5 Skincare Tips That Won’t Put You In Debt

Woman in bathtub surrounded by sliced oranges

Because we want clear, healthy skin without paying hundreds of dollars.

Let’s be real here: the secret to feeling great in your skin is to have good skin. When you have acne or your skin is dry or irritated, it’s hard to feel your best. But to have healthy, clear skin, YouTube beauty gurus and Instagram influencers make it seem like you need to have a 15-step skincare routine and use products that cost you tons of money. Sounds nice, but not attainable if you’re broke AF. So here’s five tips that can help your skin look and feel great without having to sell your stuff on eBay. 

Know your skin type before buying anything

Who among us has not bought a skincare product on Amazon believing all its rave reviews only for it to do absolutely nothing beneficial? The product was probably a flop because it wasn’t made for your skin type. “A big issue I come across is people thinking they are oily skin type when in fact they are dehydrated, so applying something like an oil-absorbing mask will only upset their skin more,” says New York-based esthetician Leah Hodson. NGL, knowing your skin type can be tricky (a 2018 article in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology noted that there were five new methods of skin classification in the span of just 30 years!), but it’s worth figuring out

Literally just! Drink! Water!

We know drinking water won’t solve everyskin problem (hi, acne that persists despite my 64 oz. of water intake a day), but it can help combat dry skin and make your skin look younger. Sick of just drinking water? Eat it! Hodson recommends foods like watermelons and grapes to stay hydrated. 

Sunscreen > Anti-Aging Creams

Obviously we want to keep that glow our skin has in our twenties going well into our thirties and beyond, but does that mean we need to invest in a $235 anti-aging cream while we’re still eating $0.99 ramen? Thankfully, the answer is no. “The best anti-aging product is SPF 30+ every day, even in winter when it’s gray out” Hodson says. Glad a $6 bottle of sunscreen will do the trick for now!

Salicylic Acid is Your Friend (and Acne’s Enemy)

A breakout is never a fun time, especially when you feel like your skin should be past the teenage acne BS. But never fear, because over-the-counter acne-fighting products can come to your rescue as long as you pick ones with the right ingredients. Hodson recommends products with salicylic acid as an active ingredient, like this Honest Beauty Clearing Cleanser that you can buy for $12.99. 

Stop Wasting Money on Ingredients for DIY Face Masks

If you say that you’ve never been tempted to try a vlogger’s DIY face mask recipe, you’re probably lying (we know we would be). But before you start mashing avocados and measuring spoonfuls of honey, know that you could be in for some skin trouble in the near future. “DIY trends often do more harm then good,” Hodson says. “Take the apple cider, coconut oil, and avocados and make a salad with them, and then come see a professional if you’re having real skin problems. I promise you’ll have better results.”