Advice Clinic

Splurge v Steal – When to Save and When to Splurge on Skincare

How does the old saying go? You get what you pay for. To that, we say, yes, sometimes. When should we save and when should we splurge on skincare products? It is all a matter of perspective. For some, Ł5 for a moisturiser is a splurge. So, it all depends on your budget.

Our opinion (and this might be a bit controversial), nowadays there is no need to splurge on skincare products at all. Thanks to the booming skincare community and brands like the Ordinary, many of us have turned into skincare nerds and got a lot savvier about our skincare purchases. Likewise, high street brands are not far behind (look no further than Superdrug or Boots) and offer a ton of fab and effective products at reasonable prices. And let’s not forget about the indie brands such as ourselves (a total humble brag) with passionate formulators who all bring something unique to the market.

Not one product in your skincare routine NEEDS to cost a ton.

Cleansers need to have a low pH and cleanse the skin without leaving it dry and tight.

Unlike toners of the old that reeked of alcohol, for many, chemical exfoliants are true game-changers. Fortunately, they went through a revival of sorts, and there are so many effective options available at all price points. That said, don’t go crazy with chemical exfoliants, or other active ingredients for that matter. More isn’t always better. A couple of times a week should be more than enough, especially in the beginning.

Serums represent the sole category where it is it is ok to invest a bit more. Retinols, vitamin C, peptides, ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, all of these are fab ingredients to include in your skincare stash.
In terms of formulas, look for serums that use microencapsulation to keep the active ingredients potent for longer. Vitamin C serums can be tricky. The most commonly used form of vitamin C, L-Ascorbic acid, remains a notoriously unstable ingredient. When exposed to light and air, it can oxidise quickly. To ensure your vitamin C serum lasts longer, look for serums that use stable forms of vitamin C (like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate).

Like cleansers, moisturisers don’t have to break the bank either. A good moisturiser keeps your skin comfortable and serves as a barrier between the environment and your skin. Depending on your skin type, look for formulas with a blend of humectants and emollients. Alternatively, if your skin type is combination or oily, gels or light fluids might do the trick. Again, these can be found at all price points.

If you apply it correctly, you’ll go through a lot (A LOT) of sunscreen. Luckily, long gone are the days of goopy, pore-clogging sun protection. A well-formulated sunscreen can be found on your local high-street. Korean and Japanese sunscreens are a joy to use. Not to mention, the formulas are cosmetically elegant, while still being super affordable. If you need to place to start your research on best sunscreen for your skin type, Asian Beauty and Asian Beauty Advice on Reddit are good starting points. Online retailers like Jolse, Yesstyle, and even Amazon.co.uk, are good places to find affordable Korean or Japanese sunscreen.

And if you need more food for thought, we’d urge you to watch this interview with Nadine Baggott and the late Brandon Truaxe.

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Roberta Striga

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