We hope you enjoy these essential skin care products! But keep in mind, Grit Daily might take small cut of the profit on the items recommended here—but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in them. We only recommend products that we would buy or use ourselves, so don’t be wary of our recommendations.
The bright side of being stuck at home for the foreseeable future is that you have a lot of extra time to take care of yourself. Even if you don’t have a home gym or seemingly endless list of amenities to turn your house into a spa, you can still come out of quarantine with glowing skin thanks to these essential skin care products. When you finally do get the chance to have dinner with your friends again, they’re going to swoon over the fact that you have your best skin ever.
Here are 10 essential skin care items that are all under $20 to get you through it all, even if you still have to work from home.
This AHA + BHA peeling solution from The Ordinary
This AHA + BHA mask from The Ordinary currently runs for $17.96 on Amazon. Alpha-hydroxy (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) are natural ingredients (often made from fruit sugars or lactic acid) that can help slough off dead skin cells to reveal younger, smoother looking skin. A lot of anti-aging products that work this way are harsh or expensive, making them far from ideal for people with sensitive skin or anyone that lost their job in the coronavirus market crash of 2020.
The Ordinary is both affordable and effective, making it a great go-to for skin care lovers that might not want to spend top dollar on their skin care routine, but still want to see results. Use this product once per week for around ten minutes. It works like a face mask, so put it on your clean, freshly washed face and then rinse it off a few minutes later.
Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask
Few beauty products have earned a cult-like, essential skin care following in the way that this particular Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask ($9.95) has over the last couple of decades. Again, if buying a bunch of skin care products online isn’t quite in your budget this month, this one is a good choice. Clay masks help to draw out impurities from your skin, removing toxins and pollutants that can cause wrinkles, fine lines, acne, and even cancer along with it.
Use this mask once per week to detoxify your skin and keep it healthy. Clay masks can be drying, so be sure to finish off with a moisturizer of your choice.
TONYMOLY Super Food Mask Bowl
There is a reason TONYMOLY is one of the leading K-Beauty brands throughout places like Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore, where brick and mortar stores filled with the cute, animated masks are seen in nearly every train station from Kowloon to Singapore’s Jewel at Changi Airport. Each TONYMOLY mask uses a blend of superfoods and other natural ingredients to hydrate, detoxify, and rejuvenate tired looking skin.
The Super Food Mask Bowl ($16.00) comes with a variety of some of the brands most popular superfood masks such as cactus, honey, coconut, and pomegranate. Slap one of these babies on while you peruse Netflix in search of a new show, leave it on for however long you’d like, and then throw the mask away when you’re done. No need to wash the essence off afterward, you want your skin to absorb it.
Hyaluronic Acid from The Ordinary
Now, back to why we love brands like The Ordinary: Hyaluronic acid is a natural molecule that helps water molecules bind to your skin. Without it, your skin could likely look and feel dehydrated and—well, tired. This hyaluronic acid from The Ordinary is great because it’s high-quality and affordable at only $11.99 per bottle.
That means you won’t feel bad about lathering it on your face three times a day—which you should—to keep it from feeling and looking dry. This formula specifically won’t leave your skin feeling sticky or weighed down afterward, which can often happen with hyaluronic acid serums.
CeraVe Vitamin C Serum
One of the widely known secrets in the beauty industry is that CeraVe products are some of the best products on the market. Plus, they’re affordable. In a majorly oversaturated industry where new brands are constantly coming up with cute packaging options to appeal more toward a consumer’s personal style than their actual product preferences, brands like CeraVe are often overlooked.
But this Vitamin C serum, which retails for just $15.69 on Amazon, will both brighten your skin and nourish it with hyaluronic acid and other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant as well as a brightening agent, can help your skin—particularly around your eye area—look brighter and more nourished. Apply this product to your under-eye area each morning.
Honest Beauty Gentle Cleanser
This gentle cleanser from Honest Beauty will help clean your skin after a long day of eating chips on your couch without irritating your skin. Chamomile soothes your skin while calendula extract acts as a powerful anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory ingredient. Plus, it’s only $12.99 for a 5.0 fl. oz. bottle on Amazon.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ultra Light Moisturizer
It’s important for a moisturizer to both do its job and be free of any potential ingredients that could either make you break out or feel irritated (fun fact: if your skin is oily it might mean that you need to moisturize). This ultra light moisturizer from Philosophy ($18.70 on Amazon) is just that. It’s made with natural ingredients that can help your skin stay nourished and moisturized, but is free from things like fragrances or dyes that can irritate sensitive skin.
CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum
Back to CeraVe—the products are both affordable and effective, and this anti-aging Retinol serum is no different. Retinol is a powerful retinoid ingredient that can help slough off dead skin cells and smooth over your pores to give you younger looking, airbrushed skin. This retinoid serum from CeraVe is only $16.99 on Amazon and it’s easy to use. Lather it on once or twice per week on a clean face and avoid getting it near your eye area—but don’t forget to use sunscreen while you’re using it as it can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.
Supergoop! Perfect Day 2 in 1 Double Header SPF 30 and 50
Never go outside without sunscreen on. SPF can help combat the signs of aging by protecting your skin from sun damage—one of the biggest culprits of early aging. This pack from the cult-favorite brand Supergoop! is only $19.99 on Amazon and it comes with a SPF 30 lip balm to keep your lips safe from sun damage, too. It’s a screamin’ deal, if we do say so ourselves, and will keep your skin safe when you go on your daily quarantine walk to take the dog outside.
Laneige Lip Mask in Berry
Speaking of Korean Beauty (K-Beauty), this lip mask from the K-Beauty staple Laneige is—um, to die for. It’s formula is both rich and moisturizing and won’t end up making your lips feel even more dry later on, as many lip balms and masks do. Plus, it smells really good. Grab it for only $17.50 on Amazon while your favorite beauty retailers are shut down.