When it comes to budget skincare , brands are stepping up their games to prove that high quality needn’t come at a high cost. From cleansers to day creams, the choice is staggering - but what about serums? Typically, their higher concentrations of actives have usually given rise to payday worthy prices. However, high street and supermarket brands have risen to the challenge of filling the gap in the market with a roster of products that provide a surprisingly large amount of bang for your buck. Here are 6 of the best.
A good quality serum needn’t cost you a fortune. Here are our favourites priced £20 and under
This serum proves that quality needn’t come with a double-figured price tag. Don’t be fooled by its super low price - it provides high yielding results and its fragrance-free formula makes it particularly attractive to sensitive skin types (it counts our very own Judy Johnson as a fan - read her review here ). Hydrating and hardworking, its ingredients list includes sodium hyaluronate, glycerin and ceramides to soothe and smooth and leave your skin glowing.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90 for 30ml
With an ability to hold up to 1000x its weight in water, hyaluronic acid (HA) has become one of the biggest buzz ingredients around when it comes to hydration. An HA serum containing both low and high molecular weight particles is best for ensuring that it can deeply penetrate the epidermis and this budget-friendly option from The Ordinary provides just that and more at an impressively affordable price. Also containing vitamin B5 to enhance its moisture-boosting abilities further, it’s easy to see why stockists struggle to hang onto their supplies of it.
Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Skin Resurfacer, £19.99 for 30ml
Effective on fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation, retinol (a derivative of vitamin A) is widely regarded as an anti-ageing heavyweight. Highlighted by BBC’s The Truth About Looking Good as an ingredient that’s actually worthy of the hype surrounding it, it can make a real difference to the look and feel of your skin. It can be potent though and might cause redness and irritation at first, so a degree of caution should be exercised if you’re new to it. This affordable, fragrance-free option from Indeed Labs carries a 4-star rating on Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia site and has won praise from a range of beauty experts across the web - and for just reason. Containing retinol RA, retinol microspheres and peptides, it aims to keep discomfort to a minimum, but is well worth patch-testing first just to be safe.
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, £4.90 for 30ml
The Ordinary makes a second appearance on our list courtesy of this skin brightening and protective vitamin C serum. Containing 23% pure L-ascorbic acid, the fact that it's water and silicone-free prevents dilution of its vitamin content so that you get a greater amount of potency for your pennies while its inclusion of hyaluronic acid gives it a welcome hydrating edge. Resulting in a slightly gritty texture, it may tingle at first before your skin becomes used to it, but in terms of value for money, it delivers.
Avene Hydrance Intense, £18 for 30ml
If the effects of central heating and the winter elements have caused your skin to go from dry to uncomfortably dehydrated, this silky textured serum’s your perfect match. Seven years in the making with Stanford University, its combination of ingredients is designed to mimic the skin’s natural hydration processes and create water retaining micro reservoirs to encourage better moisture delivery to it. Containing the brand’s signature Avene Thermal Spring Water in its microspheres, it soothes and effectively relieves dryness induced stress and tightness.
Cien Cellular Beauty Serum, £3.49 for 30ml
Supermarket skincare has come leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and Lidl’s new Cellular Beauty range aims to provide further proof of this. With each of the products priced at just £3.49, the serum in the collection seeks to provide a more intensive option thanks to its inclusion of glow-boosters such as hydrating crambe abyssinica seed oil, glycerin and cell regenerative goodies. Designed to help amp up moisture levels and rate of cell renewal, it makes for an interesting addition to the megastore’s aisles.
Available from the 25th of January.