It's a truth universally known that beauty costs money. Sure, you can have naturally good skin (lucky you) but there's no hiding from factors such as sun exposure and age, which can and will eventually leave their (literal) mark.
Good skin needs maintenance, and maintenance can be expensive.
Luckily, there are some budget-friendly skincare options out there -- you just need to know where to find them.
HuffPost Australia spoke to dermatologist Dr Leona Yip for her tips and insights into the best (and cheapest) ways to keep your skin looking healthy year-round.
HP: What's the cheapest and most effective way to minimise pore size?
Yip: "Over-the-counter topical salicylic acid applications are probably the cheapest, and can also help existing acne breakouts. Topical retinoids and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) preparations, for example glycolic acid are also very effective but are more costly."
HP: Serums are expensive. If you had to pick just one for a) anti-ageing, b) acne c) dry skin or d) sensitive skin -- what is a cost effective solution?
Yip: "For anti-aging, I'd recommend NeoStrata Skin Active Cellular Restoration Night Cream. For acne, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment.
"For dry skin, try NeoStrata Restore Ultra Moisturising Face Cream and for sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing and Protective Cream.
HP: I've got $100 -- what treatment can I get in-salon that's worth it for my skin?
Yip: "Not much unfortunately! In reality, many salon treatments that claim to improve skin properties do not deliver any clear benefit and merely offer relaxation or a "feel good" experience. For around $100 per treatment, I would recommend medical grade glycolic acid skin peels usually performed under medical supervision as a series of six to 10 peels (total investment around $600 -1000).These superficial peels offer many benefits such as improving skin texture and complexion, pigmentation and sun-damaged skin."
HP: Can drinking enough water *really* change your skin?
Yip: "There is very limited scientific evidence that support the direct benefits of drinking water on skin health. This is because most of the water we drink is used for other body functions and not much actually gets to the skin. Skin hydration depends more on natural oil production and the use of topical skin moisturisers to form and maintain an intact "seal" to retain moisture within the skin."
HP: Does what I eat affect my skin? If so, what are some good foods to eat?
Yip: "Nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E and omega-3 and -6 help to maintain healthy skin through potent antioxidant characteristics that protect the skin by preventing cellular damage from free radicals. Keep up the colourful fruits, vegetables, walnuts, avocados, fatty fish, and green tea...to name a few!"
HP: Do you really need to buy fancy moisturisers and beauty products or are the supermarket brands just as good?
Yip: "Skincare does not need to be fancy or expensive -- it just needs the right type and concoction of effective ingredients backed up by scientific evidence. If you are looking for just a basic skin moisturiser, some supermarket brands may be good enough.
"However, if you are after anti-aging skin care that works, most supermarket brands just do not make the cut. It is confusing to decide what to buy due to the myriad of skincare brands and range available. Seeking advice from a specialist dermatologist on suitable skin care products tailored to your skin and personal requirements is often a good first step to guide product purchase."
HP: Are facials really worth it?
Yip: "Facials are not necessary and can't beat investing in a good daily skin care routine of cleansing, moisturising, sun protection, as well as cosmeceutical skin care to address any specific concerns, for example acne, pigmentation, sun-damaged skin, etc."
HP: Can I use natural, inexpensive products (e.g. tea tree oil) in the place of more expensive beauty products?
Yip: "Yes, you can but it is misleading to think that natural products are better for the skin because in fact, many of these contain plant-based essential oils or preservatives that commonly cause allergic contact dermatitis -- therefore, not problem-free."
HP: Does eye cream actually do anything?
Yip: "Skin around the eyes is very thin and easily subject to fine lines especially with regular rubbing of the eyelids. In some individuals, pigmentation around the eyes can be problematic and make one look tired. Eyelid skin irritation is also common with eye make-up use. Besides restoring skin moisture and reducing skin irritation, cosmeceutical eye creams can also help reduce fine lines and pigmentation in the area."
HP: What's the best thing you can do for your skin that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
Yip: "Use a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF15 and reapply every two hours out in the sun, and wear a broad brim hat and long sleeve clothing whenever possible under direct sunlight. Protecting the skin from sun damage is the best and cheapest long-term investment to prevent premature photoaging of the skin and skin cancers development."