The Affordable Skincare Routine That Got Me Through the Summer

Posted September 3, 2019 by in Beauty
affordable skincare routine

If you have been following Broke & Chic for any amount of time, you may already know that I’m obsessed with skincare and simply the art of taking care of my skin. If that’s news to you, now you know 🙂

I like playing around and experimenting with different products, so I change up my skincare routine every few months. Usually the start of a new season means a new skincare routine for me. Not to toot my own horn (okay, maybe just a little), but I have great skin. I’m 31 years old and I’m constantly told I look like I’m only about 18 or 19. The reason for that is I really take care of my skin and I haven’t left the house without sunscreen on my face since I was about 15 years old. That is why my skin looks good, the products I use help I’m sure, but sunscreen is my best friend.

It’s no secret that the biggest aging culprit is the sun, and the sun is so much stronger than it was for our parents and grandparents (ugh, global warming), so if you don’t wear sunscreen every day, start now. It’s never too early or too late to start wearing SPF. If you’re curious about the skincare routine I followed all summer, read on:

The Products I’m Currently Using

  • Naive Kracie Face Wash – am + pm
  • Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence – am + pm
  • Merlot Sunrise Serum – am
  • Olay Micro Sculpting Cream with Sunscreen (spf 30) – am
  • The Ordinary Rose Hip Oil – pm
  • Innisfree Youth-Enriched Orchid Eye Cream – am + pm
  • Artnaturals Retinol Serum – pm (only once a week)
  • Body Merry Night Cream – pm

Read my review of each product below:

Naive Kracie Face Wash ($9)

I got this cleanser at a Japanese grocery store when I was in LA back in April. I still have another month or two worth of cleanser in the bottle, so this cleanser has lasted a long time. Plus, it was affordable! While I do like this cleanser, I most likely won’t buy it again. I have yet to see it in another store, so I would have to order it. Which is fine, but I didn’t think the cleanser did a great job at removing my makeup residue. I always have to use a cleansing toner to get rid of it. I chose the peach scent, which is definitely nice.

If you’re curious, my tried and true favorites are the Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (when I’m in the mood to splurge) and the Cetaphil Gentle Skincare Cleanser (when I don’t want to splurge). A dermatologist told me years ago that all we really need is a gentle cleanser with little to no scent.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence ($21)

It may seem gross, but I have a deep love for this product. A former co-worker of mine used to struggle with her skin (we’re the same age). She used to break out often and her skin always felt dry and tight. One day she walked into the office and she was glowing (as if she just got a facial). Her skin was clear, supple, and simply beautiful. I asked her about it, certain that she got some sort of expensive treatment, but I was pleasantly surprised. She had been using the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence for about a month. It literally transformed her skin. I ordered it on Amazon before the day was over, and wow! I also struggle with dry skin, and this product has helped immensely. A little goes a long way, I have had my bottle for about a year now and I still have a good amount left, definitely worth the $21!

An essence is a popular skincare step in the K-beauty market. It’s meant to be applied after a cleanser and toner, but before a serum. Each morning I wash my face and put on the Corsx snail slime essence and then make myself some coffee. After I have enjoyed my coffee, I go back to the bathroom and apply my serum and sunscreen.

Merlot Sunrise Serum ($22)

I have been using the Merlot Sunrise Serum for a full month and I really really like it. This product only just launched, and I received the product to review before it was available for purchase. Resveratrol is the heart and soul of all the Merlot brand. Resveratrol is known for being an extremely strong antioxidant and it can be found in red wine (hence the name, Merlot). This serum also contains Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, two synthetic peptides known for reducing skin inflammation and stimulating the skin to regenerate collagen.

The collagen in our skin slowly breaks down as we age (causing wrinkles); this product is meant to slow down that process. Not only does the Merlot Sunrise Serum slow down the aging process, it’s also a great hydrator; creating the perfect canvas for my makeup routine.

I have been a big fan of the Merlot brand for awhile, my favorite products being their exfoliating body scrub, night cream, and hydrating toner. This isn’t an expensive brand, another reason why I love it — you can find it at Walmart, Amazon, and their website.

Sunscreen ($11)

After the steps above, I then put on my sunscreen. I have been using the Micro Sculpting Cream with Sunscreen from Olay. I do like it, but the price point is a little high for sunscreen (to me). The travel size is $11! There are anti-aging properties in this sunscreen as well which explains the price. However Merlot’s Sunrise Serum already has anti-aging properties, so not really necessary for me.

My  go-to sunscreen year-round is the Innisfree Intense UV Protection Cream, but I didn’t have time to stop at the Innisfree store and I didn’t have time to order it before my 3-month trip to Sweden, so I picked out this sunscreen at CVS out of convenience. I have been using it for a few weeks now.

The Ordinary Rose Hip Oil ($9.80)

Dry skin sufferers — If you don’t have an oil in your current skincare routine, change that stat! The rose hip oil from The Ordinary is by far my favorite face oil. I use it at night before my moisturizer, and on my no-makeup days before my sunscreen for a nice glow. This product is also great for scars; I have a nasty scar on my knee from a fall earlier this year and this product is slowly but surely lightening it.

Many face oils at Sephora are extremely expensive, but The Ordinary is a very affordable skincare brand that still values quality. You can find The Ordinary Rose Hip Oil for about $10 at many online retailers including Sephora.

Innisfree Youth-Enriched Eye Cream with Orchids ($29)

I have been using this eye cream from Innisfree nightly since February. While it is moisturizing, I have noticed no difference to the skin around my eye. Unfortunately I have felt this way about almost all eye creams I have used. I have yet to find an eye cream that actually makes a difference. It can be difficult to experiment with eye creams since they tend to last a long time and it can take a few months for results to even show. I usually only need to purchase two a year.

I have a few eye creams bookmarked at the moment, I’ll read up on each of them again soon and order the best one for me. Hopefully I will find an amazing eye cream that actually makes a difference someday.

Body Merry Night Cream ($17)

This is the first Body Merry product I have used and I love it. I will absolutely experiment with more of their products in the future. I chose this specific night cream due to the great Amazon reviews and the price point. You can find the Body Merry Night Cream on Amazon for $17. I purchased this night cream early April, and I still have a lot left despite using it on my face, neck, and chest every day. It’s very hydrating and there is no overpowering scent, 10/10 would buy again.

Artnaturals Retinol Serum ($13)

I have been curious about retinol for a long time, so I purchased the Artnaturals Retinol Serum from Urban Outfitters in May for only $13. At first I used it every other day and it did make my skin too sensitive. I didn’t turn red or anything, but when I touched my face, it had more sensation if that makes any sense. I only use it about once a week, and sometimes every other week. I want to start experimenting with retinol this fall and winter. Since retinol makes your skin more sensitive, I figured the seasons with less sun would be the ideal time to experiment.

I do like this serum, but I will speak with an esthetician in the coming months to get some advice since retinol is very new to me. If you do research on this serum, it has great reviews!

I hope you enjoyed learning about my affordable skincare routine that I followed all summer. I can’t wait to share my fall skincare routine with you!


Amanda Raye Scozzafava