These Skin-Care Products Are Pro-Approved — & All Under $20

If there's one thing we know about skin care, it's that it can get very pricey very fast. Most of us can't shell out $40 for a cleansing water, even if it comes with the promise of eternally angelic skin. Luckily, drugstore brands have come a long way in terms of their skin-care offerings. They're so good, in fact, that sometimes it’s even hard for us to distinguish between mass vs. high-end products. And if it’s all the same, we’ll take the cheaper variety, please.
Ahead, the best of the best in drugstore skin picks — beauty editor-approved, and all under $20.
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"I’ve tried just about everything for the persistent acne on my cheeks — prescription ointments, natural salves, OTC creams. Everything either dried out my skin (making things worse) or did absolutely nothing. I was *this* close to popping Spironolactone when I decided to give this gel a shot. Within two months, it cleared up my acne without causing any dryness at all. (And it’s so light, you can wear it under makeup.) You can’t put a price on clear skin — but $13 is pretty fucking good." — Cat Quinn, beauty director

Differin Acne Treatment Gel, $12.89, available at Target.
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"Yes, it does all the things a cleanser should: washes off foundation and mascara, obliterates excess oil, etc. But the soothing eucalyptus scent is the standout to me. It actually helps calm my anxiety in the morning (and night), which is above-and-beyond what I expect from a humble pore purger, but I appreciate it." — Cat Quinn, Beauty Director

Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser 2 oz, $10, available at Sephora.
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"It's tough to find a peel that's both potent and gentle enough for everyday use, but these glycolic acid pads hit the mark. I've finished three jars of them and my skin is noticeably clearer when I'm using them versus when I'm not." — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor

L'Oréal Revitalift Bright Reveal Peel Pads, $19.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"I keep this jumbo-sized jug of cleanser in my shower and a couple smaller (much pricier) options on my tiny sink, but I find myself stepping into my tub each night to use this over any others in the rotation. It's ultra-gentle (even if you roughly rub it all over your sensitive, irritable eyes), never drying, and lasts seemingly forever — what's not to love?" — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor

Garnier SkinActive The Gentle Sulfate-Free Cleanser, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"The perfect scrub for dry skin types, it exfoliates while moisturizing, leaving a light veil of oil behind for super-soft skin. And, yes, it smells really delicious and coconut-y, too." — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor

St. Ives Coconut Facial Oil Scrub, $6.99, available at Target.
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“The only thing I can say for certain that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and I have in common is an obsession with this best-selling facial mist, which smells like a minty herb garden in heaven, makes skin look bright and radiant, and genuinely helps me feel more awake. However, whereas she is an ambassador for the brand, I keep buying the $18 travel size to avoid splashing out $49 every time I run out.” — Rachel Krause, beauty writer

Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $18, available at Sephora.
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"This no-frills cream is one I go back to time and time again. In fact, it's one of those products I use when I need to give my skin a break from trying out different serums and potions. It's hydrating, layers well under makeup, and has SPF. Triple win." — Mi-Anne Chan, beauty writer

Cera Ve Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30, $16.49, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"I pretty much exclusively wear matte lip balms during the day because I find they last longer on my lips and layer better under lipsticks. This one is a classic — I keep one in every purse." — Mi-Anne Chan, beauty writer

Burt's Bee's Lip Balm, $3.29, available at Dermstore.
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"If you want to dip your toes into the chemical exfoliant world, but don't want to pay the hefty price tag that often comes with those skin-care items, Pixi is here for you. The Glow Tonic effectively gets rid of blemishes, but isn't too harsh, and it rings in at only $15 for the smaller size." — Michaela Rollings, associate partnerships manager

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic, $15, available at Target.
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"This lip scrub is strangely addicting, probably because it's baby pink and made with sugar? The pot may look small, but a little dab of the sweet scrub goes a long way toward exfoliating your lips and leaving them soft and hydrated." — Michaela Rollings, associate partnerships manager

Milani Keep It Sweet Sugar Lip Scrub, $9.99, available at Walgreens.
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"I'm a firm believer that cleansing oils are the best for dry skin. This one from Neutrogena is feather-light, removes even the most stubborn waterproof mascara, and smells divine." — Jen Anderson, editorial assistant

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil, $8.49, available at Target.
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"This is, hands down, my holy grail lotion. I have a little tube in my purse, one on my bedside table, and one in my bathroom. When the weather starts getting cool and dry, I slather it everywhere: face, hands, elbows, you name it. It's magic." Jen Anderson, editorial assistant

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration 2 ox, $12, available at Sephora.
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"Call me snobby, but American-made micellar waters just aren't the same as those coming from France. In fact, I didn't think that anything could stack up to Bioderma's cult formula until I tried this one from La Roche Posay. It's the ONE thing that micellar water should be: as light as water, but with special superpowers that somehow remove every bit of makeup in one fell swoop. And the fact that I don't have to smuggle it home in my checked luggage makes it my new favorite." — Lexy Lebsack, West Coast beauty editor

La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Water Cleansing Solution, $14.99, available at Target.
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"This cleanser has been a staple in my shower for longer than I can even remember. It's cheap, easy, and even my boyfriend loves it. It keeps breakouts and clogged pores at bay and is a nice addition to a fall routine because it delivers a hit of exfoliating acids that gently slough off dead skin before winter hits." — Lexy Lebsack, West Coast beauty editor

Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser, $8.49, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"Some swear by this as a skin-care hangover savior; I pick it up almost every time I'm at the drugstore for its amazing ability to pull the day's dirt and oil out of my pores." — Megan Decker, beauty intern

Biore Deep Charcoal Cleanser, $5.99, available at Target.
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"Once, I accidentally put this eye cream over my whole face and three people that day told me that my skin was glowing. So now, I apply it as an all-over moisturizer any time I'm looking for a firming boost of hydration and radiance. And at under $12, I don't feel that bad about emptying the pot quickly." — Megan Decker, beauty intern

Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream,$11.69, available at Target.
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