Hello my friends!
I hope you’ve all been well, today I wanted to share a basic, affordable skincare routine with you all! I know building a routine can be overwhelming for beginners – I definitely did the bare minimum in high school when I barely had any money and knowledge on skincare, but we’re here to learn!
Please note this routine just covers cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen** – you can always add or subtract products that you might not need, e.g. exfoliator, mask, etc. I’m not a professional in any way, just a skincare lover, please seek professional advice if necessary!
So let’s start off with cleanser, it’s pretty self explanatory, generally used in the day and night to cleanse away dirt/impurities you may have come across during the day or throughout your sleep. I used to use a cleanser in the day time, but found using water is just fine for me. I use a Face Halo to cleanse in the morning and wash it regularly to ensure cleanliness. As for night time I use the Cerave Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser ($15.99)*. I use just one pump to cleanse my face and neck and finds that it does a decent job. It’s quite gentle on the skin and doesn’t strip my skin either.
When looking for a cleanser, consider your skin type – oily, combo, normal, dry, etc. Do lots of research, there’s so much information on the internet these days, then make an informed decision. If you have sensitive skin, some of my favourite cleansers are from Japanese or Korean brands, such as Pyunkang Yul.
Stand outs: One of my fave, basic cleansers is the Innisfree Blueberry Rebalancing 5.5 Cleanser – It rebalances the pH level for the skin, leaves my skin feeling moisturised and lathers up nicely, without drying the skin.
Next we have toner, which some argue isn’t necessary, whereas others find they help immensely. When it comes to toners, I feel like there’s a lot of confusion. With western toners, they used to be marketed as an astringent, so they might’ve contained alcohol, or other ingredients that dried out the skin. Whereas in Asian toners, like Korean ones, they are quite the moisturising type. They add a layer of hydration onto the skin and prepares it for the next step. I’ve tried toners from both and I tend to lean more towards the Korean ones, I find they always leave my skin quite bouncy and supple. However, when I use western toners, I opt for alcohol free ones like the Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner ($36). I’ve enjoyed Kiehl’s toners in the past because they are more moisturising and don’t contain any alcohol. They are a little pricier than most, but I think they do a fantastic job on my skin.
Stand outs: One affordable western toner I like is the Simple Soothing Facial Toner as it’s alcohol free! I normally pick it up at Coles or Priceline if it’s on sale/when I’m almost out of toner. As for Korean ones, I quite liked the Innisfree Green Barley Peeling Toner. It left my skin feeling soft and also provided really gentle exfoliation.
There’s quite a few different things you could use in this next step, whether it’s an ampoule, essence or serum. Whichever you decide to use, just use the one that is most suited for your skincare concerns. Think of these as an extra treatment in your routine. I’m sure we’ve all heard of The Ordinary by now as their serums are quite affordable and I would consider them a good entry-level brand into serums as they’re available in store and online. One of their serums that I’ve loved and used 3 times already is the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($9.90). This has been really helpful in evening my skin tone, it has helped my blemishes and I’ve seen a great difference in my skin since using my first bottle back in 2017.
Stand outs: This is one of the best products I’ve ever used, it’s the Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule. Propolis is an amazing ingredient, and when I was using this I found it gave my skin a really nice overall glow.
Now to seal in all your hard work, let’s get you a nice moisturiser. One that I’m currently enjoying (and really recommend alongside retinol use) is the Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream ($12.69). It’s not your everyday moisturiser, it’s a little thicker as it’s a repairing balm that helps with compromised skin barriers. This has been great in winter, but I don’t think I will be using this in warmer months as I prefer something that’s not as thick.
Stand outs: One moisturiser that I’ve previously mentioned on my blog is the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Moist Cream. It’s a basic, hyaluronic acid moisturiser and has such a lovely texture to it. It’s definitely a really good moisturiser for warmer months, because it’s not too thick, and provides enough hydration without leaving your skin feeling icky.
Now the very last step is of course sunscreen! Finding the right sunscreen for you is so important, I’ve definitely had times where I’ve tried one that’s quite popular and it doesn’t work for my skin at all. When looking for a good sunscreen, I like to find one that’s SPF50+, somewhat affordable or easily accessible (chemists, supermarkets, department stores), doesn’t give me any white cast, applies smoothly, doesn’t pill, nor does it make me greasy. It’s a long check list, but I think I’ve finally found one that ticks all the boxes. It’s the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Dry Touch SPF50+ Facial Sunscreen ($24.99), everyone raves about the Anthelios XL Fluid, but I found that formula didn’t work well for me, so I opted for the Dry Touch. It’s recommended for those with oily skin, and it comes in a gel cream texture, which I found to be moisturising. It applies so easily and doesn’t pill or conflict with my other skincare products. Such a win-win situation! I will admit it’s a little on the pricier side for drugstore sunscreens, but it does go on sale every now and then if you wanted to check this out one.
Stand outs: I also love the Cancer Council SPF 50+ Face & Body Moisturiser, it goes on sale every now and then at supermarkets/chemists and such a stand out sunscreen. It dries invisible, feels very nice on the skin and once again doesn’t pill. I also quite like Sunsense sunscreens but I have had some issues with pilling with some of their products.
And drum roll please…the total comes to $99.57.
Five products for roughly $19-20 each is not bad, they’re easily accessible in stores and online, and most of them are often on sale as well, which would bring the price lower. Starting out with your skincare routine doesn’t have to be expensive, I know there are highly raved about products that cost an arm and a leg, but I really recommend shopping around for different options if you’re on a bit of a budget. Then once you get more comfortable with your routine and your own skincare knowledge, you might want to try other products from different brands, or perhaps you have a larger budget, then go for it! As always patch test your products and research them before purchasing, especially if it’s an item/brand that you know will be on sale sometime.
I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post, once again, I’m no professional in any way, and I definitely could’ve used some guidance like this when I was younger, but hey we live and learn right!
What are some of your favourite affordable skincare products?
**Please note pricing of these products were noted on the day of writing this blog post and current prices on their web pages may reflect a different price to what’s listed in the blog post
*I received this product as part of the Beauty Crew Trial Team, there is no compensation or obligation to feature it in this blog post.