We know by now that it’s never too early to take care of your skin. In fact, the younger you start, the better off you will be in the long-run.

The only barrier to entry for your best skin ever? Super pricey products. Ugh, we know. With serums and face oils sometimes reaching triple digits, it’s easy to get discouraged into thinking great skin comes with a super hefty price tag.

Rest assured, you don’t need to drop $500 to see results. Here’s how to maintain a solid skincare routine when you’re broke.

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Stick to the Basics

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and think you need a million things, but in reality you only need four key products: a great cleanser, a skin concern-targeted serum, a moisturizer and an SPF. Anything else is a bonus, but these are the absolute essentials. Before you get sucked into buying something because of a trend or influencer, look at your core lineup and see if it’s something you actually need.


Look For Multi-Functional Products

A cleanser that also removes all your makeup? A face oil that has enough nutrients to act as a both a serum and a moisturizer? A mist you can also use to prime your makeup and tone? These are the products you need to have on your radar. Multi-use products minimize your need for excess and can save you $$ in your routine.

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Shop Clean

Clean skincare products minimize your exposure to harmful ingredients. Believe it or not, toxic ingredients that lurk in more traditional drug store products can actually do your skin more harm than good. Our advice? Shop clean when possible. There are some wonderful budget-friendly lines like Versed skincare at Target that have clean ingredients and great results.

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Hydration, or lack thereof, is the root cause for most skin concerns. Even if you have acne-prone skin, you need to make sure you’re including a rich hydration step both morning and night. Keeping your skin moisturized strengthens the skin barrier, which in turn makes your skin plumper and more youthful-looking. If you’re down to the wire with your budget, you absolutely want to opt for moisturizer.


Don’t Skip SPF

SPF is a product that you don’t necessarily see benefits from for years—and we mean y e a r s. Sun damage is the number one cause of aging skin, and most of it’s done in your teens and early twenties. SPF in your makeup is not enough. Make sure you’re including a mineral-based SPF into your morning skincare routine every single day. Any dermatologist or skincare expert will tell you this is the No. 1 product to make a part of your routine.


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