Taylor Watkins is a stylist who loves everything about skincare, makeup, hair, and being a cat mom. She gave us her list of affordable, cruelty-free products we should be trying as summer approaches.


Recently, the beauty industry moved away from cosmetics being a makeup driven market and instead moved the focus to skincare. While makeup is definitely important and fun to play with, having an even canvas to paint on is a must. 

Is self quarantining making you take a look at your current skincare routine and making you question your satisfaction with the results you’re getting? Here are some great new summertime themed skincare products that are all economical, coming in under $40. Not only are they affordable, they are cruelty free! These products will leave your skin feeling rejuvenated and pampered.

The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder $5.80

Being 100% Ascorbic Acid, this product is great for those wanting to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and unwanted textures to the skin. It helps brighten the skin and targets signs of aging. The most unique thing about this product is that it can be mixed with other treatments as long as they do not contain niacinamide or EUK 134.

The Ordinary also prides itself on being a clean skincare company. This product is vegan, gluten free, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging. Remember to always use sunscreen when using any products containing ascorbic acids.

Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 – $36.00

Sunscreen is extremely important for protecting the canvas, so don’t forget to wear yours! The Glowscreen sunscreen not only protects your face from the sun’s harmful UV Rays, but it also gives you a nice glow too! It is a hydrating primer with SPF 40 and blue-light protection.

It helps with dullness, dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Some of the key ingredients include hyaluronic acid and B5 vitamins to help boost moisture in the skin; sea lavender which provides powerful antioxidant protection, and cocoa peptides to help protect against harmful blue light damage. This product is vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, as well as being reef-safe. This sunscreen would also be a great pair with the Ordinary’s Ascorbic Acid powder. 

Pacifica Cosmic Hemp CBD Everything Balm – $15.00

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes… The great thing about this calming balm is that it can be used anywhere! Great for all skin types, this product contains 50mg of CBD, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter to give intense hydration. This affordable skincare product is vegan, cruelty free, and is formulated without parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, or mineral oils. 

Kopari Beauty Tropical Glow Cleanser – $24.00

Looking to see a radiant glow from outer space without mica glitter going everywhere? This cleanser is great for bringing out your natural glow. Consisting of papaya and pineapple enzymes, it helps dissolve dead skin particles.

It also melts away makeup and dirt to add a brightening effect to the skin. It has coconut water which is jammed full of electrolytes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals which are fantastic for hydrating your skin. This product is also dermatologist tested, cruelty free, vegan, silicone free, and phthalate free. 

Frank Body Caffinated Face Moisturizer – $21.95

Skin feeling a little dull and dehydrated? This light and creamy moisturizer is a great fix for every skin type! It has Arabica Coffee Seed Oil, which is like a giant gulp of espresso for the skin. The high caffeine content firms and tightens while also plumping up the skin, while vitamin E leaves it feeling soft and silky.

Vitamin E is also great for fighting fine lines and dryness as well as being rich with antioxidants. The Shea and Cocoa butter in this affordable skincare product will leave your skin super hydrated and moisturized without looking oily. The Trifecta of Vitamins A, E, and D found in Grapeseed, Coconut, and Almond Oil in this product are vital for hydration and smoothing skin without blocking out pores. Another great thing to note is that it’s 99.92% naturally derived, vegan, and paraben and PEG free.

Patchology Moodpatch Chill Mode Eye Gels – $15

These affordable eye gels are definitely on my must-have list! Infused with Cannabis Seed Oil, these help speed up cell turnover with an anti-inflammatory called Gamma-Linoleic Acid. The oil also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help to nourish the skin.

With a botanical blend of antioxidant Rhodiola Root Extract, anti- photoaging Reishi Mushroom Extract, and powerfully hydrating “nature’s Hyaluronic Acid” Snow Mushroom Extract, these eye gels are a superfood that will keep your under eyes calm, cool, and collected. As of 2019, Patchology was confirmed to be a cruelty-free skincare brand, but some of their products do contain collagen, honey, and other animal byproducts. 

Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub – $39.00

This gentle exfoliator is infused with pineapple and papaya enzymes, BHAs, and AHAs. It will leave your skin with a healthy glow. Papaya Fruit Extract helps to smooth skin and increases clarity for a radiant glow. Pineapple Fruit Extract gently exfoliates to reduce the appearance of dark spots, and soothes the skin. BHA and AHA are chemical exfoliants that remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of dark spots, and smooth skin texture and complexion.

A few other great facts about this product is it has documented research supporting its results. The research studied 60 participants across a 6 week period. All participants had different skin tones and skin types and showed that the product consistently performed as stated: reduction in dry skin and dark spots along with smoother skin texture and a brighter complexion. This product is free of parabens, both sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfates, phthalates, and more! It is also cruelty-free.


If you are making a MUST TRY list for the summer time, these products should definitely be on your list. These skincare products are not only giving summertime vibes, but are predominantly vegan and cruelty-free. And, the best part is that you can get great results and beautiful summer time skin without draining your bank account.

Please, let us know which products you end up trying. We would love to hear what products you loved and any other feedback you have about  the products from this list! 


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