After lots of product testing, I’m so excited to finally share my clean skincare routine built entirely on the best affordable clean and natural products that are just as effective as the ones with a heftier price tag (because trust me, I tried those too). After tons of testing and lots of research, I can safely say an effective and clean skincare routine does not have to break the bank. Cleaner products are naturally going to be a bit more expensive, knowing the cheap, toxic are ingredients are what allow for lower price points, but an effective and natural product does not necessarily need to be hundreds of dollars.
Today I am so excited to share with you the natural, nontoxic products I’ve incorporated into my clean skincare routine that are all $50 or less (most being a whole lot less!).
Clean, Non-Toxic Skincare Routine
First things first: it’s so important to always cleanse the skin! My two favorite cleaners in my clean skincare routine: Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser and Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser.
Tula is one of my absolute favorite clean beauty brands. Packed with probiotics, Tula has done wonders for my acne-prone skin. Their Cult Classic Cleanser is one of my go-to’s because it is so gentle, yet so effective. It’s one of the only cleansers I’ve tried that doesn’t leave any irritation but also gets every trace of makeup off! It’s so good and I couldn’t recommend it more. If you want to try any Tula products, you can always use 15KYLIE for 15% off on your first order.
Another favorite is the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. It is another incredibly gentle option that leaves my skin more even and bright. The scent is truly unlike any other natural cleanser I’ve tried: it smells like strawberries and immediately makes you feel like you are transported to a luxurious spa. It’s so good!
I love a good exfoliator, but some can be HARSH and damage your skin more than you can help it. My two favorite gentle exfoliators are by Tula and Dermalogica. Tula’s Deep Exfoliating Blackhead Scrub is perfect for tightening the pores and getting rid of blackheads. I love to use this scrub 1-2 times a week. Another favorite that I’ve truly loved for YEARS is the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. It leaves your skin so soft and isn’t irritating in the slightest. I use this one every other day, and my bottle has lasted me over a year. So while its price tag of $60 seems a bit pricier, it lasts FOREVER.
Toners are so important for helping prep the skin for your serums by balancing your pH levels. Toners will also help shrink your pores and create a more even skin tone. The benefits are endless – you can read more here!
I’ve used Tula’s Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel for years! After a few years of really terrible acne flare-ups, not only did this toner help to diminish breakouts, but it also helped to even out my skin tone, fading those horrible acne scars. It’s super gentle and really effective.
Another favorite toner of mine is the Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner which is packed with antioxidants and is super hydrating!
Since these two toners have very different qualities, I like to alternate between the two.
Another favorite of mine for a luxe, spa-like feel and incredibly hydrating and toning properties is the Fresh Beauty Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner, which has actual rose petal floating throughout. It might not appear like a super affordable find, but see my tip below, nix the cotton pad, and this will last you a long time.
And lastly, one other toner I love to spritz when my skin needs a little pick-me-up: Dermalogica’s Antioxidant Hydramist! Super hydrating and packed with the nutrients your skin loves. Again, this one looks a little pricer, but will last forever!
Toner tip: put the toner right on your hands and rub it into your skin – skip the cotton ball and you will double the life of your toner, saving
I’ve done quite a lot of serum testing when creating an affordable clean skincare routine: some have made me feel like you get what you pay for, and others have really, really impressed me and gave me hope that there are effective and nontoxic serums out there that won’t break the bank.
Here are my favorites:
- Maelove Glow Maker: I just recently came across Maelove after reading a million great reviews, and WOW does it live up to the hype. Maelove has easily become one of my favorite clean beauty brands. Every product I’ve tried has been incredible. Their brand story is super interesting – you can read more about how they offer quality ingredients for such a low cost here. But, back to the products – The Glow Maker is the real deal. It has some ridiculously amazing ratings and I see why! I use this every day and my skin looks so much more glowy and balanced.
- Maelove NIA 10: Another favorite Maelove find: their NIA 10 serum is great for acne-prone skin. It is packed with niacinamide (vitamin B3) which helps with redness and diminishes enlarged pores due to inflammation.
- Maelove Hydrator: I purchased the Maelove Serum Trio, and I am SO glad I did. This serum and the two above come in the pack and they are all SO. GOOD. The Hydrator is filled with hyaluronic acid which plumps and hydrates your skin.
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: Another great hyaluronic acid serum, this hydrator always leaves my skin feeling so calm and happy.
- Sweet Chef Kale Vitamin B Serum Shot: The Sweet Chef brand is a new one to me, but I fell in love with this hydrating serum! It’s milky, smells amazing, and leaves my skin so calm and hydrated. I love the lavender scent for my nighttime routine. It’s packed with kale, which gives you tons of antioxidants, as well.
- Botanics Brightening Serum: Botanics is another great affordable clean skincare brand, and their brightening serum adds a nice glow with no irritation!
- Botanics Calming Serum: Their calming serum is also great if your skin is feeling a little irritated. Both of these Botanics serums are great affordable finds.
- Derma-E Vitamin C Serum: If you’re looking for an affordable vitamin C serum, this one is SUCH great quality for the price! I love the entire Derma-E brand and have found lots of great products through them.
- Coola Face Self-Tanner: And last but not least, I LOVE this clean self-tanner by Coola! It leaves such a beautiful, natural tan and has anti-aging properties! Double-win. I’ve used this face self-tanner for such a long time. Also, it smells like a vacation!
Acne Spot-Treatments and Serums
Boy oh boy have I tested my fair share of spot treatments and acne serums… and let me tell you, you do NOT need chemical-packed, high-intensity products to get results; the clean products are JUST as effective. Here are my favorites that make such a difference in my clean skincare routine:
- Indie Lee Banish Solution: This is one of my favorite spot treatments EVER! It’s a lot like the cult-classic Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, but with cleaner ingredients, and it makes a world of a difference! It doesn’t overdry, but definitely gets down to business.
- COSRX Pimple Patches: If you haven’t tried pimple patches, you absolutely must! For larger flare-ups, I swear nothing works better. These patches shrink your pimple, draw out the gunk, and they don’t overdry the area. They are a MUST if you haven’t tried them. (Plus they are $6.)
- Tula Go Away Acne Spot Treatment: Another great spot treatment, this stick helps to really banish flare-ups and I love the easy-to-use applicator tip so you don’t have to touch your skin, adding bacteria. I swear by probiotics for reducing acne, so knowing this is filled with Tula’s signature probiotic ingredients gives me so much faith.
- Tula Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel: For a full-face acne clearing serum, I love this probiotic-packed gel also by Tula! It is really gentle but powerful and helps to banish acne scars, too.
Day and night, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Here are some of my clean favorites and when I like to use each (because day or night totally matters!)
- Tula Day and Night Moisturizer: Well, the name says it all. This is the perfect moisturizer for day and night! If you like to keep your routine simple, this is the perfect catch-all moisturizer: thick and hydrating, yet non-greasy and non-irritating.
- Maelove The Night Renewer: One of my FAVORITE new skincare adds: this moisturizer is made with 10% medical-grade Glycolic Acid that helps to improve skin texture, fade dark spots and diminish the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pores. I use this every other night; just be sure not to pair it with other acid-packed products or you might over-do it. But man, I couldn’t recommend this one enough. It feels so luxe on your skin and works magic.
- Honest Beauty Hydrogel Cream: This is the perfect day moisturizer with its gel consistency that melts into water on your skin. It hydrates your skin so well and is incredibly light.
- Botanics Day Cream: Another great day cream: Botanics has an incredibly affordable one that is super light and soaks right into your skin. Such a great affordable find.
Eye Serum and Cream
A lot of eye creams irritate my eyes, so I am really picky when selecting my eye creams! Here are some of my favorite affordable finds:
- Indie Lee Brightening Eye Serum: I LOVE this super gentle but really powerful eye serum. It soaks right in so its perfect for use in the morning. I follow it with…
- Tula Rose Eye Brightening Balm: I’m sure you’ve heard half of Instagram rave about this eye balm, but let me tell you, it’s WORTH the hype! My eyes feel naked when I miss a morning of using it. It adds a beautiful glow, but my favorite part is the cooling sensation. It wakes me up faster than coffee!
- First Aid Beauty Retinol Eye Cream: Love this affordable, retinol infused eye cream for night time use. It’s thick enough that it feels ultra moisturizing, but doesn’t leave a greasy residue. And: it doesn’t irritate my eyes! Heck yes!
Every single day: put on your SPF! It is SO important for your skin HEALTH. One of my favorite SPFs is First Aid Beauty’s 5 in 1 Face Cream is packed with so many skin benefits, like evening out your skin tone, soothing your skin, ad more, plus it has SPF 30. Another great affordable find is Australian Gold’s Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen that has SPF 50. A bottle will last you forever is $15, so you really can’t go wrong! ANd one last recommendation: Dermalogica’s Oil Free Matte SPF is amazing, too! Doesn’t leave a film and doesn’t irritate your skin at all.
One of the impactful adds to my skincare routine has been a face oil. My skin has never been smoother or softer. I had always thought that because I had oily skin, I didn’t need a face oil, but that’s all wrong: the oil can actually help to balance out your skin so your oil glands don’t over produce. Face oils can be EXPENSIVE, but I’ve found some affordable, natural ones that I love.
Honest Beauty’s Organic Facial Oil is under $30 and such amazing quality. I’ve used it for such a long time and it’s one of my favorite parts of my skincare routine, as I swear it transports you to a spa.
Another favorite is actually Trader Joe’s Rose Oil! I mean, what can’t Trader Joes do? Their pure rose oil is such great quality for UNDER $10! Rose oil is also great for acne prone skin.
I LOVE the process of relaxing with a face mask on, taking the time to just slow down and unwind. I use a face mask typically twice a week; here are some of my favorites that I keep in my rotation and use depending on how my skin is feeling:
- Indie Lee Clearing Face Mask
- Indie Lee I-Waken Resurfacing Mask
- Fresh Beauty Umbrian Clay Purifying Face Mask
- Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask
- Tula Hydrogel Sheet Masks
- Aztec Indian Healing Clay Face Mask with apple cider vinegar
- First Aid Beauty Pharma Arnica Relief and Rescue Mask
And last but not least, we know our skin is incredibly impacted by what we digest, so of course, a healthy diet will make a tremendous difference, and so can supplements. For me, the two supplements that have made the biggest difference on my skin are probiotics and HUM Nutrition’s Daily Cleanse. Both of these are have helped clear up my skin tremendously!
And there you have it: my total guide to an affordable clean skincare routine! What are your favorite affordable clean, nontoxic skincare finds?! Have any questions? Drop them below. Thanks for reading!