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Affordable Skincare For Beginners

If you have ever wanted to start a skincare routine, but you're not too sure where to begin, this five-item list can help get you started. These products are under twenty dollars, making them perfect for a college student's budget.    

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% by the Ordinary 

This product helps to reduce redness, increases brightness, and even out the skin tone; it also can lighten blemishes as well. This formula is best used both in the morning and nighttime. It is alcohol-free, silicone-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. What makes this product so amazing is the price point at $5.90 on the Ordinary website. 


Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty

This product is considered one of the best on the market. It moisturizes and hydrates without feeling oily on the skin. It is so gentle on sensitive skin, it could be used on babies. It comes in several different sizes, all of which are affordable, especially using Sephora’s website. The 2oz bottle is $14.00 and the larger size around twenty dollars. While the large sizes are more expensive, the containers are huge and will last you a long time.


Renewing SA Face Cleanser by CeraVe

This product is a simple cleanser that works for dry skin, combination skin, and acne-prone skin. It contains salicylic acid which lightly exfoliates the skin while softening as well. It has no fragrance and is paraben-free. Target sells an 8oz bottle for $9.89 on their website. This cleanser can also be used as a body wash.


AHA 30% + BHA 2% by the Ordinary

This product can help reduce redness, exfoliates, and brightens the skin. Many people say it helped clear their acne and smoothed out their skin texture. While this product is amazing, it also needs to be used responsibly. It is a very strong chemical exfoliant that can be harmful to your skin if not used properly. This peeling solution should never be used more than ten minutes, and should only be used if you have an understanding of how this product should be used.

In addition, after using this product you should always wear sunscreen. Sun exposure after the use of this peel can cause the darkening of blemishes and can cause sunburn to be worse. It should not be used often, it is best to use it only once a week or every other week. It should also be mentioned that this product shouldn’t be used on broken skin or active breakouts.


A  medical Esthetician's YouTube Video On This Product

Mineral Sunscreen With Antioxidants by the Ordinary 

This sunscreen is a 30 SPF with antioxidants, UVA/UVB protection, and zinc. It also can act as a moisturizer as well. It is also vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. It works for all skin types too. Though some reviews say it can leave a slight white cast. It is $9.70 for a 17oz container. 


In addition to this article, there are many places where you can find basics on getting started with skincare. Some additional resources are linked below. I hope this helps you have the best skin of your life!

A Guide To Patch Testing Skin

A Skincare Specialist's YouTube

A Medical Esthetician's YouTube


Audrey Ross

C of C '23

Audrey Ross has lived in three different states and currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina. She a junior at the College of Charleston and is double majoring in Studio Art and Arts Management. She has participated in National Novel Writing Month for eight years and has written 4 novels. She is currently working on finishing a manuscript to submit for publishing. Her interests include sketching, painting, reading, history, fashion history, sewing, and writing.
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