration for all skin types (from dry skin to oily skin with easily clogged pores).

@neutrogena / Via instagram.com

Promising review: ""It is so lightweight and hydrating, and it absorbs into your skin in seconds. It makes my skin so soft and I haven't had a single bit of dry skin in the two years since I've started using this! I have very oily and acne-prone skin and this is very soothing and doesn't make me break out. It hydrates without clogging pores or creating more oil. And it smells so fresh and clean with no overwhelming fragrance!" —Casey A.

Get it from Amazon for $14.24.

10. Sephora Collection Precision Pore Pads are reusable, cost-effective devices that help you exfoliate all over and make your favorite cleanser last longer.

Sabrina Majeed / BuzzFeed

Promising review: "I was initially skeptical about drying my skin out but the silicone bristles are actually very gentle, and honestly it felt really good rubbing the pads around my face. The best part is that I only need to use half as much cleanser as I would with my hands alone because the bristles help the cleanser foam up more and evenly distribute it around my face. I used to use a Clarisonic brush, and I actually prefer these little pads. Not only are they way gentler on my skin, but they're a fraction of the price." —Sabrina Majeed

Read a BuzzFeeder's full review here!

Get them from Sephora for $6 each.

11. Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash-Off smells like a farmer's market on your face and leaves everything feeling baby soft and clean (but NOT totally dry and begging for moisture).

AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

Promising review: "I have tried many face scrubs, from expensive department store brands to inexpensive drugstore ones, but none of them have left my face feeling so soft and polished as Skinfood's. I use this product once or twice per week, in between my makeup remover and foaming cleanser. I find that I have the best results if I dampen my face with warm water beforehand. I rub it into my skin until most of the sugar is dissolved, focusing on my most troublesome areas, and then rinse with warm water before proceeding with my cleanser. I find that my cleanser foams up and works much better after exfoliation. I then follow up with my softener/toner and moisturizer." —Leslie M. Bowman

Read a BuzzFeeder's full review here!

Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

12. Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is ~the~ post-cleanser product you should be reaching for — it rebalances your skin's pH, removes excess dirt/sebum, and contains amino acids that reduce irritation and drench your skin in moisture.

amazon.com

Promising review: "My skin is acne-prone, sensitive, and gets red easily. The toners that I tried in the past were very, very drying and irritated my skin, but the Klairs toner is very hydrating. And because it is pH-balanced, the texture of my skin has greatly improved; it's less oily, less red, little bumps have disappeared, and makeup looks amazing too. No other toners compare to this." —Maddison A.

Get it from Amazon for $19.90.

13. MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub is a top-rated EWG product formulated with fruit acids and bamboo stem powder to leave behind polished skin that smells faintly of a citrus grove.

amazon.com

Promising review: "This and the Clear Skin Serum are my favorite MyChelle products, and they have both kept my 30-something combination skin clear and beautiful. The scrub smells fruity and pleasant, and it has tiny beads that are very gentle. Unlike many other facial scrubs, they have never bothered my sensitive skin (which has become red and irritated from other product lines). The scrub seems to work best for me with daily use, especially if I leave it on for a minute or two. Afterwards, my skin is softer, smoother, and cleaner — but not stripped. I usually follow with the Fruit Enzyme Mist and then the Serum." —AY in NY

Get it from Amazon for $13.85.

14. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser smells divine (hellooo, soothing rosewater) and has a pH-balanced, creamy gel formula that literally melts away grime and makeup.

glossier.com

Promising review: "I read every review possible on Glossier before finally deciding to go for this, and I'm so glad I did. First of all, for the reviews that say this is just like a more expensive Cetaphil cleanser, uh no — I've used Cetaphil and this is much lighter and feels nicer on the skin, and it doesn't leave your face feeling sticky. I use this in the morning and at night and I've noticed my skin feels way more soft and some of my acne has totally gone away. It's amazing and I can't wait to buy more." —skinobsessor17

Get it from Glossier for $18. Or you can also get it in the Phase 1 Set (which also includes their Priming Moisturizer and Balm Dotcom) for $45.

15. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion stops unwelcome acne and whiteheads before they even have a chance to grow with just a tiny dab (of salicylic acid, calamine, and other quick-drying ingredients).

@mariobadescu / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "I have very stubborn hormonal acne and this works wonders for me. I'm 24 and I've had it since I was 11 years old, even with the 'help' of birth control. I put this stuff basically all over my face at night and by morning my acne is considerably smaller and less red. If I don't use this consistently my acne flares up terribly. I will never be without this stuff until by some miracle my face becomes acne-free, but even then I'll probably keep it on hand just in case." —TheWatcher

Get it from Amazon for $17.

16. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream is gentle as can be (fragrance-free, hypoallergenic) and nips dark circles and puffiness in the bud, all while replenishing ceramides and delivering long-lasting moisture.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "This stuff changed my life. It got rid of the dark circles under my eyes and also worked well for the folds around my mouth and nose. I had serious bags and sagging skin at only 25, but I have gotten so many compliments on my skin since using this (in conjunction with doing facial exercises). After a month and a half, my face is tighter and brighter (see photos for comparison)." —Kelly Vasquez

Get it from Amazon for $10.79.

17. Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum might be better than an actual drink because it has magical qualities that will leave you wide-eyed and asking, "Where did my pores go???"

amazon.com

Promising review: "This, along with the Peach Sake Toner and Emulsion, will take you back to the days before puberty. It's that good. Period. The toner sets the stage then the serum and the emulsion just bring it home. You instantly feel the softness of your face, and even if you use the serum alone, it's amazing. The scent is not overbearing and the packaging is to die for. Must try! —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

18. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads employ lactic and glycolic acids to effectively exfoliate and condition your skin, while lemon peel and licorice root leave your skin with serious glow-up.

@firstaidbeauty / Via instagram.com, @firstaidbeauty / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "Whenever I see a pimple starting to form, these take care of it — and after two nights, it's gone and never actually surfaces. I wouldn't dream of using these more than twice a week but they work and are very affordable. My skin loves glycolic acid." —lemonnest

Get it from Sephora for $15+.

19. Acure Argan Oil easily gives you the same, if not better, results as expensive serums and night oils — so you can wake up with smooth and supple skin come morning.

amazon.com

Promising review: "I've tried many expensive moisturizers, oils, and serums, and none compare to this product. I was initially worried that, because it's an oil, my face might break out (as it does with olive or coconut oil — yes, I've tried everything!), but it's actually done the opposite. My skin's never been so clear or soft. I have combination skin and thought this might leave the oilier spots too oily, but it's effectively saturated the dry and oilier spots evenly, making my whole face soft and blemish-free." —Amy

Get it from Amazon for $7.29.

20. Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser is a godsend for sensitive skin because, as the brand name suggests, it doesn't contain harsh ingredients or fluffy scents that cause major irritation.

@simpleskin / Via amazon.com

Promising review: "I have dry, sensitive skin and everything either makes me break out or doesn't hydrate enough, but this is the perfect balance — it's not very heavy, so I can put it on, let it dry, and put more on. My skin stays hydrated and feels fresh all day and all night." —CV

Get it from Amazon for $5.54.

21. Tony Moly Strawberry Seed 3-Step Nose Pack helps you say "good riddance" to pesky blackheads and blocked follicles.

sokoglam.com

👋👋👋

Promising review: "I have tried every single blackhead strip on the market and this is the only one that made my nose feel clean and soft. I definitely recommend this product for everyone with tight pores." —Krystle M.

Get it from Soko Glam for $4.

If you want to stock up, this Bioré 24-pack is a good option too.

22. Mario Badescu Facial Spray is the perfect pick-me-up to toss in your purse for a dose of herbal hydration wherever you go.

@mariobadescu / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "The redness on my cheeks has gone way down and I have a much more even complexion after just four days. I've been lightly spraying this on my face after cleansing with the Mario Badescu Rice Milk Carnation Cleanser and again first thing upon waking. It smells very nice and magically fixes skin problems — even my acne has cleared up! I'm very impressed." —Terryoke

Get it from Amazon for $7+.

23. Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel basically masquerades as skin care wizardry because it removes oodles of filth and dead skin and leaves your skin glowing like a cherub's.

amazon.com

Promising review: "I'm in love with this product. Usually my skin gets irritated by mechanical exfoliants, but this is really gentle. The cellulose in this product polishes away dead skin without feeling like my face is getting gouged. My skin looks and feels amazing after using it." —Melissa Ezzell-Maddy

Get it from Amazon for $16.35.

24. The key ingredient in Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer & Cream is Retinol SA, which works its butt off to prevent and reverse signs of aging, i.e. smoothing wrinkles and diminishing age spots.

@neutrogena / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "I'm 43 and no one believes me. I have been using this for years and it always leaves my skin super soft, day and night. I hope they never stop making this." —Kerri

Get it from Amazon for $16.98 (moisturizer) and $24.95 (cream).

25. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask temporarily transforms you into a lovable foam creature made up of carbonated water, mud, and charcoal for a satisfying AF deep clean.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Just wash off to ~reverse the spell~! 😉

Promising review: "I will sing the praises of this product 'til the day I die. It leaves my face so soft and clean. I usually put it on before getting in the shower because it does get a bit messy to wash off in the sink. My ex-boyfriend worked in a metal factory and would always come home covered in soot, but this mask helped get out all the dirt deep within his pores without having to do a painful peel-off mask. Best thing ever." —Morgan

Get it from Amazon for $9.02.

26. Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser absorbs acne like there's no tomorrow and gives you skin that feels tingly and relieved.

bioreus / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "I have never found a cleanser as good at this one that can give my skin a fresh 'minty' feeling without drying it out. I don't have very oily skin, but I do wear makeup almost every day, and this charcoal cleanser is tough enough (but also gentle) to empty out my pores and remove all the buildup and product from my skin. I noticed the best results when I washed my face at night because I usually used makeup wipes to cleanse my face (because I was lazy) —

but switching to fully washing my face helped clear up my skin drastically." —Katie Viaud

Get it from Amazon for $5.62.

27. Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream fortifies your skin with SPF 50 and sits extremely well under makeup.

@cosrx / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "This is my favorite SPF because it doesn't have an overpowering smell (just a slight aloe scent) and goes on thick but sinks in fast, so it ends up feeling like I have nothing on my skin. In the winter it keeps my skin from drying out and looking flaky, and in the summer it doesn't result in an oily shine. I also have yet to have a breakout with this SPF, and I have not had a problem applying makeup over it. I will continue to repurchase it." —Beth

Get it from Amazon for $13.32.

28. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque leaves your skin feeling tingly and clean, while also drying up pimples, shrinking enlarged pores, and generally leaving you feeling relaxed as hell.

amazon.com

Promising review: "This is my favorite mask and I buy it religiously. It's gentle enough to use daily, but I personally use it about once a week. It does an excellent job of diminishing the appearance of pores, and I swear my face looks so radiant after I take it off. It even reduces the red, inflamed look of pimples if you break down and pick at them. You can even use a small dot of it on pimples to completely dry and deflate them overnight! 100X worth the price." —Sarahndipity.c

Get it from Amazon for $7.81.

29. La Roche-Posay Serozinc Mattifying Facial Toner Spray uses zinc sulfate to target signs of oily skin so you can mist, mattify, and be on your merry way.

@larocheposayusa / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "Very soothing on my skin; I use it as a toner, but it also helps soothe sunburns." —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

30. Nip + Fab Glycolic Pads mildly exfoliate your skin with glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and blue daisy for a picture-perfect makeup base.

@nipandfab / Via instagram.com, @nipandfab / Via instagram.com

Promising review: "These smoothed out the texture and evened out the slight hyper-pigmentation I suffered from in less than 2 weeks. My pores are tighter and I get complimented all the time!" —Convert

Get the daily cleansing pads for $12.95, night pads extreme for $14.95, gentle pads for $14.95, and the foaming pads for $14.95.

31. Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion ditches the unnecessary fragrance that many high-end brands love and just gives you the good stuff — lightweight moisture with SPF.

amazon.com

Promising review: "I have extremely sensitive skin — I once tried a drugstore mask and looked like I was burned in a fire! I know I need sunscreen but I have a hard time because everything I try gives me blotches and redness. My dermatologist gave me a few samples of this Eucerin lotion, so I tried it. It goes on smoothly and doesn't have any greasy feeling, and most importantly, it doesn't break me out! I've used Clinique and other high-end brands, but this is way more affordable." —DawnAzon

Get it from Amazon for $7.86.

Psssst, Eucerin also has a highly-rated Redness Relief line that is probably calling your name.

32. Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment is a pimple killer that you'll never stop using once you start.

amazon.com

Plus, it has a lower (2.5%) concentration of benzoyl peroxide so it won't painfully dry out your skin.

Promising review: "This is the only thing that keeps my face clear and pleasant. I'm 30 and I've had acne for 20 years. I've used it for years. I've tried everything, and once in a while I still get suckered into trying something new, but I always come back to this." —Charlie

Get it from Amazon Prime Pantry for $3.55 or regular 'ol Amazon Prime for $9.31.

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

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