Want affordable skincare? 6 alternatives to the ordinary that give you the most bang for your buck

For anyone who is interested in skincare we all know and love The Ordinary. An affordable skincare brand that burst onto the scene a few years ago. It wanted to challenge the status quo which was inflated prices for basic skincare. In addition, to provide education directly to customers most of whom were ignorant and felt bamboozled into buying products with hype and no substance.

Since the launch of the ordinary and the overwhelming success of its products, other brands have followed suit with their own lines of affordable but effective skincare.

Here is a list of 6 brands that have a range of affordable high-quality products with zero fluff but that gets the job done.


This is the only Korean beauty brand on the list. However, it is the leader in affordable K-Beauty. CosRx focuses on creating effective products with the minimum number of ingredients.  The products are targeted to specific skin concerns using well-known ingredients in combination with lesser-known Korean ingredients like snail mucin or yeast ferment.  They are best known for their AHAs and BHA products and have also included Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) which are less irritating.

source:barley there beauty

Key products

  • Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser$11
  • Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol
  • COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner


Garden of Wisdom (GOW) Skincare

This is an oldie that has recently gone mainstream. It is an Arizona based cruelty-free brand with a focus on simple ingredient formulations. Prices start from £9 and go up to £20.

Its approach is using serums to target specific skin concerns and encourage skin balance and stability. All serums use the optimum strength additives and the minimum number of inactive ingredients making them more effective.

source@ priddytigress


INKEY list

This is an ingredient lead skincare brand that launched in 2018 with 15 products priced between £5 and £10. The range includes hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, caffeine, turmeric and Q10. Its main focus is on customer education targeted at people who want to invest in skincare but don’t know how to start because of a lack of information on how products work. The focus is on transparency, simplicity, high-quality ingredients, at low prices.

6 Skincare alternatives to The Ordinary
source: cult beauty

Key products

  • Retinol serum £9.99
  • Hyaluronic Acid, £4.99
  • Lactic Acid, £7.99
  • Vitamin C Serum, £7.99


Alex Steiner x Primark

This is one that came to my notice pretty late and it is a collaboration with Glamour beauty editor and PRIMARK with the prices to match. None of the products costs more than £5. The collection consists of 20 products categorised based on skincare needs. With a range for city skin, acne and dehydration, which allows you to mix and match depending on your needs.


Key products

  • Plump& Glow Facial in a Stick, £5
  • Pore Balance Anti-blackhead Stick, £5
  • Maximum Moisture Supreme Sheet Mask, £3
  • Super Detox Clay Mousse Mask, £5
  • Micellar Cleansing Gel, £5,

Available: select PRIMARK stores

Key products

  • Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £9
  • Salicylic Acid 2% Serum, £9
  • Niacinamide Serum, £9

Revolution skincare

This brand is best known for its £4.99 concealer but has recently introduced skincare into its product range. The products are vegan and cruelty-free with prices ranging from £5-£10.  It is an extensive range with something for every skin type, the products are classified based on the conditions they address e.g. hydration, fine lines, texture and blemishes.

source: @revolutionmakeup

Key products

  • Niacinamide serum
  • Caffeine serum
  • Hyaluronic acid serum
  • Rosehip Seed Oil


Beauty pie

The beauty Pie approach is very different from the others mentioned above although the ethos of luxury grade products at an affordable price is the same. Here you get access to the low prices, only if you sign up for the monthly membership, which costs $10. Beauty pie claims it gets its products from luxury beauty factories and sells them at the cost of production. The range is huge and is categorised based on skin types i.e. dry, oily, combination, sensitive, hyperpigmented and ageing skin.


Key products

  • Retinol range
  • Daily vitamin c defence serum typical price £80 /members pay £9.55
  • Plantastic™ micro peeling super drops


Which of the products do you intend to test out? Or are you happy to stick with the ordinary products you know and love? I have used CORSX and love their products. If you enjoyed this article follow me on my social media below  

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This article was first published on www.beautyinlagos.com


  1. 2019-03-21 / 5:52 pm

    I’ve heard so many great things about CosRx, but still haven’t treid their products. I need to get on that. I’m really curious about Revolution Skincare as well now! Thanks for putting it on my radar ­čÖé

    • 2019-03-21 / 8:19 pm

      i love CosRx , i have periodic huge hauls to stock up on my favorites

  2. 2022-05-27 / 6:02 pm

    I enjoy very much your jnformation, may I ask you what would you do suggest in the case of a 70 year old woman and a 90 woman , what do you recomend?

    • 2022-06-01 / 2:21 pm

      Hi, i am glad you are enjoying the information. For a 70 and 90-year-old woman, i would recommend a really hydrating moisturizer because the skin gets drier with age and if you haven’t a retinol to help build collagen

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