07 July 2021 (updated)

The Best Cheap Skincare Routine for Your 20's

Are you looking for a new skincare routine that doesn’t break the bank? Do the drugstore aisles full of serums and eye creams seem to blur together? Check out this complete cheap skincare routine for your 20’s! Every step is fully customizable for any skin type, even sensitive or acne-prone skin!

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Cheap Skincare Routine: Step by Step

1. Remove Your Makeup

Start your nighttime skincare routine with a basic cleanser. To remove any makeup, try this E.l.f. Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm to dissolve that waterproof mascara gently. The formula is gentle but effective with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides. If you prefer makeup wipes, Target has a brand called Smartly with its own line of skincare products. The Smartly Makeup Wipes are soft and durable, able to wipe off eye and face makeup with ease. And at less than $1.00 for a pack of 30, they're a great and cost-effective option.

2. Cleanse Your Skin With Excellent Cheap Skincare Products

After you've removed your makeup, follow up with your favorite cleanser. This technique is known as double cleansing and ensures you've removed all of the grime from the day. If you have yet to find a good cleanser, I highly recommend looking at the CeraVe line of cheap skincare products. Available at any drugstore, they offer a variety of cleansers for all skin types. These options include a foaming cleanser for oily skin and hydrating formula for dry skin. All of their products are inexpensive but come recommended by dermatologists for all skin types.

3. Tone and Exfoliate

After cleansing, you can apply toner with a cotton pad in a sweeping motion across the face. There are a lot of great drugstore options, depending on your skin needs. This Pixi Glow Tonic is a great affordable option if you’re looking for a chemical exfoliant. While not meant to be used every day, when used two or three times a week, this exfoliant works wonders. The formula contains glycolic acid that can gently slough off dead skin cells without causing micro-tears in your skin like most physical exfoliants. You’ll be glowing in no time!

4.) Hydrate With Serums and More

Once you’ve toned or exfoliated the face, you might be interested in a serum to address a specific skin condition. Maybe you want to brighten, correct dark spots, treat acne, or prevent fine lines. The Ordinary is a popular brand that features clinical formulas with transparent pricing. They keep costs low by using minimal product design, packaging, and marketing.

On their website or at an Ulta location, you can find any serum you may need. They sell a variety of options such as a Niacinamide and Zinc serum designed to decrease sebum production and a stabilized Vitamin C treatment for brightening your complexion. And with every product ringing in at less than $15 each, you’re sure to be getting incredible products at bargain prices.

5. Nourish Your Skin With Eye Cream

For under the eyes, you want a gentle but effective product. While a pricier pick than the rest of the options listed, this IT Cosmetics Confidence In An Eye Cream is highly-rated for a reason. I purchased this eye cream on sale at Ulta last year and have loved it ever since. It feels cooling on the delicate skin under the eyes and immediately brightens your dark circles. I’ve noticed an improvement in the puffiness as well! IT Cosmetics is a reputable brand with great products, especially those for anti-aging. I think it is definitely worth the $39 price tag. But, Ulta often offers sales, and if you can score a deal on this eye cream, even better!

6. Moisturize

Finally, to lock-in all of your skincare products, you’ll need to layer on a good moisturizer. This Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel Moisturizer is unscented and non-comedogenic- perfect for even the most sensitive skin. The lightweight gel formula feels cooling and moisturizing on the skin without feeling too heavy. I’ve used it for years, and it looks great under makeup, even on my oily skin! (It's a cult-favorite for a reason) Ringing up for just $16.99, you’ll get an incredible product for a fraction of the cost of its competitors.

Cheap Skincare Bonus: Masks!

Masks aren't necessary, but they can be great for spot treating specific skin needs or just for relaxation. For a little nighttime self-care, try out a sheet Face Mask! This sheet mask set is a great choice, with options for any skin type. It includes 14 days' worth of masks made from eucalyptus fibers, with options for soothing, brightening, or clarifying the skin. For only $25, this highly-rated set is a great deal!

Cheap Skincare in the Morning

Repeat these same steps in the morning, but no need to double cleanse first. You can start with a quick cleanse or just splash your face with water in the AM. Then apply your skincare products in the same order as in the PM. Some products may need to be only applied at night, especially ones that contain retinol or vitamin C because they can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.

Be sure to finish off your morning skincare routine with an SPF 30 or more to prevent early aging and the onset of wrinkles. This dry-touch option from Neutrogena is great because it doesn't leave a white cast on your face or look greasy, even under makeup. Chemical sunscreens tend to be thinner and easier to work with, but physical sunscreens may be better for acne-prone skin. Whether you pick a chemical or physical sunscreen option, it is important to protect your skin from sun damage. To learn more about sunscreen, check out this great article!

Where Can I Purchase These Cheap Skincare Products?

You can purchase all of these products at Ulta Beauty, which features both low-end and high-end sections depending on your budget. You can also head to your local Target, Walmart, or CVS for many of these budget-friendly picks. If you want to order online, Amazon will get it to you fast with 2-day Prime shipping. Local and small businesses also may have some of these options for your new cheap skincare routine.

Have you incorporated any of these cheap skincare products into your daily routine? Do you have any new recommendations for us to test? Let your friends and family know at FamilyApp!



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