Autumn skincare finds that won’t break the bank
As we head into a change of season I’ve been switching up some of my skincare, and I’m sure lots of other people are wondering about doing the same. At the tail end of summer some of us might be thinking about helping to repair sun damage, and others might want to take better care of sensitive or drier skin as the weather cools.
There’s so much flim-flam and hype out there about serums, treatments and moisturisers that it can make shopping difficult, so I tend to go for ingredients that have at least a certain amount of clinical evidence and testing behind them, and I also try to look for good packaging that will keep the product fresh and hygenic. Here are a few recent favourites, and why I like them.
LimberLux Vitamin C serum 30ml
RRP 16.95 | Buy at Amazon UK.
Finding a decent Vitamin C serum can be very, very tricky. There are different types to choose from, you need to get the right concentration and pH for it to work, plus the ‘gold standard’ one is pretty unstable and can also be highly irritating to sensitive skin. This particular serum contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP), the gentlest form of Vitamin C, in a 5% concentration which is known to be clinically effective, with surface brightening and antioxidant effects. As an added bonus, SAP has an anti-acne effect so can help to keep sensitive skin clear. It’s also packaged in an opaque airless pump to keep it fresher for longer, and contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing aloe vera.
Dermatica azelaic acid 20%
RRP £19.99 | Buy at Dermatica, MedExpress, or Amazon UK
This is clinical strength azelaic acid, but you can now buy it more easily without a prescription. Azelaic acid is a powerful antioxidant that fades dark spots, blemishes and marks, gently exfoliates, improves skin tone and texture, and reduces redness. Along with the brightening effects it can also help to treat rosacea and spots. This preparation is a cosmetically elegant light cream that smoothes on easily and sits well under makeup or moisturiser, and unlike some other preparations it doesn’t contain any irritating alcohol.
Obviously it’s strong stuff so please read the instructions leaflet carefully and start slowly if you try this one, don’t mix with too many harsh ingredients such as exfoliants or keratolytics, and always remember to use sunscreen during the day. Suitable for vegans.
Byoma Moisturising Gel-Cream 50ml
£11.99 or £10.99 for a refill | Buy at Byoma, Boots (up to 25% off this week), and Cult Beauty
Speaking of overdoing it with the harsh ingredients, the whole Byoma skincare range launched earlier this year has been created for anyone who’s in need of calming products that support the skin’s barrier to get irritated faces feeling healthier again. Their best-selling gel moisturiser is my favourite among the products I’ve tried, and I think it’s a lovely easy to wear day cream that’s pretty good value for money, packing in plenty of great things and leaving some bad ones out.
It contains ceramides, green tea, niacinamide, B5 (panthenol) and other goodies known to be beneficial for skin health, and I think it’s most suitable for normal and combination skin types. They also have a richer moisturiser that contains moisturising shea butter and anti-ageing bakuchiol, which I really like for drier patches of skin during the coldest months of the year, although its thicker texture is too much for its pump action bottle which could use a design tweak. Refillable and recyclable packaging, no animal testing.
Beauty Pie Happy Face Cream 75ml
Edited to add: I am no longer willing to recommend this company or its products.
e.l.f. Holy Hydration unscented moisturiser 50ml
£12.00 | Buy at e.l.f. UK , Boots or BeautyBay
The original Holy Hydration cream has been around for a while, but did you know e.l.f now makes an unscented version? It still contains peptides, niacinamide, B5, squalane and hyaluronic acid and is a very nice, sensibly priced all-rounder that should work for most skin types apart from very dry or very oily. Those with drier skin types will find some good Autumn budget options with their Happy Hydration Cream with hemp seed oil, on offer for £8.40 this week, All The Feels facial oil, £10, or Nourishing Facial Oil, £10.
Will you be changing up your skincare for the Autumn and beyond?