I was asked to put together a skincare routine for my aunt and explain to her where she should invest in her skincare. That got me thinking: where should we invest and where should we save?
Here’s how I would spend my money if I were just starting to build my routine all over again.
Realistically, you do not need an expensive cleanser. You’re going to do two things with it: get off your makeup and cleanse your skin. If it can do that well, then you’re set. Sometimes it’s nice to feel luxe with a beautiful cleanser, but if you’re looking for where to pinch pennies, I’d start here. Nowadays, there are a lot of beautiful options at the drugstore. The one thing I will always avoid in a cleanser? Foaming! My rule of thumb is if it foams, it strips. Now every skin is different and some can handle something stripping, but for the majority of us, stripping the skin is not ideal. I prefer a cream, milk, balm or oil.
For actual skin cleansing, I have been in love with the newer SheaMoisture Matcha Green Tea & Probiotics Clay-to-Cream Cleanser ( $8.79 ). It feels luxe and you’d never know it was so inexpensive.
This really depends on the type of toner that you’re looking for. Hands down, my #1 toner is the Biologique Recherche P50 ( $67.00 ). It’s pricey, but boy is it good. It’s an exfoliating toner that is basically a magic worker at solving all problems. It also comes in multiple variations so that you can choose the one suited best for you.
Still want to save on this step? I would try out the Pixi Glow Tonic ( $15.00 ). This is also an exfoliating toner that does something very similar, so if you’re new to the world of exfoliating toners, I’d look at this one as a less expensive alternative.
This is where the bulk of my money would go in my skincare routine. I find that your oil or serum is the powerhouse of the routine.
You don’t have to go expensive. There are some beautiful brands that make high quality products at an affordable price. Deciem, Good Molecule and Inkey List are just a few.
But if you are looking for a good place to invest in your routine, this is where I would start. Everyone is different when it comes to the type of serums and oils that they will prefer. For me, I live for a good Vitamin C serum, a hydrating oil and a soothing serum.
The best Vitamin C that I have used is hands down the Ole Heinreksen Truth Serum ( $48.00 ).
My favorite hydrating oil right now if the Akar Soothe Face Oil ( $90.00 ). It’s incredibly hydrating and sinks in beautifully. I like to use this both day and night in the winter to keep my skin extra hydrated.
There is just nothing that compares to the Luxe Botanics Kigelia Corrective Serum ( $110.00 ). If I have exfoliated too much, or I’ve been trying another product that makes my skin irritated, this is what I will reach for. It immediately has a calming effect and leaves my skin feeling so soothed and comforted. When my skin is really irritated, I will reapply this throughout the day to keep my skin calm.
I don’t think that you need a lot of masks. While my collection has become massive, realistically if you had a hydrating, exfoliating and overall skin issues masks, you’d have all your bases covered.
Since you’re probably only going to be using these masks a few times a month, I like to get high quality masks that I know will really work every time I use them.
I have two favorite hydrating masks: Masque Visolastine by Biologique Recherche ( $135.00 ) & the Jet Lag Mask by Summer Fridays ( $48.00 ). Although vastly different prices, both are up there in price, but both definitely perform. I like to use the Jet Lag Mask as an overnight, intensely hydrating treatment. On days that I do this, I’ll skip my normal moisturizer and opt for this instead.
I must admit, I am new to trying Masque Visolatine, but I can already tell it’s a keeper. I don’t fully understand the magic behind it, but my skin has never been softer than after I use this mask.
The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ( $58.00 ) has been my favorite exfoliating mask for years and I’ve gone through multiple tubs of it. It’s beautiful, gently exfoliating and smells like a pumpkin pie. It’s truly one of the best masks on the market in my opinion.
For my overall skin issue mask, I always end up reaching for The Problem Solver by May Lindstrom ( $100.00 ). Dull, tired skin? I grab this. Skin breaking out? I grab this. There is no problem that this bad boy can’t solve. The other nice thing about it is it’s MASSIVE. And since it’s powder that you mix with water, you can have it for a very long time without being worried about it going bad quickly.
Eye Cream: Save
I’m going to say a very similar thing for both the eye cream and the moisturizer: all you need is something suited for your skin. I go for hydrating. You don’t really need a fancy eye cream. Yes, I use and love a luxe eye cream, but that’s an indulgence, not a requirement. There are plenty of eye creams that are hydrating that won’t break the bank.
A few of my favorites are:
- Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream ( $18.00 )
- La Roche-Posay Toleraine Ultra Eye Cream for Dry Skin ( $24.99 )
- Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream ( $32.00 )
Basically, I use a moisturizer as my last step hydrator and as a protective barrier to lock in everything else I’ve put on my skin. Typically, I like something simple. No muss, no fuss.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer ( $ 29.50 ) is my go-to no nonsense moisturizer. I give this as my recommendation for every skin type as a great all rounder. It’s hydrating, works great to lock in all the other steps in your routine and has never clogged my pores or caused any breakouts.
Other moisturizers that I have used and loved:
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA ( $5.80 )
- Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate ( $16.00 )
- January Labs Moisture Balancing Lotion ( $28.00 )
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ( $32.00 )
- Avene Rich Compensating Cream ( $35.00 )
Where do you spend in your skincare routine?