I’ve dealt with adult acne for around 6 years now meaning over the years I’ve sadly spent a small fortune on skincare products. Some I quickly discovered were unsuitable for me and thus I’d wasted my money. Over the years I’ve learnt a few tricks to saving money on skincare and I now never pay full price for products. Below are some of my best tips for how to shop for skincare without breaking the bank.
Ask Counters For Free Samples
Brands like The Body Shop and Clarins are known for being incredibly generous with their samples. I’ve had a lot of success with asking counters in the past by expressing a genuine interest in their products, explaining my skin concerns / history and saying I’m looking to incorporate some new products into my routine as I’m not happy with what I’m currently using. I could never walk up to a counter and just ask for free things but have had some good successes over the years by asking for recommendations for skin concerns etc from Clarins, The Body Shop, Estee Lauder and Clinique.
Claim Free Samples
I’ve written entire posts previously on how to claim beauty freebies which is worth checking out for this tip. Through following this I’ve been able to trial skincare from brands including Cerave, La Mer, La Roche Posay and more.
Do Your Homework
Research ingredients of products to assess if they’re suitable for your skin type. Read up on reviews, filtering them to see people with similar concerns to you can also be helpful.
I find these incredibly helpful, please bear in mind companies will be trying to promote their products so I usually do this after I’ve done my own research to confirm products I’d like to try. I’ve had great success doing this with La Roche Posay online as well as Deceim x The Ordinary. It can be hit and miss depending on the response you get but I’ve had some really great help in the past.
Check Money Back Guarantees
Deceim x The Ordinary have a money back guarantee if your skin doesn’t agree with a recommended product and the bottle is over half full. This encouraged me to buy my first products from them. Purchases from Clinique Online, if dissatisfied, can be exchanged or part refunded. It’s worth checking before purchasing with other brands as it always makes me feel more comfortable parting with my money. Honest, truthful and justified complaints can result in some sort of financial compensation. I usually take photographs of my skin before starting a new product just in case as I have previously experienced a really bad reaction and was given a full refund for a product based on these images.
Buy Ahead x Shop Around
I always do this with products I trust to ensure I never have to pay full price for them. Buy buying in advance you can make the most of store promos etc, discussed below, without ever being caught short and having to fork out the full RRP. It never hurts to quickly check a couple of stores online to check you’re getting the best deal. For example when we went into lockdown and I needed a new moisturiser I hunted high and low to find a free P&P deal or promotion and ended up surprisingly buying from Amazon Prime as it was by the far the best deal. I’d previously never have thought of looking there.
In Store Promotions x Deal Stacks
A nice obvious one! Looking out for 3 for 2 or 20% off promos is really helpful for saving money. Boots now have £10 Tuesdays and sales on Fridays which can result in some amazing savings most of which work on top of already existing store promotions. I recently bought my favourite La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ moisturiser using the £10 Tuesday offer and 3 for 2 promotion. All told I got 3 products for less than the price of one, a post with full details can be found here. Student discount in Boots and Superdrug work on top of any promotions and deal stacks.
Loyalty Cards + Apps
I’ve written previous posts on why I love the Boots app and advantage card to collect lots of points to use against future spends. If you’re a regular shopper with Boots or Superdrug I’d definitely suggest having their loyalty cards as they’ll help you save in the long run by buying items you already planned to purchase. Both offer birthday perks and there are often extra points events. The Boots app in particular really helps to maximise points collection and often has personalised offers as well as regular promos like 150 bonus points when you spend £15.
Feel Unique Pick & Mix / Beauty Kit
Pick & Mix costs £3.95 but you then get a voucher to redeem this against a (non sampling) purchase. You simply make a Feel Unique account, buy your Pick & Mix, then your order will have a gift code in it that you can use over the next 2 months on full size products. They have some great brands including Cerave, La Roche Posay, Caudalie and many more so are a great way to try skin care products especially now that, understandably, samples aren’t available in stores. The Beauty Kit is a similar concept but products are deluxe minis such as 50ml toners as well as high end make up miniatures. It costs £12.95 plus £3.95 handling fee which you then get as a voucher to use against a (non sampling) purchase. As I wear make up rarely I’d be keen to try the beauty kit if they had a couple of skincare products I wanted to try and then pick designer lipsticks, mascara and eyeliner as the other options.
I recently bought a REN 50ml toner for £6 after doing research etc into it. The 250ml full size REN Ready Steady Glow Toner is around £25-7. I’ve previously never bought minis or travel size skincare products to try and am wondering why it’s taken me so long! I personally would rather take a gamble on a new product with a lower priced deluxe mini than buy a full bottle and discover, despite my research, that my skin doesn’t like it.