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Here's What Happened When I Used Only Supermarket Skincare For 15 Days

Skincare Supermarket Sweep.

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One second I think I've found a selection of products that work well on my skin, and then I see something new and I'm like, "OH, OK, I MUST BUY IT, FOR THE SAKE OF MY FACE!"

In terms of skincare history, I've always been quite lucky with my skin in that it's usually pretty clear. If I choose to bury my face in a sharing bag of Doritos then I'm prone to a couple of big red lurkers on my chin, and (WARNING: I'm about to mention menstruation) I tend to break out around the time of my period as well.

The only skin condition I do have is eczema, which can be irritated by certain products but rarely flares up on my face.

These are the products I currently use:

Brian Sherman for BuzzFeed.

I don't suffer from big breakouts or acne, thankfully, so the products I buy aren't too targeted. They're more like all-rounders aimed at achieving the holy grail: clear skin.

Face wash – Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash

I've used loads of face washes over the years, but I think this tea-tree–based one has the best effect on my skin. It's not super expensive, and you get a lot of product for your money.

Cleanser/make-up remover – Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

You can use micellar water as a cleanser and a make-up remover. A lazy person's dream. I use this to remove my make-up, and I usually wash my face again afterwards, unless I'm feeling super lazy.

Moisturiser – Nivea Light Moisturising Day Cream

I use it day and night, despite the fact that it quite clearly says it's a day cream. *awaits call from the beauty police*

Exfoliator – Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliator

I started using an exfoliator recently as a result of the advice I got from the No. 7 beautician when I wrote this post. It has actually made a difference, and now my face doesn't feel like it's just had a chemical peel every time I wash it.

I don't have a massive list of things I look for in skincare products, but I do enjoy it when they deliver the following:

– A moisturiser that is light and has at least SPF 15, because I'm so pale that I burn within 0.003 seconds of going outside on a hot day.

– A face wash that actually makes my face feel clean. I realise that sounds a bit stupid, but I like products that have tea tree oil in them as they make my face feel like it has had a good cleanse.

– I don't want to have to pay ridiculous money for products. I know that in a lot of cases you do get what you pay for, but I think there are products on the market that won't break the bank.

So, in the name of research, I went to three different supermarkets.

I bought a selection of their skincare products to see what the differences were and whether there were any outstanding miracle products that we should all be buying.

I tried to buy the same base products from each store, and I used the products for a total of five days per shop in order to compare them.

Brian Sherman for BuzzFeed.

The products:

Face wipes – Lacura 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes
Serum – Lacura Aqua-Complete Multi-Intensive Serum H2O
Day cream – Lacura Q10 Gentle Daily Face Cream
Night cream – Lacura Renew Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream

Total cost: £7.86

Unfortunately, Aldi didn't have any face wash in its skincare range, so I had to make do with using face wipes. Although this was a plus in the time department, I felt like it wasn't going to be that great for my skin.

(Since writing this article, I discovered that Aldi has introduced two new facial cleansers into its skincare range.)

Results:

Although you can't see much of a difference between the before and after pictures, my skin felt a lot softer, which I think is down to the combined effort of the serum and the night cream.

I had my reservations about the Aldi products to begin with, because I thought something that was so cheap couldn't possibly do my skin any good. How wrong I was!

The night cream made my face feel magnificent and the day cream definitely pulled its weight as well. I live and help out on a farm, so after an afternoon spent moving lambs in the rain, my face was feeling dried out when I came in. I slathered some of Aldi's day cream on it and was good to go.

The Aldi wipes were way better than others I have used before. While I don't think they would ever replace the cleansing/moisturising routine, they would certainly be a good beauty buy.

Would I buy any of the products again?

Damn straight. I have since incorporated the Aldi night cream into my skincare routine because when I used it, my face in the morning felt like Kim Kardashian's, all plumped up and supple. I would also buy the face wipes again. They were a bargain at 89p, and I think they would be good to have on standby for any beauty emergencies.

Brian Sherman for BuzzFeed.

The products:

Face wash – Formula Cleansing Face Wash
Face wipes – Formula Facial Cleansing Wipes
Serum – Formula Perfect Radiance Vitamin C Illuminating Serum
Day cream – Formula Extra Rich Moisturiser
Night cream – Formula Rich Night Cream

Total cost: £28.50

For the amount that they cost, I was expecting the Marks & Spencer products to make me look 17 again, but no such luck. I wasn't overly enamoured with any of these products, and none of them stood out in a way that made me want to add them into my skincare routine.

Here's my face after five days of using M&S skincare products.

Brian Sherman for BuzzFeed.

If you look *reeeaaallly* closely, you can just tell that this is the day that I didn't straighten my hair.

Results:

After using the M&S products for five days, I didn't notice too much of a difference in my skin. Although I will say that the M&S Vitamin C Serum smells lush.

The M&S products I used were disappointing for the price. I know there are far more expensive skincare products out there, so £30 for serum, two moisturisers, face wipes, and cleanser isn't shocking, but seeing how well Aldi's products performed, I was left a little disappointed.

Would I buy any of the products again?

Probably only if I was desperate. This isn't because the products are bad – I just feel like they don't justify the expense. The Aldi serum was £3.50 while the M&S version was £11, and I didn't notice any difference at all.

When I was looking for skincare products in M&S, there were a lot that were targeted to older skin. If you're in the market for anti-ageing skincare, M&S might be worth a look.

Brian Sherman for BuzzFeed.

Products:

Face wash – Pro Formula Hydrating Creamy Face Wash
Face wipes – Pro Formula Hydrating Cleansing Wipes
Night cream – Pro Formula Radiance Night Cream
Day cream – Pro Formula Radiance Day Cream

Total cost: £10

Tesco has a selection of skincare products from different ranges, but I chose to go for the Pro Formula range, which has been scientifically developed for the supermarket.

Results:

Of the three different supermarkets, Tesco's products were the ones I liked the least.

The Tesco face wash was my least favourite product of the entire experiment. I found that when I used it, it felt like the face wash just sat on top of my skin until I washed it off and didn't actually make my face any cleaner.

Both the day and night creams did the job and left my face feeling hydrated, but the night cream wasn't as thick as the others.

You can see from comparing the before image and the image above that I've got a couple of spots flaring up on my chin. These weren't caused by me eating giant bags of Doritos (swear down), nor were they brought on by my menstrual cycle, so I can only assume it was some of the products I was using.

Would I buy any of the products again?

I'd buy the face creams and wipes again if I was desperate, but the face wash will certainly not be gracing my bathroom sink again any time soon.

Another issue that I had was that the day cream and the night cream pots look exactly the same once they are out of their boxes. This added an extra few seconds to my morning and evening routines trying to work out which was which. Very minor, but when you're really tired, you don't have time for those kinds of mind games.

I feel that Aldi's products outclassed the other two retailers by miles. Not only were they great value for money, they also felt like they had come from a more expensive beauty brand. The night cream and the face wipes were standout favourites for me, but I'm definitely going to keep using the day cream as well.

The M&S moisturiser was the only one of the three that had no SPF rating (the other two had SPF 15). I was surprised, as it was £4.00 and £1.50 more than the Aldi and Tesco products respectively. For the price, I certainly would've expected it to contain some kind of SPF rating. However, this could've just been down to the particular product that I chose.

The only product I would absolutely not use again would be the Tesco face wash, but that's just because of how my skin felt when I used it. I wouldn't rush out to buy any of the other products again, but they certainly weren't the worst things I've ever used.

Overall, I would rate Aldi's products as the best for me, followed by Marks & Spencer's and then Tesco's.

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