Personal Finance

5 Ways To Save Money on Your Skincare Routine

Taking care of your skin is essential, but can also be very expensive. Learn five of our tips for how to save money on your skincare routine.

We've all spent a considerable amount of time in our homes this year, so taking care of ourselves is as important as ever. More and more Singaporeans are devoting themselves to self-care, discovering ways to bring little notes of pleasure and happiness in their daily lives. Among the most popular self-care trends has been skincare. However, skincare products and treatments are also known to be notoriously expensive.

Fortunately, there are effective ways that you can build your skincare routine that cost you nothing! If you follow some of our skincare hacks, you might just have clearer skin and a happier savings account.

Don't Skip Out on Washing and Rinsing

Wash your face at least once a day

The easiest way to keep your skin looking fresh and rejuvenated is by rinsing your face regularly. Contrary to what you might believe, you don't need an expensive cleanser to wash your face effectively. Simply washing your face in the morning and before going to bed can greatly improve the quality of both your skin and day's activities. Moreover, washing your face with cold water (especially in the mornings) leads to some feeling awake and energised.

Washing your face in this manner should be viewed as a bare minimum, and this routine may differ according to people's different skin types. For instance, people with naturally oilier skin might need to wash their face more than just once a day. Likewise, according to dermatologist Dr. Peterson Pierre, MD, those who exercise and sweat a lot may require more frequent washing.

In this sense, the method of how you wash your face is still a very personalised step, involving several lifestyle considerations. However—at the very least—rinsing is a crucial component to any skincare routine and does not require any financial commitment!

Make Sure to Use Sunscreen

Woman applying sunscreen

According to SkinTour, the single "most important product you can use on your skin every day" is sunscreen. Even though many assume sunscreen should only be used outdoors, regular sunscreen use protects skin against dryness, spots, and even skin cancer such as melanoma.

Furthermore, investing in an effective sunscreen can save you the financial burden of purchasing additional moisturiser(s). Because many sunscreen products contain their own moisturising agents, you can save money buy opting for sunscreen instead of sunscreen and an additional moisturiser. Doing so will provide your skin with protection from dryness and additional protection if you are to expose yourself to natural light.

The best sunscreens need not be the most expensive, either. Unlike many other products touted as being "high tech" or proprietary, you can likely find a perfectly usable sunscreen at the supermarket or drug store.

Make a Facial Mask with Household Items

Ingredients for an oatmeal facial mask

In recent years, facial masks have become a mainstay in people's cosmetic routines. In particular Korean facial masks have become renowned for both their trendiness and effectiveness in promoting clear and supple skin. But did you know that there are all-natural skincare remedies that can help you create your own homemade facial masks?

One of the cheapest skincare hacks you can indulge in is a simple oatmeal facial mask. Oatmeal's avenanthramide contents make it an all-natural anti-inflammatory agent that can be applied directly on the skin. To make an oatmeal facial mask, you can mix cooked oatmeal with honey and/or other pantry ingredients. Similarly to face-washing, you can adjust the mask's ingredients according to your own skin's needs. There are plenty of different oatmeal mask combinations you can try at home today.

Outside of oatmeal, various other household products can be used as budget-friendly alternatives to skincare products. You can also try avocado, banana, and countless other household ingredients to make your own facial masks at a low cost.

We researched prices online for dozens of the most popular sheet masks and clay/cream-based masks in Singapore to illustrate how much you could save each time you opt to use a homemade alternative:

Average Cost of Facial Masks on Singapore's Major Online Retailers

Product Type
Sheet Masks (per mask)S$3.62S$0.98S$2.18
Clay/Cream Masks (per ml)S$0.17S$0.29S$0.37
Data obtained from averages of the top twenty best-selling sheet masks and top twelve cream/clay masks across each retailer.

Change Your Bed Linens and Towels Often

Woman changing bed linens

Making cleanliness a priority in your lifestyle is another hack that could instantly improve your skin. One easy way to do this is to make sure that you are washing and changing your bed linens and towels regularly. Changing these items is critical because of your skin's constant contact with these fabrics. Every time you sleep or dry off after a shower, small particles of dirt, body hair, and oils are shed onto the surface of your linens or towels. Ideally, you should aim to wash your sheets once a week and your bath towel weekly.

You can also try to limit your skin's contact to these fabrics. For instance, sleeping on your back eliminates your face's contact with your pillow, keeping both your face and pillow clean. Likewise, you can try to air-dry your face after a shower to limit its contact with your towel. Air-drying not only limits transmission of oil, but also eliminates the common mistake of aggressive drying technique. You should always remember to be gentle with your skin, and limiting your skin's exposure to unclean particles or physical contact is both beneficial and free.

Increase Antioxidant and Water Intake

Eat foods rich in antioxidants and drink water

It's well known by dermatologists that antioxidants and water intake are highly beneficial to the skin. Antioxidants protect your skin from radicals that lead to pigmentation and wrinkling. On the other hand, water facilitates the circulation of fluids in the body, leading to the ridding of toxins. Making some slight adjustments to your food intake to incorporate greater consumption of antioxidants and water could result in noticeable differences in your skin.

To increase antioxidant intake on a budget, we recommend adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Fortunately, there are various foods rich in antioxidants that can be purchased at relatively inexpensive prices. In particular, various berries and dark leafy greens should be available at your local supermarket. To increase your water intake, consider the value of buying a water filter or purifier so you can have water ready to drink at all times. Instead of constantly purchasing bottled water or other beverages, adopting more consistent water drinking habits will allow you to save while promoting your well-being.


As new cosmetic products continue to flood the market and skincare routines become increasingly complex, it's important to get back to basics and understand the fundamental components of an effective skincare routine. As outlined, doing so does not require much of any financial commitment and can fast-track your way to cleaner and healthier skin. If you choose to expand your skincare routine, make sure to stay informed about which products on the market are actually worth your money.

Seaton Huang

Seaton Huang is a Junior Research Analyst covering consumer finance products in Hong Kong. As an alumnus of Columbia University (M.A., 2020), Northeastern University (B.A., 2019), and a former Fulbright Fellow at Shaanxi Normal University (2018), he has significant academic and analytical expertise in the economic and political terrains of China, Hong Kong, and Asia Pacific. His past research has concerned the socioeconomic effects of mobile payment systems in China and the efficacy of China's Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia, among other poignant topics in contemporary Asia.