How to start a skincare routine on a budget

Author: Danielle Cauchi   Date Posted: 10 May 2023 

Skincare can be expensive, but with this affordable guide, your routine will be set without hte big price tags!


Anyone who has demonstrated any sort of interest in beauty and self-care has surely had the importance of skincare drummed into them time and time again from their peers, social media or internet and magazine articles.

But let’s be real … skincare is expensive. There are so many products, so many steps and so many factors that influence our decisions, overwhelming us and making us think that we need to send ourselves broke investing in all these different items to finally get our dream skin.

The reality is that an everyday skincare routine can be simplified and condensed for your specific skin needs and you definitely don’t have to spend a small fortune on it either.


Woman applying moisturiser


The Basic Steps Of A Skincare Routine


When developing a budget friendly skincare routine, tune out all the noise and strip everything back to basics: Cleanse, tone, treat, moisturise (and protect with sunscreen for a morning skincare routine, of course!). Saying this order of application to yourself as you do your skincare routine will help this system become second nature to you in no time.


Step 1: Cleanse


Cleansing your face morning and evening is fundamental for healthy skin. Washing your face in the morning clears away any bacteria that built up overnight and helps you feel refreshed and ready to start the day. Cleaning your face at night rids your skin of any makeup, dirt, excess oil and other pollution that may have accumulated throughout the day that could potentially lead to breakouts and congestion if left on the skin.

You definitely don’t need to blow all of your earnings on some miracle cleanser, you just need a reliable cleanser that will clean your skin effectively without stripping or irritating it.

Best budget cleanser: Sukin Signature Foaming Facial Cleanser ($6.95)

This cleanser is our personal pick for an everyday budget cleanser as it is gentle, non-drying and is loaded with natural ingredients including Chamomile, Green Tea, Evening Primrose and Rosehip Oil. An alternative for those with dry skin would be Sukin Rosehip Nourishing Cream Cleanser, also $6.95.


Step 2: Tone


Toner is the secret to optimising your skincare routine. Not only does it help to improve skin tone and texture, and balance the skin’s pH, but it helps clear your pores of any lingering traces of dirt, makeup or debris, allowing your other skincare products to absorb easier and more efficiently.

Best budget toner: Garnier Perfecting Toner Purifying Thyme ($5.95)

This budget toner is our pick, especially for those with oilier skin, as it goes the extra mile in terms of tightening pores and mattifying the skin. Normal or dry skin types would enjoy the hydrating formula of Sukin Original Hydrating Mist Toner which is also wonderfully affordable at just $3.95.


Step 3: Treat


This step is an umbrella term for any product that targets specific skin concerns such as eye cream or spot treatments. Applying these products after cleansing and toning and before moisturising gives the active ingredients a chance to penetrate and absorb into the skin to start working.

No two people are alike and neither is their skin, so the types of skincare products you choose to apply during this step depends on your skin and its unique needs. However, we are going to concentrate on serums as their extensive selection of formulas and ingredients make them a useful investment for any skin type.

Serums target specific skin concerns by delivering concentrated active ingredients straight to the skin and problem areas. If there is a particular skin concern you want to address, whether that be wrinkles, dark spots, dryness or something else, then serum is a worthy investment.

Best budget face serum: Sukin Hydration Biomarine Facial Serum ($8.95)

Since hydration is so important for keeping our skin feeling and looking plump, firm and radiant, we had to pick this serum. Its active Bio-Marine blend of Sea Algae, Hyaluronic Acid & Maize Complex nourishes parched skin for up to 72 hours!


Step 4: Moisturise


In a basic skincare routine, moisturiser is a great final step. It replenishes all the hydration that may have been lost in the process of cleansing and toning, which keeps our skin balanced. It also helps to protect our skin by locking in moisture while blocking out bacteria and other debris.

It’s a common misconception that those with oily skin should forget moisturiser entirely. Oily skin types would be best suited to a water-based formula.

Best budget face moisturiser: Sukin Signature Facial Moisturiser ($6.95)

This budget-friendly moisturiser is the ideal all rounder for all skin types with its hydrating cream formula full of nourishing ingredients including Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. Those with oily, blemish prone skin may prefer an oil-free option such as Sukin Blemish Control Oil Free Moisturiser which is also very affordable at $6.95.


Step 5: Protect


Sunscreen is a non-negotiable in a morning skincare routine, even if you are using other skincare or makeup products that contain SPF.

Cancer Council Moisturising Sunscreen Spf50+ is just $3.95 which is perfect for a wallet-friendly skincare routine!


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