Makeup Wars - My Affordable Skin Care Favorites for Dry/Very Dry and Maturing Skin

//samples sent for editorial consideration//self purchased items//affiliate links that cost you nothing extra but pay me a small commission and help to support my blog are in use//

This week, Makeup Wars presents our favorite drugstore and affordable skin care!

Skin is our largest organ and it requires specialized care. Care that, it turns out doesn't have to cost a fortune. While spendy skin care is a lovely, luxe indulgence and I admit, one of my favorite beauty experiences, I regularly use and get good, solid results from high quality, affordable skin care, much of which I buy at my local drugstore, Ulta Beauty and from Amazon.

Today, I have some of my favorite affordable skin care items for face and body. This is going to be a long post... I seem to not be able to edit myself when I'm pulling products for Makeup Wars posts so settle in and get comfy, you're going to be here, a while.


Cleansing. The first step in any good skin care routine and one of the most important is cleansing. I have a few favorite cleansing products that never fail me and help me keep my complexion clean, clear, soft and smooth.

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser and Makeup Remover. Wow, That name is a mouth full! This is my favorite affordable eye makeup remover and after cleansing toner. I never wear waterproof mascara so this stuff removes all of my eye makeup and never stings or irritates my eyes. I also use it, along with a cleansing wipe for lazy cleansing when I don't feel like going to my sink and doing the whole rigamarole.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. These are my all time favorite makeup remover wipes. They never fail me and I will only buy something else if I can't, for some reason find these in stock. This packet is slit open because I store all of my makeup wipes in a zipper freezer bag. Read about it, here. I just took a look at this older post and, while I still store my wipes this way, I need to rewrite the post. It's kind of a mess.

Yes to Coconut Utra Hydrating Melting Cleanser. This coconut scented cleansing balm melts away makeup, dirt and the day and leaves my very dry skin feeling clean, soft and comfortable.

Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk. This lovely, peach and mint scented cleanser washes away my day but never leaves my skin feeling dry, tight or stripped.

Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub with Dead Sea Salt. We've had a chat about this stuff, before. This is such a good scrub! When my skin needs a good, down and dirty sandblasting, this is one of the scrubs in my arsenal I reach for and it does the job.

Foreo LUNA for Sensitive/Normal (or Mature) Skin. Okay, I know... At $169.00 this is not an "affordable" or "drugstore" skin care item but, if you are going to save up and splurge on one really, really good skin care item/device, I recommend the Foreo LUNA. This ultrasonic skin cleansing device gently yet thoroughly cleanses the skin and it is, in my opinion worth every penny of it's asking price. I've had mine for a couple of years, now and I love it more, each time I use it. And, I've only had to charge it a few times! Let me let you in on a little secret; there is a Foreo LUNA 2 available but I don't see that much difference between that version and my original LUNA. If you're on a budget, save yourself a significant chunk of change and get the same benefits.


When it comes to pampering and making marked improvements in my skin, Masking is my go to. My skin likes highly effective, deeply hydrating clay, goopy honey and herbs and of course, sheet masks. Good masks that deliver real results don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

The Body Shop Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask. A little up there, for an affordable skin care product but the heavy, amber glass jar holds many deeply hydrating treatments and you'll get your money's worth. I like this mask, it makes my dry skin feel like silk. I just wish that it smelled like honey! It smells herbal and interesting but the name promised me honey, dammit!

Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Facial Mask Squeeze out onto the back of my hand, grab a synthetic foundation brush, smooth on, let sit for twenty minutes and rinse. Lovely! And it smells lightly of coconut so it's like going on vacation in the tropics. Okay. Not really but, it's still pretty relaxing.

Speaking of coconut mask, Montagne Jeunesse Creamy Coconut Masque. Two bucks, smells nice and it is a nice mask! I'm a fan of this brand, there are several I keep in stock and use, on a regular basis.

Masqueology sheet masks are insanely affordable and they do a good job. I like their creme masks and Collagen Gold Mask. Take note, the Collagen Gold Mask, while nice and hydrating and yes, firming! is very perfume-y. If you are sensitive or don't like perfume-y scents, avoid this mask.

Sephora Collection Face Masks. I know that Sephora isn't a drugstore but their in house collection face and eye masks are splendid and at six dollars or less per, are very affordable! There are different varieties to cater to different skin types. My faves are the Rose, Lotus, Avocado, Pearl and Pomegranate.

Naisture White Rose 15 Minute Sheet Mask. Ten masks for ten bucks and they are nice! Hydrating and soothing and, while they are called white rose, they don't smell like rose. In fact, they don't smell like much of anything at all. I like these, a lot.


Serums. Created to deliver concentrated percentages of my skin's power ingredients right into my skin, serums are a must have for me. And the good news is, I can get good serums for not a lot of money. If you are new to any of these ingredients or have been using them in lower concentrations or have very sensitive skin, go in slow. Test for sensitivity then apply once or twice a week, assess your skin's reaction and move up, from there.

With many actives, like Vitamin C or Retinol a small amount of warming or light, short lived sting, perhaps a bit of pinkness are normal. They should be temporary and not too uncomfortable. If discomfort persists or you get a rash or other signs of irritation or reaction stop use immediately, cleanse your skin carefully to remove the serum, treat topically and if necessary, consult your physician or dermatologist. When using actives, skin turns over at in increased rate, don't forget to protect your new, glowing complexion from UV exposure by wearing an effective sunscreen.

My Chelle Perfect C Serum. At 17% this is a good "step up C serum" for someone who has been using lower concentrations and is ready to up their game or for an ambitious beginner who wants to see real results, fast.

My Chelle Remarkable Retinol Serum with Vitamin A and Plant Stem Cells. Yeah... This is good stuff. A little on the spendy end of affordable but a solid performer.

Oz Naturals Anti Aging Retinol Serum. One of their new Cold Pressed serums, 2.5% Retinol, Vitamin E and Astaxanthin combine to deliver real results. Retinol is cumulative, the longer you use it, the better the results and it has to be continued to keep enjoying those results. I started using Retinol years ago to try to fade the awful post acne discolouration scarring I had on my face. It took time and dedication but those marks have faded to almost invisible. When I started cocktailing Retinol and Vitamin C, my results really ramped up!

My skin is not flawless but I went from not ever leaving my house without heavy, full coverage foundation and at least two different concealers to using merely a tinted moisturizer or going foundation free with confidence. I believe in Retinol. It works and I'll never be without it. If you have acne prone skin, Retinol can be helpful to you, as well! Ask your dermatologist for the best concentration for your skin type. If you are pregnant or nursing, have a chat with your OB before beginning Retinol. You'll likely be advised to wait until after you are done giving birth/nursing.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C + AHA Serum. If you want bright, glowing, firmer, fresher skin, Vitamin C is the ticket. Add Alpha Hydroxy Acid and you have a one-two punch that delivers the goods. I don't cocktail this particular Vitamin C serum with Retinol because of the AHA. I use a different C. I do cocktail this with Hyaluronic Acid and of course, HA with Retinol. If you're new to cocktailing serums, again, start slow and see how your skin feels about it before you step up concentrations or frequency.

Oz Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Hyaluronic Acid is a must for well hydrated, plumped, soft skin. Hygroscopic, Hyaluronic Acid draws moisture to the skin and holds it there. It also helps to replenish the natural Hyaluronic Acid found in healthy young skin that begins to deplete as we age. I get as much of this active as I possibly can onto my skin in the form of this serum and moisturizing creams. If you're young and fresh, try this serum, it may be enough hydration for you without having to use an additional moisturizer.


Moisturizer is crucial for all skin types and is a step we shouldn't neglect, be it for our face or hands. These are the affordable moisturizers that work for my Sahara Desert dry skin.

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. This is a Holy Grail Status eye area treatment for me. I've used it for years, blown through countless tubes and I won't be without it. If they ever discontinue this eye cream, my shit fit will be epic. I use this lightweight, silky, non irritating, yet highly effective cream as a first step eye area treatment. I apply under my eyes, to my mobile lids and right up to my brow bone and out onto the area where crow's feet can show, when I smile. I let it sink in a couple of minutes and follow up with a hydrating/firming eye cream. My eye area doesn't look 25 but it looks good, for my age. And, my mobile lids are smoother and far less crepey than they were in my twenties! This eye cream delivers real results, when used consistently.

Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Overnight Eye Balm. I am always amazed at just how soft and silky this affordable, yet effective eye cream leaves the skin around my eyes. It is gently coconut scented but non irritating.

Derma E DMAE Firming Eye Lift Hello, firmer, smoother peepers! Seriously, after I apply this eye cream, I can feel it gently tightening the skin in my eye area. The result is, of course, temporary but can be maintained with consistent use and at the price, that isn't difficult!

Derma E Hydrating Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid. Another exceptional skin care product from this exemplary line. Hydrating enough for even my very dry skin, this is a much loved part of my skin care arsenal.

Derma E Firming DMAE Moisturizer with Alpha Lipoic and Vitamin C Ester. I received the little, half ounce jar pictured, above from Derma E. From the first time I applied it, I was hooked! Soon after I smooth this thick creme into my face, I can feel it working. Firming, gently tightening. My skin along the tops of my cheekbones and across my forehead looks and feels firmer and when I apply my blush, my face looks and feels a little firmer and more lifted than it used to. Sadly, I am out of this cream, at the moment. I will buy a full sized jar as soon as I finish up the remainder of an older jar of firming cream that's been lying around and am through testing a new to me firming cream for review. Want to know a secret? In my opinion, those two more expensive firming creams are very nice but to be perfectly honest, they aren't any more effective than the Derma E! And the Derma E is a fraction of the price.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre is the famed moisturizer that is beloved by makeup artists and beauty lovers, alike for very good reasons. This white, mild mannered, softly scented lightweight creme is beautifully hydrating enough for even my skin, for day but is also appropriate for less dry skin types. Gorgeous under makeup, this moisturizer also serves as a foundation primer and even a gentle makeup remover. This is another Holy Grail Status skin care product in my arsenal. I go through tube after tube and I will always repurchase.

Mineral Sunscreen. I use mineral, exclusively as I am allergic to chemical sunscreens. Two that I really like for my face, right now are My Chelle Replenishing Solar Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen and Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30. Both of these moisturizers hydrate my skin, wear nicely under makeup and protect my complexion from the harsh Arizona sun. The MyChelle sunscreen is certified reef safe, making it the perfect face SPF for the beach.

Hand Lotions. As a certified old hag with very, very dry skin, you can well imagine how bad my hands can look after my normal housework and the frequent hand washing I tend to do. Without rich, deeply hydrating lotions, my poor hands would be toast. My Holy Grail, can't live without it hand lotion is Curel Ultra Healing Lotion for Extra Dry Skin. This is the savior for my hands. I love and use other lotions but this is the one. The lotion that makes my hands feel baby soft and look as smooth as humanly possible. Honorable mention goes to Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia Hand Cream. A gorgeous, hydrating hand cream that smells like gardenia and jasmine and makes my hands feel lovely. This hand cream was a gift from a friend and I'm grateful for it. Now that I've tried this hand cream, I'd love to try more Pacifica products!

Lips. Vaseline Lip Therapy - Rosy Lips. When it comes to my lips, I don't mess around. Recommended by my dermatologist for my lip condition, this is the balm that I depend on to keep my lips soft, comfortable and protected and I keep it close at hand, no matter where I am. Seriously. I have tins of this stuff everywhere... in my bag, on my nightstand, living room side table, dressing table, my car. Yeah.


Body Care. The skin on our bod needs to be taken care of just as much as the skin on our face. To keep dry, flaky, itchy skin at bay, I employ hydrating body washes, scrubs, oils, lotions and body butters. Here are some of my easily accessible, affordable favorites.

Dove Beep Moisture Body Wash. This is one of the best body washes for my skin. Believe me, I've tried so. very. many. This one works, so I use it. If I could buy this body wash by the barrel, I probably would!

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish. Oils and fine and coarse sea salt and that delicious scent combine to lift away dead, dry skin and rinses clean to leave me feeling soft and smooth all over but not oily or slippery. This scrub doesn't make my shower a hazard zone, either.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Lotion. For lightweight all over hydration, I reach for this stuff. It drops right into my skin, leaving it feeling soft and smelling so good.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter. For deep moisture this is my fave. It doesn't require endless rubbing, never leaves me feeling sticky or slimy but it deeply hydrates and that scent! Ahh, yisss! In the dead of winter when the temps and humidity can drop to skin searing lows, I double up on the lotion and body butter for extra dry skin relief.

I love a good body oil and two affordable and effective options come from OGX. The Hydrate + Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle In Shower Oil is for hair and bod. Last thing before I turn off my shower, a little through my ends and length then smoothed into my skin, all over. Rinse, pat dry. Or for right out of the shower there is Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Weightless Healing Dry Oil. This lighter weight oil is nice in the summer, when it's humid and I don't need as deep moisturizing. I like to apply it to wet skin then pat dry. I don't know why my label is all curled and funky. Doesn't matter. The product works and that is really all I care about.

Shit. This isn't just a roundup of favorite, affordable skin care products is it? It's the War and Peace, The Riverside Shakespeare, The fucking Oxford Compact English Dictionary of roundups of affordable skin care products. As usual, I went a tiny bit overboard.

Okay. A lot overboard.

If you read this entire TL/DR post, I salute you. If you skimmed, stopping only to read up on something of interest, I am not mad. Truly, I'm not. I just hope that either way, you found it helpful and informative and perhaps a little bit enabling. I'd love it if you'd share! There are buttons to your left and at the end of this post for your convenience and it would mean so much to me. 💖

If you want even more affordable skin care ideas, be sure to scroll to the end of this post and check out the InLinkz gallery of other Makeup Wars bloggers and see what they love.



Popular posts from this blog

How to Clean (and sanitize!) Your Beauty Blenders

A Skin Care Fridge | Bougie or Beneficial?