Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin | Everything under $20!

Best Affordable Skincare at the Drugstore for Oily Skin

A good skin care routine is vital for maintaining, clear, glowing, youthful skin and preventing early signs of aging. Unfortunately, many of us operate under the misconception that skincare only becomes a necessity in our 30s and 40s. However, it is far easier to maintain your skin’s youthful qualities rather than  to try to treat set in wrinkles, dark spots, or other signs of aging.

While I regularly purchase expensive skincare, the drug store is stepping up its game by offering affordable, high-quality skincare to help individuals with a myriad of skin care issues at any age.

Please keep reading for the best affordable skincare for oily skin.

Best Drug Store Skin Care 2018
Best Affordable Drug Store Skin Care – November 2018

Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin | Cleansers & Makeup Removers

The following cleansers products are some of the best affordable skincare for oily skin. While these face washes can be harsh for anyone with normal-to-dry skin, oily skinned individuals will see results with these cleansers. 

Clean & Clear – Continuous Control Acne Cleanser | $7.79 USD

Best For: Oily, Acne Prone Skin 

The Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser was my ride or die face wash when I suffered from severe acne. The Cleanser promises to remove excess dirt and oil. The Acne Control Cleanser fights and prevents breakouts with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide.

I only recommend using this face wash if you have oily skin and severe acne. Users should only use this cleanser once a day. This cleanser has the potential to be overly drying if mused multiple times a day. This cleanser will irritate normal, combination, or dry skin.

PSA: This cleanser will BURN if it gets in your eyes.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser | $13.49 USD

Best For: Normal to Oily Skin

Unlike the Clean & Clear face wash, the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is one of the best cleansers for sensitive skin. Cetaphil won’t irritate or dry out the skin. Cetaphil promises to cleanse the skin without stripping it. The cleanser is great for daily use. It leaves the skin feeling soft and clean.

This cleanser may not be strong enough for anyone with severe acne. For anyone with severe acne, this product may be best used when paired with a stronger cleanser.

Pond’s Cold Cream Cucumber Cleanser & Make-Up Remover | $4.99 USD

Best For: All Skin Types

The Pond’s Cucumber Cleanser is one of the most inexpensive, highly effective makeup removers. Makeup easily dissolves without needing to scrub or tug at the skin. Unlike other drying makeup removers, the Cucumber Cleanser is actually 50% moisturizer. The moisturizer component leaves the skin feeling ultra soft.

The Pond’s cleanser is so emollient that a little product goes a long way. It took me an entire year to use one jar entirely – despite wearing makeup nearly everyday.

The Cucumber Cleanser is advertised for dry skin, but I love using it despite having ultra oily skin. That being said, anyone with oily skin will need to double-cleanse. Without double cleansing, the Cold Cream will clog pores.

From a sanitation perspective, dipping fingers into a jar is not ideal. Keeping that in mind, do not share this cream with others. Also, the package is bulky.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes | $5.99 USD

Best For: All Skin Types

The Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes are iconic for good reason. They are the best makeup remover wipes available at the drug store. With their gentle but powerful formula, the Neutrogena wipes melt away makeup. No need to tug at the skin or use multiple wipes at a time.

Each standard pack comes with 25 towelettes. The cleansing towelettes are formulated without alcohol or fragrance.

Disclaimer: I dislike single-use makeup wipes for daily use. However, makeup remover wipes are travel-friendly and these wipes do a good job at removing makeup.

Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin | Masks & Acne Treatments

Please note, masks and acne treatments included in the best affordable skincare for oily skin roundup may not be cure-alls for anyone with cystic acne. However, these products can work well to treat or prevent other acne bursts.

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask | $10.89 USD, CF

Best For: Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

sheaMoisture’s African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask promises to draw out dirt, oil, and other skin contaminants. In addition to removing impurities, this mask will brighten and balance oily, acne-prone skin. Prominent ingredients in the mud mask include:

  • African Black Soap – a natural remedy for oily skin,
  • Tamarind – an astringent that exfoliates and brightens the skin
  • Tea Tree Oil – a skin soothing anti-inflammatory.

The SheaMoisture African Black Soap Mask is a thick, black mask that comes in a plastic jar. The Clarifying Mask is a dupe for Origin’s beloved Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask or GLAMGLOW’s Supermud Clearing Treatment. As all three masks promise to help reduce the appearance of pores and clear out congested skin. All three masks can also be used as spot treatments for acne.

However, the SheaMoisture mask is a fraction of the price. The SheaMoisture mask is better for individuals who may have combo skin, as both the Origin’s and GLAMGLOW masks can be too drying for normal to dry skin.

Despite the many benefits of the SheaMoisture Mask, there are two major drawbacks. First, the mask smells like Playdoh. Second, the mask is not as powerful as the Origins or GLAMGLOW treatments. For example, to get rid of a breakout, I need to use the SheaMoisture mask 3-4 times to eradicate acne. In comparison, the Origins and GLAMGLOW masks will drastically reduce a bad breakout after one application.

P.S. I found this mask at Marshalls for only $4.99 USD. You may be able to find that sheaMoisture masks are more expensive at other retailers.

JJ Young Pore Glow Face Mask | $14.99 USD, CF

Best For: All Skin Types

The JJ Young Pore Glow Face Mask is a newer addition to the CVS beauty aisle. In an effort to reach more diverse beauty needs, CVS recently expanded their K-Beauty offerings in-store and online.

The JJ Young Pore Glow Face Mask promises to brighten the skin, tighten large pores, and leave a cooling effect. Prominent ingredients within the Pore Glow Face Mask include:

  • Menthol & Panthenol –  provide the cooling and tightening effects
  • Pomegranate, Fig, Mulberry, & Gingko – promote brighter skin

This JJ Young Mask is great for individuals with dull, discolored skin. Anyone will large pores may enjoy this mask. My skin feels refreshed and brighter after use. For an added cooling effect, I store my mask in the fridge.

Finally, this mask comes with a tiny plastic spatula. While the spatula is convenient for scooping product out of the jar, I find it ineffective for an even application on the face.

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel
Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Medication | $7.49 USD

Best For: Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

The Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Medication is a holy grail drugstore acne treatment. Formulated with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, this treatment promises to treat current breakouts and prevent future pimples.

Unlike retinoid-based treatments, this treatment will not overly dry out the skin. This treatment works well with other benzoyl peroxide-based products, but should not be used in combination with retinol or retinoid solutions. Mixing these two ingredients may cause irritation, inflammation, and dryness. I learned this the hard way!

The Persa-Gel is best applied nightly with fingers. Only a small amount of product is needed. An entire tube can easily last a year.

RELATED: Saying Goodbye to $200 Worth of Skincare

Differin Gel
Differin Gel

Differin Gel | $13.99 USD

Best For: Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Differin Gel is a great topical treatment for adults with acne. Unlike the Persa-Gel, Differin is retinoid based. Formulated without alcohol, oil, and fragrance, this treatment promises to quickly minimize breakouts and prevent future acne from appearing.

This gel should be applied once a day, as needed, after washing the face. Only a minute amount of product is needed. This product works quicker than Benzoyl Peroxide. However, Differin is more of an irritant. This gel can dry out clear skin next to a pimple.

Note: Any time a retinoid is used, sunscreen is a non-negotiable, as retinoids can make skin more susceptible to sun damage.

Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin | Moisturizers

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream | $19.99 USD

Best For: Oily skin

I have a love-hate relationship with the Hydro Boost line largely due to the steeper price-tag. The moisturizers contain truly amazing ingredients that warrant the higher price tag. The high end-looking packaging is likely the reason for the steep price. So how did this product make the list?

First, this line is available at the drug store and at Ulta. With these two retail partners, this cream is nearly always on sale. Personally, I used a 40% Off coupon to purchase my jar.

Second, the non-greasy formula is amazing for oily skin. The formula is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and applies smoothly. As someone with large pores and oily skin, cream-based formulas don’t work well. I wish the Hydro Gel formula was available ten years ago. I would have been more inclined to adopt a moisturizer into my skincare routine at an earlier age.

Although the packaging is sleek and gorgeous, it is not travel friendly. Furthermore, the jar packaging makes this product unsuitable for sharing.

Best Drug Store Skin Care: Neutrogena Hydro Boost SPF 15
Neutrogena Hydro Boost SPF 15

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15 | $19.99 USD

Best For: Oily skin

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15 glides on just as easily as the regular Hydro Boost Water Gel. It leaves the skin with lightweight, non-greasy hydration. However, this iteration provides a slight SPF.

This product is great for individuals that frequently work out at the gym or travel. The packaging is sleek. and easy to toss in a travel bag. Also, I love that this product comes with a pump.

I do find this product is pricey for what it is, so I recommend purchasing the Water Gel while it is on sale.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream | $16.99 USD

Best For: All Skin Types

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a holy grail drugstore moisturizer, particularly for those who are on or have recently been on Accutane or those who have extremely dry skin. This beloved body and face moisturizer is formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which restore moisture and act as a barrier to protect the skin.

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is noncomedogenic and fragrance-free. While this cream is too thick for my face, it is essential during the Winter. The non-greasy formula locks in moisture for 24-hours and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth. Given the rich, thick texture of the cream, I do not recommend this to individuals liveing in hot, humid climates all year long.

CeraVe sells many iterations of moisturizers, but this particular product is my favorite one. While the price tag is steep for the drugstore, this product is more than worth it.

Best Drug Store Skin Care: Burt's Bees Body Lotion
Burt’s Bees Body Lotion

Burt’s Bees Fragrance-Free Body Lotion with Shea Butter & Vitamin E | $8.79 USD, CF

Burt’s Bees Fragrance-Free Body Lotion with Shea Butter & Vitamin E is a great alternative to the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream if you are Cruelty-Free. While the moisturizer is not as long-lasting as the CeraVe formula, this lotion is hypoallergenic and absorbs quickly into the skin. Moreover, the Burt’s Bees Body Lotion is a better option for individuals that live in more humid climates. The packaging is more sanitary since it is easily squeezed out of the tube.

However, the Burt’s Bees Lotion is not scent-free. Is it formulated without fragrance? Yes. But is it scent-free? No.

The moisturizer has a strong plastic, chemical smell. I am unsure whether this is being caused by the actual packaging or by product, itself. Either way, the smell is noticeable when rubbing the lotion onto the skin. That being said, the smell does not persist after application.

Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin | Suncare

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 | $12.49 USD

Best For: Oily Skin

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion is an easy to apply sunscreen. This sunscreen glides onto the skin due to the lightweight, moisturizing formula. Despite the lighter feeling, the sunscreen doesn’t compromise on providing UVA/UVB sun protection.

This formula is great for individuals with oily skin. It won’t clog the pores, cause breakouts, or leave the skin looking or feeling greasy.

Best Drug Store Skin Care

Final Thoughts on the Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin

Hopefully my rundown on the best affordable skincare for oily skin shows you that good skin care doesn’t need to break the bank. Thankfully there are some amazing products available at the drug store to help your skin feel brighter, tighter, and clear.

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Did you enjoy my best affordable skincare for oily skin? Check out this Vegan and Cruelty Free indie skincare brand that is changing the game.

What do you think of  my recommendation of the best affordable skincare for oily skin? What are your holy grail affordable skin care favorites? Have you tried any of these products? Please let me know in the comments below!

20 thoughts on “Best Affordable Skincare for Oily Skin | Everything under $20!

  1. I like this post a lot! These products sound brilliant and even though they’re not all easily available to me in the UK, I love seeing what other countries have to offer. Plus, I never know when I may get the chance to pick up some US beauty goodies, so I like to keep up with what’s good, especially from the Drugstore.
    The Ponds cleanser, African black soap face mask and the Burt’s Bees lotion are my favourites of this bunch. <3
    Hanna | @

    1. I’m the same way! I love seeing what drug store brands are popular in the UK that we don’t have in the US. So many things I want to try if I ever get a chance to visit!! Thank you for your comment! 💜

  2. Love all your recommendations, but I’m so interested in the cetaphill cleanser. I see it all the time, but never buy it because I’m unsure how to use it. Thanks for the explanation/description you gave under each one. Now I know that I should invest in it and The ponds’ cucumber cleanser and makeup remover. I just love that brand! Thanks for sharing❤️

  3. I think it’s so important to take care of your skin. Mine tends to be dry especially in the Winter, I don’t thinknive suffered from oily skin, thankfully. This is a great list of products and although a lot are not available in the UK, I enjoy seeing what other countries have to offer. You never know when you’ll visit there and if you’ll need to buy something locally.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! 💜 I’m always so curious about the differences in cosmetics offered in the US/UK. Not sure if CeraVe or Pond’s are available in the UK, but those brands both sell very hydrating, rich moisturizers. Happy Blogging!

  4. LOVE! I just got paid today and it’s 30 degrees here in Dallas and I was on the hunt for a moisturizer. Definitely gonna check some of these out. Also thanks for putting which products are cruelty free and which ones aren’t. I think that is a very nice touch. ✨

  5. My skincare routine has been a bit neglected lately unfortunately, I think I am actually give myself a facial this evening. Your product recommendations are really good, I will be looking into finding the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask.

  6. This is a wonderful post, LP! I cannot live without my daily Cetaphil. I have tried other things and have always paid the price. I wish it didn’t have parabens, but it’s what I’m stuck with. I need to try the Neutrogena sunscreen and so many others! Thanks for all the great recs!

  7. Thank you for these recommendations! I have combination skin and I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I prefer a natural look and I purchase most of my beauty products at drug stores. I’ve wanted to try the Burt’s Bee’s products for a while now, I think I will try this lotion since you have recommended it!

  8. I have the same problems with my skin, plus during colder months it gets really dry. Most of the products you mentioned are not available in Slovenia, but Neutrogena is. I have been looking into their products for some time now and when I finish my other products I will probably try their line. 🙂

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