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    Updated on Aug 2, 2020. Posted on Aug 2, 2020

    33 Cheap Skincare Products That Actually Work

    Expensive results at affordable prices — everything is under $20.

    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. A La Roche-Posay milky cleanser that's gentle on sensitive skin but tough on makeup. Liquid foundation will *literally* melt away.

    The cleanser, featuring a white pump bottle

    This cleanser is *deep breath* soap-free, sulfate-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn't clog pores), allergy-tested, dermatologist-tested, and paraben-free.

    Promising review: "I'm in my thirties, and I still have tricky skin — if I use anything too harsh, I dry out; anything too creamy, I break-out. I saw this product listed in a BuzzFeed article and gave it a shot. It's amazing. It doesn't dry out my skin like Cetaphil, and doesn't make me breakout like some anti-aging cleaners do. I had never even heard of this brand before, but now I'm a fan." —Julia R

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    2. An Alikay Naturals green tea chai face scrub to keep your complexion smooth and soft as can be. It packs some seriously good ingredients: Dead Sea salt gently exfoliates, jojoba oil and vitamin E protects and nourishes, and green tea extract soothes the skin.

    The jar of face scrub with twist-off lid
    Alikay Naturals

    Alikay Naturals is a Black-owned business that specializes in beauty products made with natural and organic ingredients. None of the formulas contain petroleum, mineral oil, alcohol, parabens, sulfate, or silicones.

    Promising review: "I used this face scrub this morning and literally after one use I feel a difference. It is so moisturizing. It thoroughly removed the impurities and left my face with a nice glow. I was on a video call and the person thought I had a filter on. Goals." —Alake

    Get it from Alikay Naturals for $12.99.

    3. Essence-packed Dermal sheet masks for giving your face a burst of hydration when it feels dry and dull.

    The masks in all 16 different formulas

    The variety of masks include include green tea, cucumber, aloe, and more. Read our review of Dermal sheet masks!

    Promising review: "I bought these to send to my daughter as part of a care package. I tried one — they are amazing. They make your skin texture noticeably smoother and moisturizer. This is not a fake review, I am just a random 45-year-old mom." —Nina B

    Get a 16-pack from Amazon for $9.99.

    4. Aztec Secret Indian Bentonite Healing Clay — a cult-favorite mask that'll extract toxins and impurities from your skin like a BOSS. Apply it with a mask brush for optimal effect.,

    Promising review: "I have been skeptical about this for MONTHS. Seriously, for months. But it's 100% the real deal. A friend of mine tried it and said it had worked wonders for her, so I finally took the plunge and ordered it. The first time I used this product, two pimples that I had been battling for over a week were gone the next morning. Gone as in no longer anywhere to be found. My skin felt super smooth and had a glow. PSA — for me, it worked better with the apple cider vinegar than the water. I've used it once a week since then and have noticed an absolute change in my pore size. I still have an occasional breakout, but nothing like before. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you get this. Your skin will thank you." —K. Wallace

    Get it from Amazon for $12.79.

    5. Avarelle pimple patches that'll help eliminate zits by sucking up all the gunk inside them. These actually have a layer of tea tree and calendula oil to soothe the skin and prevent picking.,

    Promising review: "I’ve tried so many brands of pimple spots, and these are hands-down the best on the market. I’m a performer at Walt Disney World, and a clear complexion is required. Last night, I put these on a few acne problems (a small cyst, a whitehead, and a pimple I shouldn’t have picked and has been a bump for about three weeks now). I just woke up and am writing this review in disbelief. THEY'RE FLAT! Gone! All of them! I could cry I’m so happy. The packaging is also ideal because it allows you to conveniently and easily peel the stickers off without stretching them out or folding them back on themselves. Do yourself and your complexion a huge favor! Have these on hand for a stubborn zit when you really need help. Make sure you apply them to completely clean and dry skin." —Caitlyn

    Get a 40-pack from Amazon for $8.50.

    6. A Buttah facial shea butter to deeply hydrate your skin while protecting it from environmental elements. It's non-comedogenic (meaning it won't block pores) and made of 100% pure organic virgin shea butter from Africa.

    Model holding up a jar of product

    Buttah was founded by actor Dorion Renaud to tackle the issues faced by people with melanin-rich skin. The products are cruelty-free and many of the formulas contain organic shea.

    Promising review: "I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin since using this product! My skin is much smoother and overall more clear. It’s very luxurious and even though it’s a small jar, I can tell it’s going to last a long time as it’s very dense and you only have to use a small amount." —Casey M.

    Get it from Buttah for $19.

    7. A vegan lip scrub made with coconut and sugar for buffing away flaky skin, and avocado and jojoba oils for leaving your lips soft and supple. Did I mention it tastes like almond cookies?

    Hand dipping fingers into jar of scrub

    Promising review: "Bought this on a whim, but no regrets! It smells delicious! The smell reminds me of toasted almonds and almond cookies! I love how you can lick it off (no weird chemicals added), although I just wash it off. But the little bit I have tasted tastes like an almond cookie! I used the lip scrub before bed, and I could immediately tell the difference. My lips are smoother and softer, and my ChapStick lasts much longer on my lips. I made my husband use it once, and his lips were also much smoother and super soft after one use!" —Cowie

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    8. A Cosrx SPF 50 sunscreen (formulated with soothing aloe leaf extract) you won't hate applying because it's super lightweight and absorbs quickly.

    The product packaged in a flat tube with twist-off lid

    Promising review: "First SPF I don’t mind wearing everyday! I know that SPF is the most important aspect of a skincare routine, but it’s usually my least favorite. Sunscreen always feels sticky or greasy, or burns around my eyes, or makes my skin break out. THIS COSRX ALOE SUN CREAM IS A GAME-CHANGER! It feels like a light moisturizer, I throw it on every morning and it absorbs quickly." —Rockin Robin

    Get it from Amazon for $19.65.

    9. A refreshing tea tree face scrub by The Body Shop that'll make your skin look and feel squeaky clean.

    Tube packaging of the scrub
    The Body Shop

    This product is vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free. It doesn't contain synthetic exfoliating beads.

    Promising review: "This is the best face wash for my acne-prone skin. It feels great and you can see the difference right after washing. I use every night and it has helped clear cystic acne and acne scars." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.

    10. An Elizavecca hyaluronic acid serum to seriously boost the moisturizing effects of any skincare product. The packaging is not lying — it's basically witchcraft!

    The packaging of clear serum, featuring a cute pig dressed in a witch costume

    Promising review: "This has been a lifesaver for the winter months! It has helped me combat dry, flaky skin, and has been a game changer in how smoothly my makeup now applies. It takes any moisturizer you have and brings it up to a whole new level. I have even noticed a lessening in lines that have started to form on my forehead and around my eyes now that I am in my late twenties. I will definitely be repurchasing." —B

    Get it from Amazon for $9.49.

    11. Nip + Fab cleansing pads soaked in exfoliating glycolic acid, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and soothing witch hazel for getting a smoother, brighter complexion in a few swipes.,

    Promising review: "I have a very involved skincare routine that I didn't think could get any better until I added these magic babies in. WOW!!! I honestly was blown away by the difference — my skin has the most unbelievable even tone since I started using these and glows even fresh out of bed in the morning. These little power pads have taken my skincare over the top; I think I might start ditching my foundation. I hardly ever write reviews but was so blown away by these — I have been gushing about them!!!" —Austin

    Get a 60-pack from Amazon for $12.95.

    12. A rice water-enriched cleansing oil by The Face Shop so you can wash off "stay all day" eyeliner with little to no scrubbing.,

    Read our review of The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Oil (#2 in the list)!

    Promising review: "This product is basically witchcraft, it's so good. I used this cleanser in place of a makeup remover, and it almost disintegrated my makeup for me. I read somewhere that this product wasn't recommended for the eyes, but I used this cleanser on my eyes with my contacts in with no issues. In fact, it took off my waterproof mascara like it was nothing! I simply followed the instructions, applied to dry skin, rubbed in circles, and rinsed. I was so wowed by this product that I basically ran out of the bathroom and tried to get my aunt to take her makeup off with it. There was no burning or feeling of scrubbing like every other makeup remover I've ever used. I then followed up with a foam cleanser. I've been using this routine for a few days now, and I can already see the difference in my skin when I wake up. This is what nice, clean skin looks like! Maybe soon I won't even have to wear makeup at all. My skin type is combination skin with hormonal breakouts, for anyone who is curious. 10/10 recommend this to everyone I know." —Ashley

    Get it from Amazon for $10.89.

    13. A Black Girl Sunscreen in SPF 30 that's made of natural ingredients (including avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice, and sunflower oil) and dries completely clear so you can enjoy 100% sun protection with 0% white cast.

    Hands applying the sunscreen

    Black Girl Sunscreen is "sunscreen made by women of color for people of color." The formulas are vegan and cruelty-free!

    Promising review: "I am an advocate for skin care, so protecting my skin on a daily basis is important. Buying sunscreen is usually a hit or miss for me but this one was certainly a HIT! I was so impressed by how moisturizing this product was that I almost forgot that I was wearing sunscreen. It doesn’t dry out my skin or leave a white undertone. Great for the winter weather too! This sunscreen is absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait to purchase another bottle!" —Chasidy C.

    Get it from Black Girl Sunscreen for $18.99 or Target for $15.99.

    14. A La Roche-Posay multi-purpose balm to rescue dry and irritated skin without leaving it sticky or oily. It can be applied to your face, body, hands, and lips!

    Hands applying the balm from the tube

    It's formulated with panthenol, shea butter, and glycerin — all of which helps to moisturize the skin.

    Promising review: "Just wow!!! I'm blown away by this product. Really helps heal the skin when it gets compromised! I usually can't wear balms, because they usually break out my extremely acne-prone, oily skin. However, this one does NOT break me out. I sometimes over-do it with my acne medication, and a night of this balm slapped on recovers my skin back to normal." —Sarah K

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    15. An Elizavecca retinol night cream for minimizing the appearance of pores and promoting even skin texture and tone. You'll wake up looking like you just had a facial.

    An open jar of the cream, showing a soft gel texture

    Promising review: "This is the last thing I put on my face at night and I feel like it locks everything else in. The smell is subtle but slightly sweet. My sensitive skin has had zero problems with this cream. My pores are much smaller. My skin is much smoother. My breakouts are less. My skin tone has evened out. This is actually one of those products you can see results from after the first week. No need to wait six months. This is the real deal." —Deborah Romero

    Get it from Amazon for $11.80.

    16. Bioré pore strips so you can clean out the annoying blackheads on your nose all at once.,

    Promising review: "Want to feel disgusting about your previous self from five minutes ago and better about your health for the next couple of weeks? Wet down your schnoz and toss one of these babies on there. It will transform from malleable and comfortable to a stiff sticky pad on your face. After your five minutes of waiting is up and you are ready to see what disgusting things have been cratered in your nose, pull this baby off. Nice and slow, from one side to the other. Feel the rush of excitement as your nose has its blackheads ripped from their pores and you feel cleaner than you do after a shower. Then, flip it over and inspect it closely to see how many nasty blackheads were previously calling your nose home. Take a pic or show to a friend, preferably both. Then crumple it up and throw it away and begin the countdown until the next extraction." —r0bdawg11

    Get a 24-count combo pack from Amazon for $13.70.

    17. An oil-free, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free micellar water by Garnier that'll take off even the most stubborn waterproof makeup and leave your skin feeling refreshed.

    Clear packaging of the cleansing water, which is colorless

    This all-in-one product is part cleaner, part toner, and part makeup remover.

    Promising review: "I use waterproof mascara and lots of eyeshadow, liner, etc. This makeup remover takes care of it super quick. I love the way it gets rid of all traces of eye makeup, even waterproof, and then I can wash my face without worrying about leaving anything behind on my eyes." —Julie K. Nichols

    Get it from Amazon for $6.78.

    18. A Jacq's wild hibiscus and carrot cleansing bar (made with organic carrots, organic rice milk, and aloe vera) to moisturize your skin and help fight blemishes at the same time. This gentle and delicious-smelling soap is suitable even for sensitive skin and can be used on both your face and body.

    Hands holding up the yellow soap bar

    This soap bar is vegan, cruelty-free, and handmade in small batches. Check out Jacq's, a Black-owned business, for more skincare goodies made of natural ingredients!

    Promising review: "Great soap. Doesn't over-dry my skin and is a great facial soap for my mild to moderate acne." —Arleezah M.

    Get it from Jacq's for $6.

    19. A Nature Republic gel moisturizer one reviewer described as "a spa treatment in a jar." It contains clean ocean water and 30 kinds of marine plant extracts.

    Reviewer photo of the jar of moisturizer

    Promising review: "I really love this moisturizer! I have oily, acne-prone skin so I was hesitant that this would make me break out more. However, since using this product, I've noticed less oil on my face when I wake up in the morning as well as throughout the day without dry skin patches. I used to always come home super shiny, but now my oil balance feels really under control. The water-based formula is also really lightweight and absorbs quickly. I use this as a nighttime moisturizer, but it could probably be used for the mornings, too, since it's such a light formula. A little goes a long way so it will last a while!" —Erin Meyer

    Get it from Amazon for $12.

    20. A Yes To Coconut scrub and cleanser stick made with coffee so you can look awake in the morning even before having your cup of joe. It'll provide just the right amount of exfoliation without being too harsh or drying, thanks to coconut oil in the formula.

    The stick, featuring a clear cap and twist bottom

    It's also perfect for traveling!

    Promising review: "I bought this to try on my body just to find out what the craze was with the sticks and ended up using it on my face as well. This product is amazing!!! My skin doesn’t break out from it and it actually cleans deeper into my pores than I expected and it even made my pores look smaller! I have combination type skin and my face isn’t left feeling oily and doesn’t get oily by the end of the day either. I recommend this product!" —Debs

    Get it from Amazon for $8.67.

    21. A Skinfood black sugar mask that looks good enough to eat — but don't! Instead, use it to polish away dead skin cells and blackheads.

    Open jar of product, showing the thick texture of the mask

    Promising review: "This scrub worked amazing on my skin. I have tried many facial scrubs in the past and most never get the job done, but this one has. It kept my skin exfoliated for two weeks, without any dry skin peaking through. It left my skin feeling refreshed, and baby smooth. It also smelled great." —BoyMomX3

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    22. Acure vegan oils to give your face that healthy, post-yoga glow. The best part is they work just as well as the $$$ versions!

    The minimalist packaging of the oils, which features pump dispensers

    Argan oil and marula oil are super moisturizing, while blue tansy oil helps with redness and irritation.

    Promising review: "The blue tansy night oil is a blue oil (as it should be naturally blue), it has low viscosity and thus spreads beautifully on my skin and my skin absorbs most of it. I can't stand oils which sit on top of my skin, I get a claustrophobic feeling as if it is suffocating my skin. But not this one, it is light but strong on effect. Everywhere in the cosmetic markets you can read how expensive blue tansy oil is. Well, not this one and it works for me very well. I have rosacea and it calms my skin wonderfully. Plus the packaging is beautiful and practical at the same time, as it doesn't let light inside the white ceramic bottle and thus preserves the oil inside. Highly recommend." —zsuzsa

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in eight formulas).

    23. A jar of Neutrogena hyaluronic acid moisturizer for super thirsty skin. It'll sink in right away and leave your face feeling smooth as a baby's bottom.

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed,

    Hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water, which is why it's such a popular ingredient in moisturizers. This formula is noncomedogenic, oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free. Read our review of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel moisturizer!

    Promising review: "This stuff is great. I have pretty oily skin so I was looking for a light moisturizer to use at night to combat fine lines and dry spots. It is very light and does not leave my skin greasy. I wake up with a smooth complexion and have even started to notice a difference in texture after one week. Smells nice and inexpensive, especially considering that it contains hyaluronic acid." —jennieftb

    Get it from Target for $16.99.

    24. A Mizon skin repair serum so good at its job (providing moisture, reducing acne scars, brightening complexion, improving skin elasticity), you won't mind its active ingredient: snail secretion.

    The ampoule, packaged in a dropper bottle

    Promising review: "This stuff has been amazing for my skin. I am 38 with skin that was dry, rough on the forehead and cheeks, dull, and my makeup would catch on my skin and look terrible no matter how much I exfoliated. I began using this about four months ago and recently purchased my second bottle. I use a Korean skincare routine, and this stuff is one of the best purchases I have made. The effect wasn't immediately obvious, but using it twice a day for a few weeks, I noticed that my skin was much more hydrated and healthy looking. The texture has improved (especially after purchasing a Foreo Luna), and my makeup no longer catches when I apply it. In fact, after putting it on and letting it set for a minute to soak in, I noticed that it creates a super nice palate for applying makeup. I ran out recently and didn't use for a few days, and I noticed an immediate difference. I will definitely buy again." —Grendlebeans

    Get it from Amazon for $15.89.

    25. Cooling gel patches that'll provide instant relief for tired and puffy eyes — especially if you put them in the fridge beforehand!,

    Promising review: "I've only used these twice, but I believe I already see a difference in the puffiness under my eyes. They stay perfectly in place for me. I wear them for the full 30 minutes. Immediately afterward, the area under my eyes is so tight and smooth! That does wear off, but even the next morning my eyes look better." —Sara O

    Get a 60-pack (30 pairs) from Amazon for $9.90.

    26. A fast-working Bye Bye Blemish drying lotion infused with salicylic acid to help tame large, stubborn pimples while you sleep.

    Simply dip a cotton swab into the solution and dab it on the blemish — don't shake the bottle!

    Promising review: "I was going to buy those other expensive drying lotion brands but decided last minute to try this instead. I'm so glad I did. I woke up with two big ol' zits due to PMSing, put this on, and the next morning it shrunk a considerable amount! Usually it takes days to get it smaller but this literally took one night. I'm on the third day and it's nearly gone! Do yourself a favor and buy this stuff instead of the pricey brands. It's the exact same thing and works very well, the same if not better!" —M. Ksmith

    Get it from Amazon for $9.07.

    27. An e.l.f. cosmetics illuminating eye cream (formulated with jojoba, vitamin E, and cucumber) for helping you win the daily battle against dark circles.

    Finger dipping into the jar of eye cream
    elf cosmetics

    This nourishing eye cream is cruelty-, paraben-, pulfate-, and phthalate-free.

    Promising review: "I have dark circles and have been using this eye cream on and off for about two years. During that time I also tried a more expensive eye gel sample for a while, but I still prefer the e.l.f eye cream. I use it in the morning and at night and and use a face roller after dabbing it on. Love the results." —ym217

    Get it from e.l.f. cosmetics for $10.

    28. A brightening pumpkin honey mask by Andalou (with glycolic acid) so you can say goodbye to uneven texture and dullness.

    Orange packaging of the mask

    Promising review: "This smells just like pumpkin and has a nice texture. I have used it twice now, each time leaving it on my face for 15 minutes or so before showering. My skin feels very soft and glow-y after. It could be my imagination, but the slight tingling when it's on makes me think it's attacking dead skin cells that I cannot even see. Regardless, my skin looks better after using it." —Arden

    Get it from Amazon for $13.65.

    29. A Pacifica coconut water and vitamin E cream that'll refresh your tired skin after it's been through a rough weekend. You might have only gotten a few hours of sleep, but no one will be able to tell!

    Navy blue tube packaging of the cream

    This product is vegan and cruelty-free.

    Promising review: "This stuff is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! As always, Pacifica products do what they promise, and this one is not an exception. Excellent for those who sleep just a few hours per night due to demanding lives. The lotion is ultra smooth and non-greasy. Fast absorbed, leaves the skin nourished and pampered. I use it as a night cream and wake up feeling it really worked. My face loves it!" —MDDM

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    30. An Innisfree clay pack containing real volcanic cluster capsules to clear out your pores and make them appear less noticeable.

    Open jar of mask to show creamy texture

    Promising review: "This mask is to die for. It has the same effect as GlamGlow Supermud and costs almost nine times cheaper. Very effective on acne, clears up my skin from blemishes, and leaves it feel fresh and squeaky clean. I'm the biggest fan of Korean cosmetics and this one is my holy grail from now on. Also, just a little of this mask goes a long way!" —Aliya

    Get it from Amazon for $15.

    31. A Burt's Bees coconut oil and aloe lotion for providing some relief after a little too much fun in the sun.

    Reviewer before and after photos showing a red, sunburned back returning to normal skin tone after applying the lotion

    This product is free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and SLS.

    Promising review: "Best product ever for sunburns! No peeling or itching. Simply amazing! The photos are four days apart." —Carrie

    Get it from Amazon for $7.69.

    32. A Some By Mi Miracle Toner formulated with three types of chemical exfoliants (AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs) plus papaya and witch hazel extracts to boost cell turnover and keep your skin glowing. It also contains tea tree water extract, which can help soothe inflammation, while niacinamide may improve texture and dullness.

    Green bottle packaging of the toner
    Soko Glam

    The formula is free of artificial fragrance and colors, parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil and silicone. I have combination skin and absolutely swear by this toner — it's gentle, sinks in quickly, and seems to help with breakouts!

    Promising review: "I have a couple of toners in my arsenal, but decided to give this one a try — hey, who doesn't want a miracle? And it really is: I can't believe how smooth and soft my skin is. I use it every morning and night, and am pretty sure that I'll have to reorder very soon. It hasn't quite been 30 days, but I'm very happy to see what the next few bring." —Bonbon24

    Get it from Soko Glam for $16.

    33. A Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser that'll effectively remove dirt and makeup but won't leave your skin irritated or feeling tight. It uses the same gentle cleansing agents found in contact lens solution make it safe for eyes.


    Promising review: "I absolutely love this cleanser! It's really creamy and feels amazing on my skin and it doesn't leave my face feeling dry. I have oily, breakout-prone skin and this cleanser does an amazing job at keeping my skin under control while not irritating it." —Megan

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

    You, after trying these products out:


    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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