The Best Skincare Products Under $20

Sophie shares her favorite skincare products under $20. From serums to masks, these affordable skincare products can be found at the drugstore.
The Best Skincare Products Under $20
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Let’s face it, skincare is having a major moment right now. From Kim K’s SKKN to Hailey Bieber’s Rhode Skincare to what seems like a million other brands popping up every day, there is always something new for us to try with lofty claims and trendy packaging. But honestly, who has the budget for that? Not me.

While I do have my luxe skincare favs, I’m a drugstore skincare girly at heart. I truly believe you don’t need fancy packaging or influencer marketing to have a flawless face. 

Scroll on for a list of my favorite drugstore skincare products under $20 

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My Favorite Skincare Products Under $20

Before we get to the good stuff, I feel like I have to do one of those typical “I’m not a dermatologist, this is what works for me, don’t listen to me,” disclaimers. Check with a doctoer and do you. 

Also, I think you should know my skin type because that’s something I always like to know when I read or watch these types of recommendations.  

Hi, I’m Sophie and I have combination oil skin. I forget to drink water for hours at a time and am typically super dehydrated and boy does it show. I don’t breakout often, but when I do its hormonal. 

I gravitate towards fragrance-free and non-irritating ingredients to avoid any unnecessary inflammation. I use the double-cleanse method and try to stick to chemical exfoliants.

Whew. Okay now that we got all that out of the way— on to what you’re here for: the best drugstore skincare products under $20.

RELATED: Simple 5 Step Skincare Routine: How I Cleared My Skin

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Oil Free ⋆ Cruelty Free ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Skin Hydration

This is a great step to ensure you keep your face hydrated throughout the day. Though the formula is a tad sticky, I love the results I’ve seen with the serum. I use my Hyaluronic Acid in both my day and night time routines.

QUICK TIP:  If you plan to incorporate this into your routine, make sure to add a moisturizer right away- or the serum will pull the moisture from your face not the air!


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Oil Free ⋆ Cruelty Free ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Blemishes + Skin tone

If I were to recommend one serum, this would be it. I LOVE this little miracle worker. While it’s not a cure for acne, it has made a huge difference in the overall appearance of my skin.

QUICK TIP: Apply in the morning and don’t combine with Vitamin C.


Indian Healing Clay

100% natural⋆ Vegan ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Blemishes + Deep Cleaning   

This mask is legit just calcium bentonite clay. Like from the ground. TBH, I really just like the experience of this mask. Don’t get me wrong, this mask CLEANS HOUSE. But, it also makes your face pulse and I love making my fiancé do it with me.

QUICK TIP: Skip this mask if you have sensitive skin.


Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 2%

Oil Free ⋆ Cruelty Free ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Exfoliation

This is the stronger of the Lactic Acids the brand offers, but is still a gentile chemical exfoliator. I like to use this a few times a week when my skin is clear and just needs to be maintained. I’ll go in with something a little strong (keep reading) when my skin is congested.

QUICK TIP:  Make sure you are applying sunscreen and avoid if you have compromised or overly sensitive skin.


RELATED: My Simple Skincare Routine

Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Oil Free ⋆ Non-comedogenic ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Moisture

Again, if I were to recommend one moisturizer, it’s this one. It’s simple and straight to the point. Also, it’s super affordable and you can find it everywhere. Its formulated with Ceramides (help restore the skin barrier) and Hyaluronic Acid. The formulation is super gentile and great for normal to dry skin types.


Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Oil Free ⋆ Cruelty Free ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Exfoliation

This is my go-to chemical exfoliator when my skin a mess. It happens. It is a stronger formula than the lactic acid and is able to penetrate deeper.

QUICK TIP:  SUNSCREEN IS A MUST. Also, use 1-2 times a week at night.


Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water All-In-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover

Paraben Free ⋆ Sulfate Free ⋆ Fragrance Free

Use: Makeup Remover

I use this to tackle my eye makeup. I’m a big fan of the double cleanse and use this after I go in and remove my makeup with an oil cleanser and before I wash with my gel cleanser. I’ll add a little micellar water to a reusable cotton pad and hold to my eye for like 30 seconds. Boom the makeup loosens and I’m ready to move on.

QUICK TIP:  DO NOT rub your eyes. Please.


Drugstore Skincare Brands Under $20

While swiping through, I’m sure you noticed the same brands appear over and over. When it comes to skincare, I’ve found that there are a few stand outs when it comes to the products under $20 category. A few of my favorites are: Hero, Naturium, The Ordinary, and Versed. And, ovy I’m going to share all the details about why they get a gold star from me below.

Hero Cosmetics

Everyone and their mother knows about and is obsessed with the Mighty Patch. These little blemish busters are godsent before a big event, date night… or honestly any time you have to leave the house and look presentable. But what many don’t know is about the company behind it all.

Hero Cosmetics is women founded and run. They focus on gentile, effective skincare solutions that empower their consumers to feel confident in their own skin. Hero started in 2017 with just a Hydrocolloid patch and now has 30 products on the market including their bestselling Rescue Balm, Lightning Wand, and Clear Collective Trio. 

SM’s Hero Skincare Products Under $20 Picks:


If you follow #Skintok or Susan Yara, you know all about this brand. If you don’t, let me introduce you. Naturium is a powerhouse brand channeling the best of natural skincare and science to produce clinically proven and effective formulations at an attainable price. 

The brand is cruelty, gluten, paraben and synthetic fragrance free, made in the USA, vegan, and dermatologist tested. They are dedicated transparency and have an ingredient library listed on their website that has every product ingredient in their formulas, as well as its purpose.

SM’s Naturism Skincare Products Under $20 Picks:

The Ordinary

When I think of The Ordinary, I think a la carte. While it may seem simple, there are no training wheels with this brand. It’s kinda like Ikea furniture. You’re trying to put it all together with little to no instructions. But that’s where our beauty guru friends on the internet come into play. And thank god for that.

All in all, the products do what they say they will do. These are great for my girls who just want a simple routine without all the extra work. And, the price point… chefs kiss. 

SM’s The Ordinary Skincare Products Under $20 Picks:


When I think of affordable skincare, I think of Versed. Everything from there product line is under $25. Like what could be better than that- I’ll tell you. Their formulations are held to the highest standards and exclude 1,350+ ingredients that don’t have the data to back them up. 

SM’s Versed Skincare Products Under $20 Picks:

Shop Skincare Products Under $20

What are you favorite skincare products under $20? Do you go for drugstore or high-end skincare products? Let me know in the comments!

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