So Fresh and So Clean

5 Skincare Stocking Stuffers That Won't Break the Bank

All bomb beauty products to give or receive, all under $20.

By Rebekah Kibodeaux November 20, 2019

The concept of conventional skincare can be overwhelming when you begin to compute the financial toll of daily moisturizing, nightly cleansing, and everything in between. Considering self-care's recent renaissance of sorts, loading up our bathroom counters and bedside tables with expensive potions can be more stressful than relaxing—especially around the holidays, whether you're coveting products or looking to gift them without depleting Santa's already strained accounts.

Luckily, clean and revolutionary skincare is available at manageable price points when you know where to look for it. Here are a few of our picks.

Effortless Essentials

e.l.f. Superhydrate Moisturizer, $12

Houston's unreliable fall-to-winter weather can be tough on skin, in some cases drying out even the oiliest of faces. This smoothing gel works best when applied before primer or concealer for a bouncy (thanks to the squalane), dewy foundation for the rest of your look.

Laneige Kiss Me Day and Night, $18

Often the first to shrivel in the cold, lips are impossibly difficult to rescue without the right products. Enter Laneige with this dynamic mask and balm duo that works to soothe and polish your smackers just in time for holiday photos and smooching under the mistletoe.

Pixi Glow Tonic, $15

We’ve discussed the magic of Pixi and its brightening toner before, but the brand's most beloved product deserves mention again: Glow tonic is an excellent, easy exfoliant to transform and maintain glowing and smooth skin. At $15, a medium-sized bottle is a stellar gift for yourself or a friend—it's friendly for most skin types.

Daring Dupes

Acure Marula Oil, $15.99

With its cruelty-free virtues and award-winning products, Drunk Elephant is proper skincare royalty—but for the cash-conscious among us, a $70-plus price-point isn't always an agreeable option. Skincare enthusiasts have discovered an exciting alternative to one of Drunk Elephant's hottest commodities: Enter Acure.

Acure's products are clean, vegan, and cruelty-free, and its $15.99 version of marula oil contains properties quite similar to other brands with more expensive tastes. Boost your self-care routine by slathering yourself in this anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich oil to moisturize skin, split ends, and more. It's like magic in a bottle—but you won't need a sweet-talking genie to afford it.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid, $6.80

Developed locally by Sunday Riley, Good Genes is basically the holy grail of lactic acid treatments. It's coveted by skin gurus the world over as a complexion-saving gift from above. But at $160, Good Genes can be hard to come by.

Thankfully, we can supplement with The Ordinary and its endless array of serums,  from a Resveratrol-focused line to age-defying Hylamide. One of The Ordinary's essentials is the Lactic Acid 10% + HA formula that replicates many of the results you'll see with Good Genes at a fraction of the cost, even when you take into account the size of the packaging.

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