These are the best affordable skincare brands that actually work

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  • Good skin doesn't have to cost the earth

    During the pandemic (and the numerous lockdowns that came with it) we all put down our make-up brushes and focused more on perfecting our skincare routines. We had to, we didn’t have access to facials and treatments and we spent the majority of our days staring at our own reflections on Zoom calls. We were forced to take matters into our own hands. The thing is skincare can get pretty expensive (some brands are even famous for their outrageously high prices) however, we are here to tell you that skincare doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. These are the best affordable skincare brands that will solve all of your skincare woes.

    1. The Ordinary

    Possibly the most iconic affordable skincare range out there?! Even though it wasn’t the first-ever beauty brand to offer skincare at low prices, it was one of the first to deliver high-performance, ingredient-driven, and targeted treatments at super affordable prices.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5.60 | Feelunique
    This little beauty reduces the appearance of blemishes, fights congestion, and brightens skin tone.

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    The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £5 | Boots
    A brilliant hydrating face cream that’s kind to the skin barrier thanks to its fatty acid, amino acid, ceramide and hyaluronic acid-rich formula.

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    2. The Inkey List

    The Inkey List’s aim is to take the confusion out of skincare and put the power back into the hands of the customer by educating them about specific ingredients. Which is exactly what it does and at incredibly low prices.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £5.99 | Cult Beauty 
    Hyaluronic acid serums should feature in everyone’s skincare routine. So if you’re using one every day, you want one that doesn’t cost a ridiculous amount.

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    The Inkey List Salicyclic Acid Cleanser, RRP £10.99 | Lookfantastic
    Blemish-prone and oily skin types will love this everyday cleanser that tackles blocked pores and greasy t-zones.

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    3. CeraVe

    One of the best things to come out of the United States since Britney Spears. CeraVe is a skincare brand developed with the help of dermatologists and it’s driven by three essential ceramides to help care for your skin barrier.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, £9.50 | Boots
    A really gentle, but really effective cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin, yet removes all traces of the day.

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    CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water, £10 | Lookfantastic
    The brand’s latest innovation is its micellar water. It won’t disrupt your skin’s pH and keeps your skin hydrated for 24-hours. Microbiome-friendly skincare at its finest.

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    4. Beauty Pie

    Once you know the concept behind Beauty Pie, you will fall in love with Beauty Pie. The subscription service offers members luxury beauty products at affordable factory prices, by removing any mark-ups. The products come directly from some of the world’s leading and most respected third-party labs. So customers get incredible formulations, ingredients, and textures for less.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Pure Double Vitamin C & Vitamin E Serum, from £14.71 (member price)
    These capsules hold just the right amount of potent vitamin C and vitamin E to brighten, hydrate and minimise the effects of oxidative stress.

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    Beauty Pie Super Retinol High Dose Booster Treatment, from £19.92 (member price)
    Within the formula, alongside the punchy 3% Encapsulated Retinol Complex, is a ceramide-blend, hyaluronic acid, and a soothing complex that prevents irritation.

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    5 . La Roche-Posay

    La Roche-Posay is the brand that we recommend to friends and family whose skin is in slight disarray. It’s the brand that takes things back to basics. It’s efficacious and it doesn’t cost crazy amounts of money.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50, £18 | Boots
    One of the best facial sunscreens you can get. And at £18, there really is no excuse for not wearing sun protection every single day.

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    La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide, £16.50 | Feelunique
    When your skin is having a major freakout and you have dry, inflamed, and flaky skin, stop what you’re using and stick with Toleriane. This moisturiser will soothe irritation and give your skin the TLC it needs.

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    6. Simple

    We all know Simple. It’s the brand that most of us start our skincare journeys using. Our parents took us to the aisles of Boots to pick out our first cleanser, our first toner, and our first moisturiser.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    Simple Kind to Skin Moisturising Facial Wash, £4.60 | Boots
    A great everyday face wash that can be used on alternate days with other, more potent cleansers.

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    Simple Kind to Skin Alcohol Free Soothing Facial Toner, RRP £4.60 | Boots
    The rest of your skincare will work far better for you if you tone your skin after cleansing. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, something Simple will do just the trick.

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    7. B. Skin by Superdrug

    B. Skin by Superdrug has made creating a skincare routine really, really easy. There are five ranges within the collection – Cleanse, Glow, Hydrate, Oil Control, and Age Define – which makes finding the right products for your needs super simple.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    B. by Superdrug Balancing Serum, £14.99 | Superdrug
    When you’re constantly plagued with blackheads and whiteheads, you want to be treating them at all times and this daily serum will clarify your complexion.

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    B. By Superdrug Glycolic Exfoliating Mask, £12.99 | Superdrug
    Reveal a more glowy you with this exfoliating mask that contains five types of acid.

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    8. Bioderma

    French pharmacy brands are the hero brands that beauty editors rely on. And whilst you’d assume they’d be on the more pricey side, they are in fact really affordable. And Bioderma is one of the best. You probably already use its micellar water, it’s legendary.

    Marie Claire-approved products:

    Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Micellar Water, £16.10 | Lookfantastic
    This iconic product is probably already in your bathroom cabinet. One bottle is sold every minute worldwide. A true icon.

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    Bioderma Sensibio Anti-Redness BB Cream SPF30, RRP £16.50 | Feelunique
    As a Rosacea sufferer, you might think you need to spend lots of money to tackle your worries. And whilst there are expensive in-clinic treatments that can help, this affordable BB cream counteracts redness to give you everyday confidence.

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