Anyone that has visited a supermarket with me to do some food shopping will more than likely have had to drag me away from the toiletries section, after finding me inspecting the ingredients lists on a myriad of different products. I’m a pain in the ass, but when they they ask for advice on which shampoo to get a few days later I feel a smug sense of vindication! I love to look at what different brands are doing, have they got a new formulation, what are they doing differently, is it worth paying more for this than the alternatives? This is often pretty futile at a price point south of £5 for any toiletries, the developers really don’t have the budget to use any world changing actives, or to put the time into a brand new formulation.
Having said all this, I want to talk about a couple of my favourite products from the supermarket shelves that I believe really deliver on what they set out to do, at a price that doesn’t hinder the weekend beer budget.
These are my 2 favourite budget facial moisturisers.
Nivea Men Creme
First up is a bit of a classic, Nivea have been making ‘Creme’ products since 1911 and the branding is simple, elegant and iconic. This iteration is a bit different as it doesn’t contain the original USP, a lanolin emulsifier (something that mixes and holds everything together as one) which while excellent, would be too heavy and potentially a bit greasy for a facial moisturiser like this. Retailing at around £4.20 for a big pot, it doesn’t break the bank, and as its in a tin you can scrape out every last drop at the end!
Bulldog Original Moisturiser
Much newer to the shelves, Bulldog have been around since 2005 and have had a massive impact on male grooming with their highly natural, exclusively male products and wide availability. This is the product that first caught my attention and I’ve kept going back to it since. Usually retailing at around £6, but often on special offer it asks for a little more investment than a lot of the others on offer in the supermarket, but is a well worthwhile purchase.
Why these in particular?
Like I talked about above, products even at a pocket friendly price need to do things to catch your attention and make you choose it over the others available. This usually involves talking up and often over emphasising the benefits of what they offer, or just purely marketing something all the others do as well in a way that makes it seem unique.
Well these two products I believe genuinely do what they set out to do, and that’s moisturise your face! They go about it in different ways, but both are chock full of ingredients on doing just that, moisturising. No nonsense, well formulated and good quality products.
Why so good?
Nivea Men Creme uses a selection of classic ingredients to deliver what it says. Glycerine, mineral oil, petrolatum are all great traditional moisturising agents. There’s a reason they’ve been used for years and years, they do what they’re meant to. There’s alcohol in there to help it soak in quickly, but it doesn’t burn on my normal skin. dimethicone and coco glycerides help deliver a nice smooth feel on the skin. These aren’t sexy ingredients, a number are often found in free from lists in ‘natural’ products (a personal bugbear I’m sure I’ll cover in a future post), but they all are great at doing what they are meant to. All together they deliver a strong moisturiser, that absorbs pretty quickly and leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
Bulldog Original Moisturiser goes down a much more natural route. It doesn’t deliver as intensely as the Nivea product, but gives a smoother, softer finish on the skin. Key ingredients such as ethylhexyl palmitate and capric/caprylic triglycerides are emollients, skin conditioners that have dual functions as moisturisers and to deliver on a sensory basis also. Glycerine is present for classic moisturising. The product marketing is around some of the extracts included such as aloe vera for soothing the skin, camelina oil for emolliency and moisturising, and green tea for antioxidants. As these are all freely available and lowish priced, they have been included at what look to be decent levels. All in all the product gives smooth pleasant finish leaving you feeling healthy and confident you’re doing something positive for your face.
Why pay more?
So yes, I buy, use and feel very happy with these products when I have them in my wash bag. They deliver what I look for in a moisturiser and I believe give great results without breaking the bank. Why would anyone want to pay any more then? Really I think there are 2 reasons you’d do so. Firstly, for a more premium sensory effect and finish on the skin, such as quicker absorption, a silky smooth feel etc. Secondly, for more potent benefits such as anti ageing, reducing dark circles around the eyes and so on. Doing these things needs more expensive ingredients that just couldn’t be included while still being at home on the supermarket shelf. But for the daily routine of the normal guy, paying £20-30 to get some of these features can seem like an extravagant expense.
Fear not, for either of these products will do the main job for you, and that’s even given in the name. Moisturise.