I Tried Aldi’s New Vitamin C Skincare — & I’m Very Impressed

Photo by Jacqueline Kilikita.
Aldi's beauty offering is not to be sniffed at. There's the Bonded haircare range (some products rival Olaplex), not to mention the Bobbi Brown and IT Cosmetics dupes, which TikTokers say are difficult to distinguish from the real deal. If you're an R29 regular, though, you'll know that we're often most impressed by the supermarket's skincare.
Not long ago, I tried (and adored) the brand's £4.99 Lacura vitamin C serum. The smoothing, brightening results blew me away — so much so, I used it right down to the last drop. Prone to hyperpigmentation and dullness, I certainly reaped the radiance-boosting benefits. Then came the £3.49 Lacura salicylic acid facial toner, which contributed to keeping my pesky breakouts under control.
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Fast forward to September, however, and Aldi has lifted the lid on yet another Lacura skincare collection. It's safe so say that the brand is leaning into its strengths, once again focusing on vitamin C. It makes total sense. Lookfantastic recently reported that the skincare ingredient is one of the most searched for and sought after of 2022 so far, while on TikTok the hashtag #VitaminC has amassed an enormous 2.2 billion views. An antioxidant, it shields skin against the environment (we're talking damaging UV rays and pollution), but it also kickstarts collagen production, keeping skin plump and supple.
Aldi has served up a full skincare routine featuring a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and an eye cream. Some have pointed out the similarities between Aldi's vitamin C range and Ole Henriksen's Truth collection. At a quick glance, the only noticeable difference is the price. Aldi's Lacura Vitamin C Brightening Daily Cleanser is a humble £3.99, as is the Lacura Vitamin C Brightening Eye Cream, while the Lacura Vitamin C Brightening Gel Cream and Lacura Vitamin C Brightening Serum come in at a purse-friendly £4.99 each.
Intrigued, I got my hands on the cleanser, which combines vitamin C and PHA, also known as polyhydroxy acids. PHAs are very gentle chemical exfoliators, like glycolic acid and lactic acid. The difference is that they're a lot less harsh, and so are much better to those with sensitive or easily aggravated skin. I expected this to be a cream-based cleanser with no foam, and while it felt luxuriously pillowy and soft against my skin, it also lathered up a treat on contact with water. This took me by surprise and I realised I had been a little overzealous with the application. A pea-sized squeeze is all that was needed to slice through my heavy foundation, mascara and matte lipstick in one go. In fact, it's so effective, I didn't need to go in with a second cleanse, which I usually do at the end of the day.
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Though there are suds, this cleanser is incredibly gentle, so I've been using it in the morning, too. The sherbet-like scent wakes me up without being too overpowering and I love the soft, luxe texture. My face often feels like it might crack post-cleanse after using foaming cleansers, but this doesn't strip, nor does it tingle like lots of vitamin C and acid-based face washes. I got off to a good start with this product. It has actually replaced my Trinny London Better Off AHA/PHA Cleanser (which is seven times the price at £28). I can't fault it.
Next up, the vitamin C serum. This combines 15% vitamin C with PHAs and hydrating hyaluronic acid. I have sensitive skin, and often, high strength vitamin C makes my face sting. Somehow, this doesn't at all. Since using it every morning for the past week, the skin staining left behind by breakouts has minimised greatly and my skin appears slightly more even in tone.
I do have one big gripe, though: the bottle. Vitamin C is notoriously unstable, and when exposed to air, it becomes less effective. Unlike lots of other vitamin C serums, the screw top and pump lid isn't air tight, so I do wonder how long this will stay powerful for. When vitamin C oxidises, it turns a dubious shade of copper, but as this product has a slight orange colour to it anyway, it'd be difficult to tell that air had reached the inside. That said, it's a relatively small bottle at 30ml, and when used diligently as part of a daily routine, it's likely you'll get through it quite quickly. If you are giving it a go, just be sure to tighten the lid. If not, I'd recommend The INKEY List's 15% Vitamin C + EGF Serum, £14.99, or Murad's Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum, £74, which come in airtight bottles.
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Here's where I'd usually apply my sunscreen, but Aldi's vitamin C range also features a Brightening Gel Cream. If you have oily or acne-prone skin like me, you'll appreciate the lightweight gel texture, which absorbs quickly without any tackiness whatsoever. It makes my skin feel satisfyingly smooth every time (that'll be added moisturising ingredients squalane and glycerin) and as a result, is an excellent makeup primer. If you're after an affordable daytime moisturiser to wear indoors, this is a great shout. But on top of serum and followed by sunscreen (the latter of which I always apply when headed outside) it's not particularly necessary — unless your skin is very dry and you're in need of an extra moisture boost. This moisturiser is lovely, but in all honesty, I could take it or leave it.
Last but not least, the brightening eye cream. Skin experts suggest that regularly using an eye cream with vitamin C can regulate pigmentation and act as a brightening agent for dark circles — to a limited degree. Unfortunately, I haven't noticed any long-lasting difference since using this product. The inclusion of vitamin C is quite low down on the list of ingredients, meaning there isn't as much in the product. That said, the colour-correcting pigments did work to slightly blur the blue-ish tinge under my eyes, though only temporarily. I was most impressed by its ability to smooth out my fine lines (again temporary) and I think that's down to the high inclusion of dimethicone, a silicone which forms a film on the skin.
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One thing I would say is that you don't have to use all of these products at once. The first time I gave everything a go together, I realised that the eye cream step was too far. On top of the serum and moisturiser, the product started to pill and roll off, so I ended up having to pick bits of skincare out of my brows and lashes! Like dermatologists, I believe that you don't need to use eye cream if you take your moisturiser up to the eye area. Just make sure it is ocular tested (safe for use around the eyes). It should say so on the label or in the product description online.
When it comes to vitamin C, choosing a product like the serum and combining it with SPF is what most skincare experts would recommend in the morning if you're serious about skin protection. Though the cleanser is a top pick, leave-on vitamin C products are arguably more effective at fighting the environmental damage you'll encounter throughout the day. Vitamin C can be used at night, but it's much better suited to daytime use for the above reason. In the evening, you might like to use something like retinol to boost the collagen which vitamin C creates in the AM.
At just under £5, you can't really go wrong with this range. It's available in Aldi stores right now until stocks last — and you know it'll be a sell-out.
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