skincare building blocks – the affordable basics and add-ons

wanting to start your skincare routine and feeling overwhelmed?
I streamlined the basic steps of skincare, coupling them with some more affordable suggestions of products for you to pick.
and I’ve listed some of the most common add-ons – the other building blocks you can slowly introduce to your routine, according to your skin’s needs. make sure you have products you like to use everyday, because a routine is made of persistence.

the essentials

the basic steps to ensure your skin’s health:

  1. cleanse
  2. moisturise
  3. sunscreen (in the morning)

1. cleanse

I like to add a sub-step here, which is doing a double cleanse in the evening, to make sure you remove all the products that were designed to stick to your skin. you can use the same cleanser twice, but if you wear makeup and more stubborn sunscreens, my recommendation is always to do the first cleanse with an oil-based cleanser (liquid or solid, oil or balm), which I find is far more gentle on the skin.

for the second cleanse (usually is same product you use in the AM, if you’d like) you can use anything, really – as long as it’s not too stripping, it all comes down to personal preference.

*in some countries, The Body Shop is an MLM, so I won’t post links because I’m not sure which is which…

2. moisturise

keeping the skin barrier healthy, delivering some hydration and preventing trans-epidermal water loss.

3. sun protection

essential to prevent premature damage to the skin.

  • P20 Sun Care for Kids (it’s also on some European Amazons, give it a quick look to compare prices)
  • La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid (unlike online, it’s easy to find in pharmacies/drugstores)
  • Skin Aqua Super UV Moisture Gel (Yesstyle, Stylevana)

the other building blocks

add according to your skin’s needs. don’t force it. if something is not working, go back to the basics you trust.


you can be dehydrated without having dry skin. use after cleansing, and/or layered with other products, and before moisturiser.


I have a soft spot for vitamin C in its purest form (L-Ascorbic Acid), but there are many other anti-oxidant ingredients, from its derivatives to things like resveratrol, ferulic acid, and ubiquinone (coQ10), just to name a few.

it can be used both am and pm, but if you’re introducing another active, I’d not start by using both in the same routine, just to be safe. it’s a must for morning routines, because it boosts you’re sunscreen properties.

protects the skin from oxidative damage, helps to reduce and revert (to an extent) those same damages, brightens and evens the skin, can help with collagen production.


fantastic for so many skin concerns, like texture, hyperpigmentation, loss of elasticity, fine lines, and, in some formulations, also helps to prevent breakouts.

start with a very low concentration, once a week, and don’t be afraid to buffer (using moisturiser before AND after), especially if using a serum. build up from there and don’t force it. if you damage your barrier you’ll have to stop. slow and steady wins the race. use in the evening.


for dry skins, dry skin days, using after acids, bulking up your moisturiser, and basic pampering, aka facial massages.

exfoliating acids

although I haven’t found any equivalents to the more high end cream-based acids that I love, a liquid exfoliant can be helpful to help remove any dead skin cells/rough texture, and, in the case of salicylic acid, to prevent/heal breakouts and give pores some deep clean. they are formulated for daily use, but I don’t see much need for that, especially if you’re using other actives. a couple of times per week can be enough. and spot-treating for blemishes.

2 thoughts on “skincare building blocks – the affordable basics and add-ons”

    1. Oh yes, I’ve used Clinique Take the Day off (the balm) several years ago, TTDO it’s an OG line of products, the one that started it all for me!
      I haven’t mentioned it in this video/post because it’s not drugstore pricing :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.