Zoe Foster names the best cheap beauty prodz



Q.I’m always so confused in the chemist, there’s so much to choose from. Which budget beauty brands do you recommend for basic face creams?

– Debbie

Oh, Debbie. Sweet Debbie. There’s not a man, woman or echidna out there who hasn’t been in the same bamboozled position, cruising the aisles with an empty shopping basket and full wallet (well, the coin purse at least) and no idea where to start.

Here are some pointers on your essential day and night gear.


Olay Regenerist Night resurfacing Elixir

L’Oreal Paris, being part of the mammoth L’Oreal family (including Lancôme) has access to some impressive technology, and you’ll find probably the best of that in their new Youth Code range, which features skin probiotics (the hot new thing in skin care) as well as ceramides and peptides, ingredients to definitely keep an eye out for once your skin starts to lose its elasticity and bounce.

For the sensitive-skinned and/or purists, I very much recommend MooGoo (the cheapest), Sanctum or Dr Hauschka (bit pricier but very lovely indeed.)

Stand out prodz: Olay Regenerist Night resurfacing Elixir for strong-ish, glycolic, chemical exfoliation, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting cream as a Do It All anti-ageing potion, Olay Total Effects anti-ageing serum, Youth Code Luminosity Serum for brightening, MooGoo Anti-Ageing Cream with Resveratrol, Sanctum Hy C Intensive Repair cream.


Invisible Zinc tinted daywear

As you know Deb, I’m vigilant and extremely (some say “excessively”) vocal about protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays, each and every day. Best thing you can do for your skin. Especially if you use AHAs and such things on your skin at night. And don’t be fooled into thinking your makeup with SPF is enough – it’s not. The small amount of sun protection in makeup will always be compromised due to the need for a pleasant texture and coverage needs. Plus, the tiny amount you use takes that SPF 15 down to about an SPF 2.


So, I won’t be recommending any daily face creams that don’t feature good quality sun protection. Happily, some of the best and most advanced sun protection you can find (for both your daily use/as a moisturiser and prolonged sun exposure) live in the supermarket, and gone are the days when sunscreen was a horrible, congestive thing to schlozzle all over your face each day. Now they are quite lightweight and matte and delightful indeed, and some are tinted, meaning you’ve covered off protection, moisture and base all in one.

I highly recommend Neutrogena because of their Helioplex (the combination of Avobenzone and Oxybenzone together to block the complete spectrum of UVA and UVB rays), which is widely regarded as the best defence against UV protection on the market, because it is particularly powerful against UVA (the ageing rays), and is extremely stable (won’t break down in the sun.) I also like Sunsense by Ego, for their range of sensitive, matte, tinted daily moisturiser with sun protection, and I like Invisible Zinc because it’s a terrific physical sunscreen chockers with, uh, zinc.

Stand out prodz: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer (excellent for oily skin); Neutrogena Healthy Defence for daily use under makeup, Sunsense Daily Face SPF 30+; L’Oreal Paris’ UV Perfect Lightly Tinted SPF 30+ lotion; Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear, and Nivea’s Light Feel Daily Veil, which will be most pleasing to those who hate the ‘sunscreen’ feel and greasy look.

Deb, I’m sure the dames below will also have some excellent, personally-vouched for recommendations for you, so for the love of lecithin, read on!

Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air KissesPlaying The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.

Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.

What are your favourite budget beauty buys?