Budget Skincare. Is it Any Good?

An effective moisturiser is the foundation of a good skincare regime, and we’re always on the lookout for products that will give us that glowing complexion. The old-fashioned theory that, the more money you pay, the superior the product, is “out of date”.

It is now the norm, even “on-trend” to buy our makeup and beauty products from budget supermarkets and retailers. They are all selling outstanding makeup and skincare that a lot of beauty bloggers and aficionados are shouting about. I have bought and sampled a few of these myself……. But, in reality, ‘are they any good?”

Whether we’re dipping in and out of premium or budget skincare products, there’s always room for the odd “spendy splurge” – I should add, I have never spent hundreds of pounds on face creams, nor would I want to.

In the budget beauty world when a skincare product is launched, which has the same magic ingredients as another expensive cream, there’s a huge curiosity and necessity to try it.

This happened when Aldi launched their ‘Caviar’ skincare (£6.99) a few years ago.

The beauty experts were all comparing it to ‘La Prairie’ skincare, which retails at a whopping £170.00.

On the launch day, there was a stampede to Aldi to bag one. There were queues around the block from very early in the morning. I know this because, as usual, I got there too late, rushing into the store to be faced with an empty shelf.

The poor staff were at a loss for words – shocked at some people’s (bulk buying) behaviour. This resulted in limiting the number of creams to two boxes per person. I did eventually get my hands on a jar, later in the month, then continued to use it for around six months. The furore had died down by then.

The question is, are we compromising on quality? Will a budget face cream be as effective as either mid-priced skincare or the premium products sold on the beauty counters in department stores?

All women are looking for that magical moisture in a jar. Living in the UK, our weathered skin can take a battering from the inclement weather we experience. Heading into the winter months, we begin to suffer the worst of it – the elements can be unforgiving. Experiencing this every day can take its toll on our skin. Air pollution can be another major culprit – especially, if you live in the city. The main aggressors being traffic fumes, cigarette smoke and, of course, UV light. This can result in dry patches, spots and an overall lack of glow.

Most women in their 40’s, 50’s and-beyond are more interested in looking good rather than looking much younger. Today, it’s all about being healthy and looking after yourself, finding the beauty products that make us feel happy while trying to achieve a glow.

It’s easy to get stuck in a beauty rut using the same products, year after year. Budget skincare products give us that opportunity to “explore” without breaking the bank.

The importance of taking time to research new products can be tedious. It’s worth it when you find the ones which suit your skin and work for you.

I’m always on the lookout for something light but effective. I do tend to chop and change my moisturisers and serums apart from my staple skincare which is Retin-A cream & vitamin C serum. See post

Retin-a cream and vitamin c serum. Click here to read the post

Most of our demographic do have a major frustration with the way over forty-year-old women are represented in the media, especially in advertising. This, of course, isn’t breaking news. It’s improved a smidgeon and women my age are now seen in some fashion magazines and advertisements, more frequently. A lot of beauty adverts make me cringe. This isn’t envy, it’s pure frustration! The skincare and makeup adverts show very young people advertising creams to reduce lines and wrinkles, when they haven’t got any. Oh, the irony!

The usual daytime adverts for our age group seem to be selling funeral insurance – for example, the SunLife commercial with Derek and his next-door neighbour June. This does make me laugh as this must be the way some insurance companies and the media think of over fifty-year olds.

I know some brands are beginning to listen as we have been sending out powerful messages, mainly in social media, blogging and magazines. There are also a few champions who aren’t frightened to speak out. Let’s hope the major brands begin to listen more. It’s our age group, after all, that have the most disposable income. You would think this alone would interest them.

Q10 Night Cream

This night cream has some of the ingredients used in high-end products. It has been hailed by many a skincare addict as a winning combination. I find it rich without being greasy and absorbs quickly, without leaving residue. The ingredients include Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. I am nearly finished my second pot so I feel I can justify a review. This is not a miracle cream, but it does a good job and is an extremely effective night moisturiser. I use it in the evening after cleansing and then applying my Retin-A cream. I will carry on purchasing it because it’s such great value for money.

Cien Q10 Intensive Serum

This serum has also got an impressive list of ingredients. This also includes coenzyme Q10 which is listed as ‘ubiquinone’. As well as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and almond oil. The texture is silky and it absorbs quickly – meaning it layers well with both skincare and under makeup, too. The only negatives about this serum are: it contains a fragrance that may irritate some types of sensitive skin, and the pump does not extend to the bottom of the bottle, resulting in some wastage.

Cien Classic cream 

I don’t want to be over-effusive, but out of the above three products, this is always the one I like to have “in stock”. The ingredients are, again, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E & Provitamin B5. It isn’t my main “go-to”. But the ingredients and generous size of the tube means it lasts a long time. I’m not the only one in the family to use this and, if you’re looking for a good no-frills moisturiser, then this is the one!

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.




  1. 3 October 2019 / 3:33 pm

    I’ve been using the Lacura face creams from Aldi and I really like them. They’re fantastic value for money and are cruelty-free too. I never skip sunscreen, and I do buy a good quality one, I think that makes all the difference. I agree about the 50 plus advertising stereotypes – it’s so frustrating and patronising. Thanks for sharing at the link up!

    Emma xxx

    • 3 October 2019 / 10:14 pm

      I agree. The budget face creams are not to be ignored as they do
      deliver on a lot of levels. I have tried quite a few sunscreens
      for my face. I’m yet to find the right one, so I’m on that
      journey. I like to think the way our demographic is portrayed
      in the media is improving, but realistically I think it’s wishful thinking.
      Alison xx

  2. 4 October 2019 / 1:58 am

    I have tried budget skincare and expensive ones and honestly some of my favorites are the budget ones! I think budget lines have done a great job of making good skincare more available to the masses!

    • 4 October 2019 / 2:15 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more Laura. I love to try new skincare – but
      not keen on paying a lot of money. If I was to see dramatic
      results, then I may be tempted to pay a little bit more. I also love to try the dupes that the cheaper brands bring out. I have just bought the Aldi Rose oil serum (£3.99), which is a dupe for the Pixi Rose Oil, which is £26.00. I’ll let you know what I think in a little while.
      Alison xx

  3. 4 October 2019 / 7:03 am

    I use a mixture,but mostly use Clinique & Nivea – both seem to work quite well – and I do feel genes play a part too! I will continue to use various products as it’s always good to try, and have used Aldi creams before too. Thanks for sharing today. x Jacqui

    • 4 October 2019 / 2:20 pm

      I love to try new skincare, and don’t mind paying a little extra if I can see a difference. The budget brands do come out with some great alternatives.
      Alison x

  4. 4 October 2019 / 8:49 pm

    We don’t get this fantastic cheap skin care in New Zealand. (sigh!) However, at nights, I’ve been using Bio oil gel under Astral cream, which a friend send me from the UK, and I sure look amazing less creased when I wake up the next morning.

    • 4 October 2019 / 9:29 pm

      A friend of mine has used Astral cream continuously for years and
      has amazing skin – she also uses it as a body cream. Mixed with
      bio oil gel that is a killer combination for a night time cream.
      Alison x

  5. 6 October 2019 / 12:10 pm

    I don’t spend a lot of money on skin care products at all. I am more of a wash with soap and water kind of girl and occasionally add a moisturizer. I have used higher end products but only because they were gifted to me for various reasons. Otherwise, I just won’t spend the money. It is good know that the budget brands are just as effective for when I do decide to go shopping for skin care products. Thanks for sharing this helpful post and linking up with me.


    • 6 October 2019 / 1:50 pm

      Thank you Shelbee. I agree, there’s no need to spend a lot on skincare. I have read articles and listened to interviews from skin care experts, who say that not everyone needs to use a moisturizer. It is definitely a personal thing. I know my skin feels much improved when I have moisturised – it’s what works for you.
      Many thanks for the link up.
      Alison xx

  6. 10 October 2019 / 10:33 am

    These sound like interesting products but I think that they aren’t available here in Australia.

    I picked up a cleanser on sale for $2.50 at the supermarket one day and I got hooked – you definitely don’t need to spend a lot on skincare and even at full price it’s just $5. Locally made too so I’m happy with it!

    Hope you’re having a great week 🙂

    • 10 October 2019 / 2:20 pm

      I totally agree. There’s no need to pay a lot of money for skincare. Great, that you can pick up some bargains in Australia – hope you find some more. Have a great weekend! xx

  7. 11 October 2019 / 4:01 am

    These sound really good! I do think there is a place for expensive creams, but having ones that are cheaper can work good too!


    • 11 October 2019 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you Ruth. I agree with you. I like to try new skincare – especially, when
      there’s proven ‘magical’ ingredients. I would say the most I have paid is mid-priced
      and have had great results.
      Alison x

  8. 13 October 2019 / 9:49 am

    I can’t believe the price of those Cien products! It’s canny buying too to get some of these when they have proven ingredients and some of the bigger brands behind them. You’re so right about advertising – it makes me fume when you see the likes of Cara Delavingne modelling for wrinkle creams for Dior! Thanks for linking up at #WowOnWednesday.

    • 14 October 2019 / 3:28 pm

      Budget skincare can be great value for money. I
      think it’s a case of ‘trying it out’ – hopefully getting good
      results. Yes, totally agree regarding the advertising
      game. It’s silly really.
      Alison x

  9. 13 October 2019 / 3:48 pm

    I haven’t tried this Cien brand! I do like to change out my skincare items and try new items from time to time. I feel like I’m always in a drugstore and it is fun to take a look at new (and old!) offerings. I prefer light over heavy as well!


    • 14 October 2019 / 3:31 pm

      I totally agree Carrie. It’s good to keep trying new
      skincare, especially when it’s not too expensive.
      Alison x

  10. 20 October 2019 / 8:46 am

    I’m fussy about ingredients but not price. A daytime moisturiser must have the all-important SPF and a nighttime cream needs to have Hyalauronic then I’m a happy bunny. Just starting to look into retinol, I haven’t tried it yet xx

    • 20 October 2019 / 10:26 pm

      I’m the same. I always look for those all-important ingredients. I also like to read
      product reviews from people who have bought and used the serum or cream. Always
      a great indicator if it’s any good. xx

  11. 21 October 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Great guide dear. Indeed, there are many quality and affordable options out there. Thanks for sharing!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • 22 October 2019 / 12:58 pm

      Thank you, Jessica. It’s always a good idea to try out budget
      skincare options. Especially if it contains those ‘magic’ ingredients
      we love, such as hyaluronic acid and retinols. xx

  12. Mrs Sharron Austin
    7 November 2020 / 7:22 pm

    I have only just ventured into the budget skincare buying regime, i have previously used l’oreal revitalift day and night cream, but i recently discovered that they test on animals, so im looking to replace all my skincare/shampoo/conditioning products as they are all l’oreal, i have been looking at lidl’s cien products, but have not purchased yet, are they effective? I will have a closer look at them .

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