So I (25 year old male who has never paid any attention to skin care but invested significantly in other aspects of appearance) just started browsing this subforum, and realized that there are probably some good opportunities for improving the condition of my skin that I'm not currently using.
I'm on a budget, though, and many of the treatments discussed here look very expensive. So what, would you say, are the most essential and cost-effective skin treatments available? I'm not interested in stacking sunscreens and antioxidant brews for that last 2% effectiveness, but in getting the basics covered at minimal expense. I did a search and couldn't find a general thread on this.
Reading the Fredriks skincare regime thread, the highest recommendation seems to go to sunscreen and retinoid use. A link for a very affordable retinoid cream is provided there. What about the sunscreen? How important is it to get the best of the best that avoids all the potentially harmful ingredients; would a cheap factor 30 still be (much) better than nothing or would the undesirable ingredients have it add up to less than nothing?
Same question for moisturiser and cleanser. Is a cheap product worse, equal to or better than nothing? Are there affordable products that cover the basics without including anything harmful?
Anything big I'm missing?