Better Skin for $10 or Less

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Skin Care

Better skin for $10 or less

Heya, ladies. 🙂 Greetings on this fine but BUSY Thursday afternoon. I’ve been away from the computer a little more than usual today working on a side project (more details soon), but I wanted to touch base and share some of my favorite budget skin care products.


Here are seven of mine, and each one costs less than $10 (well, one is $9.99…but that still counts, right?).

Do you have a beloved budget skin care gem? How low can you go?

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body LotionVASELINE SHEER INFUSION

Be warned: When your cat swipes at your shins, he may be trying to warn you about dry skin.

We’re talking ashy ORANGE ALERT, and in my case it was looking exceptionally bad (think alligators, or the aliens from V). Luckily, I think I may have found something to help.

Vaseline’s Sheer Infusion Body Lotion ($8) contains a complex Vaseline calls Stratys-3, which they claim gets down and dirty to moisturize the deeper layers of skin. Read more…

Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Spot TreatmentCLEAN & CLEAR ADVANTAGE

Clean & Clear makes a pretty bold statement on each and every $7 tube of Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment. They say, “100% of people showed clearer skin in just one day.”

Even though I have to disagree with them, because for me it took a little longer than one day to see results, I gotta give credit where it’s due. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment works, and it works without benzoyl peroxide. This stuff’s got some serious anti-acne game.

The active ingredient is salicylic acid, 2%. The instructions suggest applying the milky, non-stick formula up to three times per day. Because it dries quickly and completely vanishes once massaged into the skin, it can be used as an on-the-go spot treatment when time’s of the essence. I’ve been using it for about a month now, once in the morning before applying sunscreen, and then once again at night before moisturizing. Read more…

Band-Aid Friction BlockBAND-AID

Locals in Hawaii wear flip-flops everywhere, even to work! It may be written into the State Constitution 🙂 — that all citizens of Hawaii are legally required to wear flip-flops.

But wearing them comfortably can take some getting used to…

After a few days hauling my cookies around the island in flip-flops, my dogs started to bark. The pair of striped blue and green Roxy slippers I’d brought along for the trip may have been cute, but they weren’t substitutes for a comfy pair of walking shoes.

I started developing blisters and raw skin wherever the flip-flop straps rubbed against my toes and feet.

With shoes and sandals, I usually apply a Band-Aid or Moleskin to cover the sore spots, but I wanted a less obvious alternative to use with flip-flops. Who wants to see a ratty Band-Aid hanging on by a thread, ya know? Read more…

Banana Boat Ultra Defense Continuous Spray SunblockBANANA BOAT ULTRA DEFENSE

OOH! I have to tell you about Banana Boat Ultra Defense Continuous Spray Sunblock ($9.99).

It’s probably the best waterproof aerosol sunblock I’ve ever used and has only a couple little downsides.

First, the good stuff — it’s a broad-spectrum sun protectant offering both UVA/UVB protection and comes in three potencies, SPF 30, 50 and the uber-powerful 85.

SPF is all well and good, but why I really love it is because it works like a lotion and not a flighty spray. Most of the spray sunscreens I’ve used before are too light and watery, requiring hella frequent reapplication, almost like they evaporate away even when I’m not playing around in the water, but Banana Boat didn’t just stamp “waterproof” on the bottle and call it good; this stuff is WATERPROOF INCARNATE and lasts for hours and hours. Read more…

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot CremeBURT’S BEES

To all my ladies with naturally smooth, gorgeous feet footprints, this post is NOT for you. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got mad love (and envy) for your photogenic tootsies, but the rest of us living in cracked heel hell, well, we’re the ones who need help.

After spending the winter ignoring everything around my ankles, I’ve ended up with two very cracked heels and a few square feet of scaly skin. My feet, as my eighth-grade self might describe them, look “hella gross.” I’ve started testing Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme ($9 for a 4.34 oz. tube). I sure hope it helps me turn my tootsies around in time for sandal season. Read more…

Neutrogena Age Shield Hand CreamNEUTROGENA AGE SHIELD

I’d fight a hungry runway model for my tube of $6 Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Age Shield Hand Cream.

Lightly scented (like flowers and soap), this drugstore steal-of-a-deal will sure come in handy this fall and winter when my paws are crazy dry.

Despite how rich it feels, it doesn’t leave a greasy film, for which it earns big props from me — there are few things I hate more than hand creams that leave a slippery residue.

Neutrogena also outfitted Age Shield Hand Cream with full-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection.

A dime-sized dollop thoroughly treats both of my hands and cuticles. The cream absorbs quickly, too, perfect for quick applications when you’re out and about. This isn’t one of those creams you’ll have to spend 10 minutes massaging into your hands, looking like a criminal mastermind plotting world domination! Read more…

Olay In-Shower Body LotionOLAY IN-SHOWER

Thank you, Olay In-Shower Age Defying Body Lotion ($7), for turning me into a well-oiled, lotion-applying machine.


First, a little backstory: I have alligator skin. Consequently, I spend copious amounts of time applying body lotion. Once, I tried to figure out how much time I’ve spent at it over the course of my life, and it worked out to something like 52 days.

52 DAYS! That’s time I could’ve spent learning how to play the lute or drooling over Ry-Ry (Ryan Reynolds).

Depending on how long I stick with creamy Olay In-Shower Body Lotion (I’m fickle when it comes to lotions), I could save hours over the rest of my life because it basically eliminates the five minutes I’d otherwise spend applying lotion after every shower. Read more…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 25 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Natasha says:

    I love drug store products for the body but stick to my dept store picks for my face. 🙂

    You have to try the Eucerin body lotion with SPF. By far my favorite lotion (even in the summer on my legs and elbows)!
    .-= Natasha’s last blog post… Boots No7 Lip Glace =-.

  2. Nina says:

    I need to buy that Friction Block. I bought a really cute pair of flats from Marshalls and they hurt the back of my foot …. that might help! 🙂

    I probly will try the Vaseiine when im done w/ my Aveeno … im not loving the `cones in the Aveeno (anti itch) and since my allergies seem to have died down now, I can switch.

    I love this entry — we can always use more affordable alternatives! 😉

    Almost Friday, yay!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      I feel the same way about silicone-y lotions. They never feel like they totally sink into the skin, ya know? I’m glad to hear your allergies seem to have mellowed out, though… that’s always a good thing.

      • Nina says:

        Uh huh im so glad the allergies have taken a hiatus for now.

        Thing is when I sent the Hubs to get me some Aveeno, he got me the BIGGEST bottle of Aveeno ive seen evarrrr! Im maybe 3/4 of the way done with it and im getting kinda tired of it. But my resolution is to finish all bath/body products as soon as they are opened so we dont end up with a stockpile of half used products in our bathroom. So ill carry on until this is done. But I seriously cannot wait! 😀

        Friday! 🙂

  3. Chamayne says:

    This is totally unrelated but today I’m doing my part for the free world (read: taking Origins Insider survey) and it asks me which blogs I read and up come the choices, I think about 9, and you were listed…by name. Maybe you already know or perhaps its not a biggie but I was so excited for you and had to share. No filling in the other box for, you’re in a class by yourself. Keep up the good work.

  4. Agnes says:

    nice post! i always love finding goodies at the drugstore. 🙂 i love the bandaid friction block! it has definately saved me from many many blisters 🙂 prior to buying this, my feet suffered so much.. definately recommend 🙂 however, the clean and clear treatment didnt go so well with me. i tried it out a longg time ago and it didnt do too much to help get rid of those pimples 🙁 BUT it was awhile ago, so maybe i will have to give this another try in the future 🙂
    .-= Agnes’s last blog post… Holy Grail Wednesdays – Monistat Chafing Powder-Gel =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agnes,

      Have you heard of moleskin? It’s like a super-sticky, uber soft Band Aid that I bust out for the days I need extra friction block. I buy it at Walgreens and it’s FAB.

  5. Arianne says:

    I need that Banana Boat spray stat! 🙂 My arms are getting a major beating from driving around the city while the sun is smiling down on Toronto.

    Have you tried the Banana Boat Dri-Blok liquid to powder? Or something to that effect? It’s a really cool non-sticky sunblock, but it’s not waterproof by any means. It is nice to have a powdery finish on otherwise sticky skin though. 😛
    .-= Arianne’s last blog post… My First MAC Mascara: MAC Studio Fix Lash. =-.

    • Karen says:

      I haven’t heard of it, but the finish sounds really nice. One thing I can’t *stand* is having a sticky neck, so I bet it would totally be my kind of thing.

      And yay for sunny days! Has it been very warm out in your neck of the woods?

  6. Trinidad says:

    This post is right up my alley! Would you mind if I share it with my readers on a later date? Crediting and linking to you, of course.
    .-= Trinidad’s last blog post… Hump Day Hooray: The Free Events Edition =-.

  7. Hokkyokusei says:

    Have you tried Hawaiian Tropic’s new Skin Beauty line? RIDICULOUS. Their sheer touch creme lotion feels so friggin’ silky and luscious I seriously forget I’m actually applying sunscreen & end up using it as a normal moisturizer during the warm weather. And the smell is HEAVENLY. They also offer extended product lines for sport/sensitive screen protection as well as after sun items.. which are equally delicious. I’ve never fallen so in love with an $8 lotion ;;; (Until now, I’ve usually stuck with Clinique.. but the big C’s been replaced!)
    .-= Hokkyokusei’s last blog post… Ride the beachy boho wave =-.

    • Karen says:

      No, I haven’t. I’m a sucker for products that smell good, so I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

      Happy Friday!

    • Steph B says:

      I was just looking at this — thanks for the info. I’ve been looking for something I can wear daily that isn’t sticky. I thought the lotion + sunscreen route would be best but the Aveeno one with broad spectrum coverage is thicker then your typical sunblock and the Lubriderm and Eucerin ones don’t have broad spectrum. Hawaiian Tropic does but I was worried it would be too goopy.

  8. Natalie says:

    band aid blockkkkkk! omg best invention everrrrrrrrr!

  9. Hedy says:

    That sunscreen sounds worth a try!
    .-= Hedy’s last blog post… Penny for My Thoughts Review: Vera Bradley Outlet in Wrentham, MA =-.

  10. Michelle says:

    I’ll have to give the Clean and Clear acne treatment a go. I’ve tried the Neutrogena Rapid Clear treament (and it is neither rapid, nor clearing LOL). Love these drugstore suggestions!

  11. Sheena says:

    If you like the Olay in shower gel, I think you’d like using Johnson and Johnson’s baby oil GEL for your skin (especially for ze legs). Its about $3-$4 dollars and a little goes a long way!

  12. Steph B says:

    My current drugstore fav is the Cerave PM lotion. Simple, non-silicone formula so it sinks in — I’m so with you on that. A little on a night keeps my skin happy. It is getting harder and harder to find lotions without them and the ones you do find are the older formulas without the newer antioxidant-type good stuff.

    And I got some Batman bandaids because they just make me happy.

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