Updated: May 19
When your student loan flies into your account, I’m just going to take a wild stab and say that your first thought isn’t – oh great, money to spend on skincare this month! If it is, then the chances are, this article isn’t for you. However if you fall into the category of prioritising food and booze, then this is the read for you!
Newsflash – looking after your skin doesn’t have to cost the earth. Not to mention, it’s totally dependent on your skin type, so following (normally expensive) Instagram trends are not the way forward. The trick is to find the easiest, non-fuss and cost efficient products out there, that you can slap on before bed, even after a mad night out.
First things first. Do you have dry, oily or combination skin?
Dry skin is generally flaky, lacking in oil (meaning less breakouts) and feels tight.
Oily skin is prone to acne, feels greasy and maybe you tend steer clear of the moisturiser (don’t do that! I’ll tell you why!)
Combination is (you guessed it!) a combination of the two! Breakouts are normally hormonal and you are prone to feeling a bit shiny, but maybe if you forget moisturiser for the night, your face feels a little tight in the morning.
Now you have that figured out, I’ll give you a basic routine to get you started:
1. Wash your face (twice if you have time!)
Keep it as organic as possible, with something like Simple to cleanse your face gently. Alternatively, I recommend Nip+Fab’s cleanser (cheaper when bought at Sainsbury’s instead of Superdrug!) to remove harsher products like foundation and mascara. Always warm water, not too hot!
2. If you want to, use a toner – but this isn’t necessary!
When I was suffering from Freshers SkinÔ (this is totally a thing – stress, alcohol, etc. all adds up) Nip+Fab’s chemical exfoliator really brought my skin back to life!
3. Add a couple of serums – here are my recommendations for all your skin’s needs!
Skin lacking in brightness? Well duh, we live in Manchester where there is no sun. I recommend The Ordinary’s Vitamin C serum (start with the less intense version, as it is very potent) as it is cheap and works like a charm!
Breaking out, but not bad enough to get acne medication? The odd spot can be cleared up with The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. It stops the production of sebum, which is the oil that builds up to create a spot. Nice.
That essay making you age prematurely? I’ve got your back. Back at it again, The Ordinary’s Buffet serum is fantastic. Packed with peptides to boost brightness and plumpness in the skin, your skin will feel like a baby’s in no time.
NB: I know those are all from the same brand, but honestly they are all so cheap (£5 generally which great for the quality) and definitely live up to the hype.
4. Moisturiser (and an oil if your face is especially dry)
Simple skincare does a great, inexpensive one but if you’re looking for a richer cream then go for Aveeno moisturiser. Also Glossier’s priming moisturiser works great for combination skin in the mornings under makeup.
5. Eye cream – if you can be bothered
Even though it is an added faff, it is definitely worth it. Stop premature aging whilst helping your concealer glide on easier.
Don’t fall into the ‘trend trap’ of buying Kiehl’s avocado eye cream. Whilst it feels rich, the tugging that you do when applying it under your eyes only speeds up the aging process – as you are pulling at really delicate skin. Instead, use Glossier’s Bubblewrap (bonus points as it works on your lips too). Affordable and does the job.
That’s pretty much it! Even though I rambled, the main gist of it is: gentle wash, exfoliate (but only do this a couple times a week), serums, moisturise and eye cream. Also, invest in a nicer facemask – a treat after a stressful day and a boost for the complexion. I recommend K Beauty’s ones, or if I’m feeling boujée, then Origins. Overall, the cost of those products – if you use one of the serums – would be about £39.25.
I know that seems like a lot, but that will last you for about half a year – and your face has to last you your whole life so… you do the maths!