Ginger and Sage Blog

Skin Care Routine: $15 & Under

Skin Care Routine: $15 & Under

I think one of the biggest misconceptions in beauty, especially skin care is that you must spend a lot of money to get good products. Now while there is some truth to that statement, it does not mean that you cannot find good effective products that work for you and are in your budget.

Whenever I speak to people about what products to buy, my first question is always what is your budget? The one thing you need to know for yourself is where you want to spend your money. Some products in your routine will always be a bit more expensive than others ( ie. Your serums are more expensive than face wash) But it is also important to make sure you know your set budget for each item. If you only want to spend $15 on face washes so that way you can spend maybe $30 on serums, that is your choice. One of the biggest tips I could say to get more bang for your buck is to order online. You have a much larger selection online of products online then you do at your local CVS or Target. Plus, many companies provide free samples, returns and gift with purchase.

Below are some of my favorite skin care products that actually work… and are no more than $15. There are a three different routines of products based on skin types. Feel free to mix and match. Every Routine below is in order of application of products onto your face. Also, when it comes to building your skin care routine remember you do not have to buy everything in one day. Maybe you buy two this month because it is in budget or you buy one new products every month. Take your time and build a routine that you know you like and is effective. And finally, as I have said many times, if you buy the product and do not like it or have a reaction, RETURN IT!

– Acne & Oily Skin Type –

 If you are someone who has a lot of acne and you find that you have a very shiny (oily) skin type, these will be the best products for your skin. Many people with oily skin also believe they should not use skin moisturizer because they are oily, lies! You want to have a good effective moisturizer that moisturizes your skin which in turn will slowly help calm down your sebum (oil).


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser $14.99:

Although this does contain SLS (so if you have issues with that don’t get this) many people are big fans of this cleanser because it has 2% Salicylic Acid in it which helps fight acne. Make sure you exfoliate and moisturize well when using salicylic products.

Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser $10.27:

This is more of a natural route on the skin care brand side. As is does not have SLS in it which is great for some, it also has a lot of calming ingredients which might be really helpful to people with acne looking to reduce the redness and pain related to acne.

BioDerma Sebium Exfoliating Gel $14.90:

This is a great exfoliator. Apply to clean damp skin once or twice a week. This line is also great for people with oily skin. When you have acne, it is extra important to exfoliate because it will help remove the dead skin cells that may cause new spots but also buff out the spots you currently have.

Toners: Hydrating and Acid Toners:

Acid Pads:

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Facial Pads $12.99:

These are great for right after you wash your face. They remove anything that your cleansers might has missed and while your pores are open and clean you can add a great amount of acids to soothe and help prevent your acne and oil.


Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist $15.00:

This is a lovely calming mist that I spray 10 mins after my acid toner. It soothes skin and hydrated at that same time. Just because you have oily skin does not mean you can’t get hydrating products. And because this is a mist it will be a light layer of hydration.


Serums & Treatments:

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $5.90:

This is a powerhouse product! Niacinamide helps reduce congestion and blemishes. While Zinc helps reduce sebum (oil).

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% $7.90:

When you get acne, you tend to get a lot of acne scarring afterwards. Azelaic Acid helps to reduce the look of blemishes while brightening your skin tone. This is a cream-gel formula which dries to a soft matte finish. Which is just perfect for oily skin types.



Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel $14.50:

Although I do not use Clinique, many people with oily skin swear by this moisturizer. With its light gel formula, it helps to hydrate your skin without looking shiny or oilier. *Grab the gel version not the lotion.

L’Oreal Hydra Genius Mattifying Water Gel for Oily Skin $13.89:

This is such a great lightweight gel that will hydrate your skin but also blur and matte your imperfections at the same time. Could be used as a daytime moisturizer before makeup application.


Boscia Clear Complexion Blotting Sheets $10.00

Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask $15.00

Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick $7.22


– Normal & Combination Skin Type –

I think there are only a few special people in this world who actually have “Normal Skin” . Where they are pretty much just cleansing and maintaining. Combination is where you tend to have some parts of your face be normal and dry while other parts, mainly the T zone, be normal to oily. So the reason I lumped Normal and Combination together is because Normal skin people can use all of the combination products to help their end result. I myself have Combination skin and my main focus is to make sure I am treating the problem areas, while making sure my skin stays hydrated.


La Roche-Posay Tolerine Hydrating Gentle Cleanser $14.99:

This is a great universal face wash. It will keep your skin hydrated with its ingredients but feeling fresh and clean. It is also Sulfate free and Fragrance Free which is great if you have sensitive skin.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser $15.00:

This is a cult classic. It can really be used on any skin type, which is why it is perfect for combination skin because they can have every skin type at one point or another. The biggest difference I notice with this cleanser is that is softens and soothes your skin.


Toners: Hydrating and Acid Toners:

Acid Pads:

F.A.B. Facial Radiance Pads $15.00:

With combo and normal skin you still need to make sure you are using acid toners to keep acne down. These pads are the perfect mix of glycolic and lactic acid to exfoliate and reduce acne with Aloe leaf to soothe. Plus these pads are so large you can cut them in half and use them twice as long.


Caudalie Grape Water $13.00:

As I stated it is important to keep your skin hydrated and I think this is one of my favorite hydrating toners no matter the price range. It really makes my skin cool down and look a bit more alive without it feeling like I am getting oily.

Serums & Treatments:

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% $12.90:

With both combo and normal skin you really want to make sure that your complexion stays bright and you reduce pigmentation. That is where this Vitamin C serum comes it. Vitamin C brightens your skin tone and reduces signs of aging. This is a lightweight serums that can really help improve your skin.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% +HA 2% $6.50:

Lactic acid is making more appearances in the skin care market. It is great at resurfacing skin, brightening and reducing texture. More than anything this products helps with exfoliating skin which is very important with this skin type. The 10% version of this product is a great dupe if you like the expensive Sunday Riley Good Genes.


F.A.B Ultra Repair Cream $12.00:

I have been using this moisturizer day and night for almost a year now and I am in love. A little bit goes a long way, which is great for your wallet. It calms redness and dehydrated skin, while giving you the perfect almost smooth blurred finish for a cream. Especially great in the summer if you get sunburnt.

Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 $14.99:

If you are someone who prefers to have an SPF day cream this is perfect. It is light weight but very hydrating. With good acids and Vitamin C+E, it really will help your oil stay down and brighten and smooth your skin at the same time. With a bonus of an SPF!


Origins Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay $4.00

Formula 10.0.6 On Your Mark Blemish Mark Fader $7.99

Sephora Collection Face Mask – Algae $6.00


– Dry & Mature Skin Type –

Let me first say that you do not need to be mature to have dry skin.  But one strong similarity of dry skin and mature skin is that you both need a lot of hydration. As you age you lose the moisture and elasticity in your skin. When you are dry, no matter the age you can have the same issue. The main focus of your purchases should be hydration, collagen and retinol.


Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Cleanser $13.99:

This is a great cleanser, it hits all the marks for dry and mature skin. With Retinol for aging skin, glycolic to resurface, and sea kelp to soften.

Julep Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil $12.00:

Cleansing Oils are great for all skin types but especially this group. It cleanses your skin really well but hydrates and softens at the same time. If you have never tried a cleansing oil and you have dry skin be prepared to fall in love.

Toners: Hydrating and Acid Toners:


Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner $15.00:

When you have dry skin it is still important to use toner on your skin to make sure your pores are clean. This toner is great because it will not dry out your skin and it will calm it down from the Aloe Vera.


Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater $7.00:

Facial Sprays are a perfect thing for this skin type. You can spray them in your skincare routine as a hydrating toner. You can use them to set makeup, or just carry around in your bag for when you feel your skin drying.

Serums & Treatments:

The Ordinary Retinol 1% $6.70:

As I have mentioned several times Retinol is a big power house ingredient. It reduces fine lines, fights signs of aging, reduces pore size and sun damage. Retinol is a strong product so start out with a little and use every few days until you build up to you. It is a dream product and will really give you new skin!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 $6.80:

With this skin type as important as Retinol is, so is Hyaluronic Acid. This is a beautiful very thin serum that will instantly give your skin the feeling that it drank a big glass of water. It also mixes really well with other acids.


L’Oreal Dermo-Expertise Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Re-Plumper Day Cream $14.71:

This cream is thick enough to be used as a day or night cream. If the title didn’t already say enough, it does exactly what dry and mature skin needs. Plumping and hydration!

Palmer’s Skin Therapy Face Oil $8.69:

As I mentioned before face oils are magic for dry and mature skin. It really hydrates and repairs your skin while working wonders on fine lines and uneven skin tone. Here is one of my favorite face oils. Do not use this if you have acne, the cocoa butter in it might make it worse.


Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre $9.95 ( great as a face primer before makeup)

SOOAE Coenzyme Q10 Collagen Mask $15.00

Murad Polish, Plump, Protect $15.00


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