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Your Guide to a Simple and Cost-Friendly Skincare Routine

Skincare is something important not just for your appearance, but also for your health. Skin is the largest organ of the human body, so taking care of it is vital.

There are always incredible skincare products being marketed that promise users a flawless complexion. What marketers wait until the end of the ad to tell you is that the wrinkle cream or face washing brush costs a pretty penny. Seeing as most people don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on fancy skincare products, there has to be a way to get flawless skin without it costing an arm and a leg. Luckily, there are great products that can be found in your local drugstore!

With just a few quick tips and a small amount of money, you can work your way to beautiful skin! Here’s how:

Knowing your skin type

The first step to finding products that work for you is knowing what kind of skin you have. What condition is your skin in naturally, without any kind of makeup on? Do you have dry or oily skin? Is it sensitive? Since skin types vary, there are different products that can help users achieve a fine balance between the two extremes.

For dry skin, moisture is key! But be careful not to apply moisture in excess, as this can cause breakouts. When looking for products to help with skin dryness, make sure that the label on the moisturizer says “non-comedogenic.” Products with this on their packaging are made with ingredients that will not make you break out.

If you happen to have oily skin, products that balance oil levels in the dermis and epidermis are what you want to purchase and use. But also be careful with these; you want a certain level of moisture to be maintained in the skin to prevent it from being overly dry. Using a light moisturizer right after each wash can prevent this from happening.

Besides the level of oiliness in your skin, you must take into consideration how sensitive it is. Sensitive skin requires an extra level of attention and care so you don’t irritate it with skincare products. Two wonderful brands for people with sensitive skin are Simple and Cetaphil. Their products contain no harsh chemicals and are tailored for sensitive skin.

Preparing a daily routine

Once you know what skin type you have, the next step is developing your daily skincare routine. A typical healthy routine consists of cleansing, followed by moisturizing, and a once a week or bi-weekly exfoliation.

Cleansing the skin takes out any pore-clogging elements, while moisturizing helps to soften the skin and prevents excess dryness that may be caused by a face wash. Exfoliation once or twice a week helps to remove the upper layer of the epidermis, allowing the cleanser and moisturizer to work into the deeper levels of the skin.

Recommended products that won’t break the bank

Now that you have your plan of action for taking care of your skin, it’s time to select products that are both efficient and affordable. Taking a stroll down the beauty aisles of Target and Walgreens will help you do just that.

Based on personal use and experience, I highly recommend the following products, all from the Simple skincare, Cetaphil, and Cera-Ve brands. All of them help maintain proper oil balance of the skin without causing irritation or breakouts.

1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This cleanser is gentle, natural, and made for all ages and skin types. Standard size bottles are found in 16-ounce and 20-ounce sizes and run about $10 a bottle on average. If you use a small amount twice a day the bottle will last you about six months. This product even helps with acne scarring! 

Can be found at: Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Target

2. Simple Skincare Foaming Cleansing Wash

The foaming nature of this cleanser allows it to go into the deeper levels of the skin for maximum cleanliness. Just one pump of this once or twice a day will give you a clear complexion with no soapy residue. The standard 5-ounce bottle can be purchased for $5. 

Can be found at: Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com

3. Simple Skincare Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes

Especially for those with oily skin, this product is about as simple as it gets (no pun intended)! These cleansing wipes help prevent excess oil from giving your skin a shiny appearance and speed up the healing process of any current breakouts. All you do is take one out of the pack, give your face a quick wipe down, and dispose of the wipe after use. These, along with all other Simple Skincare wipe packs, can be found for $5 each and contain 25 wipes in each package. 

Can be found at: Target, CVS, Walgreens, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart

4. Simple Skincare Exfoliating Wipes

Gone are the days of messy exfoliating scrubs! Once or twice a week take one of these wipes out of the pack, wipe your face down, and dispose after each use. They help remove any dead skin cells on the surface and allow your cleanser to work deeper. Exfoliating can be harsh on sensitive skin, but these are made specifically for that skin type so no damage occurs as a result of their use. 

Can be found at: Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, Amazon.com

5. CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

This face moisturizer is one of the best ones on the market. It is non-comedogenic, so you won’t have to worry about it causing breakouts. It comes in a 12-ounce pump bottle and a little goes a long way! Much like the Cetaphil cleanser mentioned above, this moisturizer could last you six months. Not too bad for only being about $5! Prices can vary depending on the place of purchase, but on average run from about $5 to $8. 

Can be found at: Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Walgreens


Not much else feels as good as having beautiful skin. Even though much of our money is going solely to college books, tuition, and more, skincare shouldn’t be put on the back burner because of cost! After all, some of the best products are available for a price that even a college student can afford.

Marisa is a freshman nursing major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She has a passion for helping others, which has turned into her dream of working at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as an oncology RN. Other than being a dedicated student, Marisa is actively involved with the HerCampus chapter at Drexel, the National Student Nurses Association and FUSE (Foundation of Undergraduates for Sexual Equality). In her spare time, she loves to shop, spend time with family and pets, volunteer with various non-profits and travel.
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