Skincare favorites under $20

Price isn't always an indication of quality, as these products can prove. We bring you our list of all-time drugstore favorites, from moisturizers to face wipes. These items are what readers swear by to save skin and money.


I like to peruse skincare influencers on Instagram for the latest and greatest in skincare products. I can marvel at beautifully arranged photographs of luxury beauty items for days on end. That being said, I'm never opposed to purchasing inexpensive skincare products. There have been countless occasions I've needed to do an emergency pitstop at Duane Reade (I think we've all been there). You know the feeling: you totally know you packed a face wash only to find out you totally did not. Here are ten of our favorites under $20.

Yes to tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes, $5.99
For deep cleansing face wipe with the detox effects of charcoal, look no further. These little black wipes (LBW) are a little more hardy than the Neutrogena brand. Post-workout? Post-walking outside in the heat? Post-rose all day on a rooftop? Check, check, check.

SkinLab Lift and Firm Micellar Cleansing Water, $19.99
Everywhere I look, I see micellar water. It's almost as prevalent as charcoal. Micelles are little balls of surfactants, or molecules that contain detergents, that form when these surfactants hit the water. The hydrophobic (water-hating) end attract dirt and oil on skin as the hydrophilic (water-loving) head attaches to your cotton pad. Word on the street is this micellar water is available for much cheaper at TJ Maxx.

Alba Botanica Good & Clean Detox Foaming Cleanser, $4.19
Conscious and animal-friendly skincare doesn't have to break the bank. This 100% vegetarian cleanser packs a punch with ten different botanicals providing alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) powers to gently exfoliate skin. 

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, $7.79
One more for the charcoal team. This face wash will remove dirt and prevent blackheads from forming. It's a little higher pH so a balancing toner may be necessary so your skin doesn't completely dry out.

Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Organic Aloe Vera Formula Toner Rose Petal, $10.95
Witch hazel is a natural and mild astringent for your skin. It's an extra step to wipe off excess dirt and impurities. Plus, the aloe means that you're getting a hydrating, skin-evening tone with a few swipes of this toner. Did I mention it also smells fabulous from the rose?

40 Carrots Carrot + C Vitamin Serum, $13.99
This impressive carotene-packed serum includes a proprietary retinol complex to smooth fine lines and vitamin C to brighten skin. Add a few drops after cleansing, right before your moisturizer or SPF.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, $16.99
This gentle everyday moisturizer has natural light diffusers in the formula to make skin more luminous while also evening out skin tone with its soy complex. It's non-greasy and lightweight for the day time, plus you've got the SPF in there.

Sundown Naturals Vitamin E Oil, $9.99
Vitamin E oil is a natural antioxidant in many skincare formulas (if you see tocopherol anywhere--this is it), and it extends that property when it hits your skin. Add a few drops to your moisturizer or just use it solo as your moisturizer for efficient free radical-fighting hydration.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream$17.99
Hyaluronic acid doesn't have to come in luxury form. This lightweight moisturizer is a crowd-pleaser, and not just for those with dry skin. It quickly sinks into skin like a gel but gives lasting moisture like a cream.

Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Facial Night Cream, $19.99
Chances are you've seen Roc ads while flipping through magazines. Their retinol formula works pretty quickly and is more cream than serum in texture, giving it a multi-functional purpose for those who don't want their skin to feel too weighed down by products.