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The Best Moisturizer For Your Budget

In our best moisturizers by budget guide, you’ll discover the perfect hydrating cream for your price point.

Moisturizing is a critical step in your routine regardless of how many steps you do or what skin type you have. But moisturizers can get expensive fast, so we’ve compiled a list of the best moisturizers at every price point. Whether you want to spend closer to the $20 or splurge in the $65 range, we’ve got you covered.

There’s this misconception about moisturizer which is that you only really need it if your skin is dry. But this isn’t true. Not only does moisturizer keep your skin baby soft, plump, and hydrated, but it can also keep your oil production in check, thereby taming some of that annoying acne.

Korean moisturizers have taken this up a notch by producing creams that are not only hydrating for the skin, but also target a whole host of skin issues so that no matter what your budget is, you can have the clearest, brightest, most radiant skin possible. 

If you’re looking to spend $18 to $30…

The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream, and Etude House SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream are some great affordable moisturizers that can target a multitude of skin types and problem areas.

The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream is a dream if you have sensitive or oily skin, and especially if you’re prone to redness. It contains guaiazulene, a camomile extract, that is great for calming the skin. It also contains centella asiatica, an ingredient we love for soothing irritation and redness. This cream is also amazing for soothing minor tears in the skin caused by sunburn or shaving, spot extraction and laser procedures. It’s fairly basic with a pH level of 7.11.

Another Best of K-beauty Winner, the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream gives you the richness and luxury of an expensive moisturizer, without the price tag. This cream is recommended for all skin types, but can be particularly helpful if you have sensitive skin because it’s formulated with beta glucan, jojoba oil, and ceramides, which all work together to strengthen the skin barrier and increase cell repairing abilities, while simultaneously hydrating and soothing irritated skin.

The Etude House SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream is another great lightweight option. Formulated with 93% naturally derived ingredients, this moisturizer boasts a short ingredients list that still balances, hydrates, and soothes the skin. It features panthenol, sunflower seed oil, and shea butter for some deep hydration to keep skin moisturized, and soft and smooth. It also includes madecassoside for decreasing redness and repairing damaged skin. It has a low pH, making it skin-balancing and is free of potential skin irritants like fragrance, artificial color, and parabens, making it especially great for sensitive skin.

If you’re looking to spend $30-$40…

The SKINRx MadeCera Cream and the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer are all great moisturizers if you’re looking to pamper yourself with a mid-range price.

The SKINRx MadeCera Cream is an absolute dream for those with sensitive skin and those prone to redness because it’s free of potential irritants like parabens, surfactants, and mineral oils. The cream is formulated with madecassoside which is great for fighting inflammation and facial redness as well as niacinamide to brighten and adenosine to smooth the skin and protect against wrinkles and fine lines. Within the formula are also ceramides, which deeply moisturize to leave your skin feeling plump and hydrated.

The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer is a super hydrating and versatile moisturizer, boasting and incredible ingredient list with 40% snail mucin, niacinamide, baobab tree extract, and squalene for targeting redness, improving skin texture, brightening, and more! This product was developed for those who have oily skin and want to decrease the darkness of their acne scars. It’s super lightweight and seeps into the skin easily leaving you with plump and glowing skin.

If you’re looking to spend $40+…

Sometimes the splurge is worth it, especially if you’ve got the funds. The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream and the D’Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Repair Cream are some great higher-end options to treat your skin to the most luxurious moisturize.

There’s a reason why the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream remains one of the top K-beauty creams (and my personal favorite moisturizer). A Best of K-Beauty winner, this cream is formulated with 70% snail mucin extract making it deeply hydrating, moisturizing, and naturally skin-repairing. Snail mucin is also known for healing irritated skin, making this a great product for acne-prone or sensitive skin. It has a light gel texture that leaves a dewy finish without leaving you looking oily.

We all want to have plump looking skin forever, which makes the D’Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Repair Cream a star product. This luxurious cream targets a whole host of issues, including aging, dryness, dull complexion, and sebum control. The fast-absorbing, nourishing cream keeps skin slightly acidic to help prevent bacteria from breeding and causing skin issues. 

The Bottom Line

Moisturizing is a crucial step in any skin care routine, Korean or not. And moisturizing doesn’t need to just be about adding hydration back into the skin. You can certainly target problem areas with your moisturizer. There’s awesome options for every skin type and skin concern at every price bracket, as long as you take the time to do the research!

+ What do you think are the best moisturizers by budget? Share them with us in the comments! 

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