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7 Skin-care Brands That Won’t Break The Bank and Will Have You Glowing

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Skin-care brands are constantly rolling out and heavily marketing products with “breakthrough ingredients” and “new advanced technology,” and it can get pretty overwhelming and expensive for the average consumer. Many of us might not have the time or funds to do our own investigative work and test every new thing to hit the market. Here is a list of skin-care brands that are simple, affordable, and very effective: 



CeraVe skin-care is as tried and true as they get. This brand offers a wide range of products tailored to normal to dry skin or normal to oily skin. With the use of at least three essential ceramides their formulas focus on cleaning and protecting the skin without leaving your face feeling dry or greasy. All of their products are hypoallergenic and fragrance free, which makes this brand perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.

Favorite Product: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion 

Price Range: $8-25


The Ordinary 

Some skin care products arranged next to flowers
Charisse Kenion

The Ordinary’s aesthetically pleasing packaging makes their products look expensive, but this well-loved skin-care brand is one of the most affordable out there. The focus of their brand is to use effective clinical formulas, while remaining transparent in communication and pricing. It really can’t be any more simple when it comes to skin-care, as most of their products have a short ingredient list of 5 items or less. A huge bonus is that their product range is extensive, so there is definitely something for everyone. 


Favorite Product: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Price Range: $6-21


Alba Botanica

Alba Botanica is one of the most affordable clean skin-care brands on the market today. Their products do not use artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, harsh sulfates, or parabens. One of their best working and most popular products is the acnedoteTM Face and Body Scrub, which uses crushed walnut shells rather than the plastic microbeads that a lot of well-known facial scrubs use. This brand also gets brownie points for their efforts in keeping their skin-care products as sustainable as possible. 


Favorite Product: acnedoteTM Invisible Treatment Gel 

Price Range: $5-20 


Mario Badescu

Sara Matsetti

You’ve probably heard about Mario Badescu skin-care by now, and there is good reason for that. This brand’s blend of naturally derived ingredients and clinical formulations is sublime. Their motto is, “Simple, gentle and effective” and there’s certainly nothing untrue about that. They are best known for their Drying Lotion and facial misting sprays, but their cleaners are quickly becoming a cult classic. 


Favorite Product: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion 

Price Range: $7-35



Cetaphil is another brand that is best known for their ‘no fuss’ attitude. Their formulas are made for all skin types, but are especially popular among those with acne prone or sensitive skin. Their products are commonly sold at grocery stores and pharmacies, so you know you can always get your hands on it. The packaging of their products is nothing fancy, but you can trust that the product itself will be effective. 


Favorite Product: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 

Price Range: $5-17


Peach Slices 

girl wearing a mud mask
Since this Korean skin-care brand hit U.S. stores, it’s had major success. They have a decent range of products that really cater to those with normal to dry skin or sensitive skin. If you are looking to liven up your face mask game, look no further because their sheet-masks are seriously hydrating and never pore clogging. Many of their products are formulated without harsh chemicals, dyes, alcohol, parabens or sulfates, and feature gentle, natural ingredients like honey, yuzu, and citrus.  

Favorite Product: Acne Spot Dots +

Price Range: $3-18


Trader Joes 

Trader Joes probably isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to skin-care, but it is truly one of those hidden gems in the beauty world. Although their product range is small, they are affordable and will leave your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. The availability of these products is another huge benefit of this brand, so the next time you find yourself in Trader Joes be sure to browse their skin-care aisle. 


Favorite Product: Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner 

Price Range: $5-10


The best thing you can do for your skin and for your wallet is to not settle and follow the tacit of, if it’s expensive, it has to be good- that just isn’t always true. There are plenty of affordable skin-care brands that will get you the results you want, at a fraction of the cost of the luxury products. And while I can’t say it never pays off to treat yourself and splurge on beauty products, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to. Money can be tight for a lot of college students, but that shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy looking skin.



Laura is a Senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Communication and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She has a passion for fashion and photography. Laura is also the current Events Chair for Her Campus UCONN!