My Top Budget Skin Care Products Recommendations

NOTE: I have some very important updates for you ladies since I originally shared this blog post. Please be sure to check out my other article titled: Dermatologist Approved Face Masks.

If you’re anything like me, you probably clicked through to the blog post (probably from Pinterest 😉 ) because you struggle with your skin. You’re not alone! After years of struggling with acne and oily skin, I’ve finally found a list of budget skin care products and a routine that work for me!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase any of my recommended products at the bottom of the post, I will earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Keep in mind though, that I only post affiliate links to products and services I personally love and use myself! Purchasing through my page ensures that I am able to keep writing useful content for all of you.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

This moisturizer quickly became one of my favorites when my mom first gave it to me to try. It’s a gel, which means it won’t clog pores and weigh your skin down like creams do. However, it’s not so light that it doesn’t do the job. Not only do I live in California, which is known for it’s drier atmosphere, but I also live up in the mountains, and this moisturizer is effective enough even in this climate.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub

This scrub has been my go-to since I was a teenager, and I still can’t get over how thoroughly exfoliated my face feels after I use it. Don’t worry though, it’s not so harsh you can’t use it multiple times per week, depending on your skincare needs. I use it as often as once per day if I’ve been getting extra oily from humidity and heat (or if I’ve run out of my other face cleansers :X )

Yes to Tomatoes Paper Mask

This is one of my three latest finds, and I’m loving it! Paper masks are great if you need a quick and easy cleanup, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective. I feel the mild acidity of the tomato tingling my skin every time I use it, and it’s strong enough to know it’s working, but not so strong that it’s uncomfortable like with many other face masks.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen

This stuff is great!

It’s very light and breathable on your skin, not at all like the typical mental image of thick gloppy sunscreen you lather on at the beach.

It goes on powdery soft and smooth so don’t worry, you can still wear makeup over it.


I’m so in love with Curology, I’m actually planning a more in-depth review of it later on. My acne scars are significantly improved, but that’s not even what has me excited!

Curology has given my skin a much better texture. It’s soft and smooth with significantly improved elasticity.

I guess the best way to describe it is that my skin feels fuller, and with a lot more bounce to it.

To be honest, elasticity isn’t something that had ever been a priority for me, since acne has demanded 100% of my focus when it comes to skincare. But now that I have it – woah, baby!

Clarisonic Mia 2, 2 Speed Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush

This thing is my miracle worker.

My skincare workhorse.

It’ll take the effectiveness of any face scrub (or even cleanser) and at least 10x it!

FYI just so we’re on the same page: that “10x” is not statistically accurate, it’s just based on how good my face feels after I use it. 😉

When I’m feeling particularly crappy about my skin, one of my favorite things to do is:

  1. Scrub my face using this brush and the St Ives scrub I mentioned above,
  2. Put on a paper coconut mask (which I mention a little later on) for 10 minutes while I do some breathing exercises with my feet raised,
  3. And last, lather on a thick coat of the hydro boost water gel.

Oh man, it makes my skin feel so hydrated!

Yes to Coconut Paper Mask

This one is from the same brand as the Yes to Tomatoes I mentioned earlier, but instead of feeling the tingling of the acidity from the tomato, you get to smell the soft, relaxing coconut and feel moisturized and rejuvenated after you take it off.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap

This is one of my most recent finds (along with the two paper masks!) and it works great! I love that it has faded my old acne scars! Plus, the tamarind extract and tea tree leave my face feeling extra soft.

I know I basically said every product leaves my skin feeling soft, but it’s true.

Lately, my skin has been struggling significantly with hydration issues for some pretty obvious reasons:

  1. I moved from Miami, Florida to California, which cost me all the hydration I was getting due to the humid atmosphere
  2. The increased air pollution in California has left my skin less able to breathe, and
  3. I moved from the valley to the mountain area, which means the air is not only drier, but also colder.

Needless to say, hydration has become a huge deal to me!

It’s so bad sometimes that if I spend a few days without drinking my daily goal of 2 liters of water, my lips get so chapped it takes them a full week to recover.


So any hydration I can get from a cleanser or face mask, I say – YES, PLEASE!


I know I’m like gushing over all the products here, sounding like a complete billboard, but TRUST ME!

My skin has never been this moisturized, this soft, or had such amazing turgor!

I really hope you give these products a try, and I hope they work their magic for you like they do for me. If you’d like to read about how I fit all of them into a practical skincare routine, you can check out my process here.

StephanieCristi’s Top Recommended Hair, Skin, and Nails Products

With all my love,

SC xo

When it comes to budget skin care products, StephanieCristi has tried them all. Today's post lists the top products along with links to each one.
When it comes to budget skin care products, StephanieCristi has tried them all. Today's post lists the top products along with links to each one.
When it comes to budget skin care products, StephanieCristi has tried them all. Today's post lists the top products along with links to each one.
When it comes to budget skin care products, StephanieCristi has tried them all. Today's post lists the top products along with links to each one.