24 March 2023

Clever ways to save money on skincare

24 March 2023

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, you might be thinking about where you can make savings.

And if you’ve got a multi-step skincare routine, the costs can start adding up.

Skincare essentials should be reasonable and affordable for everyone. You don’t need to break the bank to get great results, says Faye Purcell, skincare formulation expert at Q+A.

“It’s more important to prioritise what your skin wants and needs and spend on those products accordingly, not just because it’s the latest one everyone is raving about.

“Remember, trending ingredients aren’t suited to every skin type, so don’t get sucked in by everything you see on TikTok.”

Looking to save a bit of cash with your skincare? Here’s how…

Buy multipurpose products

“It can be more cost-effective to have all your precious actives in one hardworking multitasking product,” suggests Dr Lauren Hamilton, cosmetic doctor and co-founder of Victor & Garth.

“If you can, choose a product that contains several of the ingredients that you need daily. For the morning, you want a moisturiser with ceramides to help protect the skin barrier from external aggressors and an SPF to protect skin from the sun and preserve collagen.

“Come the evening, use a multitasker that contains anti-inflammatories such as vitamins A, C and E. A separate AHA-based cleanser or toner should also be considered for exfoliation, as this encourages the skin to reveal fresh cells.”

Q+A Apple AHA Exfoliating Gel, currently £6.50 (was £8.50), Sainsbury’s

Malin + Goetz Retinol Correcting Serum, £64

Packaging is key

Your products will last longer if you choose the right packaging, says Hamilton.

“Look out for formulations that are packaged in a pump system to prevent oxidisation, and watch out for anything presented in a clear glass bottle – these can let sunlight in and cause degradation of the all-important actives.”

Skin Proud Bright Boost 2% Vitamin C Serum, £12.95

Trilogy Instant Glow Rosehip Oil, £36.50

Know your skin type

Hamilton says identifying your skin type is “key”.

“This will help you to get the most out of your skincare without running the risk of causing any imbalance that may require investment in extra products to treat,” she explains.

“If your skin is more of an oily type, or you suffer from breakouts of acne, look out for a multitasker that also contains azelaic acid – not only does it clear pores and help with the turnover of skin cells, it’s also a powerhouse anti-inflammatory that can stop acne in its tracks.

For skin that tends to be on the dry side, make sure a humectant (to bind water into the skin) such as hyaluronic acid, or an emollient such as squalene (to lock in moisture and prevent water loss) is on the ingredient list.”

The Elements Skin Balancing Cream, £9

Bedew Skin Hyaluronic Hydrator Serum, £14.99

Pick where to splurge and save

Some products are worth spending a bit more money on, whereas others aren’t.

Purcell recommends going for the cheaper option when choosing a cleanser and moisturiser.

“Cleansers have one job – to wash the day off your face. As they are only on your skin for a short period of time, you don’t need to spend a lot on fancy formulas. It just needs to be gentle and deep cleansing without stripping or drying out the skin,” she says.

“There are lots of affordable and highly effective ones on the market that do the job without costing the earth. Same goes for your daily moisturiser – you are layering your skincare, and moisturiser generally acts as a barrier, sealing in the active ingredients.”

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, £11.45, Escentual

Weleda Skin Food Moisturiser, £8.25, Cult Beauty

Try before you buy

There’s nothing worse than spending your money on a new product, only to have it react negatively with your skin.

That’s why Purcell says: “If you really want to try that luxurious face cream, buy a small travel or trial size, rather than investing in a full-price product you might not like.”

She recommends trying new products for at least two weeks “so you can see if they suit you and that they actually work – being patient is better for your purse and the environment”.

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