I’ve always loved the thrill of finding the best cheap beauty products. As a teenager, the quickest cure for my boredom was a spin around the makeup aisle at Target where I could treat myself to something new on a very limited budget, and it’s still just as thrilling today. That old cliché is true that a new lipstick can be an instant mood-booster—especially when it doesn’t break the bank (and cause buyer’s remorse) in the process.
The other day on the ‘gram, I shared a few of the cheap beauty products that are constantly in my rotation: my 8-pound bag of Epsom salts and cult-favorite St. Ives Apricot Scrub —which has its haters—but from personal experience, this stuff just works. I could have continued down my list of affordable faves (and one of these days, I will.) But the response from our readers was so major that instead, I asked y’all for your recommendations for the best beauty products under $20 and there were so many great ones, I scooped up several new ones to try out myself.
I thought it would be fun to share the top recommendations here so that y’all can discover a few new faves to treat yourself—and be sure to leave your favorites in the comments below!
One added benefit of high-performing beauty products with low, low price tags? You can use them with abandon since replacing an empty bottle is an easy fix. For my bath salts, in particular, experts recommend using quite a lot (two cups or so) in a full bathtub in order to get the water to the level of salinity to be truly detoxifying and muscle-relaxing. So go ahead and use liberally, then read on for the best cheap beauty products under $20, according to our readers.
The Ordinary Peeling Solution
Not every Ordinary product was created equal but this one has a legion of fans, and it’s easy to see why. AHA 30% with BHA 2% for under $8 sounds too good to be true. Treat this one with care though. This review could help to guide you on how to use it and if it suits your skin. But as always, do your research.
The Ordinary Peeling Solution, $8
Sephora 4-Piece Facial Razor Set
If you love dermaplaning like me then you’ll love this affordable facial razor set. These help to create a clean canvas for skincare and makeup by removing the peach fuzz and dry skin. If you want to step it up though, we highly recommend investing in a professional at-home dermaplane tool like this one from Stacked Skincare. No, it’s not cheap, but it is an investment and you will get the results you’re after—promise!
Sephora 4-Piece Facial Razor Set, $10
CeraVe Renewing Night Cream
If you’re looking for a no-fuss, does-what-it-says moisturizer then CeraVe will always deliver. This renewing night cream helps to restore the skin’s barrier while you sleep because it’s packed with hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture. Count me in.
CeraVe Renewing Night Cream, $18.99
MegaBabe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick
We’ve always loved Katie Sturino’s body-positive philosophy so when she launched a line of products that addressed real problems with cute solutions, we were sold. This anti-chafe stick has hoards of fans and positive online reviews and was the winner of 2020s Into The Gloss 25 Best Products of the Decade.
MegaBabe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick, $13.99
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50
Water-resistant? Check. Protects against aging UVA and burning UVB rays? Check. While finding the best clean sunscreen for you is a deeply personal choice, I can’t recommend this one enough.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50, $10.99
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
We were already big fans of the French pharmacy classic, but our readers really loved this face oil-free face moisturizer because it helps restore the skin’s barrier after 1 hour. Impressive.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, $19.99
Goop G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
We were pleasantly surprised to see a goop brush made the list of cheap beauty products under $20. If you’re not familiar with the health benefits of dry brushing, then read this!
Goop G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush, $20
Olay Collagen Peptide24 Cream Cleanser
We’re big fans of Olay (I’m personally obsessed with their Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream) so I can see why our readers are too. It’s packed full of skin nutrition at a price we can all afford. Thanks, Olay.
Olay Collagen Peptide24 Cream Cleanser, $6.99
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream Mini
Did you know that one Bum Bum cream is sold every 28 seconds? After a decade at Clinique and NARS, Camila Pierotti took a life-changing step and quit her job to start her own beauty brand, Sol de Janeiro. It’s safe to say that leap paid off, big time.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream Mini, $22
Dr. Teal’s Lavender Bath Soak
We’re big on bathing and Dr. Teal’s has never let us down with these lavender-scented Epsom salts—here’s what you need for the ultimate detox bath.
Dr. Teal’s Lavender Bath Soak, $5.19
Trader Joe’s Argan Oil
We love perusing the beauty aisle at Trader Joe’s for cheap beauty products so we can’t wait to try this one. And, there are so many benefits of Argan oil from your face to your body and even your hair.
Trader Joe’s Argan Oil, $13.67 (reg. $14.54)
The Ordinary Retinol Oil
If you’re ready to step up your skincare game and invest in a retinol but you’re not ready to fork out the price tag for most products on the market, The Ordinary retinol oil could be a great place to start. As always, start slow with retinol and work your way up.
The Ordinary Retinol Oil, $7.50
Your turn! What are your favorite cheap beauty products under $20?
This post was originally published on February 1, 2021 and has since been updated.
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