Now I am not an esthetician or an expert, but I have definitely picked up some tips and tricks over the years. As college students, I know that most of us can’t afford to spend hundreds at Sephora on brands like La Mer, Sunday Riley, and Drunk Elephant. Luckily enough there are still ways that you can take care of your skin without spending such extravagant amounts.
Large retailers and convenience stores like Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart sell great (yet inexpensive) skincare brands. Although the price tags are appealing, I do not recommend buying the cheapest product or the first one you see. I always recommend using natural products or as natural as possible. Whole foods is also a great alternative when looking for skin care products. They carry many organic, vegan, and gluten-free brands that are slightly more expensive but most of them use all natural ingredients and if you look hard enough, there are definitely some hidden gems. At the end of the day, skin is such a complex subject that varies for everyone, and while I know we are not trying to spend hundreds, it’s actually a good thing to be “picky” about what to put on your face.
Below are some of my personal recommendations; these are brands and products that have worked for me. I have combination skin and I am prone to breakouts.
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleanser
- La Roche Posay Purifying Foaming Cleanser
- Biore Daily Charcoal Cleanser
- Biore Charcoal Acne Scrub
- Burt’s Bees Pore Refining Scrub
Side note: Scrubs are specifically for exfoliating, do not do this more than twice a week.
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel (If you don’t like the feeling of cream on your skin, this water gel is the one for you! It is quick to absorb and soothing)
- St. Ives Renewing Moisturizer
- Aquaphor Healing Ointment
- Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream
- Burt’s Bees Skin Nourishment Hydrating Gel Cream
- Brightening Even Skin Tone Moisturizing Cream
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 30 (This one is for those people that don’t like the feel of sunscreen, it feels like a gel, absorbs quickly, leaves no color and no flashback!)
- La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen SPF 60 (This one is definitely my go-to for sun protection)
- La Roche Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Oil Free Sunscreen SPF 60
- Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 (If you haven’t checked out their products, go now)
- MyChelle Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50
- EltaMD Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 (EltaMD also carries a tinted sunscreen with SPF 41)
- Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (My holy grail for getting rid of blemishes quickly!)
- La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment Cream
It might take a bit of experimenting, but there are definitely products out there for everyone. There are products on this list ranging from $5-$40, so they are definitely affordable and competitively priced. But everything aside, these are products I have tried and truly liked.
At the end of the day, it is never too early to start a skincare routine that will keep your face looking youthful and bright. If you are someone who wants to look into higher-end brands, I always recommend buying the Sephora/Ulta bundles first. They are priced significantly lower than the full-sized, regularly priced products and they come in smaller quantities so that you can test multiple products out before making the investment for the full size.
Author: Mariana Ballesteros
University: Florida International University