Is there a difference and should you be splurging regularly or saving those pennies?
If you take a look at your skincare routine, are the brands budget friendly or are there some seriously expensive buy-me-and-your-purse-will-cry-for-weeks products?
I'm a little bit of both, I find I have pretty expensive taste when it comes to skincare, often believing that £50 mask must be way better than a similar £20 one. Often it's blogger hype that gets me to fork over the cash, or other times it's the packaging, yes, really. On the opposite side of things I know I can buy more if the products I buy are cheaper, so I sometimes like to be frugal and buy a few cheaper items, thinking I'm getting more for my money.
A lot of times the price points of products comes down to the quality of the ingredients inside - I'm of course only talking about natural/organic products here as that's all I use - Organic is expensive, it's harder to grow the ingredients and harder to guarantee a large crop for the farmers, meaning they charge our favourite skincare brands more to purchase. And obviously the more ingredients in the formula the more it's going to cost.
I don't know exactly how budget friendly brands like my favourites Weleda & Herbfarmacy keep prices low, though I know they don't have fancy formula's, rare ingredients and they do grow a lot themselves - every little helps! (& sometimes simple is best).
Buying your beauty products can be expensive so I've put together a little guide below on where to spend and where to save in your beauty routine, and I've included loads of recommendations, most of which have been tried by yours truly or are from brands I've tried and trust no matter the price.
WHERE TO SAVE:
Cleanser - Whilst luxe cleansers are pretty lovely to use (just look at that May Lindstrom bottle above, divine) there are plenty of simple options that get the job done. Coconut, jojoba or a simple homemade oil blend to remove makeup followed by a gentle cream or gel cleanser to cleanse skin. Try Balm Balm's Frankincense Deep Cleansing Balm (£7.99) Weleda's Almond Cleansing Lotion (£9.95) and the Organic Surge Refreshing Face Wash (£5.95).
Toner - As a self-titled toner addict, I know there are toners that can do a whole lot or just a whole lotta nothing. But a great toner or facial mist doesn't have to cost the earth, even an organic floral water will only set you back a tenner.
Try Pukka's Organic Rosewater (£11.95) or Balm Balm Chamomile Floral Hydrosol (£11) for basic, soothing, PH balancing mists. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (£9.96) or Weleda's Refining Toner (£9.95) for a little exfoliation and the Narynda Skincare Toner for a little bit of everything (£12.50)
Moisturiser - You can great some really, really great moisturisers for under £20 now and I really don't think you need to be spending more than that as like Caroline Hirons says the moisturiser is the final layer and doesn't need to do much more than protect and cocoon skin. You should be getting anything active to treat/heal skin from potent serums and oils.
For dry/normal/sensitive skin try: Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser (£9.50) and their super intensive moisturiser (£10.95) Weleda Iris Hydrating Day Cream (£13.95) Botanicals Moisturiser: Rose & Camellia (£20)
For combination/oily/acne/sensitive skin try: Herbfarmacy Divine Light Face Cream (£15.65) Weleda Iris Hydration Facial Lotion (£13.95) Nourish Relax Calming Moisturiser (£19) Trevarno Organic Day Cream (£18)
WHERE TO SPEND:
Serums & Oils - These guys are where it's at! A good serum is skin-changing. I could recommend about 100 different ones to you right now for all different skin types but I'm not sure you (or I) would have the patience to go through all of that - leave a comment if you'd like a personal rec!
Some of my faves right now: Dr Hauschka Night Serum (£39) Kahina Argan Oil (£32) Odacite Pimples Concentrate (£18) Odacite Hyperpigmentation Concentrate (£31) Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (£43)
Masks - More than just clay and water I think masks are key to keeping skin in good condition and some are serious powerhouses that transform skin texture, banish blemishes or deeply hydrate in just a few minutes.
My faves: May Lindstrom The Problem Solver (£69) Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Rapid Radiance Mask (£30) Dr. Alkaitis Universal Mask (£47.75) Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (£44) Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator (£39)
Eyes - My one grey area is eyes. I have only used two products that have made any difference to my dark circles, and I'm still too young to be focusing on wrinkles. But still, if you have eyes I'd try Josh Rosebrook's Oculus Eye Oil (£54) or Kahina's Eye Serum (£67) both are fab and worth the investment.
I love and use both budget friendly and more luxury brands! If a product is good, with natural ingredients and no known irritants, then I'll use it. Sure, when a product looks expensive and has exotic sounding ingredients that are hand picked at sunset deep in the amazonian rain forest by a tribe of 7 people, I'm intrigued, but I also like a no fuss approach, especially when my skin is sensitive and sometimes a budget cream cleanser with only 5 ingredients is the only thing I want touching my skin.
Is your skincare routine budget or luxury?