5 skincare products I am prioritising on a budget

My personal budget has shrunken significantly in the last few weeks. And with it, off went my skincare budget. For years I have had issues with my skin and it’s only in the last few years that I found a routine that works for my face. And while I am reducing the costs, I am not about throw the key skin-savers out of the window.

Before you delve further into this article, remember that products which work for me might not work for you.

Low pH mild cleanser

The idea of a cleanser is that it washes away the dirt, makeup, excess sebum and dead skin. However, most cleansers also wash away the natural protective oils our skin produces and with it they cause the pH of our skin to change temporarily. Although I’m a little partial to the 3 seconds of a squeaky-clean feel to my face before it starts to feel bone-dry, cleansers which heavily disturb skin’s pH are a no-go for me. The ideal option is therefore a cleanser containing AHA or BHA to both help the skin remain a little acidic but also to cut through the grime.

pH balancing toner

Now, you might wonder why I’d bother with a toner if my cleanser already helps to balance my skin out. The answer is simple – my cleanser’s job is to clean. My toner’s job is to tone aka to restore the balance which my cleanser might have disrupted. And it is a heck of a lot easier to tone and maintain moisture in something which is not a barren desert. So while I do pay attention to my cleanser, I pay even more attention to the toner. For my oily and blemish prone skin, the right toner is acidic. I tend to respond really well to glycolic acid and BHA (in low doses), most toners containing AHA don’t agree with me quite so well. This is unfortunately the reason why diluted apple cider vinegar which works wonders for most people is not for me – the malic acids within it are just not that friendly to my particular complexion. If you too are on a budget, I’d trying it regardless of my personal experience, it would be a huge money saver if your skin likes it.

Eye Cream

I laugh, I smile, I cry, I squint and I do no Botox. The skin around my eyes needs more nourishment than the skin on the rest of my face – not only it’s thinner, but it works much harder than the rest of my face. It also is quite different to the rest of my face in terms of oiliness – the skin under my eyes is naturally on the dry side. Yes, thanks mother nature for making my face complicated.

With all the challenges clear, there is no way that I could skip out on eye cream and there is no way I would use a broader spectrum moisturiser so close to my eyes. This puts eye cream firmly on the list of priorities.


My skin does not need a heavy moisturiser, but it does need something to act as a light barrier under the sunscreen and makeup. The barrier’s job is to help my skin retain its moisture for as long as possible during the day. I find that a moisturiser in form of a lotion does a much better job for me than any other format or texture.


Do you remember all that acid I am putting on my face in the first two products I mention? Well…just that renders a need to wear sunscreen. Aside from (slightly) increased photosensitivity which your skincare might cause, UV rays simply kill off the ability of your skin to regenerate. Aside from preventing the obvious risks around sun exposure, I tend to opt for mineral sunscreens which also acts as a makeup primer.


I have intentionally not included any product or brand names as these vary from country to country (and this blog post is not sponsored). Instead, I will encourage you to look online, read reviews & ingredient lists and look further afield. While most countries have a good diversity of skincare, I often look further afield and instead of visiting London pharmacies will turn to K-beauty and continental Europe products. Although the procurement process becomes a little more involved, my money stretches further for cleaner, more effective products.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *