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Finding What Works: Skincare products I swear by

After my almost obligatory dark-makeup-and-heavy-eyeliner stage in middle school and early high school, I have pivoted away from daily makeup wear. I’ll occasionally throw on some mascara for special events. Without a daily makeup routine, I have started to focus on skincare and explore what makes my skin happy. Treating my skin right is one way I show my body some love and care. Especially working in healthcare and COVID-19 response, I wear N-95 respirators regularly and for long periods of time, which is not easy on my skin. It’s been a long journey that is by no means over, but I thought I’d share the products that are currently a part of my routine (bonus: they’re all under $15).

Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash 

Ever since I moved to school, my skin has been ~testing~ me, especially when it comes to hormonal acne in my t-zone. I add this to my arsenal for days, or weeks, when my skin needs a little extra kick. On gentler days, I use Neutrogena’s Deep Clean cream cleanser. ($10.49 via Ulta Beauty)

VitaminSea.beauty Gentle & Brightening Face scrub

This is a recently added step, but after trying my brother’s scrub, I had to give it a go! I use this about 2x a week when washing my face to renew and freshen up my skin. ($9.99 via Ulta Beauty)

The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil control serum

This little guy is also of the acne-busting variety. I apply right after washing my face but before any other products. I’ve found it great for reducing and preventing breakouts, although I don’t love the way it layers with other products. Definitely an evening-only step. ($6.50 via Ulta Beauty)

The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors 

I used to be a big Glossier Rich Priming Moisturizer fan, but let’s face it; at $35 a bottle, it simply doesn’t fit my budget. Recently, I went on a hunt for a new, more affordable moisturizer; one that was rich but didn’t pill or leave any film behind. I tried a few and eventually landed on this baby. So far, I love the texture and how quickly it soaks in, which is huge for me because it’s common for products to not “feel right” on my skin. ($10.50 via Ulta Beauty)

Sun Bum’s Face 50 SPF

This sunscreen lotion is the one I’ve been searching for. Like I mentioned previously, the feel of a product on my face is often a dealbreaker when it comes to skincare. As I enter my 20s, daily sunscreen use has climbed to the top of my priority list, so it was important for me to find a product I liked. This lotion doesn’t leave a white cast, has a limited “sunscreen” smell, and soaks right into the skin. Love! ($12.99 via Ulta Beauty)

Glossier’s zit stick

This little baby is a favorite when it comes to pimple creams. It’s small and has a rollerball applicator so it’s easy to target spots. I’ve been using it for years and it truly makes a noticeable difference overnight. ($14.00 via glossier)

Cereve eye repair cream 

A little goes a long way to give my under eyes some love. We all know college students push ourselves mentally and physically with long days and lots of learning. My eyes get tired and veryyy sleepy, so this is a perfect way to pamper yourself.  ($10.34 via Walmart)

Have you used any of these products? Do you have any skincare products you swear by? There are so many options it can be hard to find what works for you. Even so, I have fun trying new things, experimenting with different routines, and treating my skin right! Pro tip: everything at Ulta Beauty is 100% returnable which means you can give it a try and return it if it doesn’t work for you. Perfect for finding what works! 

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The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.

Abigail Grimm

U Mass Amherst '24

Abby, Events Director of HC UMass Amherst, is a current sophomore honors student studying Public Health with a focus on Environmental Epidemiology. Besides HerCampus, she spends time exercising, outside on her bike or with her dogs (especially in her home state, Vermont), playing music, and drinking absurd amounts of coffee. Find her on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/abby_324/
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