If your finger is on the pulse of the beauty industry, you’ve likely heard beauty lovers rave about cult favourites like SK-II Treatment EssenceLa Prairie Caviar Luxe Cream and La Mer’s ultra-luxe skin-care products. Just in case you’re wondering, these products are as good as they say. But, we hear you – stocking up on these holy-grail finds can be expensive. Luckily, some of the most effective breakout-fighting essentials can be found at your nearest pharmacy, and they won’t leave your wallet feeling too light. From cleansers to serums, read on for some of the best, cost-effective ways for achieving a clearer complexion.



Clear skin starts with a great face cleanser. We’ve become guilty of serial repurchasing the ModelCo’s Gel Cleanser Refresh and Revive. It doesn’t leave skin tight or dry, and it takes off every last bit of concealer, foundation and the worst of waterproof mascara. The gel consistency means it doesn’t foam or lather too well, but feels quite luxurious – rich and bouncy at the same time.


Yes, you need a face serum, no it’s not a gimmick, and yes, they really do work. We’ve spent years exclusively purchasing pricy, top shelf serums, out of fear that the pharmacy versions would cause breakouts or simply not work. Spoiler alert, we were missing out. BIODERMA Hydrabio Serum is a saviour for dehydrated skin. It contains a potent blend of ingredients and antioxidants—the very same that you’ll find in the top-shelf stuff—to give your skin a radiant, more rejuvenated look. On top of that, it’s all-natural. French skincare hits the mark again.


Though some oil formulas can get a little pricey, you don’t actually need to shell out a hundred bucks to reap the benefits, as long as you know where to look (hint: right here). Enter Trilogy’s famed Rosehip Oil Antioxidant. This does everything it’s supposed to, and nothing more. Layer on before bed, and wake up with amazingly soft plump skin, sans breakouts. Nourishing essential fatty acids, like cranberry seed oil and rosehip oil, moisturise and renew the skin, without the oily film.


Simply, NIVEA’s Refreshingly Soft Moisturising Cream revitalises dry skin during the cooler months. Finding a drugstore moisturiser that’s just right for your skin type can be tricky, so when you find the right one, we won’t judge you for staying loyal.  This gem’s texture is lightweight, and it glides on your face, body and hands like  Torvill and Dean on ice. Any dry patches will drink it up, resulting in an even skin tone and texture. Still not convinced? This should do it – it’s a modest $6 a pop.


For most Australian women, dark spots and pigmentation are a common archenemy. The good news is that the beauty industry now has more solutions for discolouration than ever before. Jojoba Company Natural Pigmentation Oil is enriched with vitamins and active ingredients to specifically target pigmentation and reduce the appearance of age spots, freckles and uneven skin tone. Use it in conjunction with other pigment correcting serums to reduce the appearance of unwanted dots and spots.


We love the Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Facial Scrub enough to make it a regular part of our skincare routines. In comparison to other similar exfoliants, it’s slightly more watery in texture, which means it’s not greasy and there isn’t a film left behind. Most surprising, the product doesn’t leave skin even the slightest bit tingly or red after use. It’s an ideal option for those with sensitive skin or anyone who has been wary about trying scrubs in the past. For best results, use once or twice a week.

Story by Stephanie Russo

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