Affordable Skin Care Routine (All Products Under $20)

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Kim Chwalek

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I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi, I'm Kim


Now is not the time to skimp on serums, moisturizers, or SPF. Skincare is all about prevention and the right skincare routine will help you achieve smooth, glowing skin for years to come. From dermatologist-favorite CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser to the top-rated Versed Skin Soak, scroll down to explore top-rated and affordable skin care products – all under $20! These products are great at protecting from pesky blemishes, sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles. To take your skincare routine to the next level, keep an eye out for my five bonus skincare steps at the end.

Affordable Skin Care Brands

Aveeno / Avène / CeraVe / Cocokind / Glossier / ILIA / Innisfree / La Roche-Posay / Mario BadescuOrigins / Paula’s ChoiceRhode Skin / Supergoop / The Ordinary / Versed Skin


Step 1: Cleanse

Top-Rated Cleansers (Under $20)

Remove makeup, dirt, oil, and impurities.


Pictured: ILIA Cleanse Soft Foaming Cleanser + Make Up Remover – a fragrance-free, pH-balanced foaming cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin.

Featured products

1. Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub: This daily facial scrub gently exfoliates skin to reveal brighter, more radiant skin.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser: A replenishing and fortifying cleanser that helps reinforce the skin’s barrier. Ceramides hydrate and repair the skin barrier.

3. La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser: This hydrating cleanser gently removes makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities for a smooth and refreshed complexion.

4. Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser: Formulated with nourishing matcha and hemp seed oil, this hydrating cleanser uses coconut-based surfactants to break down impurities.

5. Milky Jelly Cleanser: A creamy gel face wash that’s kind to every skin type. Formulated with five skin conditioners, including Allantoin and Pro-Vitamin B5.


Step 2: Toner

Top-Rated Toners (Under $20)

Purify your skin and minimize pores.

Pictured: Witch Hazel, an effective toner that contains tannins, which offer astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Apply after cleansing to re-balance skin pH.

Featured products

1. Witch Hazel Toner: Made with organic aloe vera, this witch hazel toner is perfect for a face wash, makeup remover, deodorant, and acne cleanser.

2. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: An exfoliating toning solution with seven percent glycolic acid, amino acids, aloe vera, ginseng, and pepperberry.

3. The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner: A 10 percent glycolic acid exfoliating toner helps reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines for smoother, brighter skin.

4. Glow Recipe Mini Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner: A bestselling PHA- and BHA-infused watermelon toner that hydrates skin and minimizes the appearance of pores.

5. Innisfree Balancing Toner with Green Tea: A refreshing watery-gel toner that replenishes skin with lightweight hydration from Jeju green tea.


Step 3: Serum

Top-Rated Serums (Under $20)

Hydrate skin, fight acne, and prevent aging.

Quick Tip: Choose a serum with Niacinamide and Zinc, and apply it to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing.

Featured products

1. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: A high-strength vitamin-and-mineral blemish formula with 10 percent pure niacinamide and one percent zinc PCA.

2. Superfuel Serum Stick: Keeps skin strong, glowy, and ready for anything by boosting your protective microbiome.

3. Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2%: A concentrated serum with pure 12% niacinamide and 2% zinc PCA to help improve uneven skin tone and minimize pores.

4. Just Breathe Clarifying Serum: Designed to clear acne and manage excess pore-clogging sebum with a dynamic trio of willow bark extract, niacinamide, and a zinc.


Step 4: Moisturize

Top-Rated Moisturizers (Under $20)

For hydrated, healthy, and glowing skin.

Right now, we’re loving Rhode Skin. To keep your skincare routine affordable, browse moisturizers by The Ordinary, Versed Skin, Paula’s Choice, and Mario Badescu.

Featured products

1. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: A hydrating formula with amino acids, dermal lipids, and hyaluronic acid.

2. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer: A cloud-like cream with a blend of superfood omega fatty acids, replenishing ceramides and antioxidants.

3. Versed Skin Soak: Enriched with algae extract, vitamin E, and squalane, this rich moisture cream keeps skin nourished and hydrated.

4. Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Day Cream: Velvety, deeply-moisturizing hyaluronic acid day cream to guard dry skin from moisture loss in harsh conditions.


Step 5: Protect

Top-Rated SPF (Under $20)

Keep complexion even and prevent aging.

Quick Tip: You can’t go wrong with SPF products by Supergoop!

Featured products

1. SuperGoop PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50: This hydrating, fast-absorbing formula provides high-performance protection from UVA, UVB, and IRA rays.

2. Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 36: A lightweight, water-based SPF 36 sunscreen infused with green tea, cica, and sunflower seed oil.

3. Hello Sunday Serum Face Drops SPF45: Designed to prep and protect skin, this lightweight moisturizing serum provides broad protection against UVA and UVB rays.

4. MaeLove Sun Protector SPF30: Fortified with Vitamins C and E, this 100% mineral sunscreen is silky smooth and light as air. It also doubles as a makeup primer.


Bonus #1: Exfoliate

For a radiant, glowing complexion.

Add-On 1

1. Alba Botanica Even & Bright Enzyme Scrub: This scrub fights off dull, dry skin for a smooth, even complexion. It contains seven plant extracts harvested high in the Swiss Alps.

2. Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser: This cleanser unclogs pores, visibly brightens skin, and evens texture–leaving your skin feeling soft!

3. The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash: A “30-second cleansing mini peel” that gently buffs away dead skin and impurities to reveal a smoother, brighter, more even complexion.


Bonus #2: Retinol

Fight acne, reduce dark spots, and brighten skin.

Quick Tip: We love all the RetrinAL products by Avène. Read My Honest Review of Avène RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream for a complete review of their gentle but powerful RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive CreamRetrinAL Advanced Correcting Serum and RetrinAL EYES.

Add-On 2

1. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid: A next-generation retinoid active that achieves a better reduction in visible signs of aging than retinol—without irritation.

2. RegenaCalm Serum S1 Pro: Regenacalm S1 Pro is formulated with 3% encapsulated retinoids to target fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.

3. Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Resurfacing Night Cream: A 3-in-1 formula combining retinol, bakuchiol, and a retinol-like peptide for softer, smoother, younger-looking skin.


Bonus #3: Eye Cream

Nourish your skin to prevent dark circles and aging.

Add-On 3

1. Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel: Rich in yerba mate extract, a natural source of antioxidants and polyphenols that fight oxidative damage for brighter, more radiant skin.

2. DHC Concentrated Eye Cream Mini: An emollient eye cream that diminishes dark circles, fine lines, and crow’s feet.

3. Lumene Nordic-C Bright Eyes Eye Treatment: This unique brightening eye treatment is designed to diminish the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.


Bonus #4: Spot Treatment

Deliver acne-fighting ingredients.

Add-On 4

1. Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Armor: A liquid spot treatment that treats existing blemishes and prevents new ones from forming.

2. Cocokind Turmeric Tonic: This invisible leave-on formula uses organic turmeric extract, ginger water, and tea tree oil to help you achieve a clear, smooth, even complexion.

3. Kinship Pimple Potion Retinal + Salicylic Acne Treatment: Can be used as a spot or an all-over facial treatment to help clear, prevent acne and promote skin renewal.


Bonus #5: Face Masks

Hydrate your skin and remove excess oils.

Add-On 5

1. Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay: A Rose Clay mask that retexturizes skin and deep cleans to perfect pores for a naturally flawless look.

2. Green Tea Face Mask MK2: A facial mask with superfine French clay, premium face oils, chamomile and green tea gently cleanses and balances without drying skin.

3. Cocokind Sea Kale Clay Face Mask: This face mask gently exfoliates to improve texture, leaving skin looking smooth and soft.


Thanks for stopping by! If you like this article, check out:

Let me know your favorite affordable skin care product is in the comments section below!

Love, Kim

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