- Advertisement information: this post discusses items gifted to me with no obligation to share them (marked *). In addition I have / have had a brand relationship with Geek & Gorgeous and Beauty Bay (gifting) and Boots, Superdrug, Look Fantastic and Beauty Pie (paid advertorial). My blog has Skimlinks and RewardStyle installed to automatically monetise purchases of products I link on my blog, therefore this post may contain affiliate links. All opinions remain my own and please refer to my Disclosure Page for further detail -
Today we're talking affordable skincare that not enough people are talking about! I don't know why these products are being slept on but today I'm doing my bit to change that...
First up, we have the Byoma Brightening Toner* | £11.99 | which I believe is a newer launch from the brand. Byoma's formulas all feature the holy trinity of your lipid barrier: ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids, which keep the skin hydrated, soft, happy and free from irritation. These are all things you want when exfoliating the skin! The exfoliants included in this formula are also nice and gentle but still effective; lactic acid is great for resurfacing the skin and revealing its glow but also has hydrating properties and mandelic acid is great for treating discolouration and even active breakouts with its antibacterial properties. There's also willow bark extract in here, which is a kind of precursor for blemish-busting salicylic acid. This is all in a hydrating glycerin base to ensure the skin isn't dried out through the exfoliation process. This is a gentle exfoliant that leaves my skin soft, smooth and more radiant without any irritation (I use it around 3 times a week); I really recommend it as a more complex (and very gentle) alternative to your basic single-active acid toner. Best of all: you can get this at your local Boots!
Ok, you do have to be subscribed to get this at the low price here (though if you give the free trial a go: get this in your basket!) but I still wanted to mention the Beauty Pie Pure Transforming Cleanser | £10 (for members). This is one of those great all-rounder cleansers; pack it for a weekend away and it will do a little bit of everything you need it to. It's a kind of creamy texture straight out of the tube and it becomes more oil-based as you massage it into dry skin, then emulsifies with water. It has a light texture that doesn't leave any sort of excess or greasiness on the skin, which is why it works as a moisturising morning cleanse (it also contains antioxidants). It's also effective at removing makeup, so can work as a first cleanse in the evening, or as a one-step on sunscreen-only days. It's just a great all-rounder and the sort of product to try if you only want to buy one cleanser.
The Indeed Labs Vitamin C Brightening Drops* | £19.99 | are both (just) under £20 and bring an innovation to the market I've rarely seen! This serum takes pure-form Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) - which is infamous for its instability - and encapsulates it. There aren't many serums out there that do this, and most of them are £50+, so I don't know why more people aren't talking about this drugstore formula. The encapsulation means you get the benefits of ascorbic acid, which are: antioxidant benefits (i.e. protection from free radical damage which prematurely ages the skin), potentially a boost in collagen production and an improvement in hyperpigmentation and discolouration. However, its instability issues are going to be significantly reduced and a lot of people find ascorbic acid irritating, but encapsulation can also reduce this issue. You're getting the best of both worlds and a truly next-generation formula on the right side of £20! If you want a morning serum that's gentle and will protect your skin and boost its overall glow: give this a try.
Honestly, this everyday skincare line as a whole is really underrated in my opinion but my current favourite is the Bondi Sands Plump It Up Peptide Serum* | £8.99. Again, this is bringing us effective active skincare in a formula that's pleasant to use and this time for under £10 - what's not to love? This has a hydrating, milky texture with a base of glycerin, plus we have Matrixyl and a copper peptide. Peptides help to plump, hydrate and condition the skin and could even boost up collagen production; there's good research on Matrixyl in this area and copper peptides actually have additional reparative properties. There's also topical collagen in here; whilst this isn't going to deliver more collagen into your skin, it's skill nice and moisturising. This is a great all-rounder for hydrated, healthy skin, plus some well-ageing benefits.
I couldn't not mention the Geek & Gorgeous A-Game 10 0.1% Retinal Serum | £17.95 | because as long as there are people out there asking me for affordable retinoid serum who haven't come across this product; I still have work to do! Retinoids are our well-ageing superstar; the most well-studied active in our arsenal to boost collagen production in the skin, reduce the appearance of existing photoageing and even help with skin texture, scarring and discolouration. They should be used as part of your PM routine and retinal is my personal favourite combination of delivering results without irritating my skin. This is the most affordable retinal I've come across; it's a simple formula without 'added extras' but it works! It delivers smoother, clearer, bouncier, more radiant skin for me without any of the 'retinoid nasties'. I still think more people should know about this product!
Next, we have a sunscreen that's cheaper than a lot of the ones available at the drugstore these days: the Glow Hub Defend Yourself Sun Silk Face Cream SPF 30* | £12. This is a really nice product for incorporating sunscreen into your 'every single day' routine; it's elegant, it works with makeup and (if your skin isn't particularly dry) it can also act as a sunscreen. It's only an SPF 30 so it's more of a 'day in the office' kind of product as opposed to something you're going to wear on the beach but it's enough production for most people on most days here in the UK during autumn, winter and some of spring. It's lotion-like, it doesn't pill and it has some nice added extras like green tea extract and Vitamin E to get your antioxidants in!
Lastly, let's talk about the Sali Hughes x Revolution Beauty Better in 5 Express Exfoliating Mask* | £15. This is great if - instead of using an acid toner a few times a week - you prefer to use a stronger peel once a week to meet your skin's exfoliating needs. This express treatment contains lactic acid, glycolic acid and PHAs to resurface the skin and reveal its underlying glow. I'm often not a fan of glycolic but within this formula at a lower concentration, it actually works really well and this product smooths my skin without causing irritation. It's also so quick and easy to use; simply pop this onto freshly-cleansed skin (I recommend using it in the evening), brush your teeth, and then remove it and put on something like a ceramide cream and you're done! Expect glowing skin by morning with minimal effort...
Have you tried any of my underrated picks?