Drugstore Delight: Summer Skincare

Round-up of affordable drugstore summer skincare products featuring La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF, Trader Joe's Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum, and Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer

When I pictured my 2020 summer, I did not foresee so many long WFH days and so little travel or vacation time, nor did I anticipate how tired and burnt out I'd feel. It seems as if all my brain bandwidth has gone towards work and just getting through the days and not much else. To save myself from daily decision-making fatigue, I've defaulted to variations on the same lounge-at-home outfits (Roots sweatshorts with a tee, or a loose and flowy T-shirt dress), and I've forgone experimenting with tons of new skincare. Instead, I've opted to add just a few products to my routine that are making my summertime complexion happy. Think lightweight textures, SPF protection, and an antioxidant boost. The best part? These products are affordable and accessible Drugstore Delights.

Trader Joe's Nourish Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum

Trader Joe's Nourish Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum

I picked up this hyaluronic acid serum during a cross-border Trader Joe's run a couple of years ago, applied it once or twice, and then dismissed it because it left a sticky film on my face. Fast forward to June 2020, and I was looking for a gentle serum to layer under face oil and retinol at night when I fished this out of my beauty stash. Evidently I was applying too much the first time I used it because this time around I used a small pea-sized amount all over my face and neck; there was no stickiness or residue at all. This is a straightforward hyaluronic acid serum for less than $10 that is also dermatologist-formulated, fragrance-free, and suitable for all skin types. I layer this with a couple spritzes of Avene thermal spring water spray so that the hyaluronic acid has some water content it can pull into skin. So far it has kept the fine lines in my forehead (which get more pronounced when my skin is dehydrated) at bay. The gel texture is lightweight and non-greasy. For an extra-refreshing feel, you can even keep this serum in the fridge!

Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer

Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer ($24 at London Drugs)

Derma E makes a delightful vitamin C serum that I reviewed here and can't get enough of. Its sister moisturizer shares many of the same traits that make the serum so great: a natural formula that consists of 100% stable vitamin C, probiotics, and rooibos to brighten skin; a lightweight, fast-absorbing, non-greasy texture that layers well under sunscreen or makeup; a citrus candy scent that delights the senses; and an affordable price tag. The one I'm using is a sample that Derma E kindly sent me, but I can definitely see myself repurchasing this in the future. I wear this under sunscreen during the day so that I have antioxidant protection beneath my broad-spectrum SPF, and so I get the skincare benefits of vitamin C in my routine without worrying that it might "clash" with the retinol I've been using at night.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion ($29 on sale for $23.90 at London Drugs)

I received this La Roche-Posay sunscreen as a sample during the last #LDBeauty event and have been using it on and off for the past couple of months. Although this sunscreen is new to me, it's a cult fave beloved by many and I can see why. Fragrance-free, paraben-free, quick-absorbing with a matte finish, non-greasy, no white residue. The ultra-fluid lotion is more like a sunscreen liquid than a cream and truly feels like nothing once it's applied. I have textural issues with sunscreens that feel too tacky or sticky or oily, but this one is so comfortable for all-day wear. It also doesn't sting my eyes when I sweat, which is always a plus.

I should note here that the sample featured in this post is La Roche-Posay's old formulation, which features a specific blend of chemical sunscreens (homosalate, oxybenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, avobenzone, ecamsule mexoryl SX) under the DIN 02364700 and an SPF rating of 60. La Roche-Posay has since changed the packaging to say SPF 50+, and the active ingredients list is also completely different (albeit still consisting of chemical sunscreens) and registered under a different DIN. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if the new formula is under the "ultra-fluid lotion" label, it probably feels just as good on skin as the old formula. (P.S. For those of you who are uncomfortable with chemical sunscreens and want a mineral one, La Roche-Posay's Ultra Fluid Lotion comes in a tinted mineral version too!)

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