Today I want to talk about how to keep your skin looking its best while keeping a keen eye on your budget.
Having an addiction to the latest skin fad, wrinkle banisher, exfoliating device, etc., can have a tremendously negative impact on your bank balance.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have gorgeously healthy skin.
I became an Avon representative several years ago as a side hustle, just so that I could try out all their lotions and potions. I tried everything, from their most expensive skincare to the cheapest.
The best product I discovered from Avon was actually a hand cream. It was the only cream (besides Vaseline) I have ever found to heal my sore hands.
I loved Avon’s makeup and accessories, but sadly none of their skincare products were any good for me!
I have always had problem skin. Up until my boys were born, I suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which gave me acne, excess body hair and fertility issues.
After I finally had children, my PCOS symptoms subsided. Maybe it was the hormonal avalanche of pregnancy that sent my PCOS packing? I don’t really know. But what I do know, is that it’s s**d’s law my PCOS disappeared after the point I didn’t want any more children!
I’m not a skin specialist. I don’t have any qualifications in this area, but I do feel I have a voice because my skin has been through the mill and back in its lifetime.
I’ve tried a lot of things over the years in the hope it will become what I would term, healthy. But NOTHING worked until I took a very simple route.
Fortunately, that simple route was also one that is also kind to my purse.
I genuinely believe that people who have great skin don’t fuss over it. They don’t challenge their skin every day by stripping its protective layer with washes laden with chemicals or special scrubs aiming to peel away the top layer of skin.
I think it is very telling how many men you see around with great skin. I will leave that hanging ….
I have always thought that cleansing your skin is just as important, if not more so, than keeping it well moisturised.
The critical thing I have found is not to strip your skin of its natural protection when you cleanse it.
Avoid the tight feeling at all costs, the kind that you would get from soap and water.
And, by the way, I would never recommend soap and water, however greasy your skin is. Keep a bar of soap for your hands, but never be tempted to use it on your face!
Cleansers that don’t strip the skin are usually cream-based, and you can take them off with a tissue or with a splash of warm water.
Here are some cleaners that I love.
Ponds cold cream
Women have used this magical cream since the ’40s or ’50s. It is so named because you get a slightly cold feeling as you massage it into your face before the warmth of your skin makes it transparent.
Ponds cold cream will remove all your makeup and deep cleanse your face all in one.
Remove it with a wet flannel, or microfibre cloth. Your skin will feel beautifully cleansed afterwards without feeling tight.
Once a week, smother your face in it and go and lie down for 10 minutes or have a bath. You will find it unclogs pores and makes your skin beautifully smooth.
Where to buy
I used to buy Boots own brand of cold cream, but sadly they discontinued it. I now buy the biggest jar I can from Amazon, and it lasts for weeks.
Aqueous cream is meant to be a dry skin treatment, but it works brilliantly well as a gentle facial cleanser or handwash. It contains SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), which might turn some people off, but that is the element that gives it cleansing power.
I always have a huge tub of aqueous cream on reserve for handwashing when soap is too harsh for my hands, or as an alternative facial cleanser to Ponds Cold Cream.
Where to buy
You can buy Aqueous cream in places like Boots or Superdrug, but it is cheaper if you buy in bulk from Amazon.
Yes, warm water, the ultimate affordable cleanser! It won’t remove makeup of course, but it will give the pores a clean without stripping.
If I run out of my usual cleanser, warm water is what I use until my Amazon order arrives or I can get out to the shops.
My sister has beautiful, flawless skin (sooo jealous!) and warm water is all she uses on her face.
I can’t get away with just warm water for full-time use, but if I could, I would too.
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Many people will say that if you have greasy skin, you don’t need as much moisturiser, or you need a special one for oily skin.
I think they are wrong. I used to have quite greasy skin until I realised I was over-cleansing and not moisturising enough, and my skin was compensating by producing more oil and therefore more pimples.
Once I switched to a gentle cleanser and started moisturising well, my skin rebalanced, and I stopped waking up in the morning looking like an oil slick.
Vaseline (petroleum jelly)
I can’t shut up about Vaseline, can I? I make no apology because this stuff is truly amazing. I love Vaseline not just because it is dirt cheap but because my skin loves it.
You may well be thinking, doesn’t it cause acne?
Well, I do have acne-prone skin. Vaseline categorically does not give me spots, quite the opposite, it prevents them.
Vaseline isn’t actually a moisturiser in the usual sense. It doesn’t penetrate the skin; it sits on top and stops moisture escaping from the surface.
That is why, for best results, you should apply to slightly damp skin.
You don’t need much of it. I usually moisturise my hands with it first and then rub my hands over my face, giving the skin a slight sheen.
If you haven’t discovered Vaseline yet, I encourage you to give it a go.
Where to buy
I buy own brand petroleum jelly from Boots or Tesco (in the baby section) because it is cheaper (than the super cheap) real Vaseline.
If you can’t get out, you can order online at Amazon too (of course!).
Ultrasun Face Anti-Ageing Sun Protection
Vaseline doesn’t protect your skin from sun exposure. You must, of course, apply sunscreen to stop sun damage.
Ultrasun isn’t the cheapest of creams, but to be honest, if I am going to spend money anywhere, I would much rather spend it on protecting my skin from the sun.
Ultrasun Face is the best skin cream I have found. It absorbs in an instant and gives amazing sun protection. I use it as a day cream, applying it every day after my morning shower, and that’s it, I don’t reapply.
Ultrasun claims that its facial suncream does not clog pores, and I can vouch for that because it has never given me spots. It is fragrance-free too, which is another reason why I continue to re-purchase.
If you have sensitive skin choose a gentle washing powder. Be careful not to use too much powder or liquid. I always use less than the directed amount, and it is always fine.
Again, Vaseline is a great body moisturiser too. It is great for the especially dry bits like the feet, hands, elbows, and knees.
Why not combine Vaseline with your favourite body lotion?
Looking after the inside
Many people say that if you look after the inside, the outside will look after itself. While I don’t buy into that (you still need to cleanse and moisturise properly) a nutrient-rich diet is only going to benefit your skin.
If you have trouble keeping to a healthy diet 100% of the time, (who doesn’t?), then why not supplement with a good multi-vitamin? I love the Multibionta range of supplements from Seven Seas.
Keeping fit is another way to get great skin from the inside. If you don’t already have a regular exercise routine, why not check out Youtube from some free online workouts?
Here are my favourite Youtube fitness channels:
I hope I have convinced you that indeed you can have beautiful skin on a budget, even a tight budget no less.
The most expensive item on the list is the Ultrasun sunscreen. It’s one of the few luxury toiletry items I allow myself. But, you could go for something cheaper like supermarket own brand of suncream. It doesn’t actually have to be specifically for the face, it depends on your sensitivity to the ingredients.