Tried & Tested: A Beauty Editor’s affordable skincare routine for hydration

With changing seasons, hydration becomes a priority for my skin. As a busy beauty editor, keeping my skin moisturised is essential to maintain a healthy glow while juggling various aspects of my job. I also get to try out many products, and in the past two years, I have identified the most affordable products that enhance hydration for my combination skin type.

The skincare industry is on the path to fully adopting minimalism, which experts believe is a more sustainable manner of consumption. From choosing the perfect cleansers to expert-driven skincare hacks, simplifying your routine is the goal you should be setting this season.

A Beauty Editor’s affordable skincare routine for hydration

My skin falls in the range of a combination texture- oily/dry and besides the occasional breakouts when I have my period, keeping it healthy requires consistent effort in hydration. A six-step minimal routine helps me keep the focus on essentials to maintain clean and moisturised skin.


This Simple facial cleanser has been a staple in my stash for almost two years. It deeply cleanses my skin and doesn’t require a lot of usage. It also doesn’t dry out my skin after use and already provides a moisturised base for the rest of my routine. 

The moisturising and refreshing facial wash are on rotation as they contain similar elements, and I am pretty particular about sticking to what works for me. Even when I have irritated skin, the facial wash is very gentle on my skin and helps the healing process.

This facial wash contains vitamins B5 & E, which are advantageous to all skin types. 

Vitamin B5 boosts glutathione production on your skin, helping it retain moisture, gently fade out scars and protect the skin from pollution. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritated and dry skin. While vitamin E also helps lower inflammation, it evens skin tone, acting as a natural nourishing agent.


Affordable products for hydration- Cleanser
Image: Simple Skincare

Simple Facial Wash


I rarely indulge in double cleansing on days when I have no makeup, so it’s straight to toners. Toners help to remove the last traces of dirt after my facial wash and tighten my pores. While using a toner daily may not be necessary for everyone, it helps to further balance my combination skin type with the other hydrating products I use. 

In addition to the Vitamin B5, this gentle facial soothing toner also contains “witch hazel”. Ideal for removing grime and excess dirt, witch hazel is an antioxidant that helps control oil production while reducing inflammation and tightening pores. This ingredient gives my skin a healthier look and even skin tone.

Affordable products for hydration- Toner
Image: Simple Skincare

Simple Soothing Facial Toner


Facial serums are essential to my hydration product list. I use the Vitamin C serum day and night after my toner to reduce acne and balance dryness on my face. This top anti-ageing serum contains hyaluronic acid, a powerful antioxidant that improves hydration and helps me maintain an even skin tone. It also protects the skin from sunburn and enhances elasticity, keeping a healthy glow on my skin. 

This product has many dupes, which can damage your skin, so ensure you purchase the original.

Affordable products for hydration- Serum
Image: Dr Rashel

Dr Rashel Vitamin C serum


For hydration, a moisturiser is the most crucial product in my routine. Moisturisers aid hydration by providing water directly to the skin from its water phase through an increase in stratum corneum water content. By reducing trans-epidermal water loss, skin blemishes are more concealed. 

The Simple hydrating light moisturiser is my holy grail product. It is lightweight, making it an easy and long-lasting addition to my routine without my face feeling heavy. In addition to vitamins B5 & E, it also contains niacinamide, which helps to nourish and protect the skin. 

Affordable products for hydration- Moisturiser
Image: Simple Skincare

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser


If there is one thing we preach at MCN, it is the importance of sunscreen. The difficulty I previously had with sunscreen was getting one with a light texture. I have not looked back since I found the perfect water-based sunscreen for my skin. This Bioré SPF 50+ blends nicely into my skin without leaving any residue on the surface. Infused with hyaluronic acid that boosts hydration, it’s perfect for acne-prone and oily skin with a non-greasy finish. 

Affordable products for hydration- Sunscreen
Image: Biore

Bioré Watery Essence High Protection Uva Uvb Spf 50

Sheet mask

As a mask lover, I infuse them into my self-care day routine. Mainly due to time constraints on busy days, but on a Saturday morning, you will find me ready to scare my partner off with a cute sheet mask. 

My favourite is the Blue Poppy Morning Glory sheet mask with Mango formula. Yes, it has a sweet mango and almond oil scent and works wonders for intense hydration, just like it promises. I use this just before sunscreen and after my moisturiser, and it makes my facial skin feel so supple for hours after application. It is pretty moisturising and adds a nice glow to my skin.

Blue Poppy Sheet Mask- Affordable skincare product
Image: Blue Poppy

Blue Poppy Morning Glory Sheet Mask

Body lotion

As a dark-skinned woman, I know the importance of total hydration from my face to my feet. I use a combination of body lotion and baby oils to get enough coverage, and I recently included the Nivea Radiant & Beauty Lotion into this mix. It contains five natural oils– avocado, almond, soybean, macadamia and olive- with five vitamins– A, B3, C, E and B5. 

These elements have reduced the appearance of stretch marks on my thighs and provide more prolonged moisture for my skin, mainly when applied on damp skin.  

Affordable skincare products- Body Lotion
Image: Nivea

Nivea Radiant & Beauty Body Lotion 


What products in your skincare stash are perfect for hydration? Share with us!



  • Wumi 'Tuase

    Fashion & Beauty Editor. Wumi holds a PR major with over a decade experience in the media; from print to broadcast and now digital media. Fashion is her passion and she sees Beauty in everything. Some of her favorite things are: a two piece set, white wine, beach days, thrift shopping & cheesy romcoms.

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