Best of: Superdrug Skincare

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I don’t know quite who is at the helm of Superdrug at the moment (and am none the wiser after a quick google) but my god have they pulled their socks up. Before, Superdrug was basically poor man’s Boots. If I close my eyes all I can see are smeared plastic makeup counters, all missing their shoplifted testers and a seemingly permanent 3 for 2 mega sale on. Hardly the place you would go to for excellent skincare.

Something has happened over the last couple of years though, and product by product, their own-brand skincare has presented itself as a genuine, cheaper alternative to a designer skincare regimen.

Here are my picks – thinks I things are genuinely brilliant and have used, finished and bought again. It is what I would buy if all my skincare went missing and had to be replaced before payday. Just don’t steal all the testers, yeah?

Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser, £4.99

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So, up first for gob cleaning is the Vitamin E cream cleanser, which comes with it’s own useless little muslin cloth. It’s got a lovely creamy texture and slightly sweet vanilla-ish smell. I really like it as a second cleanse in the evening. It has cocoa butter as its main source of lard, so proceed with caution if you have oily skin, but I’m dry and papery as they come and if you are too I think you’ll love it.

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Naturally Radiant Glycolic toner £5.99

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This is a very decent acid toner indeed, with 5% glycolic acid and AHA. For £6 this is very much doing a similar thing to Pixi Glow Tonic at half the price. More readily available than the Ordinary and comes in a 100ml bottle which is useful for carry on packing. Not mad on the smell, but it disappears quickly and where do you think you are? Liberty??

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Simply Pure Hydrating Night Serum, £2.99

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A hyaluronic acid serum at an absolute rock bottom price. I don’t think this is as good as the also-great-value the Ordinary serum, but you could find this when visiting your parents at Christmas or on a work trip to the Slough office, couldn’t you? I’m assuming the night version is even slightly more potent, so I’m recommending that.

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Vitamin C Booster, £4.99

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This gets whacked on in the morning, after cleansing and before sunscreen, but you could also mix with moisturiser. Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this is a proper, potent dollop of vitamin C. A high concentration vitamin C serum will feel quite stingy in truth, and needs dark and cold to stay alive (it very much has a sell by date). This one isn’t super potent but honestly, I felt like it still made a difference and smells very pleasantly of oranges. It would be better than no vitamin c at all, and is one of the few budget options available. 

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Revolution Skincare Fine Line Correcting Serum, £6

Not strictly speaking Superdrug’s own brand, but to my knowledge they are the only high street bricks and mortar shop where you can buy the range. A mild retinol in an oil base (including the hilariously named Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil - that’s Sunflower oil to you and me). Only thing I would say is that the bottle could do with being opaque, as retinol goes off when exposed to light, but you could do allot worse than this as a mild intro to the wonderful world of retinoids.

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Solait Sensitive Face Fluid SPF50, £4.49

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 I think facial sunscreen is such an annoying product to recommend because anecdotally, no one seems to agree on one that feels good under makeup and doesn’t sting/has the right texture etc. Bearing in mind my skin is dry and easily burnt, I found this very good. If you are similarly cursed then it’s worth a punt at £4.49. I prefer my Roche Posay one only marginally and it is triple the price.

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Claire Rigby