When it comes to adopting a healthy skincare routine built from the best possible face products, it can be tough to know what's worth the splurge, and where it makes more sense to save. No matter what your budget is, you want to make sure if you're using skincare products for glowing, bright skin that they produce noticeable results. A truly effective skincare ritual can be made up from the best of both worlds — powerful ingredients and affordable price points.
Below, I'll break down how to get great skin with the best skincare products — including their cheaper versions, too. Many of the products are expert-recommended, and if you decide to save money on skincare products to stay in your budget for the month, you'll still get the same benefits as when you invest in a skincare product with a higher price tag.
For example, if you're looking for a protective sunscreen to keep your skin safe and hydrated on your next sunny getaway, an expert recommends a lightweight and hydrating SPF 50 sunscreen to shield your skin from damage — totally worth the splurge. But, if you're looking for a deal, the more budget-friendly choice is an antioxidant-rich, moisturizing SPF 50 sunscreen that acts as a smudge-free base under makeup, too. Read on to check out the 'splurge vs. save' skincare products you'll want to snag:
1. Facial Masks
Splurge: Exfoliating 15-Minute Deep Pore Cleansing Mask
Treating your face to this 15-minute facial mask will give your skin a thorough deep cleaning, as well as cleanse your pores. The formula will exfoliate your face for a smoother surface, and you'll have less of the frustrating blackheads you hate — all while your skin appears brighter and your pores less prominent. But, is it worth the splurge? One user called this mask her beauty secret for getting the pores on her oily skin totally squeaky clean.
Save: All-Natural African Black Soap Facial Mask With Raw Shea Butter
Monika Blunder, makeup artist to Jessica Alba and Emilia Clarke, told Refinery29 that this mask is "a fantastic deep-cleansing mask that draws impurities out of the skin. My skin always feels so refreshed after doing this mask." Applying this mask will draw out impurities from your skin, in addition to absorbing any excess oils that are sitting on the surface. It also includes raw shea butter, which works hard to keep irritation from dehydrated skin at bay.
2. Skin-Brightening Serums
Splurge: Skin-Brightening Vitamin C Serum & Antioxidant Treatment
New York-based dermatologist Jeannette Graf recommended this vitamin c serum and antioxidant treatment to Allure. The essential vitamin helps skin by building up collagen, in addition to brightening your complexion. This serum also protects against damaging UVA/UVB rays, and it won't smudge if you wear it underneath your sunscreen. Pro Tip: For the best results, apply four to five drops on your face and neck in the morning after you cleanse.
Save: Clinical Strength Antioxidant- & Vitamin C-Rich Super Serum
This serum hydrates, moisturizes, and brightens skin with a much more affordable price tag. After applying this vitamin C- and antioxidant-rich serum to your face and neck at morning and at night, you'll begin to notice your skin gaining a brighter complexion that's practically glowing. One user gave this treatment top ratings, saying "compared to all the other high end similar products, this serum works its magic at a fraction of the cost."
3. Electric Facial Cleansing Brushes
Splurge: Gentle Waterproof Electric Facial Brush With Cleanser
Dermatologist Dr. Brandith Irwin says the Clarisonic offers a much more thorough cleaning for your face than washing with your hands alone. It improves circulation and works as an exfoliator, which actually helps your regular skin products penetrate deeper into your pores to work better. The waterproof, battery-powered brush promises to clean six times better than if you were using your hands, and it comes with a gentle face wash to use with the brush. After using this electric facial brush, your skin will feel smoother and appear more radiant as it reaches deeper into your pores.
Save: Best-Selling Cordless 7-In-1 Facial Massager Brush
This budget-friendly facial massager brush has seven different heads, including a pumice stone and makeup sponge, to give versatile options for any kind of skin dilemma that comes your way. Similar to the Clarisonic, this brush is battery-powered, but it come with two different speed options and is gentle on skin, so it cleanses without irritating. One user praised this brush for having "excellent" attachment options, and for giving her softer skin after using the brush to wash her face.
4. Facial Cleanser & Mask Combo
Splurge: 2-in-1 Cleanser & Mask With Shea Butter & White Tea Extract
This cleanser and mask duo deeply penetrates your pores to wipe away excess dirt and oils, leaving your skin feeling totally clean. The formula in this 2-in-1 cleanses without disrupting your skin's balance with conditioning shea butter. Plus, white tea extract shields your skin from damaging outside elements. When you want to treat your face to a deeper clean, leave this paraben-free cleanser mask on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing.
Save: 2-in-1 Breakout-Eliminating Cleanser & Mask
This two-in-one formula gives you everything you need to wake up tomorrow morning with glowing skin. It can be used as a daily cleanser or an intensive face mask that deeply cleanses your pores and draws out impurities. Emmy Graber, M.D., director of the Cosmetic & Laser Center at Boston University, recommended this cleanser mask to Shape for its effective daily washing and acne-clearing properties. She said, "This wash contains a concentration of benzoyl peroxide powerful enough to prevent pimples, yet gentle enough to not dry out skin."
5. Protective Sunscreen That Won't Clog Up Pores
Splurge: Lightweight & Hydrating SPF 50 Sunscreen
Dr. Michael Lin, medical director at the Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, recommended this sunscreen to Marie Claire, saying one of the most important skincare products you can apply is sunscreen. He said, "Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that covers both UVA and UVB and has an SPF of 30 or higher." This hydrating, non-greasy sunscreen with SPF 50 provides the ultimate environmental shield by taking on dryness and protecting against damaging UVA/UVB rays. Bonus: This sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, so you won't need to reapply after a quick dip in the pool.
Save: Ultra-Moisturizing SPF 50 Sunscreen With Antioxidants
This SPF 50 sunscreen is enriched with hydresia for an ultra-moisturizing formula that works great under makeup, and it's rich in antioxidant green tea and licorice extracts, which fight free radicals that can damage skin and leave it unprotected against environmental stressors. Plus, this sunscreen has aloe and cucumber extract to hydrate and soothe your skin. Users rave about this sun protectant, and one even calls it the "best ever" after she's been using it every day for eight years.
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