Skincare is something I am super passionate about, I love researching different ingredients and what their benefits are to your skin. However, with so many products out there and with influencers showcasing multiple products that normally cost a small fortune, it can be hard to save through it all.
When I first got into skincare I was so broke and couldn’t afford to spend €70 here and €50 there on various serums and creams. Not letting that stop me I did my research and found a skincare routine that worked for me on a budget. Every product *expect Retinol, I mention in this post is also under €30.
The first step in any Nighttime skincare routine is removing any makeup and dirt from the day. For me, I have really gotten into the Korean way of skincare and double cleanse. When I was super broke stretching to two cleanses felt like a luxury I couldn’t afford, I bought the huge bottle of Garnier Micellar Water (€7), which would last me a good 9-12 months and used that to remove my makeup and then followed with Glossier’s Milk Jelly cleanser (€16).
Micellar Waters- For micellar water, I use the Garnier micellar water and a large bottle will set you back €7 and will last you for over 9 months. For the days I wear more eye make-up I also like to incorporate the Garnier Skin Naturals 2-in-1 Eye Make-Up Remover(€3).
Balm Cleanser-Clinique Take the Day Off balm (€29). I love, love, love this product, it melts into your skin to remove all the dirt, grime and makeup. Once I had a bit more money to spare I invested in a balm cleanser to use as my first cleanse and I’m obsessed!
Milk Cleansers- Glossier Milk Jelly cleanser , An OG product for me! It is so gentle on the skin and leaves me feeling smooth and hydrated. I would normally use a milk cleanser as my second cleanse to remove any more excess dirt or makeup before moving on with the rest of my skincare routine. I have also used Avene’s Gentle Milk Cleanser (€15), which is similarly priced. My only issue with this product is that it is fragranced and I’m not the biggest fan fragranced products. Still, it does the job and with it being available in loads of pharmacies, super easy to get your hands on.
Tonners are amazing, they not only help clear your pores of dead skin cells, which in turn helps the rest of your skincare products reach deeper layers of your skin. But it also leaves you with a brighter and more even skin tone. My favourite ‘budget’ tonner is Glossier’s Solution (€22), for its amazing results and super instagramable packaging. The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (€9) is another favourite of mine. I love The Ordinary because it allows you to try different ingredients at a fraction of the price. Trialling out ingredients helps us learn what are skin likes and doesn’t, which is super helpful when it comes to investing in more expensive products.
For serums, you need to know your skin. Identify what type of skin you have and do a bit of research into what helps combat those specific concerns. For me, I have normal to dry skin with some hyperpigmentation. I use hyaluronic acid for hydration, Vitamin C to help combat redness and give me a more even skin tone and Niacinamide because it helps prevent breakouts, it is my holy grail ingredient. Some of my favourite budget serums are from The Ordinary and Glossier. As I mentioned above The Ordinary is great for experimenting with ingredients and comes at such a low price point.
Currently, I’m using ‘The Supers” trio by Glossier. They have 3 serums- Super Bounce, which is a hyaluronic acid & vitamin b5 serum, Super Pure, which is a niacinamide & zinc serum and Super Glow a vitamin c & magnesium serum. They are a bit more pricey than The Ordinary at €28 a bottle. If that’s a little bit too much outside of budget then The Ordinary has great serums, similar to Glossier they have great niacinamide & zinc serum (€6)and a Hyaluronic Acid 2% & B5 (€6).I’ve used both and loved them, plus they’re a fraction of the cost.
I have just started to incorporate retinol into my routine in the last six months. I find it helps combat redness and reduces fine lines, leaving my skin looking plumper. Retinol is vitamin A, which is known for doing wonders for our skin. Retinol gives our skin a helping hand in anti-ageing by fighting off wrinkles. Helping even out our skin tone from brightening to reducing redness and dark spots. It is even proven to help fight acne. It really is a wonder product, which is why I feel like it is important to incorporate it into your skincare routine when you can afford it and when you feel like you need to start using it. Retinol isn’t cheap so it makes sense that it is the most expensive product, the best ‘budget’ one I found was by La Roche-Posay at €38.
Note, if you do start using retinol use during your nighttime skincare routine and make sure you wear SPF following on from use. Because it is a strong product your skin is more sensitive to the UV rays.
Eye creams are something I started to use as I reached my mid-twenties. Not because I am worried about fine lines but because I kept waking up with puffy eyes and want to see if an eye cream could help combat the puff. My main favourite for a budget eye cream is Alex Steinherr X Primark Sleep Spa Every Night Eye Mask (€6, available at Pennys/Primark). It feels like a luxury eye cream in my opinion and leaves my under-eyes looking brighter and most importantly less puffy. A few other notable eye creams I like under €20 are La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes(€14) & Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream(€19).
Sunscreen is an important part of skincare, even in winter. I am meticulous when it comes to SPF and wear it every day. I’m going to do a whole post on the SPF so just wait for that! Some brand’s I would recommend for a good facial sunscreen is La Roche-Posey’s Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF 50+ (€15) and Glossier’s Invisible Shield(€24). Avene’s Anti-Ageing Sunscreen SPF50+ Very High Protection (€25) also has some good offers, I find the high protection ones leave me with a white sheen so bear that in mind.
A moisturiser helps lock in the rest of your skincare and is essential at the end of any skincare routine. There are some really great drugstore moisturisers that you can get a great price point, like CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion (€14) or Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Gel (€16). I’m also a huge fan of Avene and La Rosh-Posey moisturisers.
However, personally, my favourite budget moisturisers are the Glossier Priming moisturiser (€21) for the summer and Kheils Ultra Facial Cream for winter (€25). If you are really on a tight budget than The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturising Factors + HA is a good option and it’s under €6.
Glossier Balm Dot Com (€12) is my go-to lip balm I am obsessed. They cherry balm dot com has a beautiful red tint and the rose a pinky tint, which I love for those days I want to add a little extra but don’t want to commit to lipstick. I also love the coconut one for the smell, it reminds me of somewhere tropical.
I love nothing more than a good mask and I think just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate a mask or two into your routine. My favourite sheet masks are the Garnier’s Moisture Bomb or their Fresh Mix Face Sheet Shot Mask. The L’Oréal Paris Clay Masks and Glossier masks are other good options to have in your cabinet for all your masking needs. I also find a lot of the K-beauty sheet masks are really inexpensive.
One last mask that I use every night is The Sleep Spa Sleeping Face Mask (€6, available at Pennys/Primark) which is another Alex Steinherr X Primark product. It is a Replenishing and hydrating night treatment that leaves your skin looking plumper and smoother. Every time I use it I wake up feeling fresh with my skin looking hydrated and glowy.