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While clear skin is something always sought after, 2021 has been the year of wearing less makeup and showing off your bright and shiny skin. Many people think that beautiful skin can only be achieved through hundreds of dollars worth of products, but some of these cheaper items work the same, if not better! As everyone has different types of skin, from dry to oily, some products might work better than others for you. My own personal experience with skincare is that I have combination skin, oily and dry, so I will be biased towards some products. However, you should look within these brands for products that would work just as well for you!

One of my favorite brands for skincare would have to be CeraVe. This brand is developed alongside dermatologists to give people affordable and useful skincare products. CeraVe is mostly known for its facial cleansers and lotions. They offer many different products for many different skin types: sensitive, textured, oily, dry, normal, and combination. Compared to other affordable skincare companies, their products tend to be rather decently priced, ranging from $10 - $20. CeraVe products also tend to be rather simple with no pungent fragrance or ingredients that could do harm to your skin. Personally, my favorite product from this company would be their Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin. This product was amazing in the winter when my skin needed as much hydration as it could get while also being very lightweight and not leaving sticky residue on my skin. This brand also emphasizes their use of hyaluronic acid which is often an ingredient to help with hydration. While I have not tried many products from this brand, they definitely have something for everyone and can be an awesome affordable brand to start with when looking for new skincare products.

The Ordinary has been a very popular brand in the “low-end” skincare category, and I can honestly see why, because many of their products are under $10. This brand is cruelty-free, vegan, affordably priced, and gives consumers products that are more unique than just cleansers and lotions. The Ordinary focuses on the more scientific side of skincare, often just labeling their products as a percentage of a certain chemical. It can be overwhelming for those who want to expand their skincare routines, but a simple google search of the chemicals and what they do can help clear up that confusion. When I look for products in this brand, I often look for chemicals that are going to help with my acne such as salicylic acid, niacinamide, zinc, lactic acid, and many more. Two products that I still keep in my skincare routine from this brand are their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and also the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. The Niacinamide and Zinc are used as a serum that I put on before my heavier skincare products, such as my lotions. Both of these chemicals really help with clearing my textured skin and minimizing my pores. The Peeling Solution is also a favorite of mine. My skin feels as smooth as a baby’s bottom after every time I use it! Since this product is a peeling solution, it should not be used more than twice a week, because the chemicals in the solution are harsher than everyday products. These products worked great for me but may not be the same for everyone. The Ordinary usually suggests doing patch tests of products before using them in your skincare routine to make sure they will not negatively affect your skin. This brand may not be for those who are new to skincare, but it is definitely a company everyone should check out at some point.

A new brand that has just come into my life for the better has been Good Molecules. This brand is very similar to The Ordinary in the sense that most of their products are under $10, and they focus on the molecules and chemicals that go into skincare. Good Molecules is also cruelty-free and vegan! While I feel with The Ordinary you had to research their products more, Good Molecules makes it very easy for consumers to know what each product can do for their skin. Their website is very eye-catching, while also very easy to navigate and gives more than enough information per product. While I had only tried a few products from the two previous brands discussed, I have almost tried all of Good Molecules’ products and instantly fell in love. My personal favorites would have to be their Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel, Instant Cleansing Balm, and Hyaluronic Acid Serum. As someone who wears makeup daily, and often a heavy layer, I need cleansers that really get deep down in my skin, and Good Molecules definitely does that. After removing my makeup with regular makeup remover, I use the Instant Cleansing Balm followed by the Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel to double-cleanse my skin and make it smooth and extremely clean. The cleansing balm for me is only used on days that I need a double-cleanse, because it really gets down deep in my pores. The rosewater gel is a nice gentle cleanser that tops off the cleaning the balm had done. To wrap up my skincare, I like to use the Hyaluronic Acid Serum to bring moisture back into my skin. All of these products, along with others not listed, work very well together as well as mixed with other brands. Good Molecules is definitely a brand that will always be a part of my skincare routine and is a great brand to try that is very affordable.

Skincare doesn’t have to break the bank in order to make one’s skin glow. The three brands I listed are great options for people who are looking to try out skincare for the first time or those who need new brands to try out. While I realize some people may have a harder time finding a good routine for their skin, or even may need to seek professional help, these brands are often overlooked and could be something that really helps. As these are my favorite brands, I hope that people will keep an open mind and try something new that could really benefit them! Everyone should have access to great affordable products, and these brands really give you that option.

I'm a Senior at Temple University studying Biology. I'm originally from Bucks County, PA which is "right outside of Philly". I love to play sports, paint, and do makeup in my free time.
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