skincare : steal vs splurge

We all have different budgets and sometimes, some months are a bit tighter financially than other months. But that’s no reason for our skin care routine to suffer. I’ve put together a bit of a list of products to suit everyone’s budget and still deliver on quality.


I’m a big fan of gel cleansers. I find that they suit most skin types (except for the chronically dehydrated or dry) and when rinsed, they don’t leave what feels like an oily film. Also, they are usually completely safe to remove eye make up which is a total time saver for lazy people like me.

Steal – Nivea Refreshing Facial Wash Gel (R47,75 for 100ml)

Splurge – Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel (R480 for 250ml, R700 for 500ml)

Exfoliator/Mask Duo

Sometimes (okay, most times) there just aren’t enough hours in the day. This is where a 2-in-1 product really comes in handy. The exfoliating element is an enzymatic kind while the mask element hydrates the skin and absorbs impurities. You could use these products once or twice a week. If you have a more sensitive skin, start off slowly so only once a week and only for about 7min at a time until you can build your skin up to keeping it on for the full 15-20min.

Steal – Balm Balm Hibiscus Face Mask (R215 *currently on special for R159, 95 on Rubybox*)

Splurge – Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant (R750 for 75ml)


This is an integral part of your skincare routine. I used to splurge on moisturisers but recently I have found some really affordable ones that are just as good as their pricey counterparts. I like to use the same moisturiser for day and night but in the drier months, I tend to use a night cream that is slightly richer. Be wary of using extremely rich moisturisers if your skin is not particularly oil-dry as they can cause breakouts.

Steal – Dirty Works 8-in-1 Miracle Cream (R99 for 50ml)

Splurge – Thalgo Hydra Marine 24 Gel Cream (R613 for 50ml)

Eye Cream

The skin around our eye area is so delicate and is the first place to age after our hands. My view is that we should focus on preventing ageing as much as we focus on fighting ageing. You could start using an eye cream from as young as 25 years old, providing that it is not very rich – I would gravitate more towards a gel based one to start off with. I use my eye products in a full circle starting from the inner corner of my eyes, to the crows feet, underneath the brow bone (here’s hoping I won’t need a brow lift any time soon!), ending off between my brows where frown lines tend to form. I have also started to make a habit of giving my top lip a once over as well.

Steal – The Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream (R135 for 15ml)

Splurge – Thalgo Collagen Eye Roll On (R515 for 15ml)

Sun Protection

When I was working as a therapist I would often recommend an SPF to a client. They would normally mumble that they didn’t need it, they worked inside and so the sun wasn’t damaging their skin. Ah, if they only knew what those lights in their offices were doing to their skin. Even when you walk from your car to Woolies, the sun is beating down on your skin not only burning it, but also ageing it and possibly creating pigmentation. So do you see why I would harp on to people about an SPF? It is so crucial , especially in South Africa where our sun is significantly harsher than other countries. Just a tip on sunscreens: even though it may save time and product, do not mix your sunscreen and moisturiser together before applying it to your skin. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, mixing the two together will actually dilute the SPF so you end up with less protection. Secondly, sunscreen molecules are generally larger than the molecules in a moisturiser. This means that when applied to your skin, the larger, heavier molecules will sink to sit on top of the skin first, and the smaller, lighter molecules from the moisturiser will not be able to penetrate as they should. Ultimately, mixing the two products will be wasting both products.

Steal – Nivea Protect and Bronze Face Lotion SPF 50 (R99 for 50ml)

Splurge – Dr Gobac SPF 25 (R350 for 40ml)

I’ve always believed that the more expensive the product, the better the quality. It’s only recently that I discovered some real gem budget buys that are easy on the wallet and still deliver results. I still love to indulge in some luxurious products because…well…I don’t really have a reason other than I want to but I now also have some new firm budget friendly favourites sitting on the bathroom shelf.




South African Influencer Sarah Booyens

I’m Sarah, shameless coffee addict, brazen beauty fiend, mid-size style gal and the heart behind parentingbeauty and lifestyle blog, Mascara & Mimosas.



  1. [review] : Thalgo Prodige des Oćeans | - […] posted about Thalgo quite a few times (here, oh here, aaaaaand here), I am clearly a fan of this…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *