beauty high/low: skincare

Skincare is something for which many of us are willing to blow our budget.  Complexion anxiety and self-consciousness and can make us open our wallets in the hope of finding something that will fix our skincare problems. I'm certainly guilty of shelling out a considerable amount to soothe my skin. While some products are worth the investment, I've found there are alternatives to these common products that can work almost as well if you're pinching your pennies. Let's explore a few of my favourites:


Aveda's Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant is my all-time favourite potion for exfoliating. It's more gentle than a grainy scrub, which is important for those of us with sensitive skin. It's a non-abrasive liquid that, when swiped over your face with a cotton pad, removes dead skin cells and takes care of dry patches. It is the best. Average cost: $20.

Baking soda, on the other hand, can be purchased at your closest grocery store. Mix it with a tiny bit of water in the palm of your hand to form a paste, and rub onto your skin in a circular motion to polish up your skin. It's almost as gentle as Aveda's exfoliant, but costs about 1/10 of the price. Average cost: $2-3.


A nice refreshing swipe of toner soothes the face and removes any excess dirt after cleansing. I've long used Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner as it's gentle and does the job well. Average cost: $16-18.

Apple cider vinegar is a great replacement in a pinch. Yes, the smell can be a bit harsh, but it dissipates almost immediately after drying. Or, you can give your face a quick final splash after using it. It tones the skin really nicely. Average cost: $3-4.


I recently purchased Bobbi Brown's Soothing Cleansing Oil and marvelled at its ability to remove dirt and makeup. It also really is soothing and leaves your skin feeling very refreshed after using it. Average cost: $42.

A great alternative is coconut oil, a wonderful product with myriad uses. Simply scoop out a small amount, rub it between your (clean) hands to warm it up, and use it to either remove makeup or simply to moisturize your skin. Average cost: $6-10