6 Sept 2015

The Serum Edit: Budget to Blowout

Whether you want anti-ageing results, all-day hydration or a boost in your skin's radiance, facial serum is a product that can make a real difference in the appearance of skin. It is one of my favourite skincare products to buy and to use, and an integral part of most skincare routines. As there are so many on the market now to choose from, there is a suitable serum that meets the requirements of all budgets. Here are a few that I have been trying out...
BUDGET: Lacura for ALDI Restorative Multi Intensive Serum Soy - £3.49

I have heard a lot of speculation about the Aldi and Lidl beauty ranges that are feeding into these power supermarkets at the moment, and the Aldi Lacura skincare range in particular has had a lot of attention. The Multi Intensive Serum comes in three variations: Restorative, Renew and Aqua, which all slightly differ in their purposes. Each one has amazing reviews online - the majority being five star - and have won various beauty awards individually. As you'd imagine, I was keen to test them out at the unbelievable price of £3.49 for 50ml. First impressions were good - it comes in a smart little box with a pump dispenser that is really easy to use and you can lock it on or off. On the box, it promises to smooth skin and help improve suppleness for maturer skin that has lost hydration, but as my skin is on the dry side I thought this would equally be a good one to try and restore some plumpness. It is a light serum that you can use generously but absorbs quickly, and it makes skin feels silky smooth. It also makes applying foundation easier which is great as I love using serums as primers. I would definitely recommend giving this a go as there really isn't much difference between this and  the premium brand serums. The only prominent difference I have noticed is that it gets used up a lot quicker than other serums as I tend to use more of it to cover my whole face. BEST FOR: All-rounder

AFFORDABLE: Garnier UltraLift Serum Superdrug 50ml - £11.99

Part of Garnier's new UltraLift range, this serum claims to be a 2in1 solution to the effects of ageing combining the benefits of a face cream and serum. At just under £12, it is middle of the road in price - relatively affordable for a serum product and it is usually on offer in Superdrug anyway. It is similar to the Lacura Serum in that it comes out as more of a cream than a serum formula as such, so it takes a little longer to absorb than the higher end variations as you really need to moisturize it in. It's USP is it means you only need one product to tackle signs of ageing or dry skin, opposed to using a variety of separate products. I can't comment too much on its ability to reduce the signs of ageing but it is really hydrating and gives my skin a healthy glow after using it a few days. Other reviews I've read of this product have been really impressive so it would be worth giving a try if you are looking for something like this at an affordable price. BEST FOR: Anti-ageing

AFFORDABLE: dr Organic Rose Otto Restoring Oil Facial Serum 30ml | Holland And Barrett £12.99 

As a big fan of the skincare brands that Holland and Barrett stock, I recently got this dr Organic serum in the hope of restoring some life back into my sun-frazzled skin. It is the most different from all the other serums, firmly maintaining an oil consistency opposed to that of a typical serum (so obviously it is not ideal for an oily skin type). It also differs from the others in that it has a pipette-style dispenser rather than a pump which makes it easy to evenly apply a small amount to each part of your face and avoids unnecessarily using too much. I really enjoy using this as it makes my skin feel hydrated for hours and it also makes putting foundation on a lot smoother. If you like using oil-based products then this is a great one to try. You can see a fully detailed review here. BEST FOR: Dry skin

PREMIUM: Avene Eau Thermale Hydrance Optimale Serum 30ml - £17

I have just blogged about this serum in my August Favourites, but as it's a serum that I love and use often, I thought it was right to include it. A quick recap - it is part of the Eau Thermale range from Avene, intended to be soothing and an anti-irritant to all skin types. As you can probably tell from the name, it focuses on being hydrating for the skin over a long period of time, so you don't need to use it too frequently. This stood out to me as I have dry skin so anything with 'Hydrance' in the description is what I look for in my skincare. As promised, it has a really moisturising formula which leaves your skin feeling really refreshed. It is a light formula that absorbs quickly and lasts throughout the day. At £17 it is certainly not cheap - quite an investment on the serum scale but it is definitely premium quality. BEST FOR: All day hydration

PREMIUM: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum 30ml - £22.50 

From another French skincare brand that I love, the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum is the most expensive of all the serums here. Similar to Avene, it promises to hydrate with the combination of Vichy Thermal Spa Water with Activ Hyaluronine, which give the effect of the skin being continuously 'hydrated by misting micro-sprays'. It comes in a pretty, blue pump dispenser and the serum itself has a light fragrance. It is a really lightweight formula so it is not too heavy to apply just before you apply make-up - in fact I prefer using it as a primer rather than an overnight serum. It definitely makes my skin feel a lot fresher after a couple of days using it and contributes to maintaining healthy glow. There is not a huge amount of difference between this and the Avene serum; a slight increase in price for not much more - I enjoy using both and find them interchangeable. BEST FOR: Primer



  1. The only one I've tried is the Vichy one and I loved it! I really like the sound of the Avene one too and they are one of my favourite skincare brands so I might give it a try next!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  2. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect serum. I've heard of Vichy but I don't know if I'd want to spend the money on it. :]

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  3. The Avene sounds lovely! I also liked the Garnier, it didn't break me out the way many serums do.


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