The 6 Affordable Skincare Brands That Actually Work

There was a moment a few years ago when everyone started taking skincare super seriously. It was a common opinion that if you used face wipes, you were told to sit on a naughty step, and if you didn't know the names of the actives in a serum, then you shouldn't be using it. Let's not even discuss the fact that if you weren't following a 15-step skincare routine in a very precise order, you were simply missing out.

Honestly, it all got a bit too much. At the same time, unless you were using The Ordinary, affordable skincare brands just weren't the brands of choice. We wanted to discover the latest buys with the latest super ingredients, which usually had the price tags to match.

Fast-forward to 2020, and while we're all way more educated on what goes onto our faces, there's much less skincare snobbery. It's also fired-up affordable skincare brands to release new collections, have brand makeovers and to swap out some of their ingredients. If you're looking for the best affordable skincare brands, keep scrolling.

1. Versed

Who What Wear's sister brand is living proof that you can do affordable and results-driven skincare without compromising on the claims we care about (sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free). The collection is full of hero products in #shelfie-worthy packaging that won't max out your credit card.

Creams that are so dense, rich and dessert-like deserve to be in everyone's beauty collection. The really great ones are actually worth the splurge, but Versed has somehow managed to do it for under £20. There's plenty of skin-loving ingredients in this like algae, vitamin E and squalene to keep skin filled with moisture. 

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. Think jelly texture that's soothing to skin and keeps moisture locked in. 

2. The Inkey List

So you know the must-have ingredients for your skin type, but you haven't got the time to be searching for them in every skincare product you see. Meet The Inkey List—it simplifies skincare with its range of ridiculously affordable but effective products. 

Scarring, dark spots and hyperpigmentation have met their match with this much-loved serum. You also get the added bonus of squalene and hyaluronic acid, which makes the serum work even harder. 

This was the only ingredient that I knew and cared about when I was an acne-prone teenager. If only this concentrated cleanser was around then, it would have saved me a lot of money. This excess sebum-reducing wash is incredibly effective and easy to slot into your routine. 

3. CeraVe

This developed-by-dermatologists brand has a mass following, and it's highly unlikely that you'll ever hear a bad word being said about this line of skin barrier–strengthening products. If you're looking for expert-approved products on a budget, you can't go wrong with CeraVe.

This gentle face wash is a fan favourite on Reddit, 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. 

You can't ignore the thousands of rave reviews for this dry-skin saving body cream. With ceramides to protect the skin and hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, you'll be anxiously awaiting your next shower just so you can use it.

4. The Ordinary

This game-changing brand not only changed our skincare routines but also how we consume products in general. The range that prides itself on high-performance, clinical formulas puts the focus back on you and your skin's unique needs. 

This has all the benefits of a retinoid minus the annoying side effects, as this serum is low on the irritation scale. Expect radiant and softer 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 rose-hip seed oil as a base. However, they're often refined and include many other ingredients. If this antioxidant-rich oil works for you, cut out the rest and use it in its purest form.

5. Bioderma

Whether you've got dry skin, oily skin or anything in between, this French pharmacy brand has got you covered. The targeted and affordable skincare line has long been a favourite with beauty insiders, and for very good reason. 

This beauty routine staple was a backstage secret amongst makeup artists, and we're so glad that it's on everyone's radar. You can't beat this micellar water for gently removing makeup on all skin types. 

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. 

6. Simple

This drugstore classic has upped its game to include the latest ingredients while still being gentle on the skin. If you're looking for skincare that doesn't disrupt your skin, then join the many diehard users who've been fans of the products for years. 

Believe the hype. This skin-drenching booster is making waves for its ability to hydrate skin for the price of a latte. You can use it as a serum or mix it in with your usual moisturiser when your skin's feeling dehydrated.

For a glow on the go, this radiance booster not only protects against UVA and UVB rays but also pollution and blue light. If you struggle with heavy suncreams or think they make your skin dull, add this to your bathroom cabinet ASAP.

Up next, 14 beauty editors on their favourite affordable products.