One Australian dermatologist has some controversial thoughts on budget moisturisers

This Australian Dermatologist Thinks Budget Moisturisers Are Just As Good As Expensive Ones

And excellent news for our wallets

Beauty Crew Digital Content Editor / March 02 2020

With many things in life, we’re often led to believe that the more you spend, the better the product you’re paying for will be. But when it comes to skin care, it seems that may not necessarily true.

After hearing what Australian dermatologist Dr. Davin Lim has to say about budget moisturisers, we’ve been looking down the skin care aisle of our local discount chemist store with renewed respect.

But before we get to that, let’s go back to basics for a second. Because Dr Lim has some interesting insights to share on what a moisturiser *actually* does.

“The big thing about moisturisers is that everyone thinks it’s putting more moisture and ingredients back into the skin. But it’s not… It won’t deliver ingredients to your basement membrane, [it] won’t change your collagen and [it] will not reverse ageing,” says Dr. Lim.

So what purpose do moisturisers actually serve?

“What moisturisers do is help reduce trans-epidermal water loss. It creates a barrier on your skin and it stops or reduces the amount of water lost throughout the day. [They can also protect your skin] against UV damage and environmental pollutants,” says Dr. Lim. 

“Although moisturisers don’t reverse ageing, it prevents many ageing factors and is essential for everyone’s daily skin care routine.”

As if your beauty mind wasn’t already blown with the revelation that moisturisers don’t actually replenish moisture, wait until you hear this next bit of advice…

“There is no need to splash out hundreds on a moisturiser unless you are obsessed with the feel and smell… If you’d actually like to reverse ageing such as reducing fine lines and large pores, invest in a vitamin A, filler or laser treatments,” says Dr. Lim.


If you’re on the lookout for a great budget moisturiser, some of our faves are Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion, Sukin Facial Moisturiser and Swisse Vitamin E Facial Moisturiser.

Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion

Sukin Facial Moisturiser

Swisse Vitamin E Facial Moisturiser

If you'd like to hear Dr. Davin Lim's full explanation, check out his video below.

If you’re looking for more wallet-friendly skin care goodies, these are some of our fave budget serums and face oils, all priced under $35.

What’s your favourite budget moisturiser? Let us know in the comments.

Main image credit: @taylor_hill


Isobel is a Digital Content Editor at BEAUTYcrew, marie claire and InStyle. When she's not busy hunting for the latest beauty news, you’ll find her arranging her skincare collection in search of the perfect “shelfie.” Isobel was previously BEAUTYcrew's Junior Beauty Writer.