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I've tried enough skincare on the market to have used everything from a £5 serum to a £120 serum! So, today I thought I'd share that experience and show you the bare bones basics of four skincare routines at four very different prices, to introduce you to brands, products and ingredients that are great and work for your budget. I've tried to choose things that will suit most skin types and there aren't lots of really intense actives, but the idea is to give you a flavour of the brands out there at these different price-points so you can get inspiration from this post to check out the rest of their product range. Let's take a look through my picks...
- STEAL: UNDER £35 -The first product I've chosen for my most affordable routine is the Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser | £5.50 | full review. This is a really great multitasking cream-balm cleanser formulated with squalane, a plant-derived version of the oil our skin naturally produces. It can be used as a hydrating morning or second cleanse but also does a good job of removing makeup. I think this is something that would work for more-or-less everyone! As a toner / exfoliator step, my recommendation is the Inkey List PHA Toner | £9.99 | full review. Whilst it's the priciest thing in the routine, I do truly love it and think it's worth the extra spend! This is a very gentle acid exfoliator that's going to be great for dry skin. It can remove dead skin cells effectively to reveal smoother, more radiant skin.
For the serum step I've picked a crowd-pleasing ingredient in a formula that's not just 'good for the price'; it's straight-up great! The Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum* | $6 | full review | absorbs wonderfully without that sticky, tacky feeling and it does the job of drawing water into my dehydrated skin, so it looks plumper and healthier. As a moisturiser, I like the Primark x Alex Steinherr Maximum Moisture Moisture-Locking Everday Moisturiser* | £5 | full review. This is a very simple yet effective formula, softening and smoothing my skin without being overly rich or greasy. It's formulated with moisturising and sensitive-skin-safe squalane and peptides, to help fight signs of ageing. Overnight, I often like to use an oil and I really rate the Ordinary's 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil | £8.10 | full review. This softens, smooths and nourishes my skin by morning without feeling too heavy or clogging my pores.
- SAVE: UNDER £80 -For my more mid-range routine I'm starting with the Wow You! Zen Cleanser | £16 (15% off with code JASMINE15 (affiliate)). This is a gorgeously nourishing cream cleanser formulated with oat, avocado and cucumber. It's an amazing, moisturising morning or second cleanse but also works nicely to remove makeup, so basically it's a great all-rounder! As the toner / exfoliator step, it just has to be the Pixi Glow Tonic* | £18 | full review. It's an oldie but a goodie! This gentle glycolic acid toner exfoliates the skin so it's smoother and more even.
As a serum, I'm a fan of the Fourth Ray Beauty Remedy 10% Niacinamide Serum | $16 | full review. This skincare all-rounder can reduce the look of pores and fine lines, regulate oil production in the skin, protect the skin against environmental damage and contribute to overall skin health. This serum delivers all of those benefits in a formula that feels nice on the skin. As a day cream, an old favourite of mine is the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre* | £17.99 | full review. This has a nourishing, smoothing formula that never fails to leave my skin looking and feeling healthy. It's also a great base for makeup. For extra moisture overnight, I really do love the Bybi CBD Booster | £12 | full review. This calming and nourishing oil never feels greasy on my skin and doesn't smother my pores.
- SPEND: UNDER £150 -We're getting into the slightly more high-end products now and one of my favourite cleansers of all time is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser* | £30 (for regular size) | full review. This has a really unusual texture; it's kind of a jelly but it melts and it doesn't foam on the skin. It gently cleanses, keeps my skin nicely soft and hydrate, and even does a pretty good job of removing makeup. My 'spend' option for an acid toner is the REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic* | £27 | full review. This lactic acid toner is nicely gentle and gives me all of those AHA benefits in a non-stripping formula. I like this one a lot!
One of my all-time favourite serums for dewy, hydrated skin is the Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex* | £25 | full review. This draws water into the skin, making it healthy and radiant, it also really helps my dehydration lines look a lot less visible. For more dewiness, one of my favourite moisturisers (which I'm actually running low on!) is the Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisturising Cream | £42 | full review. It melts into the skin with its water-cream texture, making it look healthy and glowing. Finally for the spendy edition, I had to include my beloved Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask | £41 | full review. This is incredibly nourishing and contains antioxidants in the form of avocado and PHAs to gently exfoliate and reveal more radiant skin. It leaves my skin unbelievably soft and moisturised by morning.
- SPLASH OUT: £150+ -It's time for the crazy-luxury instalment! We're starting with the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel* | £35 | full review | which I've purchased about three times myself and been sent a couple of times. Basically, there's always a bottle of this in my bathroom cabinet! It's formulated with papaya enzymes to brighten the skin and it has such a nourishing texture. I personally love it as a morning cleanse - it's a gel product that melts beautifully onto dry skin and then emulsifies when you add water. For exfoliation, the Alpha-H Liquid Gold* | £33.50 | full review | provides an intense hit of glycolic acid. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners with acids, but as a once or twice a week treatment; it really does work!
A serum that's up there in price but really was a game-changer for me is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Face Serum* | £140 | full review. My top tip if you want to try it is to check Look Fantastic, as they often have a discount code going and have even done deals on this brand whereby you got a free full-sized gift with purchase. That being said; if this is within your price range, it truly is incredible. This Vitamin C-based serum has made such a visible difference to the texture of my skin! I guess it's cheaper than getting a treatment done...? As a moisturiser, the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream* | £50 (for regular size) | full review | always does the trick for me. This is incredibly nourishing with lots of fatty acids to replenish and moisturise my skin. Finally, I also really like the Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream* | £115. Luckily they sell all their products in mini form, because I don't think I could drop £115 on a moisturiser all in one go. It's packed full of anti-ageing peptides and Vitamin A (from which skin-smoothing retinol is derived) and it honestly gives me that 'brand new skin' look by morning. Everything just seems to look better when I use this moisturiser!
Do you tend to stick to a particular price-point when it comes to skincare or do you have a mixture in your routine?