Skincare “dupes” provide high quality products at low cost for college students

Sydney Dawson

As college students, we may not always have the time or money to focus on our skincare needs. Sephora and Ulta can be overwhelming places with beautiful shelves full of expensive products we wish we could afford.

But what many don’t know is that skincare treasures lie just beyond those sliding glass doors in the not-so-glamorous aisles of Walmart and CVS. During my four years on the Hilltop, I’ve discovered a few secrets to a quality skincare routine that won’t break the bank. And the best part? These five products are just as effective as their top-shelf counterparts. Not only have I used each product myself, but I spoke with Dallas-based esthetician Alicia Houdek who said less expensive products often have the same ingredients as their top shelf alternatives. Your skin won’t know the difference between brands if the ingredients are the same.

1. Pond’s Cold Cream, $4.99

Pond’s cold cream Photo credit: Facebook

Pond’s has stood the test of time. This three-in-one product acts as cleanser, makeup remover, and moisturizer – saving you even more money if you decide to really put it to use.

Compare to: Crème de la Mer $2,060, 16.5oz. and $310, 2oz.

2. St. Ives Apricot Scrub, $3.49

St. Ives Apricot Scrub Photo credit: Facebook

In addition to a cream or gel-based cleanser, Houdek suggests using an exfoliating cleanser three to four times per week to remove excess skin and dirt from the pores.

Compare to: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $65

3. Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray, $5 (4oz.)

Mario Badescu Rosewater Photo credit: Facebook

Facial sprays have really made a name for themselves in the skincare world as of late, and they aren’t always the most reasonable or practical products to purchase. For only $13.50 you can get four extra ounces of Mario’s miracle formula.

Compare to: Chantecaille Pure Rosewater, $66 (3.4oz.)

4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Face Stick, $8.97

Neutrogena Sunscreen Photo credit: Facebook

Houdek says wearing sunscreen everyday is the most important thing you can do for your skin. The sun is powerful enough to damage your face even through a car window. Houdek recommends wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 45 or higher.

Compare to: Sisley Paris Super Stick Solaire, $62.68

5. Shea Moisture Hydrating Mud Mask, $2.50

Shea Moisture Mud Musk Photo credit: Facebok

When your skin needs some extra love at the end of a long week a face mask can work some magic. Many of the cheaper face mask options contain mostly water, so even those with sensitive skin can get in on the deals!

Compare to: GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment, $69

So if you’re looking to upgrade your skincare game, don’t be scared, Walmart is your friend. Plus, all of these products are under $10, so you’ll save money without compromising quality ingredients. Next time you’re at the CVS on campus or the grocery store picking up a cheap bottle of wine, stop in the skincare section and check out some hidden gems. Trust me, your skin (and wallet) will thank you.

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