With countless options to choose from across different categories, including organic, natural, cruelty-free, or even conventional brands — shopping for skincare feels nothing less than a challenge. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. Today, we’ll talk about how much money you should be spending on skincare, and will take you through a simple algorithm to help you achieve that.
Highest price is not always the best
Here’s the deal: the price of a skincare product does not indicate its quality, although some exceptions may apply. The important thing is while buying a skincare product, always check the ingredients. You can even use our guide here to help you decode some of the important components of the label.
Remember, brands these days are using strong sales tactics to make more commission, especially with high-end products.
The temptation to spend money on beauty rituals and experiences follows us everywhere we go. Yes, I’m looking at you, AED405-Sephora-run-disguised-as-a-quick-trip-to-the-mall for a hand cream. With so many options, convenient sizes, online shopping, cute packaging and seasonal deals, how can we even avoid going over the budget? I’ll get to it in a bit.
Bouncing back: how much you’re spending on skincare will highly vary based on your age and income level. Put simply, I don’t buy much when I do not have much.
Know when to make the splurge
Look for dermatologist-tested skincare products that contain moderate (for beginners) to high-strength active ingredients — for more advanced level users.
Investing in smart skincare is not cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a chunk of your paycheck on it.
So what are these, you might ask? Basically, active ingredients are what drives a particular product. Put simply, these are the ingredients that have been scientifically proven to change the structure of your skin at a cellular level. Active ingredients such as vitamin C (look for L-ascorbic acid), retinol, hyaluronic acid, salicylic and alpha-hydroxy acids are considered skincare staples.
But just remember, none of these are quick fixes and to see actual results, you will need to use these consistently over weeks, or sometimes, even months.
Ready to make the splurge?
Now that you have set aside a budget of AED 400, you’re probably wondering how to spend it. Here’s a simple guide to show you how to do it right!
- 10 percent on cleanser (drugstore options would do great – check out our recommendations for dry and oily skin)
- 10 percent on sunscreen (broad-spectrum formula with SPF 50. Again, drug store ones will fit the bill nicely)
- 10 percent on multi-tasking cream (choose one with a basic formula that doesn’t break the bank. Look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acids and/or squalane)
- 60-70 percent on active ingredients Ladies, THIS IS WHERE YOU SPLURGE! (invest on ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and peptides)
How much you spend [on the skincare product] depends on the ingredient. I’d rather invest a considerable portion of my hard-earned money on an antioxidant serum or peptides, rather than a cleanser or a moisturizer.
6 simple ways to make your money go further
- Dispensing the right amount of your serum is the key. Generally speaking, we recommend pea-sized amount of any product with active ingredients, such as your Vitamin C serum. On the other hand, moisturizers can be used more liberally, especially if you have dry skin. In fact, we recommend using the serum or face oil under your moisturizer to seal in all the active ingredients.
- Save up on the cleansers. This is not a skincare step that you should splurge on. I mean, I’d rather invest a considerable portion of my hard-earned money on an antioxidant serum or peptides instead.
- Apply your serum using your finger tips so that you don’t lose any product by rubbing it into your palms.
- Always shop during seasonal offers. Keep an eye for the best deals, promotions and make sure you always buy your pricey serums on sale.
- Trial sizes and promotional samples. Any good brand will have them and when you’re on a budget, it is best if you try samples to see what works best for you.
- DIY skin care treatments if you’re really strapped for cash. Check out some of our recommended easy DIY recipes here.
- Use multi-tasking products that are dual action. Like an exfoliator that doubles as a face mask or a multi-tasking moisturizer. This is one of our favorite hacks for staying-on-budget while spending on skincare!
Last month we asked eight incredible women to share exactly how much they were spending on skincare. To be clear, there’s no judgement whatsoever on how much or how little you’re spending on your face. Keep scrolling to read more.
How much is an average woman in Dubai, spending on skincare?
Dr. Ayesha Maklai
Dr. Ayesha Maklai is a young Emergency Medicine doctor who is extremely dedicated to her patients and passionate in her work. We’re so happy to have her on this month’s special edition as she gives us a glimpse into what an ER physician’s daily skincare routine looks like.
Doaa Tahboub is the co-founder and the marketing manager of Luxe House ME — one of Dubai’s finest luxury distributors. Together with her family, their company provides a diverse range of niche perfumes and beauty products aligned to suit market and client needs. On the professional front, this mompreneur leads with passion, pays great attention to detail and is a keen learner. She believes that personalization and customer experience are critical in building a meaningful customer experience. Meet her once and you’ll discover the un-heard treasures of niche fragrances and she’ll make sure that you find your perfect scent!
Lauren O’Connell is a name known to most of us in Dubai’s blogging circuit. Her background in bio-mechanical engineering and nursing has given her a deeper insight into world of skincare and ingredients. Having met her at events, I can tell you – she’s not only a wonderful person to be with, but is also your go-to person for all the latest skincare trends. Apart from creating content for her blog, she’s also a contributing beauty writer for the Cosmopolitan Middle East. Make sure you subscribe and follow her beauty adventures on her Youtube channel.
Iman Al Tamimi
Iman Al Tamimi — an emerging talent from the heart of Abu Dhabi and a familiar face in the beauty world. Although she holds a master’s degree in Human Resources Management, her true passion lies in makeup. To pursue this further, she has taken up several courses in beauty and skincare, including an intensive Diploma course from the Makeup Forever Academy in Paris. Today, Iman creates makeup looks for Emirati films, commercials and has worked with a diversified clientele – including brands like Tryano, Audi, Kiehls and Dolce & Gabbana. She uses her Instagram handle: @imanaltamimi to share her passion with all her followers on topics related to makeup, skincare and beauty tutorials. I’ve known her over five years now, and can vouch for her professionalism and immense talent.
At Sahar Reviews, we’re proud to support women in business. Neelum Nazir began her beauty career eight years ago with a high-end retail store. As a brand manager, she handled the retail and distribution for all their beauty products and services. Then, in an unexpected turn of events, the covid-19 pandemic happened, and things took a sudden for Neelum. Looking back, she recalls, ‘this signaled the time for transition and new beginnings’. Fast-forward to the year 2020 — she battled against the odds, founded The Hair Co., and now, defines success on her own terms.
Marwa Mohammed is a familiar face among Dubai’s bloggerati, especially if you’ve been to any of the TishTash events. She’s a media professional with a degree in Marketing Communications, and been working in this field for the past 7 years. In addition to her PR role, Marwa is also a beauty blogger and a skincare enthusiast. In 2014, she started journaling her journey into the world of beauty through her Instagram handle: @TheBeautyBunny1. She uses her blog as a platform to share her experiences with various products, and to interact with individuals having similar interests. Yes, and that’s exactly how we met.
Enrica is one of the makeup artists that I’ve been following on Instagram (@Flawlessbeautybyenrica). She’s a certified professional makeup artist from London, who in little time, has made her mark in Dubai’s rapidly evolving beauty industry. Her enthusiasm and passion for beauty is infectious. She believes that makeup is not a one stop solution that fits all and that, every woman is unique and so are their personalities. What we love about her is how dedicated she is in what she does, and her passion to teach and empower other women with her skills.
After graduating with a Pharmacy degree in 2010, Dalia Abdulrahman knew very early on that the insurance market was the career for her. Her experience in the pharmaceutical field catapulted her career and gave her the right skills and capabilities to bridge the traditional gap between clients, insurers and healthcare teams. Her determination and perseverance has led her to achieve notable success in her field. Now, she is appointed as a key client relationship manager for one of the leading broker firms in the region. Fun-fact: Dalia and I have been friends since our university days, and I can tell you – she’s got a flawless complexion! This is why I wanted her to share what her daily routine is, and how much she’s been spending on skincare.
I know, we’re all skincare junkies and are tempted to make occasional splurges, test new products, formulas and ingredients. But remember, budgets are not meant to make your life less enjoyable. On the contrary, even for those of us not on a tight budget, creating a skincare spending plan will just help you track your spending and plan for purchases.
For instance, if anti-aging is a priority for your skin, you can work out a plan to invest more on a retinol, or a peptide serum.
Do you set a budget for you monthly skincare? Do you have any money-savings tips that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a comment below, and don’t forget to share this article on your social media.