Hi everyone, today’s post is going to be a little bit different; expect a combination of ranting, fury and a celebration. Today we’re talking about budget skincare, all of these brands are available from Boots and Superdrug (with the exception of one but we’ll get there later). I’m not going to be talking about French Pharmacy brands because we’d be here all day. They’re going to get a post of their own.
I’ve been bullying trying to convince my friends to start looking after their skin for a long time now. We always hit the same road blocks, money. No one wants to invest in a routine if they’re not sure if they’ll stick with it. When I first got into skincare in a big way, they’d ask me if they could get something similar to x, y or z on a budget. The answer was always no most of the time. Skincare has come a very long way in the last 5 years or so and it is now possible to get quality products at a lower price.
I posted this photo on Instagram recently of two oils from Superdrug, both £2.99, with the caption explaining that I was testing them out for an upcoming post. What I didn’t say was the original post I had in mind was very different. I’m currently testing the vitamin E oil on the left, I’ve only used the one on the right twice so far. I started with the vitamin E one because the original plan was to do an entire post dedicated to the vitamin E range; something along the lines of ‘I got a full skincare routine for under £15’. But when I looked at the ingredients for the individual products, I couldn’t do that in good conscience. The ingredients across the range just weren’t up to scratch.
As many of you will know I do a monthly series entitled save, spend, splurge where I compare similar products across different price points. What you won’t necessarily know is that choosing the save option is often a compromise. There’s often ingredients in those products that I wouldn’t accept in something I’d paid more money for.
For starters there are many good products ruined by an excessive amount of fragrance. Those oils I just bought, great, but the vitamin E one reminds me of tropical sunscreen. Not ideal for sensitive skins. When I review products, I don’t necessarily review them based on how I found them, if it’s marketed for dry skin I imagine how it would be on the driest of skin types and likewise for oily and sensitive. So, products with fragrance always get marked down. Sadly, cheaper products are usually fragranced for some reason. That being said, I do feature fragranced products. I’d probably have to ditch my series if I allowed fragrance to be a deal breaker, but it does bother me that I have to make these sacrifices on my recommendations over something so trivial.
And the reason I ditched the vitamin E idea, most of the range is loaded with alcohol; drying at best, an irritant at worst. Used as an affordable ingredient to give products a thinner, matte texture, sadly it’s found quite high on the ingredients list on many cheaper products.
Now I’ve had my little moan, it’s time to celebrate the fact we can now get affordable skincare with quality active ingredients (despite the fact some of them are fragranced). Brands like The Ordinary have changed the game in terms of accessibility.
This is especially true if you have dry skin as a simple glycerine, silicone and oil formula can be produced with very little expenditure.
This basket has everything you would need for a full skincare routine and every item is under £10, most are actually under £5.
We have makeup remover, a couple of cleansers, a serum, oils and moisturiser.
Here are a few of my favourite budget buys:
I’ve already done a round up of my favourites so I’m not going to get too deep with this one. There’s absolutely no reason to spend a fortune on this stuff.
Funnily enough when I was putting that basket together I wasn’t attempting to get a full face. The goal was to reach for products I liked that were more affordable. I had to stop myself because I realised the first three things I picked up were all cleansers. This is definitely easier to do on the cheap if you have dry skin as most affordable oily skin cleansers foam (which is a big fat NO), but there are a few that I really like.
The Good Things one used to be available from Boots. When they stopped selling it I panicked thinking the line had been discontinued. You can however still buy the products directly from the brand.
This is where The Ordinary come in, for exfoliation, dehydration and the acne prone, they have an option. While my skin didn’t really get on with them as a brand overall, you can still pick up some amazing products.
I’ll say it again; these oils were both £2.99. Even though I hate the fact one of them smells a bit too much like Malibu, it’s a great bargain.
I featured this one in save, spend, splurge. Another product with fragrance but as it also contains an AHA, it’s a steal as long as you’re not too sensitive.
I forgot to mention eye creams, but I really like this one from Botanics. It is by no means up there with my trusty Kiehl’s avocado. But it’s nice and hydrating with a light texture that works well under makeup.
Until next time,
To see my last beauty post click here.
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