I switched to ALDI toiletries for a month and my life will never be the same again
Some of the dupes are a revelation
ALDI. It’s known for the amazing vegan range, scarily cheap wine and special buys section where you can find everything from pyjamas to garden tools. It’s no surprise the supermarket is absolutely adored by students across the country.
In one of my recent trips, I found myself in the toiletries aisle and began to wonder: Who actually uses ALDI toiletries? With a little bit of research, I found that actually quite a lot of people do. ALDI’s ‘Lacura’ brand offers something unique that other low end toiletries do not – exact dupes of branded items. So, I decided to try them out for myself over the course of a month and see how they compared to the real thing.
The big shop
Upon arriving in ALDI, I found myself overwhelmed by the huge selection of toiletry dupes they offered. With everything from skincare to shampoo, even Jo Malone lookalike candles and hand wash, the choice was overwhelming.
One thing that really surprised me was just how similar the packaging of the products were to its name-brand inspirations – this is surely something they shouldn’t be able to get away with. Nevertheless, I filled my basket high and went to the scarily speedy checkout, the worst and most anxiety inducing part of any ALDI trip.
After a month’s worth of testing, it can definitely be said that ALDI’s toiletry range has its highs and lows.
Starting strong: ALDI’s dupes for the popular Aussie branded shampoo are just like the real thing. Priced at a mere 99p each, they had the exact same familiar beachy scent as the Aussie hair care products we know and love and were pretty much exactly like the real thing. The scent was long lasting, even after styling, and my hair didn’t feel too dry or too oily. If you’re an Aussie fan, it’s definitely worth giving these a try.
In terms of shower gel, all that my local ALDI had to offer was a dupe of the infamous Original Source tea tree and mint, priced at 55p. The branded version of this shower gel is god awful, mostly due to the uncomfortable minty tingling effect it induces on your privates and I can confirm that ALDI’s replica is no different. So, if you’re into that, I guess it’s a perfect money saving alternative.
I also picked up the kid’s range bubblegum hand soap for 75p, which had the same sickly sweet smell as its Carex counterpart and went down well when I placed it in my shared flat bathroom. Basically, it did the job.
After shower, I used the Active48 women’s deodorant, which promised ‘long lasting protection’. I’m not generally a very sweaty person, but on the hot summer days I was testing this deodorant, it didn’t make me feel very secure. It wasn’t that this deodorant didn’t work in terms of scent, it was more that I was left feeling less dry and more sticky than when using my usual Sure or Mitchum. I definitely wouldn’t buy it again, as at 69p it isn’t that much of a saving compared to a branded product and I’d much rather feel safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to sweat more than usual.
The skincare range at ALDI was the part of this testing journey that was giving me the fear – as someone who struggled with acne throughout their teenage years and was passed from GP to dermatologist until something finally worked, I’m extremely hesitant about changing up my routine, especially with cheaper products. Typically, I stick to unscented, stripped back products recommended by Skincare By Hyram, skipping the steps of serums and oils to avoid breakout. Nevertheless, I swallowed my pride and tested a whole range of skin care.
The product I was the most excited to try out was the Lacura Hot Cloth Cleanser, a dupe of the Liz Earle favourite. I’m a huge fan of the real product, and can honestly say that ALDI’s version was a great dupe, coming with a muslin cloth and removing my makeup with ease when I couldn’t be bothered to double cleanse. It definitely makes you look a little bit insane at first, but once washed off my skin was clean and moisturised.
I also picked up the fruit range, which supposedly dupes Glow Recipe’s Instagram trending products. I’m a huge fan of the Glow Recipe Watermelon moisturiser, which usually costs £19.50. The ALDI dupe only set me back £4.99 – a huge saving. This was probably my favourite products I tested; it promises to “fight off dull, dry skin and reduce uneven skin tone” for a “healthy glow” and honestly, it does just that. It left my skin feeling balanced, hydrated and not overly oily. My makeup also applied well over the top. I would definitely recommend this for oily or combination skin, and would buy again.
In terms of the other products in the fruit range, I was reminded why I avoid serums. The Pineapple face serum, a dupe of Glow Recipe’s Pineapple-C Bright, really broke me out, despite its promises to make skin appear “smoother, glossier and visibly brighter”. I had to stop using this product early, as I was quickly met with angry irritated acne flare ups. This could just be a me problem, however, so if you have dryer, duller skin, this could be for you.
I also tried the Avocado Overnight Eye Cream. Despite promises to “improve the appearance of dullness and dark circles” didn’t really make any noticeable changes, which was disappointing and my eye bags were still as noticeable as ever after too many all night study sessions and alcohol fuelled nights out.
After all that, I decided to treat myself to a face mask in the form of the Caviar Illusion luxury anti ageing sheet mask. This was nice and did make my skin feel moisturised, though I’m not sure I benefited from the anti ageing effect considering I’m only twenty. My main takeaway from this one was, at least it didn’t break me out.
Overall, using ALDI’s products for a month really changed my views on the effectiveness of the toiletry line. While not all of the products were hits, there were some definite favourites that I’d happily buy again, and I can honestly say that most of the products were good quality, effective and worth the money.