Our 38 Favorite Skincare Products Under $25
Shop the affordable skincare buys we use and highly recommend.
The skin is the body's largest organ, so it's crucial to properly care for it. And that doesn't mean you have to spend hundreds on fancy skincare products either. I asked HGTV staffers to share their go-to, most-loved skincare products with a $25 price cap, and the response was huge. While most of us have beloved products that fall on the pricier side, we also use a mix of drugstore buys that work really, really well. It's just a bonus that they're nice on the wallet, too. Ready to shop? Us, too. Browse our recommended skincare picks below, and get top skincare tips from Taylor Worden, celebrity esthetician and founder of Taylor Worden Skin.
Cleansers & Exfoliators Under $25
The single most important thing you can do for your skin? CLEANSE. "The purpose of a cleanser's job is to remove all the SPF, dirt, etc., and it prepares your skin for the next steps in your skincare routine," says Taylor. "If you don't cleanse well, then you will not get the benefits of the other steps in your skincare routine." Two of Taylor's favorite cleansers that fall under $25: Ghost Democracy Transparent Gentle Exfoliating Daily Cleanser ($24) and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser ($16).
What should you look for in a cleanser? Start with knowing what type of skin you have. "If you have more dry skin, you would need a creamy cleanser, but if you have oily skin, you would want more of a gel or foam," says Taylor. She also suggests looking for products that are fragrance-free "because that can ultimately irritate the skin." And look at the ingredients list closely. For example, something with "hyaluronic acid and glycerin is more hydrating, and anything with salicylic acid would be more for oily/acne-prone skin."
I have been using the Origins Checks and Balances face wash for probably 20 years, and although I've tried others, I always come back to it. It's ideal for sensitive skin and suits both oily or dry, so for me, it's great year-round. (My skin gets dry in winter, oily in summer, and is very sensitive.) The minty scent is natural and refreshing but not overwhelming. And it's a bargain — a $25 supply will last me for several months because just a little dab of the frothy wash will do. — Kelly Smith Trimble, Senior Director of Editorial
My skincare history has been fraught, from cystic acne in my 20s to rosacea in my 30s till today. Over the years, I've tried about every lotion and potion to either dry out my skin during acne flare-ups or to moisturize it to prevent signs of aging and sensitivity from rosacea. Around the time of my rosacea diagnosis, my dermatologist recommended that I switch from the harsh acne scrub I had been using — which was causing epic redness and painfully tight skin — to a much gentler, moisturizing cleansing routine to ease my rosacea symptoms. That was more than a decade ago and I've used CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser every day since — and have recommended it to both family and friends who've also become CeraVe converts. — Camille Smith, HGTV Managing Editor
A few years ago I started implementing the popular Korean double-cleansing method into my skincare routine. I start with this oil cleanser to remove makeup, SPF and other impurities, then follow up with a water-based cleanser to remove sweat and dirt. I no longer have to use makeup remover wipes, and my skin feels cleaner than ever. — Kayla Kitts, HGTV Managing Editor
I've been using this Garnier Micellar Water for a few years and I still love it. Garnier has a few versions of this and for me, it *has* to be "the blue one" — it has oil in it, which helps take off makeup and leaves my skin feeling super soft. It's no-rinse, so it's forced me into better skincare habits because now I no longer wash my face in the hot shower water. A big bottle lasts a long time. — Jessica Yonker, HGTV Handmade Editor
I really love Tatcha's Camellia Oil for removing my makeup, but it is a bit pricey. I decided to try Bliss's Makeup Melt and was pleasantly surprised how well it removes all of my makeup! If you can splurge I suggest Tatcha, but if you're balling on the budget, this does the job really well. — Karen Webb, Associate Producer
The Daily Dissolve Cleansing Balm is similar to a higher-price cleansing balm I've tried, and it works just as well! I'm addicted to this stuff because it removes makeup so well, it smells amazing and it doesn't irritate or dry out my skin. I like using it instead of micellar water because it gets every little bit of mascara without leaving a streaky mess under my eyes. — Molly Miller, Assistant Editor
I recently started double cleansing at night, starting with this Bioderma Micellar Water. I’m very particular about what I put on my skin, so I did quite a bit of research before choosing this brand. So far, it lives up to the hype. It’s pretty amazing how something so gentle can remove my makeup without any harsh rubbing, and my face is left feeling refreshed and not dry. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how long the bottle lasts. I’ve been using the same bottle for over a month and have barely made a dent! — Keri Sanders, Editor
This might be the best $10 you'll spend on skincare. Acure's Brightening Facial Scrub leaves my skin feeling so smooth and "purified." (I've tried the very popular Kate Sommerville exfoliator, and believe me, this budget find works just as well.) My skin type leans more to the drier side and I've been so satisfied with the results that this natural exfoliant provides, sloughing off flakiness and clearing my pores. (Also, if you're into natural skincare but don't want to pay luxury prices, I highly recommend Acure's other products, especially their shampoos and conditioners.) — Molly Miller, Assistant Editor
I love wearing lipstick and lip tints and they always look better with hydrated and exfoliate lips. I love this one because the sugar doesn't harden over time like other scrubs and it smells and tastes amazing — just like sweet coconut. — Karen Webb, Associate Producer
Toners Under $25
Toner may seem like an unnecessary part of your skincare routine, but it's actually an important second (or third) step. According to Taylor, "toner removes all the impurities left on your skin after cleansing [and it] also shrinks your pores, balances your skin's pH and preps your skin for serums." We love these reusable bamboo cotton rounds for applying toner after cleansing.
Continuing in my theme of Korean skincare, this pH-balancing toner from Acwell is a must-have. It's perfect for all skin types, including my sensitive skin, and features natural brighteners to help with pigmentation, acne scars and dark spots. Unlike a lot of toners that can leave your skin feeling tight and dry, this one makes it feel soft, smooth and clean. Plus, one bottle lasts for months! — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
I learned from an esthetician friend that niacinamide is so good for your skin and pores, so I've started finding ways to add it to my routine and found my skin just feels and looks way clearer. My two favorites are the Glow and Hydrate Serum and Disappearing Act Toner from Bliss. — Karen Webb, Associate Producer
I love using Thayers Coconut Water Toner after I cleanse my face but before I moisturize to remove any remaining makeup or dirt I may have missed during cleansing. Toners are also great for priming the skin, allowing moisturizers and other skincare products to soak in more. I love this toner because it's an alcohol-free formula that doesn't dry out my already dry skin. I use the coconut water scent, and it smells just like a tropical vacation. — Morgan Faulkner, Assistant Editor
Serums Under $25
After cleansing and applying toner, you can start layering on the serums needed for your skin. This is where you'll do most of your skincare research — finding a quality solution that targets your unique skincare concerns. From skin brightening serums and anti-aging serums to reparative solutions, there's something out there for your skin type. We love The Ordinary for their very specific and one-note serums that can be layered to create the perfect skincare melody.
I’ve tried several of The Ordinary’s products in the last couple of years because they’re so inexpensive while still containing highly effective ingredients. One of my favorites so far is the Azelaic Acid serum, which helps with hyperpigmentation and skin texture. Dr. Dray, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends this serum in a video highlighting her favorite products from The Ordinary on her Youtube channel, where she gives no-nonsense, honest product reviews. I apply the serum after washing my face at night and before applying moisturizer and have noticed that it helps reduce redness for me. It has a creamy texture, which I like, and it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. Plus, you really can’t beat the price. — Laura James, Editor
Anyone looking to create a skincare routine on a budget should look no further than The Ordinary. These often single-note potions can be layered based on your personal skincare needs, and you can even ask the experts at Deciem to create a routine for you. The best part? Almost everything rings in under $20, and some of my favorites are under $10. The two things I buy multiples of so that I never run out are the Niacinamide Zinc and the Organic Rosehip Oil. — Marianne Canada, Senior Director
I love this Black-owned brand that was featured on Shark Tank! Their castor oil is super thick and luscious and isn't cut with palm or soybean oil like so many other "castor oils" on the market. I use their peppermint rosemary oil on my skin and hair, and it's an instant spa day every time. — Jessica Yonker, HGTV Handmade Editor
Masks Under $25
There are several different types of face masks for every skin type and need, including cream masks, gel masks, clay masks, sheet masks and exfoliating masks. Sheet masks will help hydrate and nourish, while clay masks can give your pores a fresh and thorough clean. You can even get masks that target specific areas of your face, like your lips and eyes.
I love sheet masks, but pairing a sheet mask with a quartz roller is mind-blowing. I keep my roller in the fridge so when I put on the mask I can roll the cool quartz over the mask to push those serums gently into my skin. It's the perfect, simple at-home facial! Your skin will thank you! — Karen Webb, Associate Producer
This is a cult favorite for a good reason. It's the best wash-off mask I've ever used. It smells like brown sugar and leaves your skin smooth as silk. It's not harsh like other exfoliants and includes sugar, shea butter and macadamia oil. The best part? You leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing, so you get the best of both mask worlds. — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
The Mighty Marshmallow Mask is hands-down my favorite jar mask. I love the smell, it feels so light, and I find when my skin feels irritated this just calms it down and feels nice and cooling. It's a little extra, but I also find I enjoy jar masks significantly more when I pair them with a facial spatula. It goes on a lot nicer, and you avoid wasting product on your fingers. — Karen Webb, Associate Producer
There is nothing my lips appreciate more than this delicious overnight lip mask. It's gooey (in a good way) and literally moisturizes your lips overnight, kicking dry, chapped lips to the curb. Plus, I get the gummy bear flavor which tastes and smells good, too. — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
Moisturizers and Creams Under $25
Moisturizing is super important, no matter your skin type. "Moisturizer hydrates and protects the skin and plumps up the wrinkles," says Taylor. Her top tip? "I always say purchase a separate moisturizer and SPF; don't buy one that does both. I recommend a lighter moisturizer during the day and a heavier one at night." Some of Taylor's favorite moisturizers include Glossier Priming Moisturizer ($22), Weleda Skin Food ($19) (we love this, too!) and iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Next Level Moisturizer ($22).
This is my favorite, inexpensive calming face balm for winter. My skin gets dry and irritated and sensitive to EVERYTHING, but this balm really soothes. It's thick-ish and kind of greasy so I use it at night only. — Mariel Clark, VP Editorial and Programming
This stuff is made for livestock. That's how you know it's legit. I have gone through dozens and dozens of lotions, creams and body butter in my lifetime, and this is one of the only moisturizers where my skin still feels soft the next day, even after a shower. Perhaps the only downside is one time after applying this moisturizer, my roommate told me I smelled like a Bandaid. — Jessica Yonker, HGTV Handmade Editor
I have been using this Pacifica moisturizer lately and love it! I hate when a moisturizer makes my face feel oily, so finding this product has been a game-changer for me. — Lauren Fansler, Editor
There are a few things that drew me to this product above anything else; it's a woman-owned brand, it's recommended for sensitive skin, it's non-comedogenic and it contains hyaluronic acid. I love that it moisturizes my dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin without making it oily or clogging my pores. In fact, it helps reduce the appearance of blemishes. — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
This coffee eye cream is like a cup of joe for your under-eye area. It soothes puffy eyes and reduces bags, which is just what I need in the mornings. Plus, it's made with all-natural products, including coffee seed extract and natural oils and butters. I love to use it with my reusable silicone gel eye pads from Dieux Skin, too. — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
As someone with perpetually dry skin, Vaseline has been a staple for me for many years. I mainly used it for eczema flare-ups or extra dry spots on my hands and body, but recently, I’ve joined the “slugging” train and started using it all over my face as the last step in my nighttime skincare routine. (“Slugging” refers to the Korean beauty trend of lathering petrolatum-based products like Vaseline or Nivea cream all over your face — you go to bed looking like a slug and wake up with the most hydrated, dewy skin.) It's especially helpful for people with dry skin. According to dermatologists, these products are effective because petrolatum helps prevent transepidermal water loss (aka it locks in moisture). The best part is both Vaseline and Nivea products are extremely inexpensive. — Laura James, Editor
Pimple Treatments Under $25
Pimples suck. Luckily, we have some remedies that actually work, including spot treatments and patches that make them disappear overnight — seriously!
Ah, pimples. These Cosrx patches have saved me! The hydrocolloid material extracts the impurities, creating a moist environment that makes the healing process faster and without scarring. If I wear one of these at night, the pimple is gone by the time I wake up. If I wear one during the day, it’s gone by dinnertime. The best part is that the patches are “invisible,” so you can essentially wear them out and no one will notice. I have worn one under my mask while shopping too many times to count. It’s no wonder these are hailed by Korean skincare fans as the holy-grail product for pimple treatment. — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
I’ve been using (and loving) the COSRX patches for years, but I only recently discovered the Mighty Patch Micropoint Patch by Hero Cosmetics. What sets this patch apart is that it’s designed to be used on early-stage pimples before they become a real problem. Each pack only comes with six patches, but reviewers agree that the price is well worth it to stop those painful, cystic pimples in their tracks. — Keri Sanders, Editor
Anyone who deals with occasional or even frequent breakouts needs this tiny bottle of magic in their medicine cabinet. It works overnight to dry out pop-up pimples and within a few days, my zits are completely gone. Even better, there is nothing bad in it! Just pure, simple ingredients that work. — Molly Miller, Assistant Editor
Face Sunscreens Under $25
Daily sunscreen is your best defense against premature skin aging and skin cancer — even on cloudy days! Fight aging and skin damage by making SPF a part of your daily skincare routine. In the mornings, after cleansing and moisturizing, apply sunscreen as the last step in your routine. And exactly how much sunscreen should you apply to your face each morning? Experts say 1/3 of a teaspoon or a nickel-sized dollop is best for full coverage. And don't forget to reapply every two hours!
I spend loads of time outdoors and have all my life. I'm now paying a bit of a price for all that sun exposure. My dermatologist told me a few years ago that I MUST wear sunscreen every day. As one who struggles with routines, I shuddered at the idea of having to slather up my face daily. But it's really the least I could do for my skin health, and this lotion makes it easy. It covers all my skin-care bases, has a light scent and absorbs into the skin quickly for a sunscreen. — Paul Cox, Manager of Editorial Operations
In the last couple of years, I’ve really prioritized skincare over makeup, and the most important product in my skincare routine is sunscreen. I have several favorites, including many Supergoop! products. While Supergoop!'s full-sized products are a bit on the pricier side, this affordable bestsellers mini set is the perfect way to dip your toes into the brand. I’ve tried the Glow Screen, Unseen Sunscreen and PLAY Everyday Lotion from this set and love them all for different reasons. The Glow Screen has a subtle tint to it (though it doesn’t provide as much coverage as my go-to Elta MD tinted sunscreen) and provides a lovely dewy glow. I wear this on my face when I’m going for a no-makeup makeup look and want a subtle sheen. Possibly my favorite, the Unseen Screen is literally clear, meaning no white cast or possible stains on your clothes, and it has the smoothest, velvety finish that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. The Everyday Play lotion is my go-to body sunscreen, and though it is white, it rubs in really easily and smells lovely. — Laura James, Editor
"Another favorite – and one my dermatologist recommends – is SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion. It provides broad-spectrum sun protection and offers a universal tint that helps hide imperfections and even out skin tones without leaving behind a white residue. This lightweight sunscreen is super smooth with an almost-matte texture. It doesn’t provide the amount of tint and coverage that I prefer on its own, so I like to use this one on days I’m behind a computer or don’t plan on leaving the house. Plus, the increased SPF is a plus!" — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
This doesn't replace my main sunscreens(s) but is a great daily moisturizer with SPF and it doesn't bother my super-sensitive skin. (My everyday go-to moisturizer is La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Ultra Soothing Care Face Moisturizer.) — Mariel Clark, VP Editorial and Programming
I typically spend more than $25 on sunscreen, especially for my face, and prefer the natural, mineral sunscreens from Elta-MD, Coola and SuperGoop. That is, except when I run outdoors. Then I want the toughest, most sweat-resistant sunscreen sticks I can find; ones that will hold up for miles and won't run into my eyes and sting. I have multiple sticks of Neutrogena Beach Defense and this sensitive, mineral one from Blue Lizard stashed in my car, gym bag and home. These are both marathon-tested and are good for winter sports since the thicker balm style helps protect skin against cold and windburn. — Mariel Clark, VP Editorial and Programming
My body’s idea of 'tan' is red. Straight to red, and nothing in between. And my nose is always the first to go. I have super sensitive skin and try to have a discerning eye when it comes to the ingredients in skincare products. This is my go-to for my face. If I put this on, my nose stays just on the rosy side and doesn’t burn. — Michele Purcell, Executive Producer
Part of my ongoing sunscreen education is realizing that lips need sunscreen, too. But finding a mineral sunscreen with a good consistency is not easy. Coola to the rescue with their combo of tinted mineral lip balms with organic cupuaçu butter and mongongo oil in a wide variety of colors. (I am a fan of Summer Crush and Skinny Dip.) Added bonus: It's easy to remember to reapply your sunscreen when it has a pretty, subtle, flattering tint. — Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor
Our Tip for Glowing, Hydrated Skin
Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated helps the skin, but I also drink Yogi's Soothing Rose Hibiscus Skin DeTox tea to help me get more glow. I do feel like I see results when drinking it regularly — it helps calm my skin's sensitivity — and I also love the taste, a blend of subtle, sweet rose and bright, tangy hibiscus along with dandelion, burdock and yellow dock. — Kelly Smith Trimble, Senior Director of Editorial