There’s nothing inherently wrong with skincare products that cost less than the price of takeout. In fact, some of the world’s leading beauty editors and bloggers will tell you they perform equally as well as their three-digit counterparts.
That’s because the same active ingredients present in the pricier products can be found in cheaper alternatives, like plant extracts, vitamins, and antioxidants. Ultimately, a good skincare routine consists of products that work. And if you’re adept at understanding ingredients, you’ll find they really do come in a variety of price points.
And, much like style, shopping for skincare benefits from a high-low approach. With that in mind, we unearthed the 10 best skincare products under $25 to update your grooming routine for the warmer days ahead.
By now, charcoal in skincare isn’t anything new, but a decent charcoal cleanser under $25 is worth talking about. This gel-based wash by Clinique feels like the kind of deep clean your face needs after a day in the sun. The charcoal pulls out the dirt and excess oil from your pores, leaving your face feeling refreshed.
The Medicine Cabinet Flex
Higher-end skincare is possible under $25. The trick is to look for smaller- or travel-sized options. For an effective exfoliator that’s modeled after the peels performed in his New York City practice, cop Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Daily Peel. The two-step process is completed in just two minutes, and preps the skin for the rest of your routine. For the cost of a cocktail, you really can have a luxe skincare experience.
The Costs-Less-Than-An-Appetizer Option
Recommended by a few of Highsnobiety’s staffers, this toner by The Ordinary does an equally great job toning as it does exfoliating. The pH is around 3.6, and, like most toners, should be used during your nighttime routine because it could leave skin sensitive to the sun.
It’s not just Nivea — it’s Nivea Japan. You probably won’t be able to read the packaging, but who cares? All you need to know is it works. Recommended by facialists stateside and used by some of our staffers, this sunscreen is lightweight and has an SPF of 50. If telling people your sunscreen is imported from Japan isn’t a flex, we don’t know what is.
The skin on your face and body aren’t the only areas susceptible to sun damage — don’t forget about your lips. Coola’s Liplux works overtime by delivering SPF 30 protection while also doing everything else we expect from a great lip balm: it conditions with ingredients like raspberry and avocado butter. Toss it in your crossbody bag and reapply throughout the day.
The Health Junkie
Whether you have oily or combination skin, or are trying to manage the excess oil that comes with warmer temps, a mask can go a long way. This one by Glossier packs a punch with nutrient-rich leafy greens and antioxidants that nourish the skin while the clay-based formula handles excess oil. Apply, snap a selfie, chill tf out, and rinse.
The Old Faithful
Before you come out of self-quarantine to greet warming temps, load up on sunscreen. Whether you’re pale or beautifully melaninated, no one is immune to the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. Keep your skin protected and youthful with this easy-to-apply sunscreen by Supergoop! It’s water-resistant, vegan-friendly, and nourishes the skin with vitamin C.
“This one is an all-around secret weapon. Such straight-forward and pleasant branding. Highly moisturizing. Delightfully inexpensive. And it comes in a $0.79 travel size that’s perfect for trips.” – Thom Bettridge, Editor-in-Chief
The Treat-Yourself Pick
Yes, eye patches are great for depuffing and moisturizing the skin under your eyes, and these ones get the job done. But the reason we love them in the spring is because they feel especially good at the end of a long, hot day after they’ve been stored in the fridge. Go on, you deserve it.
The Sleeping Beauty
Excess oil can lead to breakouts in the spring, so arm yourself with a spot treatment. Malin + Goetz’s works to correct blemishes over night, so you can wake with a clear face and mind, and coins to spare.
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