Before I really started to invest in my skincare products, I was limited to shopping at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. But knowing what works and what is worth the investment at those kind of places is a hassle! When the budget is tight, you don’t have a lot of money to buy products that ultimately don’t work or weren’t worth it. So here are the five drugstore skincare products I still buy – years later. You can get all of them at Target, and I’ve added my favorite alternatives for products that are harder to find.

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Lotions

I’ve been through a LOT of lotions in my lifetime. If you have extremely dry skin like me, finding something that works well, isn’t crazy expensive, and isn’t full of ingredients that could give you cancer is a challenge. So far, the best I’ve found are Alba Botanica lotions. It takes a bit of time to settle in, like with many emollients, but it works well and there’s a variety of scents. I got it at Whole Foods and I’ve seen it at Target.

If you don’t care about product ingredients, Gold Bond has a great selection of products that are very effective. I’ve tried most of them and they all do pretty much what they say. However, they tend to contain ingredients that are less than wonderful.

Pacifica Dreamy Youth Lotion

I love this lotion. It’s light and non-greasy. I love pretty much everything that Pacifica makes, but this lotion is by far my favorite. I don’t know where I purchased it originally, but you can find Pacifica products at Whole Foods and Target.

If you’re shopping somewhere that doesn’t carry Pacifica, I recommend the Simple Light Moisturizer. This was my first face lotion love – especially since it’s SPF 15. If you’re just starting out or don’t want to break the bank, Simple is a good brand to start with.

Prenatal Vitamins

Okay, I know. This seems kind of out of nowhere. BUT (I always have a but!) there’s a good reason I included this. Prenatal Vitamins are good for you – pregnant and female or not! I take them even when I’m not pregnant because they are higher in iron and folic acid than normal vitamins, which is good. And I tend to trust them more than other supplements since, if word got around that they were sub-par, it would be even worse for the company. I’m currently taking Rainbow Light Prenatals. Like many things, I get them at Target.

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash

As far as I know, there’s no sea foam in this. But it certainly feels foamy! No really, it’s a good face wash. I recommend it, especially if you’re concerned about making sure your products are vegan or sulfate and paraben free. Pacifica has several face washes – just find the one that works best on your face. This one works great on my sensitive skin.

Like I mentioned above, Pacifica products are harder to find and more of an investment. However, Cera Ve Foaming Facial Cleanser is a cult favorite – for good reason – and you can buy it anywhere.

Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub

Okay, so this is the one product on this list that I don’t actually buy anymore. It’s not because I don’t love it, but I started trying out chemical exfoliators and I don’t want to irritate my skin by over-doing it. But seriously, it’s a good product. If you don’t already exfoliate, you should. It makes a huge difference. This was the first scrub I found that was gentle enough that it didn’t irritate my skin, but still got the job done!

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