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Powder On The Pulse
The cheap £5 serums that actually work
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Guys – we've found the best cheap serums that work, no matter if your skin is oily, dry, acne-prone or combination, we've found the affordable serums that actually work. The best news? These ones will give you change from a tenner. Now that's our favourite kind of cheap skincare.

Enter The Ordinary. You may have seen Instagram feeds inundated with these little dropper bottles of serums. And much like everyone else, we’re hooked. The Ordinary’s back to basics ethos is that there’s just no need for sweetly fragrant lotions and potions with flashy-sounding ingredients that don’t work. Just the functional ones that do. Think of it as the Aldi to Waitrose – we were apprehensive at first, but after tasting what was on offer we realised just how much we’d been ripped off previously.

Each serum is cleverly formulated with one or two highly concentrated ingredients, meaning you can prescribe your skin with just the right ingredients to solve your skin woes. Fancy a cheeky purchase? Here are some of our Powder favourites for your skin type…

For acne and scarring: Your skin will get along well with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Niacinamide (£5) is famous for brightening up lackluster complexions and those niggling acne marks on your chin. Meanwhile, the addition of zinc helps to control sebum production (say goodbye to 3pm shine) so you’ll be less prone to breakouts and throw out those spot treatments for good. Zits? Byyye.

For skin that needs a drink, asap: Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5 (£5.90) is your go-to as it’s the best at drawing moisture in. It’s the secret sauce that is already present in your skin to keep things, as Mary Berry would say, ‘moist’ (WHAT a word). While most hyaluronic acid products have molecules that are too bulky to delve where it’s needed, this formula has different sized molecules to give an Access All Areas pass to even the deepest layers of your skin – that way all levels of your skin stay hydrated.

For signs of ageing: Wrinkles and sun damage? Give Advanced Retinoid 2% (£8) a try. Retinoid works to give collagen levels a boost, which in turn blurs out wrinkles while simultaneously fading pesky pigmentation. Plus, retinoids are notoriously pricey, so getting it in pure form is much cheaper and effective than having it blended with a load of stuff you don’t actually want. Matrixyl 10% + HA (£9.06) also does a very good job at revving up your collagen production (well hello, plumped skin) to reduce the appearance lines that have overstayed their welcome on your face.

For skin that’s duller than your 9am meeting: Make Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% (£5.50) your pal (we think it's almost as good as this £85 lactic acid serum) This exfoliates the top layer of your skin to let your new, fresh skin cells shine through. Need something a bit stronger? Go for Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% (£5.80), which has a higher concentration to get those dead skin cells on the move. Lactic acid helps to moisturise as it exfoliates too, so it's pefect for drier or sensitive skin types. What’s more, the pH balance is optimized to exfoliate without causing irritation, so you won’t be left feeling red-raw.Sound the beauty klaxon and message all Whatsaap groups immediately.

To find your perfect serum, take our personalised quiz below – it'll give you your three best matches in seconds...

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