The “Balance” of Good Skincare

Today, I am sharing some new skincare discoveries that I have been using since March of this year.

They are well and truly tried and tested. I know there’s no miracle cure for ageing skin – all I want to achieve is to use effective products without breaking the bank.

Like a lot of people, I couldn’t justify spending huge amounts on skincare especially if it doesn’t have the desired effect. Amongst my discoveries, are products from “The Ordinary’, a few serums from a company called “Balance” plus a few more you may be interested in.

I have been so impressed with some of these new additions that I have bought top-ups. Some products don’t always work out, especially if they cause a reaction. I will detail my day skincare routines; the products I use; and review my discoveries, below. 

My photos on today’s blog are makeup-free. My sixty-year-old skin isn’t anything great and, along with most people, I’ve got my fair share of sun damage. My lifelines show exactly that – that I’ve lived a life!! Up until now, I haven’t had Botox or fillers, not because I’m against them, it’s just not on my radar. Like most people my age, when younger, I would sit in the sun until my skin frazzled – even applying sun oil to help it frazzle some more!  

As well as finding new beauty products, my lifestyle has also changed in the last six months, as it has for most of us. At the beginning of lockdown, we were all a little bewildered by the extraordinary experience we were faced with. My boys, who are very much into their fitness and eating the right foods, inspired me to get off my backside and get out the door. This has changed my routine.

I’m still doing my exercise at least three times a week. I see a lot “like me” stomping around my local area doing the same thing – which is encouraging. I’ve bought a waterproof jacket and I also wear my very old sturdy trainers. Then, off I go, listening to a podcast or music.

I find it’s so good both mentally as well as physically. When I return home, following my 45-minute walk, I also do stretches/lunges and lift weights for another twenty minutes. I try my very best to push myself out the door because I feel great afterwards. I’m not perfect, though and, some days, when it’s dark and lashing down with rain or I’m too busy, it’s easy to not do it. That is why a realistic three to four times a week is doable, for me.

Morning Skincare routine

This takes no longer than a few minutes in between brushing my teeth and getting ready. Like a lot of people, if my routine were to take longer, I would have to cut something out.  

  • I use cold water to wash my face, mainly to wake myself and my skin up. Then I use either “CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser” or “Boots “YourGoodSkin” Refreshing Face Wash”. Both do a great job – there are no perfumes included in these products. 

  • Next, I use a toner, which I hadn’t used for years – applied with a cotton wool pad. This is my second bottle of Lacura’Healthy Glow Glycolic Acid 5% (Currently out of stock) usually £3.99.  I picked this up when food shopping at Aldi. I was intrigued as I had read the glowing reviews on the Aldi website. It is a very good dupe of the toner by Pixie – glow Tonic £18.00. I have checked and compared the ingredients. Pixie does have a slightly higher quantity of glycolic acid and aloe. But, the packaging is identical. I find this toner to both brighten and exfoliate. Of course, the price difference cannot be ignored, which is why it is always out of stock. I feel this gives my skin an instant wake-up – a glow that I like.

  • Next is Vitamin C serum. I have used “Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid” serum since March 2016 – a creature of habit, you may say. However, I came across this one from Balance “Vitamin C brightening serum”. I noticed this brand when I was shopping in a discount store around March time. Usually, I would get my Timeless serum shipped from the US – which can be costly. So, I thought I would give this a try. I found it absorbs into the skin quickly, it’s fragrance-free and contains two active forms of stabilised Vitamin C) plus Zinc PCA and Oleuropein to help tackle age-spots, uneven skin tone and a dull complexion. Because of the price difference, I do lather this on and also apply to the back of my hands.  

  • My next step is “The Ordinary’s Lactic acid 10%+HA2%. This is a night-time serum. However, I use Tretinoin in my evening skincare routine. Adding this product would be too much for my skin so I have gradually introduced it into my morning routine. As with retinol products this product can cause skin peeling, dryness and itchy skin in the initial week of usage. And, that is exactly what I expected from a skin-peeling/exfoliating formulation.

I started using this serum at 5% strength, then slowly worked up to 10%, over the months. I am now completely comfortable with it. This product has improved my skin tone, keeping it fresh looking, due to the exfoliating.

I have also been using a few other serums in the Balance range.  They are the Balance Gold Collagen Rejuvenating Serum 30ml and the Balance Active Formula Hyaluronic Deep Moisture Serum, which I really like. I use both of these – and, you may think this is serum overload. But, my skin is looking so much better. I put a small amount into the palm of my hand and apply to face neck and the back of my hands. Both morning and evening

  • To finish, I moisturise using either Cerave moisturising cream or Lidl’s Classic Cream (Out of Stock) which continue to be my favourites.

  • Sun protection should still be worn when out in the winter sun. I have used Nivea factor 50 cream for the face for several years. This has a lovely texture and works well under makeup, too. I apply to my face, neck, chest and the back of my hands.     

  • And, the grand finale…..for a subtle glow on those winter days when I don’t want to bother with makeup, the “Tan-Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum” provides a much-needed subtle glow with added hydration.  It’s not cheap but lasts a long time.

  • I bought this, last year, following Caroline Hirons’ recommendation – and it does liven up my sullen pasty, wintry skin. It’s well worth the price tag of £35.00 because a couple of drops per day does go a long way!!! 


Please note that some of the above are affiliate links – if you like the look of one of the items and click through to the website, there is no extra cost to you.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you have enjoyed it.

If you have any questions about the skincare mentioned in this article, please let me know in the comments below. 

Best wishes to you and thank you for stopping by.

Alison x


  1. Actually my friend (from someone who worshipped the sun like you), your skin is pretty amazing!! I find you look so beautiful! But this skin care regiment you’ve posted sounds excellent. I’m curious to now try some of these! Have a great weekend xx

    • That is very kind of you Lucy. Wearing protection back then wasn’t the thing. I have my staple skincare products but do love to mix it up with my serums and moisturisers. xx

  2. /

    I’m interested in the tanning drops. I’ve been meaning to get some for some time now Well done for getting out and about. Something I need to do more! xx

    • The tanning drops are very good for no make-up days. Hope you’re getting there with your renovations. xx

  3. /

    I’ve been more obsessed about skincare through lockdown than I think ever.

    I’m going to have a look at some of your recommendations, Alison. I wrote a round up myself a couple of weeks ago as I bought the Caroline Hirons summer kit … over 350 quid!!! Very hit and miss.

    If you’re looking for another podcast to add to your listen list try It’s In The Genes 🧬 😉

    • I’m forever reading skincare reviews (mainly users who’ve bought the item). I’ll admit I’m slightly obsessed. The Tan luxe serum I use, which Caroline recommended I got from a friend who wasn’t using it. I mainly use it on no makeup days but I’m not sure if I would pay £35.00.
      I will add the podcast – many thanks for the recommendation

  4. /

    I just found out that I’m allergic for several products in cremes. So I have to do a long search to find good products for my skin. What a great worthing out routine you have!

    • I used to be able to use any old products when I was younger – but now I too have to be careful. I also don’t like spending too much on products and read lots of reviews before buying to see how other users are finding it. x

  5. Karen

    Your skin is really lovely and glowing, you are definitely doing something right. Like you I used to fry my skin in the sun and I admit I still like sitting in the sun, though now wear a hat and have sun protection on plus dodge indoors at the hottest part of the day….not many of those days though in the North – East !!!! My skin is quite sensitive so have avoided retinol and have just started dabbling in serums ( I know I am a bit late to the party !) I used to stick to a creamy basic cleanser and toner and once a week exfoliate and use rosehip oil also swear by Aveeno cream. Recently I discovered The Inky range and have been reading about The Ordinary……currently dabbling with The Inky List Collagen Booster….early days though. I will have a look at some of your recommendations, I need all the help I can get these days ! Thanks for a great read and your tips are always appreciated xx

    • The two most effective products I have used since March of this year are The Ordinary’s Lactic acid 10%+HA2%. Plus Balance’s “Vitamin C brightening serum”. They are both inexpensive. I decided to try them after reading great reviews on their various websites from genuine customers.
      It’s hard to avoid the sun most of the time – I think it’s been hiding away this week though! The rosehip oil sounds good. A friend of mine suffers terribly from eczema and swears by Aveeno too – so I must try that. I think it’s a case of continuously trying out new products until you find the fit for you. I’m such a creature of habit and if something works, especially if it’s a great price I tend to stick to it. xx

  6. /

    Your skin has such a Glow! Some of the items you use are very popular with the over 50 crowd. Like you I do have sun damage and have used some of the Ordinary and Good Molecules products. But I am always looking for the next new thing. I will give the Nivea Sun cream a try. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

    • Hi Neti,
      I am new to The Ordinary products and I’m so impressed with their Lactic acid 10%+HA2%. I also like the fact their products are a great price. The Nivea sun cream is another favourite which I use most days. I first bought it as a mouse a couple of years ago, now they do the Factor 50 cream which is a lovely texture – it’s not too thick like some of the sun creams for the face are – it’s a lovely light moisturiser. xx

  7. I think your 60 year old skin is beautiful! I do not like to spend a ton on skin care products either so I rely on proper hydration and diet and very minimal products. Just gentle cleansing before bed and the occasional moisturizer. Thank you for sharing your experience, your routine, and what products you like. I love your outfit in these photos, too! Wishing you a very happy holiday, my friend. Thanks for linking with me.


    • So true, Shelbee. Our skin’s health and appearance are mainly down to the foods we eat with lots of hydration. I don’t think there’s any need to spend a lot on skincare. Many thanks to you. xx

    • Many thanks to you. I do like to try new products. I keep coming back to these products, plus they do have great reviews. xx

  8. /

    Your skin always looks good and you have a great regime. Thanks for sharing, I love seeing recommendations.

    • Thank you, Gail. I have my staple skincare products but do love to mix it up with my serums and moisturisers – love to hear what others are using too, especially if they’re getting good results. xx

    • I really love this Nivea suncream – it works just as well as a moisturiser. xx

  9. Angela Thomson

    Thank you for sharing your beauty products and routine you look amazing, i am obsessed with beauty at the moment as i turn 60 next month and am always looking for the next new thing to rejuvenate, i use a retinol night treatment and have just purchased the ordinary that you recommended also the balance serums, it is so refreshing to read good honest reviews without expensive products being promoted, i do use skinceuticals retinol as its about the best one ive found that works though its very expensive so need to find something cheaper equally as good,


    • Thank you, Angela. I have my staple products which I haven’t steered away from for around five years but I love to try new recommended moisturisers and serums. I’ve heard some great reviews about SkinCeuticals – I don’t mind paying the extra if it works. xx

  10. /

    I loved this post. Great to hear about low cost effective skincare. I’ve also been thinking about trying those tanning drops that Caroline Hirons rated. You look great and I’m sure your healthy fitness regime plays a part. Thanks for linking at #WowOnWednesday

    • Thank you, Gail. I have my staples, but love trying new moisturisers, sun protection and fake tan. It can be hit or miss I find with some products.

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