On a budget but still want to reap all the amazing benefits of K-beauty? Here’s a great routine with Korean skin care products under $20.
For many, one of the most intimidating things about skin care is the cost associated with acquiring a full routine. Before I got into K-beauty, I always thought that all good skin care was insanely expensive (which is the truth with many Western brands).
So, one of the things that appealed to me most about K-beauty was the prices. As it turned out, I could get products with incredible ingredients without having to offer up my kidney on the black market. And for someone on a college budget, I love searching out products that have low prices with high quality. So, I decided to build a full skin care routine made of only products that are $20 or less. Read below to discover my top picks.
This oil cleanser not only comes at a ridiculously reasonable price, but is also incredibly effective. It boasts a pleasantly simple list of just 10 ingredients, each packing a powerful punch. It removes every trace of makeup, and is infused with green tea and chamomile extracts to soothe and nourish skin. It goes on light, washes off easily, and is gentle enough for use on even the most sensitive of skin. The fragrance is light and pleasant, and it leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed.
This bar soap is steadily making its way to becoming a cult product. Its users rave about its ability to gently cleanse the skin without stripping or drying it, and emphasize that it zaps away every bit of excess oil. I love this soap especially because of its heavenly scent that makes it so enjoyable to use. Plus, for just $15, it delivers a cleanse that is incomparable in quality, and the bar lasts for months of use. Long story short, it’s a staple product for anyone who likes high quality and low prices.
The Skinfood black sugar exfoliator likely needs no introduction, as it is the definition of cult product in Korea. Formulated with a rich shea butter base, it moisturizes and nourishes the skin while fine grains of black sugar gently exfoliate and dissolve across the skin. Upon rinsing it off, your skin will be left smooth, soft, and bright.
A cleansing water that packs a powerful punch for it’s low price, this Klavuu favorite is formulated without parabens or synthetic fragrance. It gently tones and balances the skin, while removing any remaining impurities. With yeast extract, marine collagen, aloe, and rose, it purifies, moisturizes, and boosts cell turnover.
Innisfree Green Tea Essence ($19)
Few companies reap the benefits of green tea as effectively as Innisfree. This serum, made with 82.3% green tea extract from Jeju Island, provides abundant moisture and nourishment. The formula also includes prickly pear extract, orchid extract, and orange extract to nourish, brighten, and fight the appearance of fine lines, while clove flower extract helps to moderate sebum production. It’s also formulated without parabens, synthetic colors, mineral oils, and animal-originated ingredients.
This innovative spray is not only inexpensive, but also extremely convenient. The fine mist absorbs instantly into the skin, allowing for a quick and easy serum application. Formulated with vitamin C, niacinamide, centella asiatica, and collagen, it clarifies, brightens, moisturizes, and plumps the skin in just a spritz.
This unique hydrogel sheet mask is infused with real natural green tea leaves, providing direct moisture and nourishment to the skin. Formulated with various botanical extracts including Evening Primrose Flower Extract, the mask works to soothe, de-puff, and clarify the skin. The hydrogel material means the mask is lightweight and delivers intense moisture without a heavy sheen of essence.
Ringing in another bestseller, the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream offers incredible moisture and eye care at an amazing price. Formulated with the brand’s signature super collagen and baobab water, the cream moisturizes and refreshes the skin, while reducing the signs and progress of aging.
Innisfree Green Tea Fresh Cream ($20)
To match the green tea essence, Innisfree’s Green Tea Fresh Cream provides incomparable moisture for an unbeatable price. Formulated into a light, gel-like consistency, it absorbs quickly into the skin with a refreshing, non-greasy feel. With the pleasantly light scent of green tea extract, the cream leaves your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated. As with all Innisfree products, it contains no parabens, synthetic colors, mineral oils, and animal-originated ingredients.
The best-selling Missha sunblock finishes off this routine. I love this sunblock not only for its powerful protection against UV rays (it contains SPF 50+/PA+++), but also for its ability to guard against pollution and free radicals. Formulated with a unique mix of botanical extracts, it helps to fortify the skin barrier and acts as a powerful first line of defense against dirt, dust, and other toxic pollutants.
So, there we have it: a full routine with Korean products under $20. In total, this full 10-step routine would only cost you $155—a price that could barely get you a single product with many Western brands.
But my favorite part of this routine isn’t just the price, it’s also the quality. For an exceptionally reasonable cost, you’re able to reap the benefits of high quality botanical extracts, brightening acids and vitamins, and powerful anti-aging agents. As is often the case with K-beauty, you get incredible prices and even better quality. Your skin will thank you, and your wallet will, too.