• Kate Foster

THE BEST AFFORDABLE CLEAN SKINCARE

We're all about radical transparency at C+H. That's why we want to let you in on a little secret: The most effective skincare isn’t necessarily expensive. Sure, some raw ingredients can get somewhat pricey, but most people are paying way more for fancy packaging and marketing tactics than they realize. Here, we're rounding up the best affordable clean products we've found. The ones that could duke it out with a $500 cream or serum... and win.


GHOST DEMOCRACY LIGHTBULB VITAMIN C SERUM, $34

If you don't already have a vitamin C serum in your life, you need to get your hands on one, stat. Not only does it brighten all over and lighten existing spots (from the sun, hyperpigmentation, melasma, etc.), it's also a potent antioxidant that prevents new ones from forming. Ghost Democracy's has 18 percent vitamin C, plus a little bakuchiol, a natural retinol alternative. It also gives the most stunning, dewy glow the moment you pat it on. No wonder it's always selling out.


CLOVE + HALLOW

THE EVERYTHING OIL, $28

With just four safe, potent ingredients, our bestselling facial oil does exactly what it promises to: a little bit of everything. Black cumin seed oil is a stellar anti-inflammatory that helps heal everything from acne and eczema to rosacea, all while balancing out your complexion's oil production. Meanwhile, squalane and argan and rosehip oils deeply hydrate and lock moisture in, soothing and nourishing the skin. TL;DR: You need this.


BURT'S BEES SENSITIVE FACIAL CLEANSER, $10

If you have reactive skin, you know your cleanser can make or break your routine. (Cue the traumatic flashbacks of stripping foaming cleansers. Ouch.) That's why we love this crazy affordable face wash from Burt's Bees. Softening cotton extract and aloe deeply moisturize your skin while effectively removing dirt, oil, and makeup. It's so gentle, it bears the National Eczema Association's label.


AUSTRALIAN GOLD BOTANICAL SPF 50 TINTED FACE SUNSCREEN LOTION, $14

Raise your hand if you are beyond over mineral sunscreens that leave a white, ghost-like cast. (As you can guess, our hands are in the air.) This one rubs in seamlessly, has a tint that works on almost every skin tone, and feels soft and powdery, not greasy. It's also fragrance-free and won't clog pores, and features an antioxidant and vitamin complex of kakadu plum, eucalyptus, and red algae to nourish and protect the skin. Win, win, win.


CLOVE + HALLOW H2GLOW

HYDRATING SERUM, $28

Boy, do we have a tall drink of water to introduce you to. ;) Our water-light serum drenches the skin in hydrating hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, pore-refining willow bark extract (a natural cousin of salicylic acid), brightening licorice extract, and strengthening niacinamide. It instantly soaks in and gives the complexion a plump, dewy look. Top it with The Everything Oil (see above) for the best skin of your life.


HONEST BEAUTY HONESTLY PURE RETINOL SERUM, $28

You've probably heard that retinol is the gold-standard anti-aging ingredient. Simply put, it just works. There's one caveat, though: So many retinol formulas are extremely drying and irritating. We're obsessed with this serum's time-released retinol, which gently and gradually softens fine lines and wrinkles. It also has squalane and two types of hyaluronic acid to help re-hydrate the skin.

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