Here’s to cutting out the fluff and embracing an affordable anti-aging skincare routine.
(Contains affiliate links.)
Around November last year, I became obsessed with reading about skincare. For years, I’ve tried this…I’ve tried that. I’ve purchased luxurious products. I’ve been sent luxurious products. I’ve been committed to applying skincare products for ages…without so much as a clue as to just what the heck I was doing.
Then, almost like a light switched on I started to suddenly really CARE what I was putting on my skin. I’d watch YouTube videos by dermatologists, I’d read article after article online. I basically was a woman on a mission and with every bit of information I learned, I was starting to realize that an affordable anti-aging skincare routine is not only doable…in many ways, it’s preferable.
And I felt suckered. I felt totally duped because foolishly I had bought into this idea that you have to invest in luxe skincare products from La Mer, Dior and so on…that really are just not doing all that much for your skin. Particularly when you consider that the bulk of them are loaded with fragrance which is just a no. I foolishly bought into the “experience” of applying skincare products that smelled lovely and came in beautiful packaging without really paying all that much attention to what was really going on inside.
Needless to say, it was a wake up call. I felt foolish that I was so easily persuaded to buy into an industry that literally preys on the female’s desire to find everlasting youth – an industry that’s laughing all the way to the bank. And I work in marketing? How could I fall for it so easily. Pfft.
Adopting an Affordable Anti-Aging Skincare Routine
When I set out to adopt a new anti-aging skincare routine, affordability wasn’t necessarily the most important thing. No, I was really much more interested in cutting out the fluff and getting down to the basics of what my skin really needs. It just so happens that in doing so, I adopted a refreshingly affordable anti-aging skincare routine and after a solid five months I’m ready to share it with you all.
Bear in mind, this is an anti-aging skincare routine that I do at night. In the morning, I just do a quick cleanse followed by moisturizer. On occasion I even switch moisturizer out for serum in the morning and stop there.
At nighttime? I give my complexion much more time and care. Over time, it’s evolved into a self-love routine of sorts that I find myself craving as soon as dusk arrives. Washing the day away and layering nourishing products on my skin is a soothing practice…not to mention, addictive.
The way I see it, once you tap into a routine that actually works for you…there will be absolutely no cheat days using a face wipe or *gasp* even sleeping in your makeup. Your skin will honestly start to crave the TLC of a good skincare routine and I am more than happy to oblige.
Below, I’ll walk you step-by-step through the affordable anti-aging skincare routine I’m starting to think of as a new best friend. Enjoy!
Okay! First off in my affordable anti-aging skincare routine is cleansing. I’ll be honest. At first I hesitated to mention cleansers at all because this post is more geared to the steps I take AFTER cleansing – but then it would be kind of incomplete. No? So, cleansing it is!
As a rule, I actually don’t wear waterproof mascara because I’m so paranoid about irritating the delicate skin around the eyes…but I absolutely love this stuff for removing my eye makeup. The waterproof formula is definitely much more powerful than the traditional edition, meaning it cuts through mascara, eyeliner and foundation all that much faster. It’s also surprisingly gentle. If you have sensitive skin, I think you’ll love it.
Following cleansing off my makeup with Garnier’s Micellar Water, I turn to my Clarisonic and Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel. I swapped to using this over Philosophy’s Purity in the fall and have been quite enjoying it.
This actually has AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) built in so if you don’t have a Clarisonic, no worries. The cleanser will naturally exfoliate your skin while cleansing the day away. I also have to give this two big thumbs up for being incredibly gentle on my fair skin.
Back in January, I did a MONSTER post on how much of a game-changer the latest toner from OleHenriksen has been in my skincare routine. As such, I won’t rag on about it too much here but essentially this changed my (lackluster) opinion of toners as a whole. At $28 a bottle, you might question how affordable the product is – but when you consider that a bottle will last you 4 months, it comes out to be a very affordable and important step in my routine.
I apply the OleHenriksen toner as the first step post-cleansing and it’s essential in producing better results from the products that follow. To check out my dissertation (okay not quite, but almost) on this toner click here.
I’ll be honest, I do really like the Lancome Advanced Genefique serum…but when I read an article about this UK drugstore gem being clinically proven to reverse the signs of aging and fine wrinkles, I was on my way to Target IMMEDIATELY.
No 7’s Protect & Perfect comes at a much more attractive price and by using the Target Cartwheel app, I was able to save even more dollars. It’s also got quite the following as an affordable anti-aging skincare product and was even difficult to keep in stock after the BBC toted its abilities. The serum itself includes a patented peptide complex that improves skin elasticity. Do I believe it can totally reverse aging? No. But as I’m living in a preventative stage it’s one I’m keeping for now.
Note, the serum contain dimethicone which can be irritating to some.
Obviously the terms Retinol and Retinoid are thrown about quite a bit these days when it comes to chasing eternal youth. Fortunately, The Ordinary is basically a dream when it comes to delivering affordable anti-aging skincare products. This retinoid rings up at $9.60 a bottle which is a virtual steal! I started out with the 2% because I was concerned the 5% retinoid would be irritating on my somewhat sensitive skin, but have had zero issues. As such, I think you could jump right in with the 5% if you like.
Note: It’s recommended to apply this over a serum *only* if its water based. As the No 7 serum I use above is, I followed The Ordinary’s instructions to do serum first and then retinoid. When using, be sure to carefully read the proper order to apply based of the products/ingredients in your routine.
Following the Retinoid, I turn to The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid. This step I would say is totally optional as my moisturizer does also contain Hyaluronic Acid…but given the claims it helps boost collagen as well as maintain skin moisture, I double up.
On average, I’d say I apply The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 4 or 5 days a week. It’s not a step I do every night, but when I do I SO enjoy it. I apply this after retinoid and it feels incredibly smooth and moisturizing on the skin. The product does take a bit of time to seep in, so I like to do a bit of a mini facial massage as it absorbs to relieve any tension. (I tend to carry stress in my face so alleviating that is always welcomed!)
In the morning, I’ve been using a more lightweight Vitamin C moisturizer by Alana Mitchell…but at nighttime I go heavy duty! In all my reading and YouTube watching about moisturizers, I started to realize basic was the way to go to really protect my moisture barrier. It was a rather transformative revelation after years of buying all sorts of fussy moisturizers.
CeraVe did not disappoint, though. Given that I meant business, I went ahead and grabbed the face/body moisturizer. As such, it is a bit heavy for daytime use in the warmer months. In the wintertime? I absolutely could get away from it. I apply this as the last and favorite step of my affordable anti-aging skincare routine and it is heaven!
Somewhere along the way I heard the line “Your face begins at your boobs” and it really stuck with me. As such, I really take the time to apply this thoroughly all over my face, down my neck and on my chest. With such a large tub at such a reasonable price, I see no reason to skimp out on myself so just go all in.
The CeraVe moisturizer has Hyaluronic Acid as I mentioned above, but also Ceramides which are essential in building a barrier that will protect your skin from the elements. Essentially, I turn to this product to “lock in” moisture and the seal the deal on all the steps I mentioned above. The grande finale!
Last but Not Least…
Right, so now that you know all about my affordable anti-aging skincare routine…I have to add that what you ingest 100% counts as well. Taking care of my skin on the outside is obviously something that matters to me – but diet is ever so important.
Personally, I follow a plant-based diet and do my very best to avoid salty snacks (my weakness) as much as possible. I drink water like it’s my job and the more veggies and plant-based protein I can fit on my plate, the better. As a bit of an insurance policy, I even started drinking a vitamin drink everyone morning to help ensure I get the nutrients my body needs no matter where the day takes me. The one I’ve been using is called Morning Complete (here) but I’m the hunt for a more affordable version. (I’ll keep you posted!)
It goes without saying but…avoiding the sun is also incredibly important as is wearing an SPF daily. Without a doubt, UV rays are damaging to your skin so the more you can avoid them…the better. Protect the skin you have!
(It’s downright embarrassing when I think back on the days when I *shiver* had a platinum tanning bed membership. Yikes! No more.)
On that note, I’m going to head off. I do hope this post was helpful to you! It’s always my goal to deliver content that’s useful and well thought out. Obviously sometimes things can get a bit long – so I really do appreciate you making it to the end! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions of other products I should know about, do let me know below.
Please know, this post is not sponsored. All the skincare items mentioned above were researched and purchased by me. Some of the links listed are affiliate links – meaning I’ll earn a teeny commission for inspiring your purchase. As always, your support is much appreciated and helps me continue to test and discover products for you. Thank you!!
Shop the Post
Garnier Micellar Water for Waterproof Makeup ($6.59)
Mario Badescu Enzyme Gel Cleanser ($14)
OleHenriksen Dark Spot Toner ($28)
No. 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advance Serum ($20.99)
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoids 2% in Squalane ($9.60)
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80)
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($12.69)
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