's Top 10 Picks for Skincare on a Budget's Top 10 Picks for Skincare on a Budget

While most item lists are just about specific products, Audrey ( really wants you to know about the best skincare brands that won't break the bank. They include brands for all skin types, some for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, and more. She'll also reveal some tips in finding your own perfectly affordable skincare brand at the end!

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  • The Ordinary
    Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

    The Ordinary is one of my top brands to recommend to newbies of all skin types because it’s an inexpensive and safe way to see what kind of ingredients your skin responds well to. 

    Are they the fanciest formulated products, with dreamy textures and super exciting blends? No, not really. But they also don’t pretend to be, and some of their products do just as well as pricey targeted serums. 

    For me, the niacinamide and zinc, while not having the most elegant texture, works as well for me as much pricier niacimiade serums, and I have gone through countless bottles. I've been using TO products for about 3 years now, and I also loved the Matrixyl Serum, Natural Moisturizing Factors, and Rosehip Seed Oil.

    TO has some competition now from other affordable brands with targeted serums, but I think they get credit for being the first and have the trust and credibility that goes along with that.
  • Purito
    Centella Green Level Unscented Sun

    This brand’s sunscreen has taken the world by storm, and with good reason. I think it cannot be beat, which is quite the feat considering how difficult sunscreen is to formulate. 

    In addition to skipping the usual SPF issues (white cast, pilling, weird smell) it's also very hydrating and filled with gentle ingredients that won't aggravate acne-prone or sensitive skin. 

    The Centella Toner is also a great product to have on hand for soothing troubled skin. Some of the products have fragrant ingredients, but there are fragrance free options for those with sensitive skin. I've only started using Purito products recently, but I'm hooked!
  • Iunik
    Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum

    I've been a fan of Iunik for about two years. I love that Iunik states on their packaging the percentages of their active ingredients! This gives you a sense of ease since you know exactly what you're getting and how much of it that you're getting. 

    I’ve only tried Iunik's serums, but the formulation and textures were all exceptional, especially for the price. This brand has a variety of products for different skin types, but the Propolis I think is suitable for everyone. It uses Vitamin C and other great ingredients to calm and brighten your skin.
  • CosRx
    Acne Pimple Master Patch

    While there are plenty of pimple patches on the market these days, in my opinion you can’t beat the original CosRx! I've been using them for about 5 or 6 years. Total game changer for dealing with spots. Aside from that, I love the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser as a solid pH balanced cleanser for all skin types. 

    I haven't tried them, but skincare experts and bloggers also swear by the Advanced Snail Mucin 96 Power Essence and the two overnight masks (Honey and Rice). 

    CosRx seems to have more products geared toward younger or acne prone skin, but they still have some products for dry or sensitive skin. I think it's a great brand for younger people especially who are looking to build their skincare collection without spending too much money!
  • TIA'M
    Signature Vita B5 Toner

    Good basic hydrating toners have been such a game changer for me in skin care, and they don’t have to be pricey to be good. The Tia’m toners are a perfect example of that. With a variety of types that each focus on a specific ingredient, you're sure to find one that suits your needs. 

    For me, the Vita B5, which features one of my favorite ingredients (panthenol), was a great hydrating, soothing, and skin strengthening toner with a good middle weight texture. I love that this brand is no frills with simple but good active ingredients, and it's very affordable.
  • The INKEY List
    Hyaluronic Acid

    I haven't personally tried this brand myself, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention The Inkey List when it comes to affordable skincare brands. I've heard a lot of great things specifically about the Hyaluronic Acid that aims to plump and reduce fine lines in dry skin. If you've got some seriously dehydrated skin, this is the stuff you need.

    The Bakuchiol Moisturizer is also quite a cult favorite. It uses a plant-based antioxidant that offers a natural alternative to retinol, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Even users with oily skin have said it works for them! 
  • Good Molecules
    Instant Cleansing Balm

    Remember earlier how I said The Ordinary has some competition now? Well, this is it! This is another brand that I haven't personally tried out but that I just had to mention.

    The Good Molecules Cleansing Balm gets a lot of love with its rich formula of buckthorn oil, camellia oil, and shea butter to ease away makeup. It's also vegan and cruelty-free!

    Good Molecules' face oils also get a lot of attention in the beauty community, and with some of them priced as low as $10, I can see why. They have oils for dry skin, aging skin, and evening skin tone and pH levels. You can even buy them in a set if you want to try out different types.
  • CeraVe
    Hydrating Facial Cleanser

    Named for one of my favorite skincare ingredients of all time (skin strengthening ceramides), CeraVe is a great brand for all budgets and skin types. They're also incredibly accessible. You can find this brand at a huge variety of retailers all over the world!

    I haven’t tried all of their offerings (even after 10 years) but the Hydrating Facial Cleanser and PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion are both great finds. 

    The Cerave PM in particular isn’t everyone’s cup of tea regarding texture, but especially for night--when you don’t need to worry about a flawless finish--it's packed with great ingredients for the price.
  • Timeless Skincare
    20% Vitamin C Plus E Ferulic Acid

    This brand is known for their vitamin C and matrixyl serums, but they are branching out into other targeted serums, mists and facial oils. The 20% Vitamin C E Ferulic is a potent formula that is considered by many to be a dupe for the famously expensive Skinceuticals. It's serious skincare for a great price! 

    With the 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic, be careful with very sensitive skin; it operates at a low pH to avoid copyright infringement with Skinceuticals. For those with sensitive skin, the HA + Vitamin C serum uses a gentler vitamin C derivative than L Ascorbic Acid and should be suitable for all skin types.

    I also loved their Hyaluronic Acid Serum and HA Matrixyl 3000 Rose Spray. The Hyaluronic Acid serum especially had a very silky and elegant texture that I would have expected from a much pricier serum. This is a great brand for serious skincare addicts who don’t want to spend $166 on a vitamin C serum!
  • Hada Labo
    Plumping Gel Cream

    Hada Labo is everything you could want from an asian skincare brand: very accessible, affordable, and established. Not all the products are fragrance free, but there are some fragrance free options for sensitive skin types.

    I bought my first Plumping Gel Cream 5 years ago. When my skin is VERY dry and my hydrating serums are not enough, I actually love using the Plumping Gel Cream in place of a serums under my moisturizer! There are lots of great ingredients in this one, and my sister loves it, too. 

    I haven’t tried them, but the Hada Labo hyaluronic acid toner products (the Gokyjyun or the Premium) are true cult faves in the skincare world for being hydrating power houses.