Healthy skin doesn’t just happen and like all good things in life – it usually takes effort, commitment, and of course, good skincare products.
However, many people are still under the impression that good skincare products have to be expensive because of the high-quality ingredients used and whatever someone convinced you to believe.
So, as an esthetician, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is how to create a skincare regimen on a budget? It’s actually simple.
To create a skincare regimen on a budget you need to consider your skin’s needs first, stick to the basics, keep it simple, and stop believing that expensive always means better, cause it doesn’t.
But I understand that this isn’t easy for many people because it can be very difficult to grow out of your ways and suddenly change your firm opinions.
So, let me help you. In today’s article, I will teach you how to create a skincare regimen on a budget as well as tell you the most important things you need to know about creating simple and efficient skincare that will benefit your skin’s needs.
So, the first and most important thing to do when starting to create a skincare regimen on a budget is to:
Consider Your Skin’s Needs
This is the most important thing to think of when you are looking to buy a new skincare product. Don’t pay attention to what everyone else is talking about or how good a product worked for them, but pay attention to whether you need it in your regimen or not.
Think about how your skin will benefit from this product and will it even benefit from it in the first place.
For example, you don’t need to buy an expensive bottle of retinol if you are in your early 20s and you don’t have any visible fine lines.
I understand that you might be thinking prevention is key, and while this is partly true, the only kind of anti-aging prevention you should be doing in your 20s is using sunscreen.
Furthermore, if your skin isn’t oily and you don’t have acne breakouts, you probably don’t need a BHA exfoliant just because someone you know or follow online is using it and swears by it.
Pay close attention to your skin’s needs and try to give your skin what it wants not what you want. Experimenting with weird products just because someone else told you to is an unnecessary expense you really don’t need in your life.
Keep It Simple
Keeping a simple skincare routine is the key to having great-looking skin.
The reason why I’m writing this is that I constantly see all these YouTubers and Instagram influencers promoting a 10-step skincare routine and trying to make us all believe that if you are not doing what they are doing, your skin will suffer.
The only thing I think of when seeing these elaborate skincare routines is “Who the hell even has time for that?”. What you have to understand is that these people don’t always have your best interest in mind.
And while I am not trying to bash Instagram influencers for doing their jobs, that doesn’t mean that you have to do what they do so you can have great-looking skin.
Many of these people are under contracts and have products sent to them in order to promote them.
So if 10 brands send them products and they sign a contract that binds them to promote these products, a beauty influencer has to find a way to promote all these products without making 10 individual videos.
Therefore, it is less time-consuming to make a video of using 10 different products, am I right?
Now let me assure you that I take good care of my skin and by that I mean I cleanse my face every night, I use an exfoliator, a serum, a moisturizer, and sunscreen in the morning.
And yes, I am very happy with how my skin looks. So happy that I don’t even have the slightest desire to go through a daunting 10-step skincare routine when I am dead tired in the evening.
My point is, you don’t need to have a complicated skincare routine to have good skin.
And let me tell you a one more important thing – our skin isn’t designed for all these different ingredients and most of the time it will just freak out and start rebelling, rightfully so.
Which I think is the main reason someone came up with the popular meme “When you’re doing skincare, but your skin doesn’t care”. Yes, your skin is probably just rebelling against all these new and unknown things it has to deal with all of a sudden.
Expensive Doesn’t Mean Better
Take a look at brands like Clinique, Dior, Lancôme, Guerlain, etc. What do these brands have in common besides the outrageous prices of their products? They are makeup and fashion brands, not skincare brands.
So, doing skincare because everyone is into it lately is just an obvious money grab from multi-millionaire companies. They have ridiculously high prices, bad skincare ingredients, perfumed products, and nothing else.
My point is that expensive products don’t always offer high quality and the main thing you should look for before purchasing a product that will sit on your skin for a long time is to look at the ingredient list.
If skincare products contain ingredients such as Alcohol denat, astringents, fragrance, perfume, and other fragrant components such as essential oils, that product doesn’t belong on your face.
It will not do anything for you besides irritating your skin and causing bigger problems down the line.
You need your skincare products to work, not to smell nice! And products from relatively affordable brands like The Ordinary or the Inkey List work ridiculously much better than any Clinique or Dior skincare product.
Stick To What Works
Again, listen to your skin and make sure to give it what it needs. If you’ve found a product that works for you, stick to it. You don’t need to change it.
Due to having a job that requires me to experiment with a lot of products, more often than not I pay the price for it, and my skin often becomes irritated, angry, and inflamed because of all the stuff I apply and test out for the sake of content.
But for the regular person that just wants to take good care of their skin, you don’t need all these things. You don’t need five different serums. You need to stick to the one or two that work for you. Again, it’s just as simple as that.
Don’t Overdo It
Here’s one more thing that will help you make the most out of your products and save you money in the long run as you will not have to buy products every month or so.
You really only need a pea-sized amount of any skincare product you are using starting from a cleanser and ending with a moisturizer.
Using too much cleanser can potentially dehydrate your skin while using too much of your serums and moisturizers will end up sitting on the surface of your skin because our skin can only absorb a very little amount of product and the rest of it is all extra.
The only exception should be your sunscreen and you should definitely apply more than a pea-sized amount when it comes to protection. Sunscreen is supposed to be sitting on top of the skin and therefore offering a good layer of protection from the harmful UV rays.
Don’t Waste Your Money On Good Marketing But Bad Products
The only possible way to avoid getting tricked by good marketing is to educate yourself a little on which ingredients are good for the skin and which ones just won’t do it any good.
A good place to start is Paula’s Choice ingredient dictionary and even as a professional in the skincare industry, this is still the place I go to when I am unsure about a certain ingredient in my skincare products.
Good marketing is there for a reason – to sell you the damn thing.
Good products speak for themselves and I have never seen a brand like The Ordinary or the Inkey List being so heavily advertised like some other brands that have yucky skincare products (I’m looking at you, La Roche Posay).
Don’t grab a product from the shelves because it says that it’s good for acne and you happen to have acne. Or also don’t do the same thing when you read that something is anti-aging and you’ve recently noticed a line on your forehead or around the eyes.
Educate yourself a bit better on some basic ingredients in skincare so that you can avoid wasting money by falling into the trap of good marketing.
Stick To The Basics
These are the basic things you need in a simple and efficient skincare routine:
Never go to bed without removing your makeup and thoroughly cleansing your skin. You don’t want all the daily grime, dust, pollution, etc, sticking on your pillow and absorbing into your skin.
Exfoliating is something that happens regularly in a good skincare regimen.
You need an exfoliator to remove the buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and reveal a brighter and more radiant complexion from underneath but also prevent your pores from becoming clogged which may result in breakouts.
A lot of people use toners, but I always like to recommend a serum over a toner. Serums are products that contain high concentrations of active ingredients and they are usually formulated to be easily absorbed by the skin due to their light weight and watery consistency.
Once you’ve applied your serum, you now need to lock all that hydration and actives into the skin and the best way to do this is by using a moisturizer that will create that occlusive barrier on the surface and prevent the moisture from evaporating.
The most important part of your morning skincare routine is a diligent application of sunscreen as, without it, your skin will never be able to heal.
I enjoyed writing this article and helping you learn how to create a skincare regimen on a budget.
Skincare products don’t have to be expensive to be good and do wonders for your skin, so if you are looking for some great and affordable products, take a look at my list of ten best skincare products under $50.
I would love to hear your thoughts about skincare on a budget in the comments below!
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Thanks for stopping by! My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.