It’s been little over a month of being in Lockdown, and while I have been feeling so blessed to just have a cupboard full of skincare products, the economic impact of COVID-19 has become a real thing for me. This has made me very conscious of my spending habits and mostly aware of the fact that if I want to save, I would have to go easy on my skincare supply. Meaning all the press drops and historical purchases would have to last me a little longer.

This got me thinking about my previous skincare routines that allowed me to go easy on topical creams and focus on actual skincare routines that involved a little more time and ultimately afforded me the much-needed relaxation. After narrowing them all done based on my research findings, here are the five I swear by.

A good ol face steam!

There is nothing like a good ol face steam. I remember covering my head with a towel, over a bowl of hot water for my sinus. I would emerge from that a lot less nasal and a lot more glowing. In recent years I have been gifted a Carmen Facial Sauna Deluxe which has been the more convenient equivalent but if you do not have it, do not sweat it – see what I did there? 😉

The simple old school method works efficiently and does the job. The steam helps open up your pores and loosens up any dirt or impurities left behind from make-up for a far deeper cleanse. Opening up your pores also softens blackheads, making them easier to remove. In addition, the combination of warm steam and an increase in perspiration dilates your blood vessels and increases circulation. Do this two times a week and you will notice the difference in 30 days.

Exfoliate dead skin away!

Another cost-effective skincare routine that the industry has made billions off is dry skin. With the walnut scrubs which I often try to stay away from (walnut can be quite abrasive to the skin) to the various fruit flavoured facial scrubs from The Body Shop, Sorbet and Freeman Beauty. But really, it all it comes down to a good exfoliating agent and an equivalent essential oil or cleanser.

One of my favourite homemade facial scrubs is also one of the simplest you can get. It takes the guessing out of what essential oils are safe for your skin. Are you ready for it? Get your pen and paper ready… your daily cleanser and sugar. And that is it. Simple, easy and does not cost you anything more than the cleanser you purchase. Why has this been my go-to favourite? Firstly because I often find that trying to decipher which essential oils are good for my skin can be tedious. By taking a small portion of your cleanser, scooping it into a bowl and adding sugar, you get an exfoliator that does not risk causing you to break out. Secondly, sugar is super cost-effective and nowhere close to being as abrasive as coarse salt. Do not over-exfoliate now, twice a week will suffice.

Target pimples and breakouts

If like me, you have dry skin and you only ever require “oily skin” treatment during your monthly menstrual cycle then you will know that purchasing targeted products like Tea Tree cleansers can cost a lot. So if Ponds Pimple Clear does not work for you (as it does me) then opt for a bit of Tea Tree treatment.

Purchase a Tea Tree Essential Oil for R49.00 at Dischem or Clicks and either apply a tiny amount directly to your skin or you can mix it into one of your day or night creams. As with any oil, it can clog your pores so by mixing it into one of your topical creams it will help dilute the consistency without compromising on the effects. Remember that it will inevitably cause you to break out a lot more initially before it starts clearing up and this is because it speeds up the process in which it removes dead skins cells. Meaning it brings to surface any impurities that lie beneath your skin.

Hydrate with a homemade face mask

I have often seen recipes for DIY face masks that have either been too complex, too elaborate or simply too fowl scented to be added to your face. And if like me you squirm at the thought of any animal placenta on your face, let me give you the easiest and quite frankly tastiest recipe for a face mask that hydrates and leaves your skin glowing. You will need half a cup of Yoghurt, 2 Strawberries, 2 tsp of honey and a tiny drop of rose essential oil or if you prefer almond oil. You can either smash it all up in a pestle and mortar or you can whip it up in a hand blender.

Strawberries contain a number of powerful antioxidants, like polyphenols, anthocyanins, quercetin, and Vitamin C. In addition, yoghurt contains lactic acid, an exfoliant that breaks down dead skin cells and allows them to be washed away.

Undereye salon treatment

I have invested a lot in under-eye topical creams to help reduce the dark rings under my eyes. But what I have noticed is that unless the product has glutathione, the most these products will do is hydrate your under-eye area to reduce the look of puffiness and tired eyes. So if you are on a budget then opt for this simple and effective eye gel patches that you can prep at home.

All you would need to do is cut a cotton pad in half, place the two halves in a bowl and cover with a tbs of Aloe Gel. Place that bowl in the fridge covered for 20 minutes and then place it under your eyes. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then remove the cotton pads and rub the excess aloe gel into your skin gently.

And there you have it, 5 simple skincare routines that do not break the bank 😉