3 Drugstore Skincare Lines with High-end Results

Cassandra loves inexpensive skincare. If you want to have fun and experiment with new ingredients, you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg! So, here are a few specialized skincare products available at drugstores for affordable prices ($15 and below).  


1. E.L.F Cosmetics

E.l.f cosmetics is available in target, and it’s one of Cassandra’s favorite inexpensive, affordable makeup lines. They have a skincare line too, and it has great ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides. The entire e.l.f skincare line is about hydration and infusing moisture into the skin without being overbearing, oily, or goopy. 

HOLY HYDRATION! Hydrogel Moisturizer  -$12

This is a vegan-cruelty, dupe for the Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel. The Holy Hydration moisturizer has hyaluronic acid as well as peptides, and Cassandra loves this. Her skin is oily and acne prone, but she uses this for little dry patches on her body, especially when has a psoriasis or eczema flare. So, even if you have oily skin, this is a nice hydrator that deeply infuses moisture into the skin. The first ingredient is water, our universal solvent. Then, the moisturizer has glycerin, which is very soothing, multiple types of ceramides, peptides, jojoba esters, and of course, hyaluronic acid. Jojoba-derived emollient wax esters (fatty acid + fatty alcohol) make your skin feel nice and smooth. This product does very well on Cassandra’s skin during the day, and it works very well on its own. But, if you have dry skin, you can use this as an extra boost underneath a thick moisturizer at night. 


This has hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramide eop, and soluble, vegan collagen, making it the perfect cream to top off the hydrogel moisturizer. Collagen is the most abundant source of protein in our bodies, making up the majority of our dermis as well.  When collagen degrades, fine lines and wrinkles may appear, and that’s why collagen is a sought-after skincare ingredient. But at the same time, if we want hydration, collagen, and skin support, applying collagen topically is not going to magically make your skin have more collagen. However, collagen is an amazing moisturizer and humectant. Collagen draws water closer to the skin, keeping it healthy, happy, and bouncy. So yes, it is a great ingredient, and this is a great product. On the other hand, this product does have fragrance in it. So, if you have sensitive, you may want to consider that i

Regarding skin type, Cassandra is oily-prone, and personally, she would not use this during the day because it is way too thick for her. It has the consistency of buttercream, but if you are dry, this would be a great day moisturizer. On the other hand, sometimes Cassandra can get away with this as a thick moisturizer for the nighttime too. After using this at night, she rinses her face in the morning with water, she applies vitamin C , and finishes everything off with SPF. If you have a damaged skin barrier, and you’re not sensitive to fragrance, this is an absolutely lovely formula. This is comparable to The Pacifica Vegan Sleeping Mask, and then the Dear Klair’s Rich Moist Soothing Cream


This is an organic sunscreen, meaning it has carbon-based chemical filters. If you have sensitive skin or open acne lesions, this might not be the best. Moreover, it has fragrance too. As for whether it has white cast, it blended in completely when Cassandra first rubbed this on her skin. For Cassandra, this is potentially one of the best invisible sunscreens that she has ever picked. On Cassandra’s oily days, she doesn’t necessarily want an oily sunscreen for her skin type, but a lightweight choice. Also, this is not just a sunscreen; it’s a moisturizer with beneficial ingredients. This formula has niacinamide, peptides, and hyaluronic acid.


Although marketed as an eye cream, this is basically a facial moisturizer with jojoba esters, peptides, and hyaluronic acid in a little tiny tube. When compared to the other e.l.f products, this product is even more lightweight. Since e.l.f is a makeup brand, it would make sense for them to create a lightweight product that goes well under makeup. This has jojoba esters, peptides, and hyaluronic acid.


2. Boots

Boots hyaluronic acid products are very different from e.l.f. products. If you want something more lightweight, Cassandra would go with the moisturizer. If you want something that mimics a thick, night cream, Cassandra would suggest using the night mask. But even though these products have such a light consistency, they make your skin feel locked in. The ingredients remind Cassandra a lot of the Ordinary and The Inkey List. They’re simple, inexpensive, and effective. Most of these formulas are fragrance-free. They have very basic ingredients with a key ingredient, and they don’t cause a lot of irritation in the skin. Overall, Boots is a great way to experiment with different ingredients and textures at an affordable price. 

Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer- $6.99


Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Mask -$5.99

Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Serum -$8.99



Boots Ingredients AHA Serum -$8.99

This is probably one of Cassandra’s favorites from the Boots Line. This has glycolic and lactic acid, two of the AHAs we love, and Cassandra finds this to be really gentle on the skin. This is an AHA serum you can actually use during the day. You still need to cover it up with sunscreen, but if you’re looking for an exfoliator that hydrates, doesn’t dry out the skin, but gives it a glow, you could use this during the day. While gentle, this serum is effective and fragrance-free. Along with grapeseed extract, this has some wonderful antioxidant properties. It's a phenomenal choice, and Cassandra loves it.  

Boots Ingredients Retinol Serum -$8.99

So far, this has not been Cassandra’s favorite. If you’re looking for an inexpensive retinol, it could be good. However, Cassandra doesn’t feel like it’s very potent. This is more of a serum, and if you don’t like the oiliness of some retinol products, this might work, but Cassandra would still recommend a product like The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid. 



FRUDIA - Avocado Relief Essence Toner -$11.09

This was one of Cassandra’s first K-beauty products, and it goes from a cream to a liquid. Cassandra’s skin fell in love with it.

The Frudia line does have a lot of fragrance so it is for someone who wants to have fun with sensorial skincare. What's great about Frudia though is its extraction process where they mainly use fruit compounds and fruit waters. This process makes Frudia products packed with antioxidants.

FRUDIA Ultra UV Shield Sun Essence SPF50+ PA++++ -$8.99

The sunscreen is one of Cassandra’s favorites, and it’s available at CVS. The   FRUDIA  sheet masks and the little,  travel-sized moisturizer pots are Cassandra’s favorites too. Although the pomegranate products are probably Cassandra's least favorite out of the FRUDIA line, Cassandra has used the   grape, avocado, and pomegranate moisturizer, and she absolutely loves them.   

FRUDIA - Pomegranate Nutri-Moisturizing Toner -$9.99

FRUDIA - Pomegranate Mist -$18.40


Coverphoto cred: Ethical Elephant