Aldi fans will know that the budget brand excels in its dupes. From its chocolate that echoes Dairy Milk to the hand washes giving fragrance house Jo Malone a run for its money, there are plenty of dopplegangers that give you a touch of luxury for less.
The supermarket has struck out into skincare with its Lacura collection, such an instant hit that it’s already got more than 3,000 people signed up to its waitlist for its newly launched beauty boxes.
Why is Aldi’s Lacura so popular? The prices are obviously fantastic, suggesting that you don’t always need to take out a short-term loan to buy great quality products. On first inspection, the minimalistic packaging gives Drunk Elephant feels and the ingredients spotlighted are amongt the most sought-after, trend-led of the moment.
There are six products to date: a Jelly Cleanser, Pineapple Microdermabrasion Scrub, Vitamin C Serum, Glycolic Exfoliating Treatment, Intensive Eye Cream and Multi-Peptide Moisturiser that will save you £288 versus competitor items on the market.
But do the products live up to the hype? The ES Shopping Team took them for a spin to find out.
Abha Shah, Shopping Writer: I’m currently trialing Shiseido Complete Cleansing Microfoam Cleanser + Remove. I love the way it lathers straight out of the pump - it feels like I’m treating my face to a mini hammam every time I use it. In comparison, the Lacura jelly cleanser squeezes out like a gel, which you work into a lather over wet skin. First impressions? I’m not wild about the texture. It took three tries to completely cleanse the make up from my face. I found that using it sparingly helped to work up the bubbles, but didn’t achieve that squeaky feeling I get with my regular cleanser. I might keep in the shower to use as a face wash but for now, Shiseido remains pride of place in my bathroom cabinet.
Ellie Davis, Shopping Editor: When applied onto damp skin, this cleanser transforms from a gel and in my experience, gave a good lather that left my spot-prone, oily complexion feeling clean, clear and fresh. Full disclosure, I don’t wear much makeup so it didn’t have much to work up against in order to remove the dirt of the day with ease. It’s fragrance-free and doesn’t sting your eyes if an accident occurs but instead gives a welcomed antioxidant boost thanks to the inclusion of Marula Oil and Watermelon Extract.
Radhika Aligh, Head of Video: I usually avoid trying new products because of my sensitive/ acne-prone skin, but I was surprised at how refreshing this jelly cleanser was. Didn’t have to use a large amount to get decent lather and my skin felt fresh post wash. It has a mild scent which is neither overpowering, nor distinct enough to be bothered by.
Exfoliating Glycolic Treatment, £5.99
Abha: I’m on a mission to get rid of my acne scars and marks and know that glycolic acid helps give dead skin the heave-ho, paving the way for cell renewal. It only needs to be used two or three times a week which means it’s low effort to add into my routine - tick. Two pumps were plenty to cover my entire face, working from the ground zero of my acne scarring (the cheeks) outwards towards the edges of my face, over my nose and along my jawline. Barely a scent detectably, but what I could sniff out felt clean. Superfast absorption. It feels like the 30ml bottle will last a good while.
Ellie: This is not like any other glycolic acid-based product that I’ve tried. The texture is a very lightweight cream versus the typical serum but that is not a complaint. If anything, it felt very soothing as I applied onto my face, which is not usually the case with liquid exfoliants of this nature. The lemongrass is the predominant smell and this gives it an antibacterial feel without causing skin to dry out. A little goes a long way.
Radhika: You only need a tiny bit for a full face coverage. The application is easy and the cream-like texture just glides across your face and neck. I was expecting it to dry my skin (most products do) but I had no such issue with this product. The lingering fragrance of lemon grass was quite pleasant too.
Abha: As the days get shorter, we’ll have to look for alternative ways to get vitamin C. Lacura’s serum to the rescue! Serious skincare fans will immediately notice the likeness of the packaging to a certain US cult skincare brand that rhymes with Snunken Melephant. Twist the top to the right and the pump pops out, like a periscope. Again, two dollops should be all you need to cover your face; the formula is quite runny so you’ll need to work quickly, smoothing and patting it into your skin. This means it absorbs faster too.
Ellie: Vitamin C products are my hero items and one of my desert island skincare products. The immediate glow-getting effects are unrivalled and I preach to anyone that will hear about including it in their skincare routine. Aldi makes my argument even easier as you really can’t go wrong for less than £6. It brightens the skin instantly without it feeling oily or greasy.
Abha: I’m a fan of smart packaging and the push pump function on this tub of moisturiser means the product retains its potency and always stays fresh. It also dispenses exact volumes so nothing goes to waste. I’ve seen this mechanism on products like ReVive Perfectif Even Skintone Cream, a retinol product, and Bee Yu bee venom face mask , both luxury products with price tags to match. What of the moisturiser? I’m pleased to report it sinks in fast with no greasy residue. Skin feels refreshed and hydrated. One pump pressed between two palms before being rubbed over the face. No more, no less.
Radhika: The packaging got me hugely excited but the product did not. The cream feels a little heavy on the face and I wasn’t a fan of the fragrance (or lack thereof). The one great thing about the cream is that it sinks in really quick.
Abha: The cream comes in a slim tube with a nib applicator, helpful for squeezing out pea sized volume of cream for each eye area. Applied with a ring finger for less pressure, skin felt soothed. I’d need a few weeks of continued results to see any real results. Ultimately I’m indifferent to it, which means I’m unlikely to repurchase.
Ellie: Despite what you may think, eye creams are important. Your skin is 10x thinner around your periorbital area and so the products that you use for the rest of your face may be too heavy for its delicate nature. In this compact product from Aldi, you are getting the benefits of nourishing Vitamin A, C and E as well as Pro-Vitamin B5 that will hydrate skin and give it anti-ageing benefits. The texture is very lightweight and can even be applied under makeup.