When it comes to skincare, it’s all about trying what works for you and becoming somewhat of a mixologist. Sophie Cullen speaks to the experts to find out what products are worth the cash and those that are not. From the brilliant budget cleansers that do the job just as well as their pricier counterparts, to the payday beauty treats.
So, that said, what should you save on and what should you shell out a little cash for? Here's the breakdown:
Micellar Water Some people swear by these and others aren’t phased by it. In simple terms this removes makeup and cleanses the skin, without having to rinse off with water or strip the skin. ‘These are emulsifying waters that contain only a few ingredients. I’d say this is somewhere you can spend a little and get the same job done. They’re only on the skin for a few seconds so don’t waste money on a super expensive one. I really rate the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, £5’ explains Dr David Jack.
Eye creams They’re designed to hydrate and combat puffiness and darkness. According to Sana Khan founder of Avicenna wellbeing ‘No bride wants to look back at her photos and think, I wish I had fixed my under-eye circles. It’s worth investing in a more expensive eye cream and stay away from high-street creams that make big promises and don’t always deliver. I always recommend Alumier, Alumineye, £54 this has ingredients like glutathione and niacinimide which help to reduce cell damage caused from oxidative stress plus other powerhouse ingredients such as arbutin and kojic acid. These are actives found in medical strength brands only’
SPF You can spend £5 or £50 ‘As long as you get a broad spectrum and above 30+ they both do the same job, which is protecting your skin from UV and IFR rays’ explains Sana Khan founder of Avicenna wellbeing. For cheaper alternatives try La Roche Posay, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Facial Ultra Light Fluid SPF30 £17.50 or La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Face Mist SPF 50+, £10.50. If you prefer something a little heavier but with a velvety texture you’ll enjoy Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Instant Radiance Sun Defence Broad Spectrum SPF40.
Glycolic acid Which also goes by the names of AHA or alpha hydroxy acid, we know they sound a little scary, but you have nothing to fear, they actually have a number of skincare benefits Dr Anjali Mahato explains ‘it’s a fantastic multi-purpose ingredient. I would recommend ‘Jan Marini Bioglycolic Oily Skin Cleansing Gel, £28.50 for acne-prone skin. It acts as a chemical exfoliant and is good at decongesting skin that’s prone to breaking out. It also helps to remove pigmentation or staining from any old acne spots. It also has anti-ageing properties and can help improve the support structure of the skin reducing fine lines as we age. And doesn’t break the bank.’ Also try Sunday Riley, Good Genes, this is an exfoliating serum that will give you glowing skin, it works to remove all the dead skin cells whilst pumping back in moisture.
Day & Night Creams You don’t need to spend a fortune on a good moisturiser -if you suffer with dry skin look out for ingredients such as shea butter, humectants and hyaluronic acid – these are all hydrating agents. My fave day cream? The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, £4.90 – it’s light and sinks in easily.. For something a little more indulgent I love using the Sisley, Velvet Rose Sleep mask, three times a week – I apply a thick layer before bed and let it sink into my sink giving it a much-needed shot of hydration, plus it’s not as thick as a night cream so doesn’t clog up my pores.
Retinols If you’re introducing this powerhouse ingredient in to your regime, do it at least six months in advance of the big day. Some people experience peeling and dry skin at the beginning. It’s best to invest in a good version that is effective with the least amount of irritation and that does come with a price tag I highly recommend, MZ Skin Retinol Skin Booster, £110 this uses an encapsulated retinol to deeply target the skin without surface irritation as well as keeping skin hydrated and supple.
Body moisturiser If your shoulders, back and arms are on display in your dress, keeping the skin soft and supple is key. Opt to start using a body oil, this doesn’t need to break the bank. The high street alternatives are such as good as the pricier ones. Try Bio-Oil, £6 – this keeps skin soft and hydrated. My tip? Ensure you use long, sweeping movements towards the heart to help with lymphatic drainage.
Serums When it comes to choosing one – you need to ask yourself what you’re looking for from it? Do you want to brighten, tighten, hydrate or minimise pores? Dr David Jack suggests ‘look for the different concentrations and combinations of ingredients, like any product that is that is dependent on quality, justify a higher cost.’ For a brilliant all-rounder serum try Clarins, Double Serum, £58 – we know it’s a little on the spenny side but the results are worth it, plus it’s been voted the best serum in the UK.