Which step of your skincare routine should you invest in?

Hi everyone!

One question I’ve been asked a lot is where you should invest your money when it comes to skincare. So I thought I would answer this in today’s post!


As I’ve mentioned before, there should be at least the following 3 steps to your skincare routine:

  1. Double cleanse
  2. Serums/treatments
  3. Moisturiser

These steps all have different but equally important roles, but you only need to take a quick look around a shop to notice the prices of any products in these steps can vary tremendously. You can purchase a moisturising cream for £2.50 in Superdrug, or you can buy a moisturising cream for £120.


If you don’t have the money to spend over £500 on your skincare routine, it’s important to select the areas that are worth investing more in. So which of the three steps is the one that you should put most of your money into?


The easy answer to the question above is serums. Although all of the steps above are important, this step is the one that does most of the work. Due to being made of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeper into the skin than moisturising creams, serums should be your main investment.

The costs can vary massively, and that can be for various reasons: ingredients, packaging, brand name. Generally speaking, when a serum costs more it isn’t just because of great marketing. If you read the ingredient list you will find the expensive ones contain more natural but potent ingredients that will give you much better results whilst also not damaging your skin (or the environment, for that matter).


The great thing is that you can also layer serums, and you can use as many as you need to tackle your skin concerns. As long as you allow a few minutes in between each one for the product to absorb into the skin, you can use around 3 before following with moisturising cream.

You can find serums specific to your skin’s needs, so they can also be quite versatile if you have skin that doesn’t necessarily fit into the 3 main types the world might make you think there are. For example, I have a hydrating serum I use in the morning and evening as I have oily skin with a tendency to get dehydrated; I have a Vitamin C serum I use in the mornings to protect my skin and help reduce scarring and dark spots; lastly, I have a serum that treats acne which I use in the evenings when my skin is playing up.


A good cleanser is really important. I know it may seem silly given it’s job is to essentially be washed away, but hear me out. Cleansers can cause SO much damage if they’re rubbish – they will destroy your skin’s natural defence barrier by stripping it and will lead to breakouts, dry patches, sensitivity, the list goes on.

You want to invest in a good oil, balm or cream cleanser that works to remove makeup and impurities without stripping your skin. I especially like oils for this, as they do a great job on makeup but don’t leave my face “squeaky clean” (which is also code for “destroyed”). I would recommend the Elemis Nourishing Oil Cleanser or the Eve Lom Cleanser which also comes with a muslin cloth.


You’ll notice they are both quite pricey for something that you rub on your face for two minutes and wash off. But compare these to a cleanser that is harsh on your skin and you will absolutely know the difference from the first use. That’s not to say you can’t find great cleanser that are cheaper – many have given some Neutrogena cleanser stellar reviews for example. The difference is that your skin won’t feel stripped and attacked after you rinse off the product, it will feel clean but nourished.


In terms of investment, I think moisturising creams come last. I still think you need to spend some money for a decent one, but having tried a LOT of them I really don’t think this is something that needs to be a huge cost.

Moisturising creams essentially sit on top of your skin. They don’t absorb anywhere near as much as serums and generally the ingredients that are used to make them don’t cost as much to source. As I mentioned above, prices can range from £2.50 to £120 or even much more.

I think less is more with moisturising creams. The less ingredients the better, and the more natural the better, so you don’t end up with various chemicals sitting on your face all day clogging up your pores. I really like moisturisers from Nuxe and Caudalie, and this one by La-Roche Posay is also great for sensitive skins. If you check the prices of these, you’ll notice they’re not the cheapest you’ll find but they’re also by no means pricey. They do a wonderful job nonetheless.


If you put this little investment plan into practice, you should easily be able to find a great skincare routine for your skin’s needs that won’t cost you a fortune. As long as your serums and cleansers are of good quality, you can save a few pennies on the other steps of your routine and any other steps you have that I’ve not mentioned (e.g. masks).

Please let me know what you think! What are your favourite serums to use?

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