We tested budget-friendly face creams to help you beat skinflation – Lidl’s £1.49 offering rivals Charlotte Tilbury’s | The Sun

HAS your beauty regime been impacted by Skinflation?

Recent research revealed the cost of living crisis is now showing in our complexions with the price of face creams rising by as much as 122 per cent.

In July we reported L’Oreal’s Paris Age Perfect Golden Age Rosy Re-Fortifying Day Cream has doubled in cost to £16.

Similar hikes have led to some accusations of profiteering by cosmetic firms.

Luckily savvy shoppers know that you can still get great skincare ingredients in budget bottles if you know what to look out for.

Here Laura Stott suggests penny saving potions to see how they compare to bigger brands.


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Lacura Moisturising Cream 177ml £3.99 Aldi Stores vs

CeraVe Moisturising Cream 177ml £9.99 Superdrug.com


Discount supermarket Aldi is well known for its cosmetic dupes, with products in its own brand Lacura range offering convincing budget beauty alternatives.

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Its Lacura facial moisturising cream bears an uncanny resemblance to a cream by well-known dermatologist favourite CeraVe.

Both share the same main ingredients of three major ceramides and hyaluronic acid to quench and nourish thirsty skin, are fragrance free, and similar in texture and consistency.

Quantities do vary very slightly between the composition of the two but I doubt you’d notice a difference anywhere but at the till.

Altruist Moisturising Fluid £6.92 50ml amazon.co.uk vs

La Roche-Posay Nutritic Intense Moisturiser Riche 50ml £20.50 boots.com


Budget brand Altruist was developed by a leading UK dermatologist with the aim of delivering affordable and high spec skincare with effective ingredients but without sky-high price tags.

Its bargain basic moisturising fluid is lovely to use, light, soothing and easy to dispense.

It left skin feeling fully hydrated and glowing.

It also has a lot in common with a much pricier pot of La Roche-Posay Nutric Intense cream.

While the French brand has a thicker texture, the two share contents such as dimethicone, shea butter and glycerin for softness, as well as similar quantities of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride to smooth.


Cien Q10 Day Cream £1.49 50ml Lidl Stores vs

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream £52 30ml Space NK


Magic Cream is a best-seller in the posh range created by Charlotte Tilbury, a make-up artist to supermodels including Kate Moss.

It’s renowned among beauty fans for its ability to instantly perk up skin, plumping and firming to leave a glowing complexion, making it ideal as a base for cosmetics.

The gorgeous cream feels glamorous and luxurious to use, especially with its swanky rose-gold embossed packaging.

But forgo the blingy pot and for a saving of almost £50 you’ll find many of the same ingredients in Lidl’s Cien day cream, including the antioxidant Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin to plump, and lemony citronella for fragrance.

A whopping saving but very similar results.

Skin Saints Vitamin C Overnight Cream £4 50g Tesco vs

Super Facialist Vitamin C + Daily Moisturiser £17 75ml lookfantastic.com


Benefits of using Vitamin C face creams include improved radiance, increased glow and a brighter, more even complexion.

They are also great for giving damaged skin a bit of a boost.

It might sound high tech and scientific, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to see the skincare results for yourself.

Pick up this Vitamin C pot for under a fiver in Tesco which contains high performing ingredients not dissimilar to the far pricier Super Facialist Cream, including Glyceryl Stearate and Shea butter to moisturise and Vitamin C derivatives.

My Skin Matters Renewing Night Cream with Retinol £4.55 50ml Sainsburys.co.uk vs

No 7 Pure Retinol Night Cream 50ml £34.95 boots.com


Hero anti-aging ingredient retinol used to be reserved for luxury brands only, meaning you had to splash out to get its proven anti-aging and fine line reducing effects on your complexion.

Fortunately you no longer need to spend a fortune to see its impressive results.

There is a £20 difference between these two retinol offerings but in texture and appearance, the two creams feel and look almost identical – probably because they share the main silky base ingredient of C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate.

For its bargain price, the supermarket pot works incredibly hard for a low cost, containing retinol, Hyaluronic Acid and a Peptide Complex.

Boots Ingredients MultiBiotic Moisturiser 30ml £5 boots.com vs

Olay Niacinamide £38 sainsburys.co.uk


Despite having slightly different formulations, the hero ingredient in both this probiotic cream from Boots – costing a fiver – and a £38 pot of moisturiser from famous brand Olay is Niacinamide.

This boosts hydration by preventing the evaporation of moisture on the epidermis as well as having anti-inflammatory and skin calming effects.

So you should be left with a great glow.

Boots' lotion also offers skin balancing PH effects, while you do get additional anti-aging goodies in the Olay pot.

But for the massive difference in price, it could be worth trying this alternative.


Harry’s Daily Face Lotion SPF15 50ml £5.99 superdrug.com vs

Aesop Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Lotion SPF15 50ml £37 lookfantastic.com


Experts recommend using a daily facial moisturiser with a minimum of SPF15 all year round to protect skin from harmful sun damage, as well as hydrating and nourishing the complexion.

This budget bottle of face lotion from grooming brand Harry’s has a lovely minty aroma and contains one of the same main ingredients   – Zinc Oxide – as the pricy upmarket day cream option from posh brand Aesop.

This means they will both perform in a comparable way to create a physical barrier from harmful rays on the skin, but with a big price difference.

Formula for Men Energise £19.50 50ml Marks and Spencer vs

Clinique For Men Anti Age Moisturiser 100ml £38 boots.com


M&S’s own range ‘Energise’ face moisturiser aimed at men shares rather a lot in common with expensive beauty counter range Clinque’s male face cream – and it’s not just the dark grey packaging that’s similar.

Both are composed to provide anti-aging effects including improved elasticity, hydration and tackling fine lines using ingredients such as glycerine, glyceryl stearate and butenyl glycol to sooth and hydrate, dimethicone to plump fine lines, and sunflower.

M&S’s offering isn’t the cheapest out there, but it’s got a lot of high quality ingredients for the price tag.

Men Advance Rehydrating Moisturiser £2.75 75ml sainsburys.co.uk vs

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer £20 75ml johnlewis.com


Pick up a tube of Sainsbury’s own everyday moisturiser targeted at men for just a couple of pounds when you do the weekly shop and you’ll get a lot of hydration value for your money.

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The lightweight lotion soaks in easily and contains Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Almond Oil as well as glycerin to hydrate the complexion.

Posh brand Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer also uses a similar Glycerin, and Almond Oil composition, except it’ll cost you more, and you can’t get it in the supermarket.

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