If you’re a beauty product junkie like me, you’ve probably tried more skincare products than you can count, but have yet to find several that you use on a consistent basis. It wasn’t until I really paid attention to what I was putting in and on my body that I decided I needed to find what actually worked for me – once and for all. Thus began my search for affordable clean skincare brands.
Not only did my college years make me more aware of how much I was spending on products (YIKES) but studying sustainability in business also made me think about what was clean and what was not. Clean, in the sense that it was good for me but also good for the environment. Most of the products I now use are either made with all or mostly natural ingredients or are certified vegan.
I believe good makeup begins with a smooth canvas (aka your face) and these products have worked wonders in that department.
Keep reading to check out some of my favs!
1. SHEA MOISTURE
I LOVE this company! Not only are they a certified B Corporation which means hella transparency as far as what goes into their products, but their ‘safe and uncompromising beauty’ brand promise also states:
- No parabens
- No Phthalates
- No Paraffin
- No Mineral oil
- No DEA
- No petroleum
- No Formaldehyde (phew)
- No Propylene
Their African Black soap is by far my favorite product – It’s literally a bar of soap, which I use for my everyday face wash. The soap in the picture is actually from Nubian Heritage but I use soap from the two brands interchangeably since I haven’t noticed a huge difference. You would think that bar soap dries your skin out but this stuff is heaven sent; seriously, I buy it in bulk. I recently discovered this Youth-infusing toner, which of course is alcohol-free and really hydrates your skin. Their mud mask is also super great for oily, blemish prone skin.
2. BURT’S BEES
To post about affordable clean skincare brands and not include Burt’s Bees products would just be wrong. Period. This brand has consistently delivered and I have used their products for as long as I can remember. In true product junkie fashion, all the Burt’s Bees products I own could not fit in one photo so I just included my most recent purchases. Don’t know whether or not to be embarrassed about that … stay tuned.
When they say, ‘Intense Hydration,’ they mean Intense Hydration y’all. This day lotion and eye cream are perfect for overnight application, especially in the winter months. I know it says ‘day lotion’ but my skin isn’t thaaat dry. They do have an even more intense one for overnight if that’s up your alley! I have been using these lately and loving them – plus they smell great! The dark spot corrector is also incredible for those pesky sun spots or scars that never seem to go away and I’ve really noticed a difference since using it.
The Acure Seriously Glowing Facial Serum is my most recent purchase. And by recent, I mean like a week ago. BUT I had to include it because I already love it! I have never used products from this brand but I will definitely be purchasing more in the future. It’s a little on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way where this serum is concerned.
I put it on after lotion in the morning and my face seriously glows – the bottle ain’t lying. After applying this you honestly don’t need makeup… but shhh don’t share this cause that’s really bad for business.
Not to mention, it’s USDA Organic certified, 100% vegan and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, or silicone! And no, I didn’t know what half of those were before I looked them up… some of it is pretty scary stuff!
Another one that’s a little on the pricey side but also WELL worth your $$$. Boscia is one of the world’s first preservative-free, botanically based skincare lines that comes from Japan. I swear by the charcoal peel-off mask on the left. My skin has never felt more refreshed and clean after using it! And even this small 1 oz bottle gets you a solid 8-9 uses.
The smaller, nondescript tub on the right is truly a game-changer. It’s called a ‘MakeUp Melter’ and that’s literally what it does. It’s a charcoal-based cleansing oil balm that comes in a paste form. You basically rub this remover all over your full face of makeup and then add water once it’s on your face. The water emulsifies the paste and the makeup comes right off.
I once swiped a cotton pad with toner all over my face to see how well it removed my makeup. Nothin’, zilch, nada. MAGIC.
5. YES TO
The first Yes To product I ever bought was the Yes To Carrots Nourishing Exfoliating Cleanser. Originally, I thought the brand was actually ‘Yes To Carrots’ until I discovered that they actually offer a wide variety of produce, like tomatoes, grapefruit, even cotton… only in skincare form.
If you’re looking at the first bottle like, “what’s Micellar Water?,” say no more. I’m serious, shut up, go buy some and see for yourself. I love this one from Yes To because it smells great and the pump at the top is super convenient. I could go on about how great it is but I’ll let you try it for yourself.
I go through bottles of the Yes To Grapefruit Even Skin Tone Moisturizer like it’s my job. I use it every single day because it’s light, works under makeup, and has SPF 15.
Sadly, this is like one sixteenth of all the products I own, so… yeah. I still use WAY too many products (I’m working on it). BUT I’ve been able to narrow down the brands I use to a select few that have definitely changed my beauty regime for the better. The products I use now are not only better for my skin, but also better for the planet. And that’s something to be proud of.
Now here’s me trying to forget the drawers and drawers of failed product experiments that I really need to clean out. But that’s another post for another day in the not so near future!
Shopping For Clean Beauty Products
You can shop some of my favorite affordable clean skincare brands below, or check out my post about shopping for clean beauty products online. If you’re looking for some amazing clean makeup options, I shared 7 clean makeup products to add to your routine here!