Cheap and chic: Affordable skincare products that feel expensive

Who doesn’t love an affordable skincare buy? While we’ve convinced ourselves that we absolutely need to have all the fancy, expensive skincare products – think Instagrammable packaging, whipped textures and floral scents – sometimes they can be underwhelming and are only nice for show. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: Affordable skincare products that look, feel and perform like the type of high-end picks that normally come with budget-breaking price tags. Go ahead and try one (or several) of these buys and see for yourself – they’re all available from your local drugstore.

Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Facial Oil 

Are you forever applying your moisturiser, hoping your foundation won’t flake before lunchtime? Then this comforting facial oil with a satin-like finish is the answer you’re looking for. A hero product from this straightforward skincare brand, drier skin textures will love this oil, which contains a trio of nourishing ingredients: Milk thistle oil, argan oil and vitamin E. Your skin will feel instantly moisturised and look as radiant as ever with just a few drops! It’s also a game-changer for improving elasticity and making the skin feel smoother and firmer. If you’re a newbie to oils, this is a good place to start. 

R409.99 from Dis-Chem and Clicks 

Nivea Hyaluron Cellular Filler + Elasticity Day Cream SPF 15 and Night Cream 

Hydration doesn’t have to come at a high price. This day and night cream pack a moisturising (but not greasy) punch and have you and your wallet covered. 

Nivea is well-loved in the skincare community for its super-gentle formulas – and the brand’s skin-repairing day cream, which is as hardworking as it is delightful, is no exception. It counteracts UV radiation – the primary cause of the visible signs of ageing – with an SPF as well as stimulates skin to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin. The formula feels like water as you massage it into your skin, and the end result is skin that feels bouncy and hydrated. You can wear this product alone or comfortably under makeup to enhance your glow. 

Onto the night cream, we’ll admit that we’re strangely obsessed with drugstore night creams. Restoration with a dose of relaxation – that’s what you’ll get inside this jar, which is one of the best overnight companions. The rich, velvety cream works miracles overnight: It melts into the skin while you’re sleeping to provide deep nourishment and an intense anti-wrinkle effect. When we don’t get enough sleep or slack on our water consumption, this heavy-duty product visibly smooths the slight lines that show up on our face. Smooth it on before bed and wake up with a visibly springier visage. 

R289.95 and R284.95 from Dis-Chem and Clicks 

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 

For a splurge, we love to indulge in a cream cleanser. But, in our opinion, there’s nothing better than a bottle of this plain and simple face wash that’s perfect for those with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea. Even if you’re a skincare girl with a beauty cabinet with an endless rotation of products, you have to try this cheap fix. It provides just the right amount of oil-dissolving power to ensure that it’s not just the surface of your skin that’s cleared but your pores, too. Plus, it doesn’t contain many harsh fragrances, surfactants or preservatives, so your face is always left feeling refreshed and under control. 

R184.94 for 250ml or R234.95 for 400ml from Dis-Chem and Clicks 

For your hair: Renpure Rose Water Shampoo and Conditioner 

This hydrating, soothing and regenerative powers of rose water have been bottled in this plant-based shampoo and conditioner combo that’s good for both your hair and the earth. 

Other than the fact that this shampoo has very pretty packaging (which it really does), it quenches, plumps and fortifies as well as helps reduce oiliness and dandruff on the scalp, affords hair a glossy sheen without weighing it down and leaves hair petal-soft with a delicate scent that’s beyond amazing. The clean, just-sweet-enough rose water scent will make you actually look forward to washing your hair! Oh, and did we mention that it cleanses? If, like us, you have a lot of hair but your strands are straight and long, you’ll be happy to know that this shampoo can handle the density without leaving residue. 

The name of the healthy hair game: Hydration, hydration, hydration. After you shampoo, work a dollop of the conditioner through your ends, leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse and prepare for crazy-soft (and shiny) texture. If you’re fighting dry, brittle strands, your hair needs this hydrating product! It also leaves hair manageable and so easy to detangle, which makes brushing or combing it out after showering a dream. Another reason we love Renpure is because the bottles are 100% recyclable. Simply detach the pump or spray, empty and rinse the bottle and dispose it in the recycling bin. 

R149.95 each from Dis-Chem

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