My Best Supermarket Skincare Buys

Brilliant skincare buys that you can pick up in the supermarket. I won’t dilly-dally about today with silly introductions and off piste distractions because I have limited time: I just hoovered up a load of moths with the Dyson and I don’t want them flying back out of the pipe.

Can that happen? I mean, if the suction isn’t on, can insects climb back out of the hoover? God I hope not. That is the stuff of nightmares, isn’t it? It’s the natural world’s equivalent of that wet-haired girl climbing out of the well in The Ring. You just want to slam a lid down on it and hammer in a few nine inch nails.

Luckily for the insects I empty the Dyson outside, so they are (sort of) freed back out into the wild. Though how long a domesticated, well-fed moth would last in the open I have no idea. Going from a diet of cashmere and merino wool to, I dunno, dandelions. It would be like turfing an aristocrat from his club into the back alley and asking him to fend for himself.

“What? No Lobster Thermidor? And who are you, dare I ask? No, I can absolutely not spare a squid! A … quid? What is this quid you speak of?”

Where was I? Must concentrate. If you’re self-isolating and only getting supermarket deliveries, or if you’re trying to keep deliveries to a minimum, then here are some cracking skincare products you can buy at the supermarket. Both online and instore.

I should add that there are far more options than the ones laid out, but I am working with what I’ve got. Products I use regularly and ones that I’ve previously tested. Once we’re all out of confinement, I promise you that I will continue my much-praised (haha) Supermarket Sweep series. I think I only did ASDA and Sainsbury’s before I got totally distracted.

I’ve concentrated on Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Waitrose here – I’m afraid I’m not so up to speed with Lidl and Aldi – they were on my to-do list but it’s impossible to try stuff at the moment!

Note, also, that I’ve avoided the powerhouse ingredients here; you can get various bits and bobs with vitamin C and retinol, but I haven’t tested them extensively enough to give them a proper thumbs up and so I have kept this post to the basics: cleanse, serum, moisturiser.

Cleanse

The supermarket shelves are awash with cleansing gels and foaming gels and wipes and micellar cleansers: there’s a distinct lack of balm, oil and cream cleansers. But I’ve checked, and pretty much across the board you can find one good, rich, creamy cleanser.

At Sainsbury’s I’d go for the Superfacialist Rose Cleanser (it’s also at Amazon here*) which is just gorgeous. I’m a long-term fan and if Sainsbury’s is your supermarket of choice then you’re in luck, because you also have the delightful Balance Me range.

Pricier than your usual supermarket offering, Balance Me have loads of great products – including a very good vitamin C serum, actually. Which is annoying because I’ve just said I’d avoid the powerhouse ingredients in this post!

Balance Me’s Balm cleanser is a treat – unctious, soft, it melts down to an oil and rinses off clean. It’s £20 at Sainsbury’s or LookFantastic here*.

At Tesco, I like the Cosmeticism Cleansing Cream here and at ASDA I really like the hot cloth polish from NSpa, which I couldn’t find online but sincerely hope they have instore. It’s a great budget cleanser.

At Waitrose, you have about a zillion options. Seriously, they have loads of wonderful brands – my pick would be the Weleda Almond Cleanser, which I’ve reviewed here.

Serum

For the serum step I’ve gone for a suit-all crowd-pleaser, good old hyaluronic acid. L’Oreal have a new 1.5% version that has recently launched in the UK, see if you can find it – they definitely have it at Sainsbury’s and at Lookfantastic here*.

The aforementioned Vit C one from Balance Me is great – again, find it at Sainsbury’s, and also online here*.

Olay do a great serum called 3 Point Firming – I tested this extensively a few years ago and it was excellent. Lightweight, non-greasy, plumping, sits well beneath makeup, keep an eye out for it!

Moisturise

My most-used supermarket-available options are below. The Simple moisturisers are a new discovery for me (via Nadine Baggott) and the teeny bottles are deceiving – you get a standard 50ml inside them. Just nifty packaging. I would highly recommend the calming hemp version.

Simple Calming Moisturiser with Hemp, many supermarkets and online at Boots here*.

L’Oreal Revitalift Night Cream-Mask, at Waitrose here* and most supermarkets. I’ve banged on about this one for years and years – it’s my favourite L’Oreal moisturiser and they make a lot. It’s more plumptious and effective than many of the far more expensive “sleep masks” I’ve tried from luxury brands and, with the hyaluronic serum layered beneath, it leaves your face as wibbly and turgid as an overfilled waterbed. 

Treat

If you’re in a spot dilemma and need something immediately, you could do worse than to throw some Clearasil Rapid Action Pads. I mean you could do a lot better, but we are talking fast fixes here and I’ve tested these out a few times before so I know they don’t burn the bejeezus out of your face. I wouldn’t use them all over, because I find them drying, but use on the spot-prone areas and then just leave them to get to work. They’re saturated in salicylic acid so they help to keep pores clear without being to aggro in the process.

OK, I see a moth head poking out of the pipe (not a euphemism) (would be a strange one) so I must go and empty the dust-catcher. I’ve just realised I did a video on this entire post (amazing that someone could actually forget something so important) and so I’ll paste that in below for your watching pleasure.

Please do leave me your own supermarket skincare heroes in the comments – I will definitely be reinstating my video series and so I need to get testing once I can nip to the shops to research and stock up. Especially give me your Lidl and Aldi recommendations!

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 

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15 Comments

  1. April 26, 2020 / 4:45 pm

    Another great video! Thank you for reviewing! I will try these!

  2. Nanaka
    April 19, 2020 / 8:44 pm

    Hahahaha, there IS a reason why I block the hoover‘s „nozzle“ (? unsure about the right word!) with a crumpled up tissue after „getting rid of insects“…. spiders crawling back out would be a nightmare, too…!!!

    Speaking of supermarket skincare – Aldi now have a Pixi Glow Tonic dupe: „Healthy Glow Glycolic Toner“. I haven’t tried it myself yet but read the ingredients list – and it seems pretty similar!
    I also like the L‘Oreal „Revitalift Laser X3“ serum, as well as the Olay „Regenerist 3 Zone super firming“ serum (which lists niciamide as fourth ingredient, so that’s a real winner). Also, the day cream of that same range is really nice, contains some SPF (25 or 30?), and feels lovely and non-clogging on the skin. I usually fall back to their „Total Effects 7 in 1“ series, if Regenerist is sold out (which sadly happens quite often in my supermarket…). That’s lovely too, but lower in SPF and since it’s a bit cheaper, I’m afraid it might be lacking that bit more „oomph“….?!

  3. Emily
    April 18, 2020 / 10:35 pm

    I’ll second the Aldi Balm cleanser…cheap as chips and just as good as the Liz Earle one..

  4. Naomi
    April 18, 2020 / 7:58 am

    I really rate the moisturisers from Waitrose own Pure range. I’ve used both the day and night cream (which can both be used day or night as the only difference is the night cream is slightly richer.) It’s totally no frills and cheap as chips but I find it to be soothing and hydrating and doesn’t clog my pores which frankly is all I ask from a moisturiser as I get my actives from serums. Take care lovely, I enjoy your posts more than ever during these strange times. Xxx

    • April 18, 2020 / 12:56 pm

      Thank you Naomi, that’s so appreciated x

  5. Potimarron
    April 17, 2020 / 7:06 pm

    I like to use the Waitrose Pure cleansing milk in the morning (deviating from the instructions by removing it with warm water on a flannel). If you can find them (they’re a bit elusive) the Aldi balm cleansers are pretty good (on a par with my budget favourite, Superdrug Naturally Radiant hot cloth cleanser). I’ve used the Aldi moisturisers and have no complaints about them.

    • April 17, 2020 / 7:25 pm

      Thank you, will check out both x

    • Potimarron
      April 17, 2020 / 7:37 pm

      I forgot! Aldi suncream is also pretty good (and because it’s cheap you’re encouraged to use enough of it)!

      • April 18, 2020 / 12:56 pm

        Ooh, OK will put that on the list! x

      • Sarah Trigger
        September 4, 2020 / 7:13 am

        Yes, totally.
        I bought one as an emergency purchase on a suddenly boiling day and it’s brilliant!
        It’s the Lacura factor 50 baby sun lotion. It was about £1.50! It’s so nice, I’ve been wearing it without foundation.

  6. April 17, 2020 / 3:02 pm

    Balance Me has a lot of great products! I’m addicted to their Congested Skin Serum. I’m stocked up with four bottles right now because quarantine makes me feel like I have to stock up on everything. Here in the states our Aldi’s don’t have much to choose from in the world of skincare. They mostly carry their in-house brand called Lacura, and they *may* have a name brand item here or there if you’re lucky. Maybe your Aldi is different, but ours is not even worth reviewing! Thanks for sharing, we love a good money saving supermarket steal.

    xoxo Amanda | theaestheticedge.com

    • April 17, 2020 / 7:26 pm

      Haven’t tried the congested skin serum, that sounds great!

  7. April 17, 2020 / 2:53 pm

    Thank you for giving me nightmares of moths crwaling out of my hoover – in my mind they are whispering to each other as they spread their wings!
    And for Aldi: I do like their Lacura ampoules, the hydrating ones – really good at plumping the Skin.

    Anne from Doctor Anne

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