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The 9Lives team is finding interesting ways to stick to their regular beauty and skincare routines during lockdown with most of their favourite cosmetic stores closed. Through the magical wonder of technology they recently met on Zoom to chat about their favourite grocery store beauty finds – including how easy it is to make DIY exfoliators and scrubs!

Nina: L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

R169.00 for 50ml, Checkers

L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

I like to think of myself as a glass half full kind of person and so I thought I would use this lockdown period as a “skin rehab” of sorts. As I only see other people through a very pixelated webcam, I don’t wear any make-up and I’m also less exposed to outside dirt like pollution or massive amounts of sun exposure. 

So this time has been all about detoxing and restoring and the L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask has been a dream. Its clay consistency makes it very easy to apply and it dries into a matte texture which then rinses off effortlessly. I like to combine this mask with their Smooth Sugars Clear Scrub which purifies and lifts blackheads. After 13 days I can already see a noticeable change in my skin with less blemishes and a brighter complexion. My skin also looks and feels a lot smoother, which in my mind usually translates to skincare success. 

My Sunday night routines will henceforth be incomplete without this mask, a good book, and an even better glass of wine. I’m filing this one under my all-time greatest grocery store beauty finds. 

Marie: Neutrogena Hydro Boost exfoliator

R125 for 150ml, Clicks

Neutrogena Hydro Boost exfoliator

It’s autumn time yet again! This means you can go about your day without needing to wear a bra because no one will notice it’s absence  underneath your big grandpa jersey. It also means that my combination skin is more on the dry side than in the sunny summer months, so I need that extra boost of hydration! But as we all know, you can’t visit your nearest beauty shop for your favourite exfoliator, so off to Clicks I go to find something that will help relieve the dry feeling. 

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost exfoliator is a smooth gel with soothing microbeads that gently exfoliates and removes impurities, while giving your skin that vital boost of hydration. 

It smells like a dream and foams up nicely as the microbeads disappear. That is a huge plus for me, because it doesn’t just exfoliate but cleans my skin up nicely. Two birds with one stone, am I right? I’m not a big fan of products that make my skin feel tight, luckily this one didn’t do that at all, another huge plus on my side!

Elené: Nivea Love Splash Shower Gel

R59.95 for 500ml, OK Foods

Nivea Love Splash Shower Gel

I like nothing more than emerging from the shower smelling fresh and feeling re-energised. I often feel like the scent of most body washes only lasts an hour or so before disappearing and I’ve therefore often shopped in the men’s aisle as I find their products’ scent to be more lasting.

So, in lockdown I run out of body wash. Mainly because my lockdown buddy used all of mine. I head to the local shop and grab this light blue bottle of Nivea, hoping to just pull me through, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it ticks quite a few of my boxes.

First off, it’s a 500ml which I love since it lasts, and you don’t feel too bad about using a generous amount. Secondly, the scent is heavenly! After a sweaty home workout, the scent is calm and soothing. The best news of all is that it doesn’t dry out my skin, even in the much drier Karoo climate where I am currently on lockdown.

I think a few people will find the nearly R60 price point a bit much in comparison to some of the other choices on the shelf, but in the end it pays off to grab something that smells amazing and doesn’t put your skin under stress.

Tasha: Foaming Gel Mask with Charcoal Powder 

R79.99 for 50ml, Woolworths 

Foaming Gel Mask with Charcoal Powder 

So the reason I went for this product in the first place was because my sister tried out something similar (but a product bought pre-lockdown, so I wasn’t able to get my hands on it at Clicks), and I happened upon this at Woolies, of all places. 

While it didn’t quite turn me into the cloud I was expecting, it did leave my skin feeling cleansed without that tight, itchy feeling. It contains charcoal, as the name suggests, which helps to absorb toxins and dirt while cleaning the skin at the same time. I must say that this foaming gel mask is better at multitasking than I am during this lockdown. 

Something I love about this product, and something I will always support, is the fact that it’s not tested on animals (and it’s vegan to boot, if that’s what you’re looking for), contains no parabens or phthalates, and the palm oil derivatives are sustainably sourced.

Eden: Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Aqua Light Conditioner

R69.99 for 200ml, Checkers

Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Aqua Light Conditioner

I usually blow-dry and flat iron my hair twice a week, and all that heat can cause a lot of damage. My hair has been feeling very dull and lifeless recently, so I decided to try something new. 

Now, a conditioner is not something I would usually go for because I really struggle with greasy hair, but when I saw the Aqua Light Pantene 3-minute miracle conditioner for damaged and greasy hair I had to give it a go. 

The conditioner itself is not thick and doesn’t weigh down your hair, which you would expect from many conditioning treatments. It leaves my hair feeling clean, shiny and full of volume. It also smells amazing! Would definitely recommend if this is something you struggle with, too. 

Lojandri: African Extracts Rooibos Dual-Action Moisturiser 

R55.99 for 75ml, Pick ‘n Pay

African Extracts Rooibos Dual-Action Moisturiser 

As luck would have it, low-on-cash month-end arrived right when my favourite moisturiser gave me its last drop. So I’m standing in front of the aisle, not seeing the product that my skin yearns for and knowing that even if I do find it, it’s not in the budget. The problem is not only finding a product that I can afford, but also a product that would work for oily, sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts. 

Knowing I can’t just put anything on this delicate little ecosystem I call my face, I start looking for something that isn’t fragranced, isn’t extracted from a nut that no one’s heard of, or which I used when I was going through puberty (because I know it won’t work). This doesn’t leave me with many options and just as I’m about to call it a day and abandon the idea of moisturising, I see the Rooibos-Dual-action Moisturiser with its “anti -shine, helps prevent blemishes” label. 

Now, I did have to Google some of the ingredients just to make sure and the gist of it is that the Rooibos soothes and calms irritated skin while the Baobab reduces oiliness. The sensation I get when putting it on my face can only be compared to lying on satin sheets (in my own home!) with freshly shaved legs. 

Caré: Sorbet Hydro Skin SPF15 Day Cream

R159 for 50ml, Clicks

Sorbet Hydro Skin SPF15 Day Cream

In these strange times we find ourselves in, there are a few things I didn’t anticipate. One of them being that I ran out of my daily skincare products way before lockdown was over. If you’ve been using the same routine for a few years, you’ll understand why I started to panic when I realised that beauty shops are not part of essentials. Not that it would have mattered, because I’m stuck in Piketberg with my only two options: Spar and Clicks.

I have a combination skin, which means I have quite an oily T-zone, while the rest of my face can get dry very easily. Most products focus either on dry, sensitive or oily skin, which sent me on a witch hunt in Clicks. After about 15 minutes of searching (and learning that make-up is also not an essential, even though the products are RIGHT THERE) I finally came across the Sorbet Hydro Skin range. For only R159 (which is super affordable compared to my usual range), it was a no-brainer. 

With Vitamin A & E, the Sorbet Hydro Skin Day Cream fights dehydration (which is extremely important in this change of season) without leaving my skin with excess oil at the end of the day. I can go about my normal day, and not shine like a vetkoek when I clock out at 17:00. The smell is pretty neutral as well, which is always something I appreciate in a good moisturiser.

They have a three for two special running at the moment, so I might head back tomorrow and treat myself to the rest of the Hydro Skin range.

Leandra: DIY Exfoliator & Scrub

Bicarbonate of soda for R23.99 and apple cider vinegar for R34.95, Pick ‘n Pay

DIY Exfoliator & Scrub

I searched for quite a few home remedies to help with blackheads and dry skin. I found two products that work perfectly together and they are available at any store during lockdown. I take  2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and add apple cider vinegar to it until it forms a paste.

Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties and contains acetic acid and alpha hydroxy acid. This means the vinegar can exfoliate the skin, absorb excess oils and unclog blocked pores. Together with the bicarbonate of soda it is an amazing homemade scrub. It left my skin super soft and clean afterwards.

I am definitely continuing this routine weekly!

Are you finding yourself reaching for a new product during lockdown? Let us know what grocery store beauty finds you discover during this time of lockdown in the comments below.


The girl with the sleek cut that can shop up a storm in a second-hand store. I love a good story, and I love it even more if it is told well. Don't like my blazer? Don't care. Looking to be impressed? You should see me fly a drone.

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