I feel that Sainsbury’s have always been slightly ahead of the game when it comes to supermarket beauty shopping, stocking great and affordable brands such Super Facialist, Burt’s Bees and Nip + Fab, but now they have completely raised the bar again with their brand new beauty aisles.
Nearly two hundred superstores have the new beauty offering, with fourteen hundred new products launched and the brands list reads more like something you’d find at a dedicated beauty retailer than a supermarket; soothing face creams from Weleda, high-powered body-smoothers from Ameliorate, sumptuous balm cleansers and serums from Balance Me…
To celebrate the amazing new beauty aisles I’ve created three useful skincare routines using some of my favourites from the brands and products that you can pick up right now in-(super)store. Many stores also have trained beauty advisors to help guide and advise you and you can also find brands (such as Sanctuary Spa, My Skin Matters and Boutique) that are exclusive to Sainsbury’s.
Dull Skin Routine
My first little routine is for dull skin which is a common complaint going into winter. Once we lose the fresh, sunkissed bounce of a summer spent outdoors and the central heating kicks in, skin can tend to look a little lacklustre. So here are three products to get back some glow and all of them can be seamlessly slipped into your existing routines. I suppose they could be seen as separate tweaks more than a solid three-step routine, because I probably wouldn’t use them all together…
The Super Facialist Vit C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil (£11 here) is the perfect cleanser to introduce as the weather gets colder. Don’t be put off if your skin is on the oilier side; this rinses completely clean and does a really thorough job of breaking down makeup, sunscreen and the day’s dirt. It also smells so optimistically orangey (like the “Satsuma” scent of our youth, children of the eighties!) that it’s hard to find fault with it.
We then split into day and night routines; personally I would use the Super Facialist Vitamin C Booster (£18 here) in the morning, before or blended into moisturiser and sunscreen, but there’s nothing to stop you using it day and night. Vitamin C is great for brightening and helping with a more even skintone and also gives antioxidant protection; I’ve simply become used to it as a morning step, whereas…
…my acid peels, the AHAs, tend to go on at bedtime. Again, nothing to stop you using them in the morning (you MUST remember to use a sunscreen) but I like to use them overnight and wake up to the glow! The Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow contains 2% glycolic for a quick but not-too-shocking dose of exfoliation. It eats away at the dead skin cells, to put it in unglamorous terms, revealing brighter, newer skin. Personally I wouldn’t use daily, more two or three times a week, but it depends on your own skin and how it reacts to exfoliation. You can find the Glycolic Fix online here, it’s £17.
Dry Skin Routine
You might be thinking that dull skin and dry skin would go hand in hand, but I think that they can be quite different beasts. This routine is for really dry skin, the sort that just feels tight and uncomfortable and never quite feels sated.
The Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Calming Creamy Cleanser (£8 here) has been a favourite of mine for years. It feels luxurious, you can get a good old massage going with it and it’s only eight quid for a large tube. It smells beautiful and is gentle but effective and won’t leave your skin feeling tighter than when you started!
A new discovery now: Sanctuary Spa’s Hyaluronic Wonder Oil Serum (£20 here), a bi-phase product that has all the quenching properties of a hyaluronic serum but with the comfort and nourishment of an oil. If you’re so dry that a “lightweight” serum feels tight and uncomfortable then you’ll love this – ditto if you’ve wanted to dip a proverbial toe into the world of face oils but have been worried you’ll find them too greasy. It’s the perfect hybrid.
And all sealed in with what could be the world’s richest moisturiser, Weleda’s Skin Food (£10 here). This dry skin miracle is a tenner for a huge 75ml tube and is one of the richest, slide-iest face creams you’ll find. Especially at this price and with such lovely ingredients. I hate to bring the word “grease” into proceedings because it has such negative connotations, but Skin Food does leave a somewhat greasy residue. But it’s a beautiful grease – a sheen, a slick shine – that smells wonderful and will be music to the ears of those who simply can’t find a cream that’s moisturising enough for them. (For anyone who doesn’t have very dry skin, you’ll no doubt find this moisturiser too much. Word of warning!)
My last little skincare routine is one for the people who need some time-out, a few minutes’ peace, and who like products that smell sublime and transport them to other places. It’s a true mini-spa at-home and it’s perfect for the stressed and the weary. (All of us, then.)
I’ve started this one with Balance Me’s Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm (£20 here). Good cleansers were always the things I found lacking when supermarket beauty shopping and I’m so pleased that Sainsbury’s have such a good array but particularly that they have a balm cleanser. Balms, especially when they smell like this one, just add something extra-special to a skincare routine; you have to massage the product in properly to get it to melt down and I think that the extra effort, that massaging-in time, is invaluable when you’re trying to take some time for yourself.
The middle step here is a facial oil and there were loads to choose from but I plumped for Weleda’s Almond Soothing Facial Oil (£13.50 here) because it’s simple, calming and will suit all skin types. If you were into your aromatherapy then this makes a brilliant carrier oil and you could tweak it to suit particular concerns or needs, but as it is, unadulterated, it’s a nourishing, unfragranced treat and a great skincare staple if you’re dry or sensitive.
All of this is sealed in with a lovely dose of Urban Veda’s Sandalwood + Botanics Soothing Clarifying Night Cream (£20 here). Urban Veda formulate to Ayurvedic principles, so if it’s holistic beauty you’re after then you’ll be delighted that you can now find it at Sainsbury’s superstores! It was the sandalwood that drew me to this particular night cream, I just find the scent so grounding, but I can assure you that the cream has been really sensitively put-together; the scent is gentle and not at all overpowering. Just enough to make you stop and take a moment to regather and relax.
So I hope that you’ve enjoyed my little tour of the new beauty aisles, via three skincare routines; I’m so impressed with Sainsbury’s new skincare offerings and can’t wait to see how it keeps on evolving. They have an in-house team called Future Brands who identify rising talent in the beauty industry and help to bring them to shoppers at an affordable price-point and so I’m really interested to see what comes up!
It’s so lovely to see that beauty is being properly considered and presented – that you can now make informed choices from a great selection, rather than it being a bit of an afterthought – just some basics that you chuck in the trolley. I do think that it will change how people shop for their beauty – can you see yourself buying more of your beauty along with the rest of your shopping, if the choice is there?
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Brilliant skincare buys that you can pick up in the supermarket. I won’t dilly-dally about today with silly introductions and off piste distractions because I have limited time: I just hoovered up a load of moths with the Dyson and I don’t want them flying back out of the pipe.
Can that happen? I mean, if the suction isn’t on, can insects climb back out of the hoover? God I hope not. That is the stuff of nightmares, isn’t it? It’s the natural world’s equivalent of that wet-haired girl climbing out of the well in The Ring. You just want to slam a lid down on it and hammer in a few nine inch nails.
Luckily for the insects I empty the Dyson outside, so they are (sort of) freed back out into the wild. Though how long a domesticated, well-fed moth would last in the open I have no idea. Going from a diet of cashmere and merino wool to, I dunno, dandelions. It would be like turfing an aristocrat from his club into the back alley and asking him to fend for himself.
“What? No Lobster Thermidor? And who are you, dare I ask? No, I can absolutely not spare a squid! A … quid? What is this quid you speak of?”
Where was I? Must concentrate. If you’re self-isolating and only getting supermarket deliveries, or if you’re trying to keep deliveries to a minimum, then here are some cracking skincare products you can buy at the supermarket. Both online and instore.
I should add that there are far more options than the ones laid out, but I am working with what I’ve got. Products I use regularly and ones that I’ve previously tested. Once we’re all out of confinement, I promise you that I will continue my much-praised (haha) Supermarket Sweep series. I think I only did ASDA and Sainsbury’s before I got totally distracted.
I’ve concentrated on Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Waitrose here – I’m afraid I’m not so up to speed with Lidl and Aldi – they were on my to-do list but it’s impossible to try stuff at the moment!
Note, also, that I’ve avoided the powerhouse ingredients here; you can get various bits and bobs with vitamin C and retinol, but I haven’t tested them extensively enough to give them a proper thumbs up and so I have kept this post to the basics: cleanse, serum, moisturiser.
The supermarket shelves are awash with cleansing gels and foaming gels and wipes and micellar cleansers: there’s a distinct lack of balm, oil and cream cleansers. But I’ve checked, and pretty much across the board you can find one good, rich, creamy cleanser.
At Sainsbury’s I’d go for the Superfacialist Rose Cleanser (it’s also at Amazon here*) which is just gorgeous. I’m a long-term fan and if Sainsbury’s is your supermarket of choice then you’re in luck, because you also have the delightful Balance Me range.
Pricier than your usual supermarket offering, Balance Me have loads of great products – including a very good vitamin C serum, actually. Which is annoying because I’ve just said I’d avoid the powerhouse ingredients in this post!
Balance Me’s Balm cleanser is a treat – unctious, soft, it melts down to an oil and rinses off clean. It’s £20 at Sainsbury’s or LookFantastic here*.
At Tesco, I like the Cosmeticism Cleansing Cream here and at ASDA I really like the hot cloth polish from NSpa, which I couldn’t find online but sincerely hope they have instore. It’s a great budget cleanser.
At Waitrose, you have about a zillion options. Seriously, they have loads of wonderful brands – my pick would be the Weleda Almond Cleanser, which I’ve reviewed here.
For the serum step I’ve gone for a suit-all crowd-pleaser, good old hyaluronic acid. L’Oreal have a new 1.5% version that has recently launched in the UK, see if you can find it – they definitely have it at Sainsbury’s and at Lookfantastic here*.
The aforementioned Vit C one from Balance Me is great – again, find it at Sainsbury’s, and also online here*.
Olay do a great serum called 3 Point Firming – I tested this extensively a few years ago and it was excellent. Lightweight, non-greasy, plumping, sits well beneath makeup, keep an eye out for it!
My most-used supermarket-available options are below. The Simple moisturisers are a new discovery for me (via Nadine Baggott) and the teeny bottles are deceiving – you get a standard 50ml inside them. Just nifty packaging. I would highly recommend the calming hemp version.
Simple Calming Moisturiser with Hemp, many supermarkets and online at Boots here*.
L’Oreal Revitalift Night Cream-Mask, at Waitrose here* and most supermarkets. I’ve banged on about this one for years and years – it’s my favourite L’Oreal moisturiser and they make a lot. It’s more plumptious and effective than many of the far more expensive “sleep masks” I’ve tried from luxury brands and, with the hyaluronic serum layered beneath, it leaves your face as wibbly and turgid as an overfilled waterbed.
If you’re in a spot dilemma and need something immediately, you could do worse than to throw some Clearasil Rapid Action Pads. I mean you could do a lot better, but we are talking fast fixes here and I’ve tested these out a few times before so I know they don’t burn the bejeezus out of your face. I wouldn’t use them all over, because I find them drying, but use on the spot-prone areas and then just leave them to get to work. They’re saturated in salicylic acid so they help to keep pores clear without being to aggro in the process.
OK, I see a moth head poking out of the pipe (not a euphemism) (would be a strange one) so I must go and empty the dust-catcher. I’ve just realised I did a video on this entire post (amazing that someone could actually forget something so important) and so I’ll paste that in below for your watching pleasure.
Please do leave me your own supermarket skincare heroes in the comments – I will definitely be reinstating my video series and so I need to get testing once I can nip to the shops to research and stock up. Especially give me your Lidl and Aldi recommendations!