Can you believe that this is the final post in my Budget Friendly series? I’ve saved the best (in my opinion) for last – skincare! This will be longer than the other posts, as I’m an absolute skincare junkie and am always finding new brands or products. There are so many products in Dischem and Clicks that are easily available and decently priced, but I find not all of them (in fact less than half of them) are effective. This post is dedicated ONLY to those I’ve personally tried and found to work well.
Here are the previous posts in this series: –
Anyway – this is going to be a LONG post, but I’ve put it all into one post so that you only have to go to one link to find all of my budget skincare recommendations.
BUDGET FRIENDLY SKINCARE
I have harped on about this micellar water so many times I’m practically blue in the face. Super gentle (one of 2 brands that doesn’t sting my eyes), yet so effective that it melts away all makeup in a few gentle swipes. I absolutely love these for my first cleanse in the evening, or a gentle morning cleanse.
I’ve not been using cleansing balms or butters for about a year now, as I’ve had lash extensions and am nervous of getting the oily product in my lashes. This is the ONLY affordable balm or butter cleanser that I’ve found to REALLY work, but not give any bad side effects. So many are able to melt away makeup, but not all are gentle, and many block your pores. This doesn’t sting, doesn’t irritate, it’s rich and balmy, but doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin. It doesn’t block pores and won’t break you out.
I only discovered this brand this year (stay tuned for a dedicated Brand Spotlight in the next week, as well as a LOVELY giveaway guys), but better late than never! I usually gravitate to wards milks, oils and balms because I find most gels strip your skin and leave it feeling tight. This is not only soap free, but packed with natural goodness to cleanse skin thoroughly, but not leave it tight AT ALL.
The most beautiful milk cleanser that will remove makeup without any irritation. If you suffer with sensitive skin, then the Avène products are for you – they contain thermal spring water to soothe skin. I’ve spoken about this many times and it’s a go to when my skin acts up.
Some people prefer a gel cleanser because it makes your skin feel super clean. That’s exactly what this Neutrogena one does – but it doesn’t dry your skin out. Combo or oily skinned folks will love this as it’s still lightly hydrating, yet still definitely cleans like a gel cleanser does.
This is my go to cleansing milk when I’m on a serious budget, or if I run out of cleanser when it’s just before pay day. For the price you’d expect it to be really not even slightly effective, or cause you to break out. It’s so gentle and can remove makeup beautifully – yet it doesn’t irritate my skin or cause my pores to be clogged up. A lot of more affordable milk cleansers can leave a film on the skin that some folks don’t like – I wipe it off with a damp face cloth and nothing more, and I’ve never had this problem.
This is a beautifully gentle and basic toning mist that can be used after cleansing to tone skin and add some extra hydration, you can use it in between skincare layers to also add that hydration, and you can even mist it over makeup to settle fine powders – in fact it’s great spritzed through the day as a pick-me-up! With chamomile and rose, it’s also lovely and calming.
If you’re suffering with breakouts, this bad boy is for you! I went through a terrible hormonal patch when I went off the pill and did some hormonal treatments for my endometriosis. Serozinc acts as a mattifying toner, it calms irritation and inflammation and it helps to heal skin. Absolutely incredible and I noticed a difference after just a few uses. Cannot recommend it enough for anyone who suffers with breakouts or redness!
PRO TIP – if you battle with shaving rash or burning/itching skin after shaving, spraying some of this on calms it INSTANTLY!
Much like the Beaucience cleanser, this is one of the best skincare products I’ve tried out lately. I’ve been using it almost daily for about 4 months now! I often feel tight around my nose and chin area post cleansing, unless I go straight in with a serum. Even spritzing on a mist often helps, but only until it dries down. This leaves a slight layer of hydration on the skin – nothing oily at all, but I don’t have to worry about rushing in with a serum or moisturiser immediately after.
Once again – a sensitive skins absolute dream come true. I keep meaning to repurchase this but I have too many open face mists that I need to finish up, as I don’t want to be wasteful. It immediately calms skin, it adds an intense boost of hydration and is absolutely incredible when used in winter (actually all year round).
One of the OG products from back in the day when I first started watching YouTube videos and reading blogs. The Neutrogena Ageless Intensives range was known for being a drugstore product that contained a type of retinol. It was a KNOCKOUT product for one so affordable, but you do have to wean your skin into it – I started out once a week and worked my way up to every other night. I definitely noticed an improvement in my fine lines and the evenness of my skin texture.
My all-time favourite hydrating serum because it’s super affordable and SUPER effective. I’ve finished about 5 bottles of this stuff and will ALWAYS repurchase it. Sadly it looks like most local resellers are sold out of most of their stock of The Ordinary, however Cult Beauty has opened up their international shipping again.
If you’d like to find out more about ordering online from Cult Beauty (I’ve done it a few times and have never had a problem), check out my friend @beebzonian on Instagram as she has a few highlights on the process and is always available to chat!
The Ordinary have so many different Vitamin C options, and I’ve tried 2 – this one and the 23% + HA Spheres. Personally I found that one to be a bit greasy and not as effective at brightening, but I know a lot of dry skins like it. This one works so well that I see brightened skin within a week of using it. My skin tone evens out and it even fades pigmentation a little! It is strong, so it may tingle a little, but for me it only does so on dry patches or when my barrier is a little irritated. That tingle soon fades away!
This feels like a very lightly-textured oil, but it’s so not greasy at all. Probably one of the only facial ‘oils’ I’ll happily recommend at an affordable price, as I’ve not tried many, and the ones I love are all higher end. It prevents loss of hydration and softens and smoothes skin beautifully. Great for facial massage and using jade rollers!
It’s been some time since I used this! In fact, any photos I may have had are long gone (and poor quality) and reviews are from when I first started blogging. This is such a treat for thirsty or dry skin, and you wake up with the most beautiful glow. Honestly a really beautiful product, and my favourite of all the Vitamin E products in the line!
I’ve spoken about this a lot – and with good reason, as I’m quite fussy with eye creams and it’s great! A lightweight product that hydrates the under eye area without being oily or rich. It also plays well under makeup.
Yes, this is expensive for an ‘affordable skincare’ post – however as I mentioned, I am REALLY fussy with eye cream. I’ve tried many from both the drugstore and high end brands that did nothing or irritated my eyes. This is incredibly gentle, it hydrates, it nourishes, it smoothes lines and it even has SPF!
A basic but very effective hydrating moisturiser. It’s non greasy, it really does give immediate hydration, my sensitive skin loved it – it does what it says on the box!
Another product I’ve raved about – this is a similar type of texture to the Clinique Moisture Surge. It deeply hydrates, I can use it day or night, it layers nicely with other products and under makeup. I have combo skin and prefer this formula, but there is also a Water-Gel one that is much lighter texture for oilier skins.
This is an absolute GEM of a product, and it makes me want to try so much more from the La Roche-Posay brand. It helps control over production of oils, but still hydrates the skin so beautifully. I find the biggest problem with products targeted at people with breakouts, is that they dry skin out or irritate, and eventually end up causing your skin to produce MORE oil. This is hydrating enough for me, even in winter, yet it genuinely helps control break outs, unclog pores, it reduced my blackheads and stops marks being left behind from spots. Plus, it has SPF30 in it!
I only received this end of April/beginning of May and it’s a beaut! A general moisturiser that can be used day or night, it isn’t too rich for my combo skin, yet it still leaves my skin soft and nourished. Free from nasties and packed with loads of natural goodness, and in a nice big pump bottle! Great for most skin types and amazing for the skincare minimalist.
I’ve resurrected the memories of my early love for Neutrogena with this and the matching serum. It also contains a form of retinol, and I loved this even more than the serum. You do have to gradually use it, same as the serum (I mentioned this above), but it’s a really lovely product that smoothes skin, reduces wrinkles and leaves your skin texture very soft. You may experience a little flaking when you first use it, but it wasn’t anything major.
OMG this is beautiful stuff! I really love this botanical range of skincare (I think they have an aloe and a green tea one too?), but I’m all about the rose water as it’s great for sensitive skins. This is a really nice moisturiser that didn’t leave me overly greasy, yet was still moisturising enough for me to use in winter. I could easily use this all year round actually.
For those that suffer with very dry skin, or if your skin barrier is irritated, I cannot recommend the SBR creams enough, particularly the Repair cream. It contains loads of rich ingredients to really nourish the skin, it helps lock moisture into the skin and helps to repair the barrier. I like using it when the skin around my nose feels tight, when I have a cold to give extra nourishment around my nose as well, and when I’ve had a peel or slightly more aggressive treatment and my skin feels irritable.
I recently discovered this gorgeous multi-use product, and I think everyone should know about it! I’ve used this to moisturise around my nose, mouth and chin when my skin was feeling tight from wearing a face mask. I also LOVE using it as a lip balm, it’s a godsend for dry cuticles, dry elbows, burns, insect bites and sunburns. You can even use it to soothe nappy rash!
I’ve mentioned this Nivea SPF a few times recently – it’s a nice high factor, it doesn’t leave a white caste on the skin and it helps control shine! I found while it didn’t leave me looking like a grease ball at the end of the day, it also didn’t soak up all oils, so my skin still felt hydrated while not looking shiny. It also doesn’t block pores.
A slightly more nourishing version of the previous sunscreen, I’ve now put my other one to one side for summer, and I’m using this anti-ageing sunscreen. So far so good, I’m really enjoying using it!
Honestly guys, L’Oreal rocks it out the park for affordable exfoliators. I know this range has a tub of pre-soaked peel pads too, but I’ve never tried it (I found it’s roughly 10% or just under glycolic, which is quite strong for a daily use product). This is a lovely gentle cleanser that you can use daily, although I used it every other day or less. It gently buffs the skin and really did make my skin feel clearer and brighter.
A lovely buffing face scrub that can be used on lips too. It also contains cacao butter, so it helps to both smooth and nourish. Fabulous for winter!
My absolute favourite of all the L’Oreal scrubs, the glow scrub leaves me with super soft, perfectly buffed skin and no irritation. This one contains grapeseed oil, but isn’t super oily at all. It can also be used as a lip scrub.
If you aren’t a fan of physical exfoliation, I can highly recommend this 10 minute exfoliating solution. I do suggest you leave it on for a shorter period of time (I think they do explain this on the packaging), but start with a few minutes and work up to 10. I used this once a week until the bottle was finished and honestly it improved my skin, as it exfoliates both the surface of the skin and in the pores. Your skin feels baby-soft!
I’ve mentioned this many times, and they’ve since rebranded my old tube from the photo as Soothing Radiance Mask. A calming, beautiful hydrating mask that is honestly one of my all time favourites. I keep meaning to repurchase it, but I want to finish my current hydrating masks first – I don’t like waste, and need to get through them!
Best detox mask I’ve used, as it’s so easy to swipe on and wait until you see it dry down, and the little dots of all the oil and dirt it’s pulling from your pores. So satisfying. If you’re worried about leaving your skin feeling dry, I often do a clay mask and then follow up with a hydrating mask. Works like a charm!
A great option, as you can create multiple masks out of this, as well as a variety like masks for breakouts or anti ageing. I love mine and am actually due for a restock of ingredients.
If you like trying masks but aren’t keen on committing to a full tube, then check out the Freeman mask sachets at Dischem. I easily get 3-4 uses out of these (just fold it over at the top and clip it shut), and they have so many options. I really like this cucumber and pink salt one, and if it’s hydration you’re after have also have sheet masks.
I am a sheet mask nut, as there is no quicker way to give your skin an instant boost of hydration. These Garnier are some of the juicest available, and they fit your face like a dream. I have used and loved all 3 variations, with the Revitalising (blue) being my favourite. The green one is great for combo/oily skins and the pink for sensitive skins.
I discovered these one day when I had time to browse at Dischem. I was a little doubtful – I’ve tried some of the VERY cheap sheet masks that they stock and they were (quite frankly) crap. These Quret ones though – AMAZING! Soaked in serum, they may not fit the face as perfectly as the Garnier ones, but they fit well enough and do such a good job at hydrating the skin, it’s not a problem. VERY nice price too! I like the banana one best, but the tomato, the shea and the collagen ones are all really nice too.
The very first hydrating sheet mask I fell in love with – the Skin Republic masks are so SO good. This one is super hydrating (I used several of these in the lead up to my wedding day), and while it’s the one I’ll always reach for, there are many others that are AMAZING: –
Retinol Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (not usually a fan of patches, but I leave these on for an hour at least, and you can see a difference)
What affordable skincare products have you used and loved?