For me, skincare has always been more important and intriguing than makeup. Of course, in my “tween” days I would spend countless hours on Youtube watching my favorite beauty gurus do their makeup and I would recreate the looks [not very well, might I add] and show my mom or my friends. But that soon became boring, so I dove into the world of skincare instead. I would watch so many people’s routines and see how they varied based on their skin type, affordability and the climate around them. Soon after, I was able to tell my own skin type, what ingredients in products I should stay away from, and I began purchasing a multitude of products I thought would make my skin 10 times more beautiful and clear, but instead did the opposite. 

I was putting so many products on my face that just didn’t work together and overloaded my pores with, for lack of a better word, junk. Now that I’m well out of the phase of going to Ulta and buying every single skincare product targeted toward my type of skin [combination/dry], I can confidently say that less is more, especially when it comes to skincare. [Since I also purchase my own skincare products, it’s important that the products that I use are also budget-friendly.] 

My favorite affordable skincare brand is Mario Badescu, which is sold at Ulta and other stores like Urban Outfitters. What drew me into this brand was their facial spray that I use to set my makeup [setting makeup essentially prevents it from rubbing off on other surfaces, like your clothes, throughout the day]. The spray is made with ingredients like aloe and rosewater and feels so light and refreshing, it honestly just melts my makeup together. I also use this spray in the morning after I apply my toner, and even throughout the day if my face feels like it could use a pick-me-up. Another product I love from Mario Badescu is the drying lotion. It’s a great spot treatment for pimples and I’ve found that it makes any blemishes disappear overnight. This is a little more on the expensive side [about $17], but it lasts for a while and is well worth the price. 

Speaking of toner, my favorite toner is from Thayer’s and comes in a huge bottle for only $10. Toner is great for getting the dirt you didn’t know was on your skin, off of it. I’m always surprised by how much my toner can dig up from my skin, especially makeup build-up. I usually use my toner after my face wash [CeraVe— nothing special, just gets the job done and doesn’t irritate my skin or cause breakouts] both morning and night. The Thayer’s toner is a lot more gentle than other toners that I have used and doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils. You can also pick this product up at Ulta, and even a few drugstores. 

Doing a nice face mask is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s so relaxing and your skin feels renewed after [what could be better?]. The key to face masks is to find one that works for you and to stick with it and not use anything else. Consistency is key when it comes to skincare [I can’t stress this enough]! My favorite one is the Indian Healing Clay Mask that you can buy from many stores, including Amazon. This mask comes as a powder, and you can mix it with apple cider vinegar, water and even honey [I choose to do a combination of ACV and honey]. This mask can be kind of harsh, especially if you use it every single day [which you shouldn’t be]. I usually use this mask 1 to 2 times per week, depending on how bad my skin is. I’ve found that this mask brings my blackheads to the surface which keeps me from digging at my skin and constantly popping pimples. 

Although the products that I use work for me, it doesn’t mean they are going to work for everyone. Pay attention to the amount of oil your face produces, if you get dry anywhere, the amount of acne you have and where it’s appearing on your face, your diet, water intake, etc. because all of this affects your skin. These are just some of the products that I love and have used for a while that work for me! I think we can all agree that a solid, affordable skin-care routine is needed for any busy college student.

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