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.

Cleanser

Side note: Scrubs are specifically for exfoliating, do not do this more than twice a week.

Toner

Moisturizer

Serums

Sunscreen

Breakouts

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

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