I almost didn’t prepare this post because full disclosure, at the moment I’m feeling the effects of a very tired brain. But I put the kettle on, popped a genmaicha teabag into my cup and got to typing.
Writing this not long after the passing of Deciem’s founder, the multi-armed Canadian beauty company renowned for its accessibly priced skincare items collectively known as The Ordinary, a debt is owed. Specifically, the industry owes Deciem’s founder massively for his vision and derring-do in creating a highly effective skincare line, in addition to complexion products that get right to the point without annihilating people’s budgets. I reviewed The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation which retails for under $10USD [here].
And so in keeping with the theme of effectiveness coupled with accessible pricing, I’m sharing three skincare items that I know to be impactful and can all be had for under $20. The first item is this cream cleanser from Cera di Cupra that I’ve previously covered in a [post here]. I’m including it again because I still stand behind its ongoing effectiveness. Especially great for drier skin types and maturing skin types, it does a superb job as a morning cleanser in addition to being effective in dissolving makeup including mascara. I’d still always advocate for a dedicated eye makeup remover but this effectively starts the removal process. Cera di Cupra contains milk proteins along with vitamins A and E and leaves your skin feeling clean and hydrated. I like removing it using a warm, damp muslin cloth and then proceeding with my skincare. Cera di Cupra is made in Italy and can be found on Amazon or on smallflower.com (non-affiliate link).
Next in my 3 under $20 skincare is the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask. I’m using a virtual bullhorn to suggest you use this mask before getting ready on the day of a big event when you need your skin to look its best and when your makeup needs to remain fresh-looking and longwearing. I used it recently and it is absolutely worth your dollars and effort to get. Formulated with SK-II’s star ingredient Pitera, an amino acid-rich compound extracted from yeast fermentation, this mask smoothes and plumps your skin. Plus it delivers massive amounts of lasting hydration while making skin look bouncier, more glowy, less lined and imparts evenness to the complexion.
Using this immensely enhanced the application and longevity of my foundation, not to mention the boost it gave to the finish of the other layers of makeup I wore that day. SK-II’s mask is made from cotton and is a world apart from your pedestrian sheet-mask, even down to how well it fits on your face while being free from the excessive dripping common to similar masks. You can move around with this on but know you’ll inevitably startle whomever else happens to be in your space while you’re wearing it because the only thing exposed is your eyes. But such is the cost of a great skin day and makeup that really shines for the right reasons. SK-II’s facial mask comes in a box of six masks or individually from specific retailers for around $17 USD.
Rounding out these top three picks is Avène’s Eau Thermal Avène Thermal Spring Water available in three sizes. I discussed [Avene’s Thermal Spring Water here] as part of a post I did on Microneedling and I’m covering it again in the event you missed that post and also because I’m happy to highlight effective products more than once on this blog. Prized for its healing properties since 1743, Avène’s thermal water is unlike anything else on the market. Even Napolean’s horses benefitted from this healing water, plus it was used as part of the treatment for victims of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Sourced from France’s Cevennes mountains, Avène’s thermal water is naturally infused with trace elements that are not drying to the skin. Added to that, its healing properties can be enjoyed by all members of the family including babies if they have skin irritations. It’s a mainstay on my bathroom sink for setting makeup, as an alternative to eye drops ( I spritz it directly in my eyes), for use after facial cleansing to ensure all traces of makeup are gone, to banish bleariness, and as a refresher throughout the day. Countless studies have been performed on Avène’s Thermal Spring Water, while the ecosystem surrounding its source is under stringent protections. Avène also boasts a state of the art skin treatment facility at the foothills of the mountains and from personal experience, I can tell you it is a bucolic and magical place that’s absolutely worth including on your travel bucket list.
While I can’t pick a favourite from these three items as they do different things, know that the ongoing high value it provides as part of my skincare diary is why I wanted to share it with you. I hope this helps.