Anyway! For me my skin has always been a problem. In school I was very prone to acne and breakouts and it left me feeling very self conscious about myself. I didn't really understand skincare either so it was a case of us Clearasil or whatever and hope for the best. I carried on like this for a LONG time until I gave up and just didn't use anything apart from make up removed wipes and a touch of moisturiser. It wasn't until about 4/5 years ago that I really paid attention to my skin and tried to work out what I needed to do to start feeling comfortable. As a disclaimer, my skin is combination - it used to be very oily but a lot of my products combat that. However, I also get the occasional dry patch so I have to be prepared for this too. Since really sorting out my skincare routine I've noticed that not only am I more confident in my skin, I'm happier to go without make up, but make up tends to go on easier, have a nicer finish and lasts longer as well. It's been since I started to really spend on my skincare that this has happened and I don't think it's any coincidence.
I've never gotten on with drugstore cleaners. Even some of the higher prices ones like No7 or La Roche Posay, they just haven't been for me. Cleansing is a massive part of any skincare routine so unless you get this right the rest won't add up. My two favourites, personally, are the Origins Zero Oil Cleanser (£18.50) and the Ren ClearCalm3 Clay Cleanser (£19.00). These are perfect for oily skinned girls or anyone who has the tendency to break out. A great example of getting more when you spend more is the Origins Zero Oil offering - this is a gel cleanser, and drugstores are full of these. I've used MANY drugstore gel cleansers over the years and all of them dried my face completely and I hated them. This one still leaves my skin nice and fresh, not at all dry.
This category is in the spirit of being fair... I used drugstore toners. In particular I use the La Roche Posay Serozinc (£8.50), which is under £10. Toner's have always been on and off for me and I've tried a variety of high end and drugstore. Drugstore I usually hate - mainly because I feel like they do nothing and if anything make my skin feel drier. Higher end toners usually work out for me and before this one I was using the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£14.50) or the ESPA Balancing Herbal Spafresh (£23.00) which was actually my favourite out of the two.
There are three treatments I live by, two of which are definitely higher end and the other is mid level. I always see treatments as a "use as needed" product - however I do usually use at least one of these every day. My treatments usually focus around blemishes. One I live by, and have done for a LONG time, is the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ (£15.50), so while technically drugstore it is still pricier than other spot treatments you can get in the drug store. This is probably the only spot treatment I ever found that really works for me on a day to day basis. The other treatment I use most days is the Origins Make a Difference+ Rejuvinating Treatment (£34.50). This is one of those products where you don't realise it's doing anything until you stop using it. I ran out of this once and didn't repurchase due to the price, and my skin just went downhill very rapidly - it just looked duller, it wasn't even, I just looked really unhealthy. This is definitely worth the price tag. Lastly, my when needed treatment is the Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel (£15.00) - a much hyped product that completely deserves it. I use this as a targeted treatment for really bad, under the skin spots, and this sorts them out like nothing else. Winner.
I actually tend to use serums rather than moisturisers as I've never found one that really really works for me. Any of them always seem to make my skin greasy and oily afterwards - but that's just a personal preference. Serums are definitely a pricier product when it comes to skincare, and probably the one I would recommend you really spend out on. Since I've introduced serums into my routine my skin has finally crossed the final hurdle and I'm so comfortable with it now. The first serum I fell in love with was the Vichy Idealia Life Serum (£31.00) which is an amazing brightening serum that just breathes life into your skin. It also smoothes everything over. The other one, and most recent, is the Kiehl's Hyrdo-Plumping Re-Texturising Serum Concentrate (£40). This is a newbie for me and in just a week it's completely helped my skin. I've been ill in March so my skin went a bit haywire - this product just smoothed everything out and pumped some life back in. I'm already deeply in love with this.
There are some other things I wanted to mention that didn't fit into any of these categories. For starters, primer is as much a part of skincare as it is make up and the only primer I've ever gotten on with (thanks oily skin + dry patches) is the Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector (£23). It smoothes my skin and glues my make up on like nothing else. Masks are also so important for skin care - while I like some lower priced masks from Lush and The Body Shop, my favourites have always been Origins Out of Trouble Mask (£23) and the Clarin's HydroQuench Cream Mask (£33).
My best friend asked me the other day "is it worth it, spending that much on skincare" - which prompted this post cause it set me off thinking and my answer was yes. Yes because my skin is finally in a place where I'm happy going make up free, yes because my make up looks so much better now and lasts longer and yes - because it's given me confidence. I'm not saying we should all spend a fortune on skincare products, but I'd rather spend more on skincare products than make up. There are so many amazing drugstore make up products and I just don't think they've caught up on skincare yet (with a few exceptions).
Do you think it's worth spending more on your skincare?