Posted on: January 3, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Up until a few years ago there was a major misconception that good quality skincare products had to be expensive. Some skincare experts say that expensive products are pricey for a reason, whereas others swear by the affordable dupes of skincare classics. 

The thing is, if you know a thing or two about product development, you’ll know expensive really doesn’t always equal effective. Often the factors that bump up product prices are things like marketing and distribution costs, clinical trials for new ingredients, fancy packaging, and long ingredient lists. This means that if a brand is prepared to cut down on a few of these costs – for example using minimal packaging, keeping ingredient lists small, and using ingredients that have already been tested, they can offer up more affordable products to you, the customer.

In recent years, this has been exactly what’s happened, and following the launches of affordable skincare brands like The Ordinary, Beauty Pie, and The Inkey List, it’s become much easier to balance product efficacy with a tight budget. If you’re looking for the best affordable skincare brands, keep scrolling.

Based on the principle that a strong and healthy skin barrier is beneficial to all skin types and concerns, Byoma simplifies skincare with its capsule collection of barrier-boosting skincare products. The range prides itself on high-performance, clinical formulas that put the focus back on you and your skin’s most basic functions. 

Designed to efficiently cleanse skin and remove makeup without stripping away moisture, this gel cleanser leaves skin feeling clean and fresh but not tight or dry.

A trio of hydrating ingredients – ceramides, squalane, and glycerin – work in harmony to both draw moisture into the skin and prevent it from escaping.

While some affordable skincare brands might have to scrimp on certain ingredients or packaging, Beauty Pie cuts its costs elsewhere. Through the brand’s membership scheme (£10 a month or £59 for the year), you can get your hands on high-end formulas for a fraction of the price. By cutting out ‘the middle man’ (this includes advertising and distribution to retailers), Beauty Pie can provide skincare that rivals products ten times its price. 

This brightening serum contains a powerful dose of vitamin C, meaning you wake up with seriously glowing skin. Plus, it contains a bunch of additional antioxidants (ferulic and tranexamic acids) to help your skin target pigmentation and dullness. It’s a total skin-saviour.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this luxuriously textured moisturises costs ten times the price – in fact, some hail it as a dupe for La Mer’s cult Soft Moisturising Cream. Thick, but not greasy, it’s packed with hydrating ingredients that work to boost moisture levels in both the short-term and the long-term.

Versed is living proof that you can do affordable and results-driven skincare without compromising on the claims that skincare shoppers care about (sustainable, vegan, and cruelty-free). The brand only launched four years ago, but the range is already full of hero products in #shelfie-worthy packaging that won’t max out your credit card.

Drawing upon the benefits of four different types of exfoliating acids, plus vitamin C, this toner is the ultimate fast-acting solution to dull, textured skin.

If you’re not a fan of heavy creams and oily formulas but your skin is crying out for some hydration, this is exactly what your routine has been missing. The cooling jelly texture is soothing to skin and absorbs instantly. 

So you’re already clued up on the must-have ingredients for your skin type, but you haven’t got the time to go searching for them in every skincare product you see? Meet The Inkey List – the brand’s affordable but effective products hero ingredients you already know and love, like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides.

Scarring, breakouts, and excess oil have met their match with this much-loved ingredient. it also has impressive benefits for dehydrated skin, so whether you identify as having an oily, dry, or combination skin type, you’ll benefit from introducing this serum to your routine.

This excess sebum-reducing wash is incredibly effective and easy to slot into your routine. Since salicylic acid helps to target excess oil, clogged pores, and breakouts, this would be a great addition to an anti-acne skincare routine.

This developed-by-dermatologists brand has a cult following in the U.S., and has proven just as popular in the U.K. thanks to its hard-working formulas and low price points. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever hear a bad word being said about this line of skin barrier–strengthening products. They’re beloved by estheticians, beauty editors, and skincare bloggers alike, so if you’re on the hunt for expert-approved products on a budget, look no further.

This gentle face wash is a fan favourite on TikTok and Instagram, thanks to its ability to cleanse the skin and also make it feel unbelievably soft afterwards. If you find that most cleansers have the tendency to dry your skin out, give this a go. You won’t regret it. 

Dry skin in the eye area can be particularly stubborn, but thanks to a ceramide-rich formula, this nourishing eye cream helps to speedily address redness, flakiness, and sore skin.

This game-changing brand was the first to introduce single-ingredient skincare products, which not only changed our skincare routines but also how we consume products in general. If you’re wondering how something so cheap can still be effective, don’t be concerned – minimal ingredient lists and basic packaging are what keep these prices low. The ingredients themselves are just as good quality as those you’ll find in their more expensive counterparts. 

This has all the benefits of a retinoid minus the annoying side effects, as this serum is low on the irritation scale. Expect clearer and brighter skin without any pesky flaking or redness. 

We’ll let you in on a secret: Many of the most effective face oils that come in at triple the price of this use squalane as a base, but still charge quadruple the price. If this nourishing, non-comedogenic oil works for you, cut out the rest and use it in its purest form.

Whether you’ve got dry skin, breakout-prone skin or anything in between, this classic French pharmacy brand has got you covered. The targeted and affordable skincare line has long been a favourite with beauty insiders, and in recent years, cult products like the Cicaplast Baume B5 have found new fame on TikTok – for very good reason. 

This beauty routine staple was a backstage secret amongst makeup artists, and now it’s gone viral on TikTok and Instagram. You can’t beat this soothing cream for calming patches of inflamed and irritated skin. 

This light formula improves the texture of the skin and works to decongest and clear pores. It smoothes skin and reduces shine, and if you stop using it you realise just how effective it is. 

Beauty retailer Beauty Bay first launched its own skincare brand back in 2020, a capsule collection of skincare basics designed to take the hard work out of building a skincare routine. Like The Ordinary and The Inkey List, the brand shines the spotlight on its trending ingredients – think cica, azelaic acid, and squalane – but makes it easy to figure out what’s best for your skin type.

This cleansing balm is like a spa in a tub. Reminiscent of other luxury cleansing balms more than four times its price, it melts into skin to remove every trace of dirt, grime and makeup. After just one use, skin is left plump, hydrated and glowing. 

Heard of slugging? The esthetician-approved technique involves applying a thick balm as the final step in your skincare routine. Believe the hype. it helps to prevent moisture from escaping so seriously increases your hydration levels. This skin-drenching balm is perfect for slugging. What’s more, it’s non-comedogenic so won’t clog pores.

Although it’s better known as a makeup brand, Revolution has an impressive collection of skincare products, none of which cost more than £16. Most recently, they collaborated with beauty editor Sali Hughes to launch a line of premium-quality but super-affordable skincare essentials. If you’re looking for skincare that doesn’t break the bank, then join the many diehard users who’ve been fans of the products for years. 

Vitamin C takes centre-stage in this skin-brightening formula, but because founder Sali Hughes wanted to keep her skincare range minimal, this serum is also a secret multitasker. The formula is boosted with hyaluronic acid for hydration and niacinamide to minimise the appearance of enlarged pores.

Supposedly an impressive dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream, this glow-boosting moisturiser is designed to perfectly prime skin before makeup application.

With four skincare collections, each designed to target a different skin concern, e.l.f. is fast becoming one of our go-to brands for budget-friendly skincare. With all the basics covered – cleansers, serums, masks, and moisturisers – you’ll find everything you need to build a super effective skincare routine for under £50.

Sensitive skin types will love e.l.f.’s Pure Skin range, which is formulated with minimal ingredients in order to avoid irritating skin. Starring skin-soothing ingredients like oat milk, ceramides, and niacinamide, this calming moisturiser is the perfect antidote for skin prone to redness and sensitivity.

For hydrated and soothed skin in one go, this moisturiser not only provides an intensive moisture boost but also helps to calm sensitised and irritated skin. If you struggle with highly-fragranced creams or have super sensitive skin, add this to your bathroom cabinet ASAP.

The Body Shop was one of the first brands to bring affordable but effective beauty products to the masses, and their skincare range continues to be a go-to for those who want premium-quality products, minus the price-tag. Vegan, cruelty-free, and packed with botanical extracts, the products draw their benefits from some of nature’s best ingredients.

Creams that are so light, refreshing and dessert-like deserve to be in everyone’s beauty collection. The really great ones can end up costing a lot, but The Body Shop has somehow managed to do it for £20. There’s plenty of skin-loving ingredients in this like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and glycerin to keep skin filled with moisture. 

You can’t ignore the thousands of rave reviews for this makeup-melting cleansing balm. The sold balm melts into a rich oil which helps to break down even the most stubborn mascara. 

Next Up: These 15 Budget Serums Are Just as Good as the Expensive Versions

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

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