My affordable skincare routine


There’s a few things that happen to you when you pass the threshold of being thirty – and one is skincare. I’ll admit that before the magical numbers of 3 and 0 I washed my makeup off (if I remembered) with hand soap, I often forgot to moisturise morning and night and what the hell is this thing you call primer anyway?


I never had to worry about my skin. Whether or not I treated it nicely (buying a moisturiser which was actually meant for my face) or not (using samples of “moisturiser” I nicked from hotel rooms, during overnight visits obvs) never seemed to matter. My skin was perfect. It didn’t even matter if I’d slept for two hours after a random encounter with beer on a school night and crawled out of bed to go to work by sheer determination. My skin had glow, damnit. GLOW.



So you can imagine what a shock it was when I noticed the first laughter lines forming around my eyes. And then came the pores. The little craters of misery. When the black bags under my eyes appeared I started to realise that I had to seriously re-evaluate my relationship with skincare.


I’ve said before that my skin has a mind of its own and is awkwardly oily while being impossibly dry at the same time. So finding products that actually work for me was more a case of multiple accounts of trial and error rather than landing on the right ones straight away.


Plus, you must remember that I am stingy. Well, selectively stingy. I can pay a £50 bar tab in a craft ale pub without even blinking but when I should invest a similar amount into skincare products I get antsy. What if it isn’t worth it? What if I pay huge amounts of money for something that I end up hating? It’s pretty safe to say that in a £50 bar tab the chances are I enjoyed the majority of the beers – but what about skincare products?



I know, priorities, priorities. So on a hunt I went for products that wouldn’t cost the earth but would still work for my early thirties skin.


Because I had no routine it was hard to get into one, and this definitely affected my choices. If you haven’t got a skincare routine yet and are nearing the threshold which I already passed – get one. Once things get harder to maintain having a routine will make the transition easier. Trust me on that. Anyway – after going through a bunch of affordable skincare products I finally have set into a selection that I find keeps my skin looking glowy, and even curbs the ever present oily t-zone I suffer from.





1. Remove makeupGarnier Micellar Water – Mattifying Cleansing Water Combination & Sensitive – £3.33

The most important thing is to remember to carefully remove your make up. I think that is key. But who has ages to do that and who wants to lean over a sink and get water everywhere while washing your face with potions that don’t even take out your waterproof mascara which you need because otherwise it would be running all over your face during the day. So I opted for an easy option. You just dampen a cotton pad with this bad boy and wipe all that makeup off. Boom. Sorted. No rubbing, no mess, makeup comes off and oh, did I mention that this cleansing water leaves your skin supple and mattifies it as you clean it? Double boom.


2. Sort those laughter lines and baggy eyesBotanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream – £11.99

If nourishing is your game, this bad boy should also be. Infused with a cocktail of anti-oxidants extracted from the leaves of the Ginkgo plant, it promises to help in reducing the appearance of fine lines and dark circles while moisturising the hell outta my under-eyes. I cannot stress enough how fab this product is. It cools and calms and damnit, I rids me of my fine lines and it definitely tackles those dark circles that persist no matter how much I sleep.


3. Moisturise the hell out of that skinSimple Regeneration Age Resisting Night Cream – £5.99

I’ll admit, I’ve not been a big fan of the Simple adverts, but I can’t fault the products. My skin isn’t particularly sensitive but it is rather pernickety so these kind of products actually work really well with it. Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Night Cream is a blend of seven different active ingredients that revitalise and restore your skin throughout the night, no fuss. The science seems to back this up, but to be honest, I like the fact that it’s gel like and feels cool and calming on my skin after a hard day. Top stuff.





1. Bye bye dark circles and baggy eyes! Botanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream – £11.99

I know I know, I’m  repeating myself. But it’s a twice-a-day kind of affair with this one. After a quick shower I apply the Botanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream again underneath my eyes and boy does it wake me, and my eyes up.


2. Pop goes shiny skinNivea Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream For Oily to Combination Skin – £2.87

Now I cannot speak highly enough of this cheap and cheerful product. It has a lovely oil free and gel like consistency and it feels super light on my skin – but it doesn’t skimp on moisturising or mattifying my skin all day. It does what it says on the tin, and man, it’s like less than £3! I have tried more expensive products but none come even near what this bad boy can do. And for a few quid, it really is worth giving it a go.


3. Pores? What pores! Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Lightweight Primer – £7.99

If you’d asked me six months ago what a primer was I would have stared at you with this blank look on my face without a clue of what you’re talking about. Now, I am quite a few primers in and this one is one of the most affordable and best I have tried. It promises instant pore erasing and baby-smooth skin and yeah, it does deliver. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a lot of it at all. Just a drop is enough to erase the craters of misery from my face and create the perfect base for makeup.



Bonus round:


1. A treat for those makeup-free days  – Garnier BB Cream Original Light Tinted Moisturiser – £9.99

If I am having a day off going outside my house or just not wanting to clog my face up with all the above – I just pop a bit of this on in the morning for that instantly glowing, healthy, well rested look that usually requires sleep. So yes, people, I declare this the ultimate hangover moisturiser! It’s a little heavier than the gel-like products I usually use but by no means too heavy or unpleasant and it makes my skin glow like back in the good old days. I got this on sale in Boots by luck but definitely recommend getting it if you fancy a quick fix for skin that looks like you’ve had a load of beauty sleep.


So there you are – my affordable skincare routine. You can get all these products for exactly £42.16 (which is less than my usual bar tab).


Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments.

  • David E

    I will have to show this out to my daughter as she is looking for help with her skin care routine. I love how you talk about it and how you consider carefully what you put on your face. I think it’s important.

  • Kanishka Acharya

    It is so difficult to maintain a skincare routine that’s affordable but I love all the list of products here. I love how you are taking care of each part! I stick to natural ways to keep my skin healthy. But who knows down the line I might need some advice so this post was helpful

  • Sondra Barker

    Everyone needs a good and affordable skin care routine! This is perfect.

  • Haha, YES to the post-30 realization that skin-care matters! I’m going to have to try some of the products you use. I’m always looking for new favorites. 🙂

  • Kari Haywood

    I’m definitely noting these. I was like you…before 30 I was lucky to remember washing my face was an important daily routine. Lol. Now I’m dealing with laugh lines, dry skin and hyperpigmentation!

  • Looks like you have a great routine down. I’ve been slowly adding a product at a time to my own skin (I’ll be 33 this month), adjusting each new product until I get the right one for the job, and then adding in the next one when I’m ready. I helps to build the routine bit by bit – but like you, I’ve got mostly good skin, so I feel that I have time to be patient.

    Which is handy because my skin is cranky and if I throw too much at it at once, it freaks out.

  • I always spent my half an hour to read this blog’s posts all the time along with a cup of coffee.