The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

The Best Budget Facial Moisturizer

As I see it, the basic function of a facial moisturizer is to keep water in the skin - something that many budget skincare products can certainly accomplish. But when it comes to my precious face, I'm willing to look beyond the drugstore aisles and spend a little more, which is why I've been using Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years.

This popular moisture "drink" was developed by Clinique’s dermatologists to maintain optimal moisture balance for very dry skins, or skins dry in the cheeks, and comfortable to oily in the T-zone. Despite the changes my skin has undergone over time, I find that this formula keeps my skin smooth, soft, and clean-feeling, not oily. (Although natural oils are good for your skin, the sensation of oily skin isn't pleasant.) It also creates a perfect base for applying all other makeup.

Clinique's facial moisturizer is not exactly cheap, but it's still a great deal when you consider that a small dab goes a long way, so a big bottle of this stuff (4.2 oz) - which costs $23 - will last you many months. And let's not forget some moisturizers cost triple that price (or more). I also buy my bottle during Clinique Bonus time so I really feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

There's just one problem: While I don't have any complaints about Clinique moisturizer's quality or reliability, I'm getting a little bored using the same ol' product day after day, year after year. I'm also beginning to wonder whether I need something with more fancy "anti-aging features," you might say. I should note that DDM does not contain SPF, which may be a plus for some, and a problem for others, depending on your stance on wearing sunscreen daily.

So tell us: What's your favorite facial moisturizer? Does the price matter? How much are you willing to spend when it comes to getting healthy, radiant skin?

>> Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion at, $23

I like the plain, unscented Oil of Olay moisturizer. It has SPF 15, and my grandma used it all her life and didn't have a wrinkle! The bigger bottle costs me about $9 and lasts 3-4 months.

I have used the Dramatically Different, and I like that too. I'm thinking about getting some during the next bonus round.
#1 Madelyn on 2008-05-30 07:41 (Reply)
I have been using Cetaphil Moisturizer. It has SPF 15, not oily at all. It is a great basic moisturizer for under 10 bucks. The bottle lasts for over 4 months. The only minus, if you have very sensetive skin... in any case, be careful using it around eyes, as it may irritate.
#2 V on 2008-05-30 09:34 (Reply)
Aveno SPF 15 Moisturizer for me. I've tried other cheaper moisturizers that have always left me feeling oiling or special acne moisturizer that don't really work.
#3 Kim on 2008-05-30 11:39 (Reply)
I adore Murad's Skin Perfecting Lotion. While it is $33 for 1.7 ounces, you only need to use an amount the size of a pea daily to keep your skin hydrated. Best of all, it doesn't leave any sticky residue and it's a wonderful make-up base! I've used drugstore brands (Aveeno, Oil of Olay, Neutrogena, etc.) in the past and just haven't gotten the results I have with Murad. The product I use doesn't have SPF, but they make other moisturizers that do. Check out all of Murad's moisturizers here:
#4 Katie on 2008-05-30 12:15 (Reply)
Clarins Creme Desalterante Multi-Hydratante (hydrating cream) has just gotten cheaper. used to be 56 a bottle and now it's 47 for 1.7 oz. same size, repackaged, now 2 creams, one for day, one for night. this stuff is wonderful, worth the money. i only use it at night bcuz it's pricey but i use the clinique ddm lotion for daytime and while travelling (i have enuf bonus sizes to last until the next century). it does the trick but when you want something extra, like in winter when your skin dries out more, the clarins cream is the best. another good one is avon's anew, but i hate the smell. it's 34$.
#5 maggie z on 2008-05-30 12:21 (Reply)
I use plain old Oil of Olay SPF 15 like I'm drinking a tall glass of water. I even used Olay's tinted moisturizer on top of it since I don't like wearing liquit foundation. I know it probably doesn't do much with all that moisturizer everywhere, but it feels SOOOO GOOD. My skin jsut wants a drink!
#6 onebrickshy (Homepage) on 2008-05-30 13:07 (Reply)
I'm a huge fan of Mary Kay facial products. All through high school I only used the Velocity cleanser $10 for 5 oz.; lasts me over a month, and Velocity moisturizer $12 for 4 oz.; lasts me much longer. The cleanser isn't abrasive at all but leaves skin feeling clean and soft. I had great skin (especially for an adolescent girl...). Now that I'm in my mid-twenties I've started thinking about anti-aging products as well. Currently I still cleanse with the Velocity cleanser, but now I use the TimeWise Day Soluction w/ SPF 25, a little pricier at $30 for 1 oz, and the TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer, $22 for 3.3 oz. My mom has used and sold Mary Kay products for over 10 years and people think we're sisters rather than mother/daughter (and she's in her mid-fifties!).

To end the impromptu info-mercial, to find a consultant in your area. (Some of them offer great discounts too... Prices listed above are retail.)
#7 Margie on 2008-05-30 19:04 (Reply)
I completely agree. When it comes to your skin and especially your face, price is not a matter. I just started using kiehl's ultra facial cream. it is the most amazing buttery soft feeling to the skin and really leaves me glowing and feeling gorgeous. it's $23, but a little goes a long way. i bought mine almost 2 months ago and i'm not even halfway through it. i love kiehl's products and this is one of their best!
#8 Xuyen on 2008-05-30 19:12 (Reply)
I've recently become a Philosophy convert. I live in Chicago and up until a few seasons ago never really had a problem with patchy dry skin in the wintertime (I have the classic oily t-zone with dry-ish cheeks and chin). Two winters ago I got sample sized of Philosophy's cleanser, Purity, and their moisturizer, Hope In A Jar. Amazing! The cleanser made my skin so soft and the moisturizer perfectly hydrated me. Not to heavy on my nose and forehead and perfect everywhere else. My skin is the best it's ever been! The moisturizer is quite expensive ($35 for only 2 ounces!) but I only use it at night and a little goes a long way. I bought my last jar in January and it's still going strong. For the daytime I use Cetaphil sensitive skin lotion with an SPF of 15. I have to have SPF in the daytime and I find that as long as I've applied the "good" moisturizer at night, I can get by with a lighter one for during day...
#9 Gillian on 2008-05-30 20:21 (Reply)
I love L'Occitane skin care for all my skin, but have had the best results on my face with their products as well- I was addicted to the Immortelle line, which was absolutely beautiful feeling on the skin- and now i'm using their honey and lemon cream, it smells super good and leaves my skin feeling really nice!
#10 Peaches on 2008-05-31 00:53 (Reply)
I'm also pro Olay Moisturizer. It costs arnd $9 and lasts for me for 4-5 months. I love its non greasy feel and my face began to have a pinkish glow after using it for 2 months. But after reading the review (and its comments) I am thinking of trying CDDM too and Murad :-) I am happy with my Olay now but it will not stop me from finding a better product :-)
#11 Civita (Homepage) on 2008-06-02 09:10 (Reply)
if there is one beauty product i take seriously, it's moisturizer. i almost don't have a budget when it comes to the stuff because since about the age of 19, i have been on a quest to find the holy grail of moisturizers. :-) i have tried many brands from olay to clinique and beyond. so far my faves have been lancome and l'occitane. what i really want (to at least try) is a jar of la mer, which is a jaw dropping 125 bucks an ounce. maybe when i win the lotto...
#12 romi on 2008-06-18 15:20 (Reply)
I have been using chanel multi energizing lotion, it is DEFINITELY an expensive purchase, and I have only been using it the last 4 months, but I absolutely LOVE it, i cut back on other things for my skin to buy since this one is a whopping 75.00 a bottle, but the texture, smell and the after glow is addictive.
#13 Neira on 2008-07-04 22:51 (Reply)
I have oily/sensitive/acneic skin - SO finding facial products and moisturizers that don't aggrivate my face is near to impossible. Here are some items I have found that I like: Oil of Olay Complete moisturizer (GREAT if you are on a budget); Ole Henriksen: Invigorating Night Gel (Not really budget friendly, but the only anti-aging gel product I can find...even some of his products irritate my skin). Even so called "oil free" serums/treatments can be too much for my skin. My rule of thumb is "if it feels too heavy/greasy it is".
#14 Jen on 2010-03-30 09:00 (Reply)
I am using the 3 step Acne Solutions from Clinique and I really like the moisturizer that comes with it. It kills acne and keeps the oil down to a minimum.
#15 Julie (Homepage) on 2010-09-22 12:19 (Reply)
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