15 Clean Skincare Products Under $35
1. Instant Eye Makeup Remover | 2. Charcoal Mask | 3. Brightening Cleanser | 4. Brightening and Depuffing Eye Cream | 5. Blue Clay Mask | 6. Brightening Facial Scrub | 7. Nourishing Cream Cleanser | 8. Makeup Remover Wipes | 9. Lip Balm | 10. Nourishing Eye Cream | 11. Pore Minimizing Toner | 12. Bio Booster Serum | 13. Squalane Facial Oil | 14. CounterControl Pore Cleanser | 15. oops, I forgot to put it in my collage, but this SOS Acne Spot Treatment is my jam and has been saving me lately!
Thank you guys SO so much for answering my Insta story polls on clean beauty last week! I stupidly assumed that because I love and use clean beauty, that all of you do too. Turns out only 50% of you currently use clean beauty—I was shocked! But, again, I’m glad I asked! Most of you that don’t use clean beauty said it was because you’re either not sure where to start, you’re overwhelmed, aren’t sure where to find products that are actually clean, or the price point is too high.
And, I totally get it because I was in your shoes not that long ago.
I’d decided to make the switch, but I didn’t really know where to start. I’d read lists of ingredients to watch out for, but then I’d get to the store and couldn’t remember them. I mean, they’re all super long and impossible to pronounce. I was squinting over labels and making snap judgements on packing, like, “this packaging looks like the brand is clean-ish…? I’ll get it.” It was most definitely not the best way to go about it, but like you—I had no idea where to look or what brands I could really trust.
But, fast forward to now and while I’m no expert, I’ve learned where to shop, what products to prioritize when I can’t afford to buy brand new everything, and which brands I can really trust to provide me with safe products so that I don’t have to be scanning the ingredient lists.
If you’ve been on the fence and ready to start making switches, but nervous about any of the same things I was, girl, I gotcha.
And, extra good news! I started a clean beauty email list!
Or rather, I revamped my old clean beauty emails to better walk you through this journey, because I know it’s overwhelming and confusing and I just want to make it easy. Because at the end of the day, it’s skincare and makeup products—that should be fun! Not stressful!
In these casual emails, I’m answering all your questions on how to get started, WHY it’s important to make the switch, the best places to shop for clean beauty products, which products you can save on and where to splurge, the products I currently use and love and how to do it all without spending all your money or throwing out everything you currently own, because that sounds awful.
If you’re not quite sure, I highly suggest you sign up because there’s a little something special for any new subscribers!
All signed up?! Amazing, now onto today’s post.
Affordable Clean Skincare
One big hurdle that kept coming up was price point. Good, quality skincare—clean or not—can be pricey. But, instead of splurging on every step of your skincare routine, I’ve found that there’s lots of really great clean products you can work into your routine that won’t cost you and arm and a leg.
I rounded up a bunch under $35 (okay, actually one is $37, whoops) and it’s a great place to start dipping your toes into the clean beauty world. Whenever people ask what product they should start with, I always suggest making a swap with a product that you use everyday and/or use on the majority of your skin. Things like face wash, a good moisturizer, foundation and even body lotion (I love this lotion).
It’s typically those active products like acne treatments or night creams or serums that we know work really well and are hesitant to give up! I understand—I still use Sunday Riley’s Good Genes serum even though it’s not the cleanest. It’s free of the major offenders, but doesn’t rank the highest on Think Dirty’s app. But, it works really well for me, and I knowing that the rest of my products are really clean makes me feel okay about it. No one’s perfect guys.
My point, don’t worry about going all or nothing. Making one product swap is meaningful change! Big changes start with small steps! Which is exactly why I wanted to write this post. Making clean swaps doesn’t have to be really expensive, and these are all a great place to start. I haven’t tried all of them personally, but I do love this eye makeup remover and these biodegradable makeup wipes and this brightening face wash. I also just realized that I completely forgot to add this charcoal bar to this list! I keep this in our shower and wash my back and chest with it on a regular basis and use it on my face a few times a week. It can be drying on my face so don’t overdo it!
Another question I got a lot in my little Insta survey, was asking which products were worth splurging on. Because I really do think that splurging on at least one really good product is so worth it!
Where to Splurge
I remember rolling my eyes at night creams that sold for over $100, and while that’s still not what I spend on my night cream, I’ve learned that when it comes to skin, it’s worth spending a little extra. Guys, it’s your skin, we’ve gotta live in it for the rest of our lives! If you’re gonna spend a little extra one place, this is a good place to do it. In my opinion, taking care of my skin now will save me money in the long run and give me much better, healthier looking skin as I age.
You might have noticed there were not a lot of serums, night creams, eye creams in my list above. That’s because those products are typically more expensive and I struggled to find any under $35 that I felt good about recommending. The more intense and powerful the product, the better and more expensive those ingredients typically are. So, yes, you will pay a premium for them, but I like to make them last! And, here’s the deal—strong>they work, and that’s exactly why you’re going to pay a heftier price tag. But, you don’t need every single product in your arsenal to cost you $60+.
In my opinion, it’s quality over quantity. I’d stick with an affordable clean cleanser and moisturizer and splurge on one or two products like a good peel, serum, night cream or eye cream because those products really do make a huge difference. Here are a few products that I’ve personally used and loved:
Resurfacing Peel: If you decide to splurge on one clean beauty product, make it this Resurfacing Peel—it is easily one of my favorites and it work soooo well! Everyone I know who has used this only has good things to say about it. After using it for a few nights, my skin looked brighter and smoother and I find that it helps clear congestion like blackheads (and makes them easier to remove) and helps to dull dark spots and scars, which sadly, I have plenty of. You can feel this stuff working as soon as it goes on your face and you can really see a difference the very next day. Nothing crazy, but your skin just looks healthier! I use it every other night!
If you also have congested skin, I’ve found that regular masks are really helpful to keeping my skin clearer and smoother. I also really love this Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, the Drunk Elephant Sakura Baby Facial mask and this Herbivore Blue Tansy mask.
Serum: Whether it’s a day or night serum, this is another great splurge. Depending on your skin type and skin concerns, you’ll be able to find something that suits your exact skin needs. I was looking for brighter skin and less dark spots and really love this Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. A little goes a long way and you can wear this one under moisturizer and makeup!
Eye Cream: If I could have changed one thing about my early twenties, it would have been to start using eye cream earlier. I like to smile, but now I feel like my eyes age me a bit, and I’m okay with that, but if I can make those fine lines a little softer, I’m going to do it. I’ve tried so many eye creams over the years, everything from affordable brands like Mario Badescu (not really clean, but I didn’t know back then) to expensive brands like Tata Harper’s Restorative Eye Cream. They were okay, but I never really noticed much a difference until I started using this Rejuvenating Eye Cream. It helps with fine lines and dark circles—it’s got caffeine in it and it makes my eyes look so much brighter and more awake which is exactly what I need these days!
Night Cream: Okay, honestly, I don’t always use a night cream. I have oilier skin and don’t usually need the extra hydration, but during the winter months, I occasionally do need it and I usually reach for my TULA Day and Night Cream. It’s pretty lightweight, provides great hydration, but isn’t super thick and doesn’t clog my pores. Also, it smells amazing!
I hope that this post makes the switch to clean beauty a little less scary and more approachable! It’s not about swapping everything at once, instead, just making small changes—they really do add up! I also hope you sign up for my email list (because there’s a sweet little surprise in there) and if you ever have any questions on specific products or where to shop, just ask! I’m happy to help!