This is a highly requested reader post that I’m excited to share with you! If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I personally made the decision to invest in my skin with medical-grade products about five years ago. My early 20s were hard on my skin (read: stress and acne), and I can honestly say it’s been one of the best investments of my adult life.
That being said, I’m 100% aware that medical-grade skincare and its costs aren’t feasible for everyone. In this post, I’m sharing my recommendations for building an effective skincare routine using products that can be found online or in-store at places like CVS, Target, and Dermstore.com.
Affordable Skin Care Routine Template: AM and PM
If you’re just getting started with a skincare routine, here are the products I recommend buying for AM and PM and the order to use them in.
MORNING: Cleanser, toner, serum, vitamin C, eye serum, moisturizer, sunscreen
EVENING: Cleanser, exfoliator, toner or acne pads, serum, eye cream, retinol, moisturizer
Simply choose one product from each category based on your budget and needs (acne-prone, etc.). Masks can be incorporated once a week or as needed.
Here’s a collage of the over-the-counter skincare products I recommend—scroll down for product links organized by category!
Over-the-Counter Skin Care Picks By Category
SK-II—An ‘essence’ that can be used as a toner
Dr. Dennis Gross Peel—Resurfaces skin and keeps breakouts at bay
CeraVe—Drugstore and dermatologist favorite
BeautyCounter—Good for all skin types
St. Ives Apricot Scrub—Smells delicious and leaves skin smooth!
Alpha Skincare Renewal Gel—Best for acne
Alpha Skincare Renewal Serum—Best for anti-aging
Coffee Bean Cream—Has caffeine like many high-end brands
Avene Soothing Eye Contour—Hydrating and gentle
Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream—Bestseller at Amazon, Target, and CVS
Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer—Great for all but acne-prone
Drunk Elephant C-Firma—Brightens skin, prevents sun damage
EltaMD Sunscreen—My everyday sunscreen
RoC Deep Wrinkle Serum—Find it at Target
Peter Thomas Roth Infusion PM—Gentle yet effective
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Mask—Smells like pie and improves texture
Queen Helene Mint Julep—Soaks up excess oil & so affordable
Lesosett Clay—The mask for acne flare ups
Interested in More Skin Care Posts?
Interested in learning more about my skin care experience and tips? Here’s my full AM and PM skincare routine and my experience with microneedling. What are the best affordable, over-the-counter skincare product you’ve used? What are you skincare troubles and woes? I’d love to hear in the comments.