The broke girls guide to choosing the right skincare

Skincare is such an important part of my daily routine and has been for as long as I can remember. My mum was keen on skincare back when I was younger and I’d sit and watch her cleansing, toning and moisturising her skin with her favourite No7 products. In high school, my mum insisted that I take proper care of my skin and invested time and money in products for me from the likes of Estee Lauder. I used to feel pretty fancy applying my Lauder skincare before school and began to really enjoy the whole process of taking care of my skin.

University was a slightly different story. I was extremely into my skincare and makeup, but wild nights out meant that sometimes, shock, horror, I slept in my makeup. Something that makes me cringe with shame even now as I wouldn’t dream of doing that these days. Each to their own, but I wouldn’t want to sleep in the grime and dirt of day old makeup and wake up with anything less than a fresh face. Don’t you find that a hangover feels much worse if your face isn’t fresh and clean, or is that just me?

Skincare is somewhat of a minefield even to the seasoned beauty pro. Our skin changes so much not only yearly, but monthly too. As women, hormone changes around ‘that time’ of the month can wreak havoc on our skin and we may need to tailor our skincare a little to get the best results. But how do you even start on getting down a proper skincare routine suitable for you when you’re on a tight budget? I have a few tips that might just help.

The broke girls guide to choosing the right skincare | Rachael Divers

1. See an expert
First of all, you’ll need to enlist the help of an expert if you aren’t a beauty whizz yourself and have no idea where to start. Today, beauty counters are full of highly trained staff that can help you to work out your skin type with a complimentary consultation. They’ll recommend the best skincare system for you and will help you to address your needs. It’s worth visiting a few different beauty or skincare counters and collecting advice from the knowledgeable staff – they’re there to help and should be proud to show you the products from the company that they’re representing. Some of the counters I’d recommend are Green People (available at Sandersons Boutique Store at Fox Valley), Kiehls, Origins and Caudalie. Other skincare companies I love but that don’t necessarily have a dedicated counter are La Roche-Posay, The Ordinary and Avene.

If you’d like to assess your skin yourself, here’s the general categories you’ll fall in to (you can fall into more than one).

Dry: Skin feels tight after washing and can look flaky and dull. Pores appear small.

Oily: Skin feels comfortable after washing. Makeup slides away through the day and there’s excess shine to the skin, particularly in the T-Zone (forehead, down the nose and chin). Pores appear larger and skin is prone to breakouts or acne.

Combination: A combination of the above.

Normal: Skin is neither excessively oily or dry and sits somewhere in-between.

2. Ask for samples
Seeing an expert and working out your skin type is just the beginning. Sure, you may have gotten your product recommendations, but not all skincare is made equal. Personally, I have certain products that should work well with my skin, but some actually break me out and just don’t agree with me. Skincare is about trial and error and working out what’s the best fit for you. Asking for a sample should never be something to be embarrassed about, and any beauty counter that puts their customers first will be happy to provide you with a sample (which is free of charge). Skincare can be expensive so you need to know that the product you’re choosing is right for you – you can’t return opened and tested skincare products if they aren’t right, so it pays to get it right the first time. If the brand you’re interested in doesn’t have a counter where you can try testers or samples, try writing to them online or see if they offer a trial pack on their websites. Many brands are happy to do this as they’d love to have you on board with their company. It’s also worth checking out blogs and YouTube videos for a general consensus on a product, but keep in mind that products will perform differently on each person so don’t take the reviews as the final word.

3. Know what you need and don’t be fooled into a complicated, costly routine
Sometimes the simplest skincare routines are the best for your skin. Sure, we’ve got the influence of the Korean 10 Step Skincare routines which have proven results of beautiful skin, but I know plenty of people who have used nothing but water to cleanse their face for years along with Pond’s cream and their skin is divine. We’re all so different and sometimes you might not need the same type of routine as somebody else to see the same great results. I change my skincare routine up a lot because I’m constantly trying out new products for my YouTube channel and blog, but right now, my basic evening routine is this: a gentle exfoliating cleanser followed by my moisturiser. And that’s it! And do you know what? My skin still feels great and looks clear and hydrated, and my routine products cost less than £10. It’s all about choosing the correct products for your skin and knowing how and when to use them.

The broke girls guide to choosing the right skincare | Rachael Divers

4. Remember SPF
It’s so important to use a great SPF for the daytime, even in the winter or on an overcast day. The harmful rays of the sun are the number one factor in ageing our skin and can cause damage to our skin and bodies such as cancer. I prefer to layer up my SPF to make sure I’m getting the full protection that I need. Our sunscreen is usually absorbed into our skin after a couple of hours, so wearing an SPF under our makeup unfortunately won’t protect us throughout the day. Try to choose a foundation or face powder that contains an SPF then when you re-touch during the day you have the added bonus of re-applying your protective shield. If you don’t tend to retouch throughout the day like me, you can always layer up your SPF in the morning and take a dry mist sunscreen with you to spritz lightly over your face.

5. Choose quality
Up to 60% of the ingredients in the products that we use can be absorbed into our bodies. It pays to choose quality ingredients that aren’t harmful to our bodies and that are kind to our skin. There’s new advancements in the beauty world constantly so keep up to date with ingredients and their after effects. You can do this by simply keeping up with the news online or making use of sites like WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) that are ahead of the trends and advancements and will even email you a full report of the latest findings should you wish to read it.

6. Choose wisely
Now that you know your skin type and have tried out a few samples, make sure you choose wisely. You don’t have to stick to just one brand for your skincare needs, so shop around and mix and match until you find the right beauty cocktail for you. It’s really worth saving up to invest in good skincare, but good skincare doesn’t have to cost a fortune. For excellent skincare that’s a fraction of the price, I highly recommend The Ordinary. With great ingredients and an emphasis on skincare that delivers for all needs, I’m confident you’ll find a match.

Supplements can help to give our skin a boost. I’m currently trying the Beauty Beneath supplements out and will share a review soon | The broke girls guide to choosing the right skincare | Rachael Divers

Higher end
Lancer The Method: Polish £60
Omorovicza Cleansing Foam £36
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil £24

More affordable
Nip & Fab Glycolic Scrub £9.95
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Scrub £4.99
Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator £14
Garnier Micellar Water infused with oil £5.99

Higher end
ESPA Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial £60
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet £23

More affordable
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 £5.90
E45 Intense Recovery Lotion £4.33
Ponds Hydro Nourishing Day and Night cream £4.99
Mimitika Face Sunscreen SPF 50 £14
La-Roche Posay Anthelios XL Tinted Fluid £17
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA £4.90
Dr Organic Vitamin E Pure Oil £8.99
Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre £13

Higher end
SKN-RG Collagen Boosting mask £37
Starskin sheet masks (I love all of these!) £8.50 – £12.50

More affordable
7th Heaven Coconut Cream hydrating mask £1
7th Heaven Dead Sea sheet mask £1
7th Heaven Charcoal mask £1
Boots Ingredients Charcoal and Willow Bark sheet mask £2.50

Filorga Time-Filler Absolute Wrinkles Correction Cream £29
DHC Quick Film Smoother £22
Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream £20.50
Avene Thermal Spring Water (perfect for spritzing on your face in the summer months for a refresh or just after makeup to liven up the skin) £9.75

I hope that you found this post helpful and that you’ve discovered a few new brands that you might want to check out soon!

© Rachael Divers 2018.

Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle.