I’m rounding out the last few months of my 20’s, and while I’m trying hard to hang out to them, it seems like time just keeps passing by quicker and quicker. While I know my youthful spirit and child-like irresponsibility won’t break down anytime soon, my skin is a different story.
About a year ago, I noticed that my skin wasn’t looking as bright or clear as it once did. Let’s be honest, I was a long-time supporter of the “same-makeup-for-days” motto. It sounds incredibly unpleasant now, but back when every second of snoozing counting, I used to sleep in my makeup. I would jump out of bed, wipe the smudges from under my eyes, freshen up with another coat of mascara, and be on my way. With that history, paired with years of daily tanning, it’s no surprise that my skin eventually started to suffer the consequences.
I decided that it was time to start a small skin care routine, so I went out in search of the best products and methods. I was shocked at the money that so many of the girls I know spend on their skin care products alone. I mean, I get it. It’s your face, so it’s important. But, is it skip-the-trip-Bali-because-I’m-broke important? I didn’t think so, which led me to seeking out the most affordable options that were still effective.
A year later, I’m finally really happy with all the products I’ve found, and more importantly, I’m loving the price tags on everything. These products are by no means free, but they’re substantially cheaper than a lot of the brands we often see marketed, and they’re long lasting. Plus, they produce results.
I recently went to the dermatologist for one of those full body skin checks (another consequence of getting older), and while I was there, they did a facial scan that gave me all the details about my skin. It broke down 8 different categories: spots, wrinkles, texture, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, and porphyrins (bacteria). I’ll share the scan below, but basically what it told me is that: my face is staying clean and smooth, my pores are staying small, and my wrinkles are being kept at a minimum (botox is helping, too!). The problem areas are the result of that tanning I mentioned earlier: spots, uv spots, and brown spots. Ideally, you want every category to be a 50% or higher. While I can’t go back and change my past behaviors, I can work to maintain the healthy skin I have by taking care of it. So, that’s my focus in using these products.
My Morning Routine
When I wake up, I was my face using La Roche-Posay Foaming Cleanser. I love this product because it’s light and gentle but still smells great. I opted for the oily skin formula because my skin has a tendency to get oily versus dry, but there are different versions depending on your skin type. This bottle is $15 and lasts me about 2 months. After washing, I use The Ordinary Niacinamide. It’s a thin gel-type liquid that spreads easily across my face and it’s used to decrease blemishes and improve brightness. I think this stuff is what deserves most of the credit for largely reducing the amount of oil on my skin! This is so affordable, it seriously lasts forever (like 4 months) and it’s only $10 a bottle. Next is my face cream that I adore: Era Organics Tea Tree Face Cream. Again, this is targeted more toward oily skin, but I’m pretty sure it would be great for anyone, because it definitely does not dry out my skin. It smells good and it’s really gentle. But I think the best part about this cream is how long it lasts! I purchased my last jar 3 months ago for $17, and I’m barely halfway through it. A tiny bit goes a really long way.
The last part of my morning routine is a fairly new addition; sunscreen. While I love the lotion I just mentioned, I realized that it doesn’t contain sunscreen. Initially, that didn’t matter to me, but after I had that facial scan done and realized that my biggest issues were sun damage and spots, I changed my mind. So I recently added in Elta MD Tinted Sunscreen. I opted for the tinted so that I still have a little color on the days I don’t feel like following up this routine with makeup. At $31, I think this is one of the more expensive items on my list, but it’s gotten rave reviews from dermatologists, and since it has a legitimate job to do (preventing skin cancer), I opted to spend a bit more on it. Since it’s fairly new for me, I don’t have a lot of data on how long it will last, but I’ll be sure to share an update over the next few months!
My Nighttime Routine
Here’s the good news: a lot of the products that I use in the morning get reused in the evening, which was really important to me. I didn’t want a drawer full of different washes and toners and creams that I had to keep coordinated by a sundial. This is easy because it’s just a slightly varied version of the morning routine. The first thing I do is take off my makeup. I’ve used Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes forever, and while I’ve tried different brands, I always come back to these because I think they’re the most effective without bothering my skin. If you’re a Costco member, these come in a box of 120 wipes for $17. Next, I wash my face using the same La Roche-Posay Foaming Cleanser and follow with The Ordinary Niacinamide.
After that, I use a nighttime wrinkle retinol cream, RoC Retinol Correxion ($14). Currently, I’m only using this under my eyes (but not too close to eyes!) but it is made for the face in general, so it can be used on fine lines and wrinkles anywhere from the neck up! After that, I use my regular Era Organics Tea Tree Face Cream. The very last thing I use is Hairgenics Lavish Lash Growth Serum. I’m actually using this more for my brows than my lashes, but I typically apply it to both. I’ve used other, much pricier, products in the past, and I think this works just as well for $30.
If you’re looking for something new to add to your routine, I can speak for each of these products personally. And you definitely don’t have to break the bank to take great care of your skin! I hope you find this list helpful! If you have any budget-friendly skin care products that you love, please share them below!
*None of these brands/products are sponsored or gifted. I bought and paid for each product listed here. May contain affiliate links.