Aldi's popular beauty brand Lacura has just launched a K-beauty-inspired skincare range and yes, the products do look a tad familiar. The seven-strong summer range boasts the Avocado Bright Eyes Overnight Retinol Sleeping Mask, £4.49, and the Watermelon Moisturiser, £4.99 (both of which you could argue are inspired by cult brand Glow Recipe). Then there's the H20 Sleep Mask, £4.99, and the Dewy Lip Balm, £1.99, in grapefruit, berry and pear (perhaps a nod to Korean beauty brand Laneige). However, one particular product in the line has piqued the interest of skincare enthusiasts and is currently trending all over Google, TikTok and Instagram.
The star ingredient in the bright yellow serum is vitamin C. If you're already a big fan of its skincare benefits, you'll know that it's a brilliant all-rounder. Vitamin C is an antioxidant so it protects skin against dulling environmental factors like pollution. It can also reduce pigmentation (or dark spots), making skin appear brighter and more radiant, while reducing collagen breakdown, resulting in tighter and more supple skin. Teamed with SPF, it provides great protection against the sun, too. Alongside vitamin C, pineapple extract is said to gently exfoliate skin, while the addition of turmeric (another antioxidant) gives the vitamin C a boost.
Fans of Lacura have pointed out the serum's resemblance to Glow Recipe's Pineapple-C Bright Serum, £46, which also contains vitamin C and pineapple enzymes. I've been a fan of Glow Recipe since it launched at Cult Beauty (the Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm, £29, is especially lovely) and I've used the Pineapple C-Bright Serum before. It's very gentle and doesn't make skin tingle or sting like many other vitamin C products. It worked well to even out my skin tone and texture (that'll also be the exfoliating lactic acid) but I'm very sensitive to fragrance and the scent was a bit too sickly for my liking. I was intrigued by Aldi's similar version. Would it yield the same noticeable results? And is it on par with pricier versions?
In Aldi's pineapple serum, ethyl ascorbic acid (a version of vitamin C) comes 12th in the list of ingredients whereas it's sixth in Glow Recipe's version, suggesting that the former is weaker in potency. Sodium hyaluronate (a form of hydrating hyaluronic acid) is also lower down the list in Aldi's version. Still, the reviews speak for themselves. I've been applying a generous amount to dry skin just after cleansing and before my moisturiser each morning, and the results have blown me away.
I rarely use serums, just because my skin is acne-prone and doesn't take too well to product layering, but this has swayed me. It absorbed fast, didn't tingle, left my skin feeling dewy, not sticky, and didn't ball up under my sunscreen. I've been using it for just over two weeks and my skin appears so much more radiant and even in tone and texture. I'm a makeup lover but this week it felt a shame to cover up my glowing skin with foundation; I just didn't need it. Plus, the serum doesn't break me out, which is always a good result! I'm not the only R29 staffer to love it. Art editor Meg O'Donnell is also a huge fan of the serum, having picked it up during a recent shop, and says that she is so happy with her skin at the moment.
My only gripe? The slight pineapple fragrance. That said, it's not as sweet as its luxury counterpart and fades very quickly. I also love the bold yellow bottle, which brightens up my shelfie. You can't go wrong for £4.99 and I'd even go as far as to say that this is my new favourite vitamin C product. I'm trying to convince Aldi to make it a permanent staple...
If you're going to pick up anything else, make it the lip balms, especially the zingy grapefruit version. It's really moisturising and a little goes a long way to heal chapped, painful lips. While Aldi's new skincare products appear to be sold out online (and I can totally see why), they are still available in store. They are limited edition for summer though, so be sure to make a trip to the beauty aisle before you leave with your groceries this week.
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