With the ever-growing presence of Korean influences in the American beauty industry, women in the US are using — and spending — more than ever on skincare. A 10-step routine is daunting enough before you have to consider the price tag of the total regimen, and depending on what you’re hoping to accomplish with your skin, you are probably using different products between your day and nighttime applications.
Truth is, while you can easily spend a lot of money on all the necessary bells and whistles, you definitely don’t have to. There are plenty of steps in a full skincare routine that can and should be budget-friendly to ensure that your best skin isn’t putting you into debt.
There are a multitude of “high-end” makeup removers on the market, and the concept has always been really baffling — all they are intended to do is dissolve makeup before cleansing. Thankfully, micellar water has come along to shift the trend toward more affordable and more effective. Always cleanse after using a makeup remover, especially if you are using a traditional oil-in-water style remover.
Cleansers are utility products. You have to have them no matter what, and since you use them up to twice a day, they should be at a price point that you feel comfortable spending every other month or so. Avoid cleansers that are marketed as treatments for skin problems — i.e. anti-acne salicylic acid cleansers.
Since cleansers are quickly rinsed off and don’t have long enough contact with the skin, they aren’t actually effective at addressing problems and are usually more expensive because of these additional ingredients. Cleansers should have little to no frills — they are simply meant to remove makeup and debris and hydrate.
It’s not a bad idea to spend money on moisturizers, but if you’re layering it over serums or treatments, then there really is no need to drop extortionate amounts of money on a moisturizer. As long as it is providing optimal hydration and protection, you’re good — that’s all a moisturizer is really intended to do. As your skin matures and you begin to incorporate more active ingredients such as acid-based treatments or retinol, then you’ll want to consider a moisturizer that includes peptides, which will cost a little extra.
Whether you prefer sheet masks, cream masks, or clay masks, there is one common thread between them all — they’re not that expensive to make, and they shouldn’t be expensive to purchase. You can walk into most health food stores and buy all the necessary components of a good face mask, so don’t bother spending an arm and a leg on a treatment mask you will use once or twice a week.
Any skincare product that is predominantly water shouldn’t cost more than a decent lunch. Facial mists aren’t really necessary in skincare, but they are super refreshing and indulgent — and therefore you deserve it. A simple rose water or hyaluronic acid mist kept at your desk or in your gym bag is a good way to keep your skin properly hydrated throughout the day and your makeup from creasing — just don’t part with too much cash to keep one around.
Since daily sun protection is a non-negotiable step in every skincare routine, and for how much more of your skin you need to cover on your neck and chest as well as your face, stick to an affordable option that you can replace often. Make sure that your SPF is a physical sunscreen, meaning that it contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which are physical UVA/UVB blockers.