Drugstore Skincare Products

The economy is rough, but $50 can still get you some good finds: a reasonably priced delicious dinner for two, a pair of Toms shoes for you and a child in need, and so on. But how about a collection of natural skincare products?

Just under a month ago, I set out to find a skincare regimen at a popular drugstore while not spending more than $50. I scoured the aisles of my local Duane Reade and left with a clarifying cleanser, a calming mushroom-based eye cream and a facial moisturizer. The results were as follows:

Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Daily Clarifying Cleanser ($12.79)

This was perhaps my favorite find out of the bunch. The Yes to Tomatoes cleanser did exactly what I hoped it would do - clear my skin. The product was clear with a smooth consistency and a light fruity smell. After using the cleanser I saw a noticeable difference in my skin texture – it was smoother, and my pores were slightly less visible. My skin looked bright and even, and I wasn’t left with that dreaded “tight” feeling. I will definitely be purchasing this cleanser again.

Raw Essentials Chemical Free All Day Rejuvenating Eye Cream ($15.99)

Raw - that is, containing no ingredients heated over 115 degrees - and with a list of ingredients longer than the Amazon, this eye cream made me skeptical yet I still wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. Too bad this half-baked potion did not live up to its promise to rid me of my dark under-eye circles. Not even close. It did however minimize puffy eyes after some long nights, so it wasn’t 100% useless. If you are the type to wake up with occasional under-eye pillows, this might be worth shelling out the 16 bucks for - especially because of how long the little pot will last you.

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 ($19.99)

The Aveeno moisturizer made me feel like I went on a date with someone who everyone claims is amazing only to find out he was awful. The moisturizer/lotion left my skin looking more greasy than radiant. After just a few uses, I started to get one breakout after another. Having a gut feeling it was the moisturizer, I put an end to my relationship with this product. Since discontinuing use, no new breakouts occurred and the existing ones started to fade. I switched back to my beloved YBF Balance ($45 in the TIA shop) and continued using the Yes to Tomatoes cleanser.

While I'm glad I discovered the Yes to Tomatoes cleanser, I might as well have donated the $20 I spent to the Staten Island dump since I probably won't purchase the Raw Essentials Eye Cream again and the Aveeno moisturizer was complete and utter garbage.

Ingredients in Yes to Tomatoes cleanser:

Water (aqua), Lauryl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Extract*, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Maris Limus (Dead Sea Mud), Citric Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance

Ingredients in Raw Essentials Eye Cream:

Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Astragalus Membranaceus, Magnolia Biondii, Forsythia Suspensa, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Coix Lacryma- Jobi (Job’s Tears) Seed Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Rose Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Prunus Mume Fruit Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Stem Extract, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleuthero Gingseng) Root Extract, Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract, Atractylodes Macrocephala Root Extract, Poria Cocos Sclerotium Extract, Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seed Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Stearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sorbic Acid, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Calophyllum Tacamahaca Seed Oil, Zeolite.

Ingredients in Aveeno Daily Moisturizer:

Avobenzone (3%), Octinoxate (7.5% Octyl Methoxycinnamate), Octisalate (2% Octyl Salicylate) Inactive Ingredients: Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzalkonium Chloride Solution, Benzyl Alcohol, BHT, Bis Phenylpropyl Dimethicone, Butylparaben, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Isobutylparaben, Laureth 7, Methylparaben, Mica, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylmethacrylate, Propylparaben, Silica, Steareth 2, Steareth 21, Titanium Dioxide, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid