Have you suddenly realised you need to give your skin some TLC? Maybe you’re noticing the first signs of ageing, or you’re getting breakouts and you finally want to deal with them. Maybe you’re noticing all the talk about skincare and want a bit of a starting point in terms of what products to buy.

You also don’t have loads of cash to throw around. I get it – my daily skincare routine is pretty luxe, but then again, I have the ~blessed~ life of a lifestyle editor who gets to try all the new shit. But price doesn’t necessarily mean highly effective. These are the cheapie beauty products I suggest to all my mates when they ask where TF to begin with a skincare routine.

PS: A good basic skin routine is a gentle cleanser, a hyaluronic serum, a gentle moisturiser and an SPF 50+ for morning, and a makeup-removing cleanser, gentle cleanser, hyaluronic serum and night cream for night. You can even use the moisturiser again for PM. You can get fancy with night serums and antioxidant daytime ones, but for something basic – that’s my take, anyway!

THE ORDINARY HYALURONIC ACID 2% + B5 SERUM

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, $12.90

Hyaluronic Acid is a great serum starting point – it’s suitable for all skin types, and ALL skin could do with an extra dose of hydration. In fact, many of those first fine lines you think are wrinkles are often caused by dehydration, so getting some support in that area will fix a myriad of issues. The Ordinary do great formulas for cheap prices, so expect to see lots of the brand in this list.

LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR DUO+

Effaclar Duo+, $29.99

This multi-tasking treatment cream is perfection for people prone to clogged pores and breakouts. It’s gentle, meaning it won’t harm your overall skin like some treatment lotions tend to do, but it also fights both clogged pores and pimples as WELL as the marks they can leave if you’re unlucky.

THE JOJOBA COMPANY 100% NATURAL AUSTRALIAN JOJOBA OIL

100% Australian Jojoba, $23.99

If you’re confused about face oils, read this first. Then, buy this specific jojoba oil. Jojoba is the closest you can get to the natural oils your skin produces, so if you’re noticing loads of breakouts or patches of dryness, this could be your answer to healthier skin. You don’t need much, just apply after your serum and before moisturiser.

AVENE SUNSCREEN EMULSION SPF 50+

Sunscreen Emulsion SPF 50+, $26.99

This sunscreen is great, the formula is easy to apply and sits well under makeup. Also – it’s SPF 50+, you should always wear sunscreen and wear a 50+, IMO.

BIODERMA SENSIBIO H2O MICELLE SOLUTION

Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution, $29.95

This is the OG of micellar waters, one of the easiest & best ways to gently remove makeup. You just soak a cotton pad in the stuff and swipe over your face. This formula from Bioderma is gentle and non-irritating.

SKINSTITUT L-LACTIC CLEANSER

L-Lactic Cleanser, $49

I’m pushing the “affordable price” limit here, but the size of this cleanser and how little you need to use for it to be effective make it cheap long-term. This is a great cleanser for normal skin types, who deal with some clogged pores and breakouts but don’t need intensive exfoliation.

NIP+FAB GLYCOLIC FIX EXFOLIATING PADS

Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads, $34.99

Here’s how I use these miracle swipey things – I cleanse my makeup off at night, then swipe one of these over my clean face, add moisturiser – and when I wake up in the morning my skin texture feels smoother and my pores look smaller. Basically, the glycolic acid in these babies is gentle enough for daily use, but tough enough to dissolve dead skin cells and pore junk so you look radiant. I recommend them to EVERYONE.

NEUTROGENA SENSITIVE SKIN MOISTURISER

Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin, $13.99

This is a safe standard for all skin types – it’s gentle, does it’s job of hydrating and protecting your skin, and is under $15.

GO-TO SKINCARE TRANSFORMAZING MASK

Transformazing Mask, $9

This is my hands-down favourite face mask, and I’ve tried $50 sheet masks you guys. It leaves your skin looking plump and glowy, but the formula doesn’t irritate my extremely high-maintenance skin.

THE ORDINARY NATURAL MOISTURISING FACTORS + HA

Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, $12.90

An insanely cheap moisturiser with all the ingredients you need to maintain the hydration levels of your skin.

Image: Instagram / @iiroshnii