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How to Keep a Quality Skincare Routine While Not Breaking the Bank

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

I had a new client that started coming in right after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted that said, “I want to start taking better care of my skin, and I know that I need to start investing in higher quality products that will actually make a difference. I want to come in for monthly facials, but I also know how important it is to maintain my skin in between appointments with a good skincare routine. However, I’m on a budget because of inflation, so I feel like I’m stuck using drugstore brands until daily costs go back down.”

Ugh, we feel your pain, sweet client of mine. No one is happy about inflation, but we can still help you achieve your skincare goals without breaking the bank.

First off, because of the quality of active ingredients in the products that we carry at SkinQ, a little goes a long way, so they last longer and are more effective. And, several products that we carry can be used as a 2-in-1 (think: using a hydrating mask as a moisturizer) Cha-ching! But before we dive into some simple skincare routines, let’s go over the basics:

The 3 tried-and-true skin care basics and why you can’t go without them:


There’s no way you can skip cleansing your skin, especially before you go to bed every night. Shockingly, many people don’t do this and it’s a pure skincare sin. You don’t want all of that oil, dirt and germs from the day clawing into bed with you at night, right? Right.


Hydrated skin is healthy skin, even if you’re oily. Think of properly hydrated skin as the barrier to all invaders. If moisture levels are compromised, because you’re dehydrated and dry, then it opens the floodgates to enemies like dryness, dullness, sensitivity and inflammation. Scary! A good moisturizer can prevent all of this nonsense.


SPF all day, everyday, and even on a cloudy day. This is pretty easy to understand, I think. Most importantly, SPF prevents skin cancer, but it also prevents fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc. Sounds like a miracle product, doesn’t it? But yet, so many people can’t stand wearing an SPF. We carry sunscreen products at SkinQ that are actually fun to use, moisturize at the same time, and make your skin look gorgeous.

With all of that being said, below are a couple examples of simple, affordable, and effective skincare routines to follow on a budget.

Simple Skincare Routine #1

iS Clinical Warming Honey Cleanser ($48) deeply cleanses the skin and because of the high concentrate of papaya extract, it can be used as an enzyme exfoliant by leaving it on for an extra few minutes. This product also lasts forever!

Sorella Apothecary Rehab Recovery Mask ($60) can be used as a daily moisturizer for dry and dehydrated skin types, and is also an overnight mask that can be used 1-2 times a week.

PCA Skin Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45 ($44) is an SPF that gives you antioxidant protection, is soothing, and protects against harmful UVA/UVB rays. For me, this product gives me enough hydration that I can use it as a stand alone moisturizer. Plus it’s tested to last up to 80 minutes in water or when sweating.

Simple Skincare Routine #2

Sorella Apothecary Refresh & Revitalize Set ($71) With this set you’re saving $17 right off the bat. Yesss! And it’s great if you’re feeling a little dull. It includes:

Orange You Jelly Cleanser - This gel cleanser removes impurities without stripping the skin. It evens your skin tone and leaves you glowing.

Watermelon Mint Hydrating Mist - This versatile spray literally smells like fresh watermelon, and can be used as a toner, setting spray, and elevates hydration levels. Or if you’re just looking for glowy skin, spritz away anytime during the day.

iS Clinical Eclipse SPF 50+ PerfecTint ($48) - If you’re one of my clients, chances are you already use and love this product as much as I do. It works as a moisturizer, SPF, AND it makes your skin look gorgeous. Sometimes this product is all I put on in the morning, meaning no other skincare products and no foundation. There’s also a non-tinted version that’s just as good and a little more mattifying.

Inexpensive bonus tips:

  • Cucumbers for de-puffing the eyes (I think we all know this one).

  • Make an at home body scrub: ½ a cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of almond or jojoba oil

  • Drink lemon water for hydration, digestion, and clearer skin.

  • Eat and drink with your skin in mind - your gut health greatly impacts your skin health. This is a whole other blog post, but inflammatory foods like sugar and gluten can show up as acne, eczema, and rosacea on your face/body.

  • Mix a granule exfoliant with a gel or creamy cleanser for a deeper cleanse.

  • Aquaphor is great for super dry and chapped areas of the body (including lips).

And lastly, don’t apply too much product:

  • Cleanser - nickel size

  • Serum - pea size

  • Moisturizer - dime size

  • Eye Cream - a grain of rice for each eye

  • SPF - quarter size (should cover your face and neck)

So, as you see, skincare on a budget doesn’t have to be so low budget that you’re doing nothing, or worse - using products from the dollar store. With quality ingredients and a little creativity you can get more bang for your buck and still afford to fill up your gas tank.

Cheers to peace, love & a better economy!


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