It is undeniable that while you are paying for quality ingredients and formulas when you buy from a premium brand, you are also paying for the name and luxe packaging.

There are a growing number of more affordable brands that are challenging this by providing effective ingredients with minimal fuss and without the high price tag. 

The so-called drugstore beauty market is huge, so we’ve been busy testing to whittle down the products that actually compete with the premium offering, considering packaging and formulation but most importantly results.

From cleansers and moisturisers to serums and oils, it is entirely possible to put together a regime that makes a visible difference to your skin without taking a hefty chunk out of your bank balance. 

When it comes to moisturisers, serums and toners, search out the same ingredients you'd expect from more expensive brands: hyaluronic acid for its moisturising properties; niacinamide for oily or spot-prone skin; glycolic or salicylic acid for exfoliation and vitamin C for brightening.

It might take a little more work than simply heading for your nearest department store, but it is possible to get good ingredients on a budget. The only thing you'll struggle to find is a good product featuring the anti-ageing ingredient retinol, for which it's worth paying more.

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The verdict: Skincare under £10

You can’t go wrong with CeraVe’s moisturising lotion, which is far more hydrating than its lightweight and affordable price suggests. For a deep and effective cleanser without the pricetag of a luxury balm or oil, Lush’s ultrabland easily sweeps away make-up and grime.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.