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    31 Cheap Skincare Products You'll Swear By Over Luxury Brands Any Day

    Yes, you can achieve better skin without draining your bank account, aka everything here is under $20! *in Jonathan Van Ness voice* Can you believe??

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales 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. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches are magical hydrocolloid dots that treat itty bitty breakouts by isolating them from incoming bacteria and infection, absorbing all the gunk from whiteheads and popped pimples, and flattening the source of acne within a few hours — say WHAT?


    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

    Check out my full review for more deets!

    Get a sheet of 24 from Amazon for $4.97.

    Other fab options include Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers and Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch.

    2. Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel keeps oily T-zones and pimples in check, and generally washes out every last bit of pore-clogging dirt from your face — so you are only left with a clean, refreshed face ready for all the moisture-loving essences, serums, and lotions your skin can take!

    AnaMaria Glavan

    Promising review: "I have normal-to-dry skin and combination in my T-zone and had resigned myself to a life always carrying a few pimples on my chin and with my T-zone always being a bit bumpy. Enter Thayers. OMG, the first few days felt like a miracle. This stuff soothes my skin if it gets itchy, stops breakouts in their tracks, and negates any need for a cream moisturizer. I've always had smooth skin aside from the T-zone, but now everything is smooth and it is GLOWING! I still get the occasional pimple (thanks, hormones) but they go away quickly and I don't get the deep, painful, itchy breakouts I used to have." —gg181

    Check out a BuzzFeeder's full review for all the deets!

    Get one from Amazon for $9.28 or a two-pack for $16.96 (also available in Unscented and Lavender).

    3. 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 — it's basically magical, pimple-healing face sauce with an average 4.4 star rating across over 14 THOUSAND AMAZON REVIEWS. ✨

    Amazon, BuzzFeed

    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.

    Check out some BuzzFeeders who tried out the mask for themselves!

    Get it from Amazon for $9.30.

    4. Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser leaves your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and tingly — it goes deep within your pores to totally empty them out and really gives skin (especially oily types) the reset it needs!

    @bioreus / Via

    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 $5.59, or two cleansers and a pack of pore strips for $13.99.

    5. Sephora Collection Sleeping Masks are rich gel-cream overnight masks that replenish your skin's hydration levels while you snooze away. Each pod lasts a few uses (just try to seal them and pop them into the fridge), they're great for travel, and there's no messy washing off required.


    Promising review: "No skincare product has ever made my skin feel the way these do. I've used all the formulas except for the green tea one and always wake up with clear, fresh, plump, and hydrated skin. My undereye circles are gone, my complexion is more even-toned, and my face feels so smooth when I apply my foundation primer each morning. I get three to five days out of each packet, depending on how much I feel like slathering on at night. Any leftover on my fingers gets rubbed into the back of my hands, and even they look better. They are Sephora's hidden gem, for sure." —kaitch

    Read a BuzzFeeder's full review for her take!

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

    6. Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 76 Serum contains — yes, as the name implies — a whopping 76% Hyaluronic Acid, so you can be absolutely sure that you're providing maximum hydration to your face before you head out for the day and/or go to bed. And guess what — it *actually* absorbs instantly, and is not heavy or sticky at all.


    Promising review: "I really love this hyaluronic acid serum. I've used high-end hyaluronic acid serums (Peter Thomas Roth and REN) before and I've used cheaper ones I got off of Amazon. I have to say this one by Mizon is comparable to higher end serums. Its more gel like than cheaper watery serums I've had before. It works as expected to deeply hydrate my skin. I have very sensitive skin as well as hormonal cystic acne and this serum doesn't irritate it at all." —ElleOGB

    Get it from Amazon for $10.85.

    7. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is the perfect non-too-harsh product (alcohol free, btw) for people who want to start incorporating AHAs into their skincare routine to get real results in terms of skin clarity and an even skin tone — ingredients like ginseng root and aloe vera help soothe.

    The Ordinary

    Promising review: "I use it every evening and my skin is loving it. It helped so much to clear some little impurities I had. This keeps my pores clear and my skin smooth. I had no irritations at all! I even use this on my décolleté and upper back and all clogged pores and pimples are gone within a week." —MC

    Get it from Skinstore for $8.70.

    8. Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream fortifies your skin with SPF 50, doesn't dry you out, doesn't feel greasy, soothes irritated skin (I see you, aloe), and sits super well under makeup.

    @cosrx / Via

    Promising review: "I've used the Missha Essence Sun Milk and Missha Soft Finish Sun Milk, and this blows them out of the water. People have said in the reviews that the scent is really strong. However, I thought the fragrance was really light for a Korean product — I think Korean consumers think that if it's fragrance free, it is lacking in some way (I'm Korean and I just get this impression). This sunblock is the perfect balance of not drying you out in order to get a matte finish and not being greasy — the two extremes of Missha sunblocks. I think the ingredients are relatively gentle and I have very sensitive, acne-prone, and combination skin. I highly recommend it as your daily sunblock for the price point and quality." —Sarah Lee

    Get it from Amazon for $12.47.

    9. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water removes any and all makeup — even waterproof mascara, with enough effort — with a few gentle swipes, so you can be lazy and responsible at the same darn time!


    Promising review: "When I heard about micellar water — and how cheap it was — I thought there's no way it could make a difference in my skin and daily routine. I was wrong. This product has helped unclog my pores and I feel like my skin is so clean! And it is true that you can use it to remove makeup *and* you won't burn your eyeballs out doing it!" —Rachel

    This is our pick for the best cheap makeup remover on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    Get one from Amazon for $5.99, or a two-pack for $13.98.

    10. Nature Republic Soothing Aloe Vera Gel serves up clear healing goop that relieves any sunburn, rash, itch, scar, or any other "uh-oh" you can imagine — be it your face or body. It's also a super soothing moisturizer, so this tub of aloe vera is basically your multitasking skincare savior.

    Elizabeth Lilly

    Promising review: "Before I got this, I was using the pure gel from a plant in my garden. It worked fine but it was a bit hard to keep on the skin, as it tended to roll off. This product works even better: it relieves itching almost immediately and can be kept cool in the refrigerator (not freezer), so I can wholeheartedly recommend it for itching, rashes, etc." —Shankar Sundaram

    To learn more about this product (and read a BuzzFeeder's ~personal review~), check out "This K-Beauty Aloe Vera Will Make You Say 'Drugstore Aloe Vera? I Don't Know Her'."

    Get it from Amazon for $6.69.

    11. Cosrx Two in One Poreless Power Liquid tightens up your pores real nicely, so once you've removed your blackheads, new ones won't pop back up! #nonewfriends

    @cosrx / Via

    Promising review: "This is a miracle worker. I have very dry, sensitive skin that is acne prone. I had very large pores on and around my nose that frequently became clogged. I was desperate to find something that would clear them without drying or irritating my skin. This did it. I use this twice a day, two pumps rubbed in with my fingertips. After only one week, I have no clogged pores and have seen a significant decrease in their size. I know this may sound too good to be true, but this is a very real review. My skin is so smooth and soft now." —Autumn

    Get it from Amazon for $16.29.

    12. Mario Badescu Facial Spray is the perfect pick-me-up to toss in your purse or keep at your office desk for a quick spritz of aloe-and-herb-infused hydration. Afternoon slump? Don't know her.

    @mariobadescu / Via

    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 them individually for $7+ each: Rosewater, Cucumber, and Lavender — or the three-bottle pack for $21.

    Want more info? Check our closer look for tons of glowing reviews.

    13. Acure The Essentials Argan Oil is the truth when it comes to attaining supple skin on the cheap — it easily gives you the same, if not better, results as expensive serums and night oils. #liquidgold

    @acurebeauty / Via

    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 $6.44 (The Essentials line also has Blue Tansy, Rosehip, Brightening Citrus, Marula, and Rejuvenating Rose oils).

    14. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer uses its key player, Retinol SA, to give your skin the power of smoothing wrinkles and diminishing age spots — don't be surprised if people don't believe your age when you tell 'em. ;)


    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 $14.87.

    15. 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

    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 $13.36.

    16. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream has a non-greasy formula that's as gentle as can be (it's non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic!) and nips crow's feet, dark circles, and puffiness in the bud over time/consistent use.


    Promising review: I have genetic dark circles caused by thin under-eye skin, which leaves dark purple circles and visible oil glands (those white raised bumps under your eye). I thought I was cursed to look sickly for the rest of my life, but I'm already seeing a difference after three weeks of using this! My boyfriend's mom even told me I look well-rested, a compliment I've never heard in my life. I may need to move up to a higher strength of retinol one day, but you're supposed to gradually work yourself up to higher concentrations to avoid side effects, so this is a good starter retinol product. —Sasha Kolacz

    Get it from Amazon for $15.09.

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

    @mariobadescu / Via

    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.

    18. 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.


    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 $7.19.

    19. Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenation Eye Gels are infused with Caffeine and Hydrolyzed Collagen and only take five minutes to deliver intense hydration and reduce puffiness and deep-set fatigue.

    Amazon, Patchology

    Promising review: "I LOVE THESE!!! As a mom and wife, I am almost always tired. Even when I have my coffee, I am still tired — or look it. This product is great at keeping my puffy eyes in check and decreasing any dark circles. I use them about once a week on days when I know I have something important to attend. They are cooling and relaxing — what better excuse to listen to some soothing music, close your eyes, and forget what is around you?" —marci

    Get a pack of five from Amazon for $15.

    20. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel drenches your skin in hydration so your skin stays soft and taut — even underneath a big 'ol glob of foundation — instead of dry and flaky.


    Promising review: "This is easily the best face moisturizer I’ve ever used, and I’ve tried so many. I used to have dry spots of skin on my face every morning. I tried a number of Olay moisturizers and then turned to some more expensive products before this one. This gel moisturizer sinks into skin immediately; I’ve tried other gel moisturizers too, but this is easily the best. One morning application feels fantastic and cooling and lasts all day — however you can definitely apply again throughout the day if necessary. Highly recommended." —Gina G.

    Check out a BuzzFeeder's full review of the gel-cream version for extra dry skin for more deets!

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    21. 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 — bye, dirty pores!!


    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 $9.50.

    22. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Spot Treatment contains prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide to speed up the healing process of your breakouts and prevents new ones from forming — aka, what are you waiting for??

    @cleanandclear / Via

    Promising review: "This worked wonders for my skin. I've been struggling with a lot of hormonal acne for two weeks now, and it didn't seem like it was getting any better. I've used benzoyl peroxide before, so I applied this one three times throughout the day as instructed. The next day when I woke up, the majority of my acne (that wouldn't go away on its own) had finally disappeared. I still have a few pimples left over but will continue to use the spot treatment to get rid of them. Make sure to moisturize well before applying benzoyl peroxide, as it will dry out your skin, but the spot treatment doesn't make your skin paper dry —which is what I like about it. This spot treatment feels more like a cream than a gel, so it would be good to use after your moisturizer too." —Arianna F.

    Get one from Amazon for $5.99, or a three-pack for $20.31.

    23. 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 — just a ~simple~ clean.


    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 $6.66.

    24. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balms keep your lips buttery soft — no matter how harsh the elements are — and protected with SPF 25, because your pout is subject to sun damage too, ok!

    @getjackblack / Via

    Promising review: "This is genuinely the best lip balm I’ve ever tried. I’ve had severely dry, cracked lips since I was a teenager, and basically everything I’ve tried in the past has failed me on one level or another. I’ve been using these Jack Black balms for the past six months or so, and my lips have looked soooo much better. I used to have cracks, and layers of skin would constantly peel away. I had light scarring and discoloration due to years of dryness and peeling, but not anymore! This even kept my lips protected during a very cold winter in the Midwest. I have six of these floating around my house/purse/work backpack. I don’t ever see myself using another lip product." —Cara

    Check out our full review for more deets!

    Get it from Amazon for $7.50 (available in five flavors).

    25. E.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant gently breaks down all of your dead skin cells with tangerine, papaya, and licorice extracts, so you end up looking like a glowing cherub!

    E.l.f. Cosmetics

    Promising review: "I have very sensitive skin (rosacea) and my cheeks get red and very dry, flaky, and scabby, but my nose is extremely oily — and this exfoliant didn't irritate or exacerbate any of my problems. When you put it on, the skin starts to ball up and fall off right away — and even on the most sensitive parts of my skin, it didn't hurt. My skin looks so fresh and new, and I can't believe this is so inexpensive!! This is a new staple in my skin care routine!" —Candace R.

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

    26. Yes To Soothing Hypoallergenic Wipes sweep away pore-clogging dirt and makeup in a pinch — or if you really, really could do without actually washing your face — without leaving angry red marks all of your face.

    @yesto / Via

    Promising review (for the tomato kind): "These are doing wonders for my son's 'welcome to being a teenager' acne. He's gone from 'pizza-face' to 'yeah, there are a couple pimples here and there, but that's not the FIRST thing you'll notice about him' in no time flat. He has somewhat sensitive skin, and these have not caused the slightest irritation for him. He also has an autism-driven dislike for having his face splashed with water (aka he'll fight to the DEATH to avoid washing his face), so the wipe-based delivery is ideal for him." —Mother Chaos

    If you're curious for a different perspective, check out a BuzzFeeder's review of the tomato wipes!

    Get a two-pack (60 wipes total) from Amazon for $7.79+ (available in eight scents/varieties).

    27. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser uses Zinc Pidolate to purify skin and target signs of oily skin so you can mattify your face and be on your merry way.

    @larocheposayusa / Via

    Promising review: "This stuff WORKS. I have very oily acne-prone skin and have tried all sorts of things with minimal success. I have been washing my face twice a day with this stuff for about two weeks now and the difference is incredible! I haven't gotten any new large pimples and everything I had has cleared up. When I first started washing my face with this, I would use it at night and in the morning the sores on my face were way less red and inflamed than when I went to bed. Super impressive." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in three sizes).

    28. Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream with Antioxidant-Rich Blackberry works overtime to strengthen your skin's natural moisture barrier, and improves overall elasticity/firmness — plus, it's non-greasy, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic (no chances of clogged pores, yay!).

    @aveenous / Via

    Promising review: "Quite surprised that I like this so much. I’ve been testing non-department store skincare products for about six months and haven’t found one I like until now. I’m using it as a day and night cream, and I also ordered the eye cream — which I also like a lot — so I think I’ll be getting the rest of the line. Non-greasy, lasting moisture, looks nice under makeup, and I think my skin does look a bit better." —Amy Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $13.96.

    29. Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil remedies scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, and dehydrated skin like no other product — it really does it all, and the quick-absorbing formula doesn't feel like you're even applying oil on your bod.


    Promising review: "I have been using Bio-Oil for over three years now, since it was recommended by my doctor post-surgery to speed healing and reduce scarring. I absolutely love it! I have incredibly sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts, and I can even use it on my face without a problem. I use it every single time I get out of the shower on my face, décolletage, hands, and any breakouts I have that are healing. It absorbs quickly and leaves no greasy residue." —Amazon Customer

    Read our full review over at Over 3,000 People Recommend This Oil For Scarred, Stretched, Or Damaged Skin.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.92+ (available in three sizes).

    30. SheaMoisture African Black Soap might just be the gentle yet effective cure you've been waiting for to target hormonal acne, eczema, broken capillaries, and all-around sensitive skin — raw shea butter adds moisture, while organic oats and aloe deep clean.

    @sheamoisture / Via

    Promising review: "I found this soap a year ago, and it's perfect for my skin. Cleans without leaving my skin dry or with an icky film that many moisturizing washes have. This is a great soap for people like me with sensitive, oily skin." —LeAnn

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    31. Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish Scrub is gentle enough to use on your face *and* body due to a combination of fine rice bran grains, bamboo, and other mild cleansing agents — scrub away 'til you basically become a new person!


    Promising review: "I had originally ordered this for myself, but my husband admitted to using it as well. We tried another scrub from Neutrogena, but my husband did not feel that it exfoliated well enough. I have to admit: this is the best face scrub I have ever used. It exfoliates and moisturizes well. One tube lasts both of us about two months, so it is well worth the price. We are both older; my husband is 48 and I am 55, and this works great for us. It leaves our skin glowing and we experience no flakiness. I am a Sephora Rouge member, so I have tried MANY scrubs. For the price, this is by far the best." —Jana LeBlanc

    Get it from Amazon for $18.32.

    Wow, how did all of these products end up in my cart at once???

    Queer Eye

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


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

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