What's the Most Effective Skincare Routine on a Tight Budget?

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DBy Val Malone

I'm always happy when I see a question with the words skincare and tight budget, because it's easy to put together a simple, effective, and inexpensive routine. Here, according to Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, is what you need:

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1. A gentle cleanser for morning and night. Skip any that contain treatment ingredients--they only get washed off.
2. A serum or lotion with an antioxidant (like vitamin C, E, polyphenols, or CoffeeBerry), to be applied after morning cleansing.

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3. A moisturizer with sunscreen to be applied after the antioxidant.
4. An exfoliating scrub or a microdermabrasion-type brush (to be used with cleanser) to smooth the skin once or twice a week (or less frequently if your skin is sensitive).

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5. A moisturizer and/or retinoid treatment product for bedtime.

Keep in mind: All the products Kauvar suggests can be bought for a reasonable price at the drugstore.

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