My Five Best for under $100 is inspired by a reader’s email asking for the very best on a budget. I gathered a beauty basket of the best essentials for under $100. If you are hunting for a really good anti-aging antioxidant serum, exfoliator, skin tone corrector, night cream and shampoo/conditioner without feeling like you need Germany to bail you out first, try these out:

Best serum for under $100

Lather Vitamin C Peptide Renewal ($58). This is one of my newest finds and one that I’ll be recommending to those look for a good all rounder as well as vitamin C serum. It touches all bases by adding in peptides, moisturizing phospholipids and sodium hyaluronate. The formula is optimized by ensuring that the vitamin C is slow release (and less likely to irritate) and yeast, which studies have shown can amp up the performance of vitamins. Read the full review

Osmosis Replenish ($44). I am almost cheating by having two in this category. But the thing is that not everyone’s skin can take vitamin C and I see Lather’s as ideal for 30 and 40-something skin, and Osmosis Replenish for 50 plus. Replenish is a great buy and one of our bestsellers. As well as being one of the few products with antioxidants astaxanthin and giant knotweed, it has a peptide, niacinamide and an algae loaded with amino acids. Read more here

Best for skin brightening for under $100

Your Best Face Prep ($80 in the TIA shop). This is really three products in one: a scrub/exfoliator, face mask and source of antioxidants. Prep – by preparing the skin - also enhances the effectiveness of other products you use after it. A little goes a long way, making this not at all expensive. A creamy consistency with ultra fine crystals that leave skin feeling gently polished. When our reviewer, Mark, used it, he said: "Instead of red and irritated, my skin felt smooth and refreshed." With an antioxidant white tea base, Prep is packed with yet more antioxidants, peptides - including collagen boosters Matrixyl 3000, Syn-Coll and Syn-Tacks - and vitamins. Plus there's YBF's signature free radical scavengers, spin trap and Lipochroman-6. Read Gloria’s review

Best skin calmer for under $100

Sevani Complexion Corrector ($39 in the TIA shop). This is a new favorite of mine and since so many people want to tackle broken capillaries and age spots yet have inflammation prone skin, I find that I recommend it all the time. It is a light spray with a deceptively simple formula is dominated by soothing aloe juice and willow bark, a BHA that is a natural exfoliant, as well as a source of salicilin, flavonoids, and tannins. Panthenol (a vitamin B) reduces itching and inflammation, while another B, niancinamide, has been shown in studies to reduce rosacea. There’s also some botanical antioxidants.

Best Shampoo/Conditioner for under $100

Mukti Shampoo and Conditioner ($36 each in the TIA shop). This Australian duo is the best daily shampoo and conditioner that I have found so far. They leave my hair soft, conditioned and with less shedding. Amazingly, they are formulated without water and lots of botanicals known to boost hair health, as well as antioxidants. The conditioner with avocado, macadamia and safflower oils is great at keeping frizz at bay.  Read the full review.

Best night cream for under $100

Skin Nutrition Night Cream ($75). I am a recent convert to this and my thirsty menopausal skin can’t get enough. I was inspired to try it by reviewer Cindy’s amazing before and after pictures. It does a good job on my crow’s feet too. Compared to Skin Nutrition’s pricey (but also very good) Cell CPR, the Night Cream is a thrifty introduction to this great brand. Like Cell CPR, this rich moisturizer is filled with antioxidant botanicals such as cactus pear, cranberry, monk’s pepper, borage and way too many more to mention.  Read how it fits into my regimen.