5 Budget-Friendly Skincare Items; Because Who Can Afford Tuition AND Skincare?

Finding good skincare that works but doesn’t cost half of the tuition is difficult, but don’t worry, I braved the world of online shopping and found a few cheap skincare items that won’t break the bank (or break your skin). Here’s a list of 5 skincare items I’ve personally tested that are a newfound blessing to my skincare routine (all of them I originally found at Ulta but some may be found elsewhere at similar price points).


1. Freeman feelingbeautiful Face Masks, $4.29

Image Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

Okay so first of all, I want to put it out there that this is the best smelling face mask I have ever come across. It literally smells like the season of fall in a tube, plus it has apple cider vinegar and since that’s a trend nowadays, feel free to hop right on the bandwagon with this pretty awesome mask. I use this as a cleansing scrub in the shower and my skin has never been clearer or softer (pro tip: if you have dry skin like me I would highly recommend a thick moisturizer afterward, the one I use is Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel-Cream).

Review from Alexc626: "I love all the Freeman masks. The masks are inexpensive, big-sized, and all work wonderfully! This, in particular, is one of my top favorites because the smell is incredibly delicious! The mask works great and after you wash it out it looks and feels like it tones your skin, which is exactly what it says its for and what I needed. It does leave a sort of matte feeling after but nothing bad at all. LOVE this product, definitely recommend."


2. TONYMOLY I’m Real Sheet Face Masks, $3.75

Image Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

If you’re feeling a bit on the lazy side (let's be real here, we all want skincare to be easier), sheet masks are a pretty good way to go. These ones from TONYMOLY are super hydrating and make me feel and look like a dewy, glowing goddess. Even with my bone-dry skin I rarely feel the need to moisturize after using one of these bad boys. All that for $4?? Sign me up!

Review from Maskaholic: "This mask made my skin super hydrated, soft, and very supple. I left it on for about 30 minutes and my skin looked like I had a professional facial! I have tried all kinds of masks, from inexpensive ones to splurge ones and this was by far one of the BEST! The other mask from this brand I love is the Tomato mask... which gives the same brightening effect but this one gives you the glow with more hydration. I never want to run out!"


3. Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $4.99

Image Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

I have really dry skin, especially in the winter, and in all my years of skincare, Aquaphor is what I’ve found to be the most skin-soothing and hydrating. Plus it makes an AMAZING lip balm that lasts for longer than your average cherry Chapstick. I have yet to finish the tube I bought myself before winter break. No joke! A little goes a long way with Aquaphor.

Review from Kenna: "Ok, all you people with chapped lips listen up! put this on your lip after you use a lip scrub or wash them, your lips will never be chapped again, for the amount of product you get, it's WORTH EVERY PENNY! Also you can use this on razor burn and dry patches, it all goes away like a dream!"


4. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, $6.99

Image Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

Is anyone else just really amused by foaming cleanser? No one else makes little foam beards for themselves in the shower? Just me? Well, however you use it, this cleanser pairs great with the apple cider vinegar mask from earlier and is surprisingly good at taking off makeup, even the concealer you forgot you put on your forehead. 10/10 would recommend.

Review from Lora: "I think this is a great face wash. I am typically oily, especially in the t-zone area. I do get mild breakouts from time to time but nothing too crazy. Also, in the winter I can be more combination skin as I can still be oily in t-zone but have a few dry areas. This product is just great for all. It does not irritate, removes makeup well, does not leave any residue and my face just feels squeaky clean! My teen even asked me to re-purchase as she states she likes my face wash better than the one she has lol my teen states likes it because it doesn't irritate her skin as her skin can be a bit more sensitive than mine."


5. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, $8.99

Image Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy or if the Drexel workload is just too heavy to do a full skincare routine, I’ll whip out this secret weapon and after a few passes of a cotton ball, I feel just as fresh as if I’ve actually put in the time and effort to wash my face. I’ve gotten a few of my friends hooked on this beautiful product and I even got my mom to like it (she has super sensitive skin that gets irritated from everything and this micellar water has yet to cause an issue for her)!

Review from Anonymous: "Personally, this works like a dream on my skin. My skin is so sensitive, even a splash of water will make me break out or dry my face out! I used to use Bioderma's formula (which is also a good brand) but I wanted to save money so I turned to Garnier. I was a bit skeptical using this at first, but I can honestly say this is my go to, it isn't too harsh and it takes everything off and it does not break me out. The only downside to this specific formula is that, yes, it does not take off waterproof makeup, but I do believe there is another formula that works for sensitive skin and does in fact remove waterproof makeup."


There are many other cheap skincare items at stores like Ulta that carry drugstore brands that retail at a decently affordable price. Hope these items work as well for you as they did for me, happy skincare-ing!!