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If you’ve been looking for skincare that will produce results on mature skin without breaking the bank- read on. I’ve done the work of finding the brands with the very best ingredients at the lowest prices. And I’ll show you how to use them! The price you pay and the fancy packaging has absolutely ZERO affect on how well a skin care product works. So how do we find budget skin care that works?
Say it with me: “Ingredients + Delivery System = Results”
Thats what it’s all about and there are some excellent budget skincare options out there that will deliver major results for you. I’ve broken down my recommendations based on 1. effectiveness and 2. price. If you’ve strolled your local drugstore aisle recently you’ll know that there are some pretty dang pricey options on those shelves these days! I mean Peter Thomas Roth is now sold at the local drug store! I’ve tried to keep this simple, while still explaining the reason for each product. While my own skincare routine is a mix of high end and low end products, I have used all of the products I’m sharing with you. Let’s dive right in!
Disclaimer: I’m just a 51 yr old woman trying to fight premature/mature effects of aging. I’m not an expert , but I’m a geek about skincare ingredients and I enjoy being a human guinea pig and sharing my results with you!
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A good cleanser will clean your face without stripping your natural oils or drying out the skin barrier. Over 40 most of us begin to have dryer skin so a facial cleansing balm is a great option. An excellent drugstore option is Ponds Cleansing Balm. It is scented, but it does a good job of cleaning off your makeup, it won’t dry out your skin and it retails for under $10.
Toners help restore your skin’s pH balance after using a cleanser and also allow for better penetration of the products that follow. They soothe, hydrate and help retain moisture. It’s a quick and easy step to help you get the most out of the products that follow. Thayers Witch Hazel is an excellent drugstore toner. It’s alcohol-free and they use a different extraction process compared to other witch hazel toners in the market. This toner also provides the skin with antioxidants and antibacterial benefits.
3. Vitamin C
Yes. you need it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant – it combats free radicals. Free radicals damage collagen production and elastin in your skin and can come from loads of everyday things like UVA exposure (the sun), tobacco smoke, pollution in the air, just to name a few. As with all things that are hot-damn awesome, as you age your body will produce less and less of this naturally so it’s an excellent one to supplement topically. I used to recommend Go Pure, but they’ve recently changed their formulation. I highly recommend the Timeless Vitamin C because it also contains Vitamin E and Ferulic acid (MORE antioxidants!). You can now pick this brand up at Target and it retails around $24. The Timeless brand is also cruelty free. I can also recommend the one from Cera ve ($16) for the same ingredient reasons.
It’s all about hydration. You need a moisturizer that will deliver moisture into the skin as well as trap moisture on the surface of the skin. Any other ingredients such as peptides, antioxidants, etc just give you more bang for your buck. The outer layer of your skin is made up of dead skin cells. They actually perform a protective role and they can hold a lot of water. When your skin is optimally hydrated it looks it’s best. When that layer is dry, those dead skin cells look dull, the edges curl up, and your wrinkles look worse.
Pro Tip: After cleansing, while your face is damp- use the toner, then Vit. C serum and then moisturizer. Damp skin will absorb products better.
The drugstore brand moisturizers I recommend for ingredients are the Cera Ve ($16) or Olay.($46) They provide optimal moisture as well as other beneficial ingredients. These are not cruelty free brands. While not a drugstore brand, I also recommend the moisturizer from The Ordinary. The price point is less than $9 and the ingredients are excellent and it’s a cruelty free brand. You can order it online here. And I still LOVE Egyptian Magic if you are looking for an all natural moisturizer ($30, but it will last you FOREVER).
Yes. You need it and you need it bad- every day. This is the #1 thing you can do for your skin to fight aging (a close second is using retin A). I prefer a natural, mineral sunscreen that is tinted. My drugstore recommendation is Australian Gold Mineral sunscreen ($16 for a huge tube). It goes on like a primer, doesn’t feel drying, doesn’t leave a white cast and it does well under makeup.
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How To Use Budget Skincare
- Cleanse your face. The balm cleanser melts into a creamy emollient. I like to use these microfiber cloths. They are super soft and I just throw them in the wash.
- Barely dry your skin and use your toner by placing it on one of these reusable cotton rounds and spread across your entire face or just use your finger tips.
- Follow with a few drops of the Vitamin C serum. Use a few more drops- or whats remaining on your fingers- and apply to your neck, chest and back of hands.
- Immediately follow with your moisturizer. Also use on face, neck and backs of hands.
- Once your moisturizer has had a moment to sink in, apply your sunscreen.
Other Budget Skincare that I Use
These are some of the serums that I personally use for added anti aging benefits. They aren’t necessary, but they’ve each gone a long way in helping my skin for just the tiniest effort and $$.
- THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. I use this once a week, instead of my Retin-A for chemical exfoliation. -$7
- THE ORDINARY ‘Buffet” – contains a ton of anti-aging peptides all in one serum. -$14
- Timeless– Coenzyme Q10. More antioxidants. (because….hot damn awesome.) $21
- Retin-A _ I use Curology, but many of you can’t get that so I did a post about how to use Retin A and where to get it at a discount.
I don’t use a separate hyaluronic acid regularly just because there is so much of it in my other skincare, so I don’t find it necessary.
I hope that you found this helpful! I know it can seem like a lot but these are the actual ingredients that will help your skin to look its best and over time you’ll be pleased with the results you can achieve with minimal effort. I enjoy researching, trying and sharing new skincare with you (and I do try out A LOT). Over the years I’ve tried to stay on top of what actually WORKS for our mature skin and while I’m always skeptical, I will say that there have been some major improvements in ingredients and delivery systems that really can improve the look of our skin over time. Let me know if you love any of these or if you have your own products that are working well for you please let me know in the comments.
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