skincare
Beauty

Great Skincare Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive!

Oh, the things we do to have great skin! We all have our own skincare concerns, favorite products and beauty secrets that we swear by. Trust me, I’ve spent what feels like countless hours shopping for the perfect skincare products. The search never ends! I used to think I had to buy the best of the best products in order to achieve the perfect skin — that meant having to spend a pretty penny for it. I’ve tried it all sorts of brands, from drugstore finds and popular skincare lines from Sephora, to luxury brands. Let me tell you right now that you don’t have to break the bank for good skincare. It’s all about finding the products with the right ingredients that work for your skin.

While I’m always evolving my skincare routine (and it should, as my skincare needs are always changing), here are a few of my favorite affordable products (from 2 of my favorite brands) that I am currently using in my regular skincare regime. Remember that everyone has their own skin concerns, sensitivities, and types, so what works for me may not work for everyone else. However, that being said, I hope this post helps inspire you to find the affordable products that will help you achieve your #skingoals!

Facewash

La Roche-Posay — Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash for Oily Skin

La Roche Posay is an accessible skincare line — available at Target, Ulta, and many other drugstores. It’s one of my favorites and I have never had trouble finding it! I was first introduced to it when I was a teenager trying to introduce myself into the world of skincare at London Drugs (Canadians know what’s up). This line is designed by dermatologists and great to use for all skin types — even sensitive skin. I appreciate that this is a clinically focused line that is widely available. I’ve loved it then, love it now, and will continue to love it. 

As someone with combination skin, I like a face wash that is oil free, effectively removes makeup, dirty, oil and makes my skin feel hydrated. I used to think that a face wash that removed all of my natural oils is most effective for my skin type, but I later learned that doing so did the opposite. Using harsh face washes to dry out my skin was counterproductive and my skin tried to compensate by producing MORE oil. That’s the last thing I needed! This face wash is suitable for normal to oily skin. I love that it feels very refreshing, confortable and not overdrying like some products meant for oily skin can be. Bonus points that it’s fragrance free and non-comedogenic. 

Also, this bottle is HUGE. At $15, for an almost 400mL bottle, that’s a great deal! This stuff lasts me a super long time, so it’s well worth the purchase.

Serum

The Ordinary — Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

It’s not affordable skincare without mentioning The Ordinary! I used to be overwhelmed by the brand at first because there are SO many products with many different ingredients. But what I love about the brand is that it’s straight to the point and EFFECTIVE. My advice is to start with products that will help your primary skincare needs and work from there. Deciem’s (The Ordinary’s parent company) website even has a regime guide to get you started. What’s amazing about the Ordinary is that you get to pick and choose the products that will benefit you. My primary concerns were occasional breakouts, oiliness, and hyperpigmentation and the first product that got recommended to me was this. 

I used to be adverse to serums, thinking they’d make my skin oily, but this one does the opposite. In fact, my skin absorbs this still like a sponge and I 100% need to apply moisturizer afterward. 

The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is by far my favorite The Ordinary product (I even wrote about it a few months ago here!). Niacinimide (a derivative of vitamin B3) is used to help manage acne, textural irregularities and pigmentation. Zinc helps to control oil/sebum production. I’ve been using this for about 9 months now and I have noticed a difference in oil and acne control. I still get breakouts occasionally, but this product had helped reduce the number and duration of my breakouts. It also helped reduce the appearance of any hyperpigmentation or any minor scarring. It’s no surprise that this is a cult favorite; it seriously works!

Did I mention how affordable it is? It’s $10.60 for a 60mL bottle — 60mL lasts a long time! I use this morning and night, and has lasted for MONTHS!

The Ordinary — Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Another favorite The Ordinary product is the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. This product is a game-changer! Alpha arbutin helps to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and scarring with its brightening properties. My skin tends to scar easily, even if I don’t pick on it, so I love that this helps to reduce the appearance of my scars and overall even my skin. Like the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, it feels refreshing on my skin and doesn’t feel oily at all.

Hyaluronic acid is all the hype in the skincare universe. As it should be! Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring in our skin to retain water. When applied, it helps to support the skin’s hydration. Did you know that it can hold up to 1000x its weight in water? It’s no wonder that it is the miracle ingredient to keeping your skin hydrated, smooth, and plump! You definitely need this in your skincare routine, no matter what your skin type or age is.

After I bought the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and fell in love with it, I went on Deciem’s regime guide to find the products that suit my needs. I wanted products to help with pigmentation and texture so I looked at the regime guide for that and found this product. I like to use this every morning and night by mixing a drop or 2 with the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and applying it to my face.

A 30mL goes for $8.90. Like the other products mentioned above, it lasts a very long time!

Eyes

Olay — Ultimate Eye Cream For Wrinkles, Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

Olay is another one of those classic skincare lines that is affordable, accessible and effective! I decided to give their eye cream a shot after a recommendation from my mom. My mom swears by the Olay brand — she has tried so many different brands over many years, and always falls back to Olay. I love that Olay is also accessible everywhere — I’ve seen it at every supermarket beauty asile and drugstore!

I’m always on the hunt for a good eye cream. I particularly like this one because the texture is rich and thick (I like my eye creams on the thicker end), and it’s an “all in one” product. I really appreciate that this cream contains ingredients to help decircle, depuff, and de-wrinkle. Fine lines and wrinkles aren’t my greatest concern right now, but I’ve learned that it’s important to start soon as a preventative measure.

I picked this up for $22. It’s more expensive than the other products I’ve discussed here, but considering that many other popular eye creams run for over $30, I’d say this is a good price for eye cream! You don’t have to use a ton of eye cream at once, so a small amount will go a long way.

Moisturizer

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

I bet you’re not surprised that this is another The Ordinary product (and another one that has hyaluronic acid as one of the main ingredients).

This is the only moisturizer from this brand, so I was nervous to try it out at first. Could it be possible that this moisturizer, meant for all skin types, can work for me? Of course, I always recommend products that are meant to work for your unique skin type and help manage your individual skin concerns, but I really like how simple and versatile this moisturizer is. I really do believe that this is designed to suit many different skin types!

Since I’m using products that contain ingredients specific to my skincare concerns, I want a moisturizer that’s main purpose is to… moisturize! I appreciate that this stuff is meant to hydrate, as it contains hyaluronic acid and many amino acids, fatty acids, triglycerides, glycerin, and other compounds (aka “Natural Moisturizing Factors”) to help protect the skin’s outer barrier. It’s lightweight, non-irritating, and doesn’t conflict with my other products. For me, the best part is that my skin absorbs this stuff like a sponge and it doesn’t clog my pores or make my skin oily!

This guy’s $7.70 for a 30mL tube, which at first looked really small to me. However, I’m not someone who likes to apply a lot of moisturizers, so a little goes a long way! I apply this day and night — I primarily focus on the drier areas of my face (cheeks and around the mouth) and any residual product left on my hands I’ll apply around my forehead and nose.

SPF

La Roche-Posay — Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen

I’ve already mention this in my last skincare blog post, but I used to HATE sunscreen. I never liked how it felt on my face (super oily), and I hated the streaks it left.

But sunscreen is SO important! Our skin is so sensitive to the sun– sun damage is one of the primary causes of ageing (fine lines/wrinkles), hyperpigmentation, acne scars and textural irregularities. Basically, it contributes to all of the things we don’t want for our skin. SPF is your friend!!

I really like many of the sunscreens in La Roche-Posay’s line. However, the Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen is my favorite because it doesn’t feel greasy, leave streaks, or clog my pores/cause breakouts. “Dry touch” is literally in its name — it looks matte when applied to the skin. I also give it bonus points for feeling comfortable underneath my makeup — I’ve tried sunscreens that do not leave a good base for makeup. Also, even in high heat and humidity, this sunscreen doesn’t leave streaks or “melt” off my skin. I love that I finally found a product that makes me want to wear sunscreen; it feels so good knowing I’m protecting my skin from the sun!

This 50mL bottle is about $20, and is widely available at drugstores and online. Compared to some of the higher end sunscreens that can be $40+, this is a true winner in my books!

And that’s it! Like I said before, I realize that everyone’s skin is unique and each person has their own skin concerns, types, and sensitivities. The purpose of this is to show that skincare does not have to be expensive or only be accessible at luxury retailers/brands for to it to be effective! I just wanted to show you a few of my favorite products and brands. If you want to see how I apply them in my morning routine, check out my latest reel on Instagram!

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