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When it comes to beauty shopping, it can be easy to get caught up in glamorous products, luxurious packaging, and a feeling of high class. But we should also never forget those products which are embarrassing to use, but absolutely necessary. Perhaps you wouldn’t display them on your vanity – but boy, oh boy, when the time comes, do you rely on them heavily. Today we’re giving a shout out to all of the very best skincare secret weapons.

A cream so mysterious it’s actually a real task to find in the pharmacy is the Original Lotil. I believe it to be an eczema treatment, but if you’re looking for a facial moisturiser on a budget, I think you’d struggle to do better than this. It can feel a little bit chalky, and look initially very white, but once you rub it in, skin feels incredibly hydrated and protected. I particularly love this under makeup, as it’s super grippy and makes anything you put on top last longer.

Another ailment-based skincare hero is the Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream. This is a great product to have on hand for times when skin is feeling irritated – whether it’s a rash, a sunburn, some thigh chafing, or a spot you tried to squeeze when you knew you shouldn’t have. Applying a thick layer of this unctuous, sticky paste overnight will work wonders – although it does look pretty obvious.

Cleansers, too, can be of the embarrassing ilk – and one which is super bizarre is Hibiscrub. Primarily used for treating dogs with skin conditions, some brave internet users discovered how very well this works for clearing up bacterial acne. It’s harsh (and smells like pure vodka) but using once a week can make a massive difference to blocked pores and closed comedones.

And if you’re concerned you may have fungal acne, I point you in the direction of the Alpecin Dandruff Killer Shampoo. This contains zinc pyrithione, which destroys the skin fungus which causes both dandruff and fungal acne. Sorry to keep mentioning the word fungus in a beauty piece – but if you’re looking for something to treat this concern, you really need look no further. Now let’s move on.

If you suffer from keratosis pilaris (or, in normal person speak, bumpy upper arms) then it can make you feel self-conscious and a little gross. Luckily, it can be treated, using a body cream which contains exfoliating acids. The Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Anti-Aging Smoothing Lotion is cheap and effective – but do be warned, it has a distinctly sour-milk scent. Well, you can’t have it all.

Hand creams are often viewed as a luxurious, non-essential product – primarily used for enjoyment and a pleasant scent. But sometimes, you need to go in with the big guns, and in those instances, you can’t do better than the O’Keefe’s Working Hands Hand Cream. It has no pleasant scent, and feels kind of chalky and cloying, but if you’re suffering from genuinely sore, cracked, dried out hands, this will be the answer to your prayers.

Speaking of hard skin (and, frankly, who wouldn’t want to do that?) the Superdrug Microfile Hard Skin Remover is truly fantastic. If you’ve spent winter in socks and are concerned about the imminent sandal season, a foot soak then a hardy scrub with this will work wonders.

Finally, an element of skincare which all too often gets neglected – the scalp. I’ve recently been extremely into a scalp serum to make my frizzy, damaged hair behave better – and grow out more quickly. One I really love is the Kiehl’s Magic Elixir Hair Restructuring Concentrate. It’s fairly thick and oily (it needs to be washed out after a few minutes) and smells like pasta sauce, but it’s highly, highly effective at creating longer and stronger locks.

Shop our curated secret weapons and summer essentials for a healthy glow

Featured images via Unsplash

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