Words by Meg Burgess
With the pandemic giving people much more thinking time, discussions about skincare have increased – not only is it something that helps your makeup stay on better, but it also improves your skins health. Skincare’s popularity skyrocketed when people stayed inside and learnt how to take better care of their skin, rather than relying on makeup to cover it. Over the years many brands that have earned themselves a ‘cult’ status, for having ‘holy grail’ products. However, skincare can be pricey – some people say you get what you pay for, but there are some brands that have been making waves in the industry for having amazing products at lower prices. Here’s a few amazing brands to get your skincare journey started!
The Ordinary have gained cult status for their ‘no fluff’ attitude to skincare (they’re also cruelty free!). Most of their products are under £10, making them extremely affordable for those that don’t want to splurge, with the nature of their products making it very easy to tailor yourself a skincare routine. Here are a few cult staples:
- Glycolic 7% Toning Solution – £6.80 on Cult BeautyFeaturing glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin), this offers mild exfoliation to boost radiance and gently refine skin texture.
2. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% – £5 on Cult Beauty
Niacinamide regulates sebum production for a balanced complexion, great for battling breakouts
3. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – £5.90 on Cult Beauty
Hyaluronic acid hydrates by holding up to 1000 times its own weight in water, with Vitamin B5 bolstering surface hydration
4. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution – £6.30 on Cult Beauty
Chemical exfoliant that smoothens, but only use it once a week for 10 minutes maximum, new users should limit usage to 3 minutes because of its potency.
Known for its simplicity and focusing on its ingredients, CeraVe’s use of ceramides (naturally occurring oils found in the skin barrier) help to soothe the skin and provide overall hydration. Their products are mid-range but are affordable compared to some other luxury brands – great for those wanting a simple skincare routine.
- SA Smoothing Cleanser – £12 at Boots
A cleansing formula with 0.5% salicylic acid for chemical exfoliation containing niacinamide for hydration – great for acne prone skin.
2. SA Smoothing Cream – £12 at Boots
Salicylic acid and lactic acid exfoliate, with ceramides strengthening the skin barrier.
Hydrating Cleanser – £9.50 at Boots
Ceramides cleanse the skin and hyaluronic acid hydrates – non-foaming, great for dry skin.
Paula’s Choice has gained more notoriety for their no-nonsense packaging and knockout products. Although they’re pricier, it’s certainly worth it (cruelty-free too)!
- Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliator – £10-28 on Cult Beauty
Contains salicylic acid to unclog pores for extra exfoliation and improved skin texture. A cult product that is used by many.
2. Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment – £12-53 on Cult Beauty
An anti-aging product to help reduce fine lines, including Vitamin C and liquorice extract to prevent redness and irritation.
- 10% Azelaic Acid Booster – £37 on Cult Beauty
Aids hyperpigmentation and texture, helping to fade dark marks and scars.
A cult French brand, they have amazing products for those with sensitive skin, using highly moisturizing ingredients to improve the skin’s overall texture and appearance. They are decently priced with some more expensive products, and you get what you pay for:
- Effaclar Duo+ – £17 at Boots
A lightweight gel formula that helps to reduce shine and control oily zones, whilst reducing the appearance of blemishes – amazing for oily skin.
2. Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF 50 – £17.50 at Boots
A lightweight SPF to help protect the skin from the sun without leaving a white cast, it’s also hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and paraben-free, so great for sensitive skin.
As the K-Beauty trend took the world by storm, Dr. Jart+ became one of its frontrunners. A brand with several lines all focusing on different skin types, there’s something for everyone – with the price range reflecting this too!
- Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream – £28 on Cult Beauty
A gel moisturiser with glycerin, niacinamide and centella asiatica extracts helping to soothe reddened skin – fantastic for combination or oily skin.
- Ceramidin Cream – £12 on Cult Beauty
Ceramides and hyaluronic acid here soothe dryness – great for normal to dry skin.
- Vital Hydra Solution Water Cream – £12 on Cult Beauty
A lightweight formula containing 3 hyaluronic acids, with prebiotics (microbes) that help support the skin barrier.
Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated; you just need to find products that work for you. There are fantastic brands out there for every price range, by doing research and finding out suitable products for your skin type, you’ll have amazing skin in no time!