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Swapping to Superdrug’s price-freeze products saved us a small fortune

Swapping to Superdrug’s price-freeze products saved us a small fortune
With the cost-of-living crisis not far from everyone’s minds, we reviewed Superdrug’s price-freeze products from toothpaste to shower gel to see how they fared

Sadly, the rising cost of living isn’t too far from anyone’s mind at the moment. And with concerning stats such as the “average cost of a litre of petrol jumps to 182.3p”, “the price of pasta has risen by 50 per cent since last year” and “demand at the UK’s largest pawnbroker has hit a record high”, many of us are looking to cut back the pounds anywhere we can.

With rising energy bills, increased costs of travelling to work and growing food bills – not to mention keeping our houses cool in the heatwave – money stresses are mounting up, and smaller essentials such as toiletries are quickly dropping off the list of necessities and into luxury buys.

In a bid to keep these health and beauty basics affordable – and not hiking in price along with seemingly everything else – Superdrug has launched a shop smart campaign in collaboration with anti-poverty campaigner and activist Jack Monroe. In-store, the campaign includes donation points in collaboration with the charity Beauty Banks, a “buy one bank one” scheme to increase the number of donations, and employee benefits such as money management webinars. And for customers, there’s a one-year price freeze across a huge 130 products – including everyday essentials. We put eight of them to the test to see if we’d make the permenant swap and save money.

With a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss, our full oral hygiene routine was given the Superdrug switch, costing just £8.76 for over a month’s worth of use. While other essentials – including face wipes, body wash and a keratin shampoo and conditioner – also saved our tester a hefty amount of change.

Keep reading to see how much making the Superdrug switch saved us, our review of each product, and which ones will be replacing our much-loved usuals from here on.

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How we tested

Swapping out eight everyday products for Superdrug’s price-freeze replacements for two weeks, our tester put all of these basics to the test. Firstly, we needed to see whether they saved us money. And secondly, whether this save was worth switching from their beloved favourites.

Each product was tested in the best way possible depending on what it was. The toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash formed a great morning and night oral hygiene routine; the shampoo and conditioner slotted in for a twice-a-week hair wash with ease; and the body wash was a simple daily shower-time switch. Our tester doesn’t usually use face wipes, in a bid to cut down single-use wastage, but did appreciate them for festival dwelling when in a tight squeeze for water.

Superdrug procare whitening toothpaste, £1.99, Superdrug.com

Our usual product: Colgate max white ultimate catalyst whitening toothpaste 75ml, £20 (at the time of writing it was on sale for £10) Boots.com

Saving: Usually £18.01, now £8.01 with the Boots discount

Would we swap: Sometimes

Firstly, we know £20 for toothpaste is ridiculous, but we should note that at the time of writing it was on sale for £10. What’s more, our tester is a bit of an obsessive white-teeth lover and swears this Colgate option is why their pearly whites are, well, white. Of course, most whitening toothpastes aren’t quite that extortionate, with our IndyBest buy whitening toothpaste just £3.50. Still, at a penny under £2, this Superdrug option would be hard to beat in cost.

With a minty-fresh taste, it certainly makes your mouth feel, taste and smell clean and works just like any other toothpaste. Whether it actually made our teeth whiter would be hard to say, as by eye, we didn’t notice any difference. However, we didn’t notice them get less white either, and extended use may provide clearer results.

We won’t stop buying our usual Colgate just yet, but for any money-saving months, holidays or nights away from home, a tube of this will definitely be on our radar.

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Superdrug pro care sensitive whitening toothbrush, £1.99, Superdrug.com

Our usual buy: Oral-B genius X black electric toothbrush with travel case, £300, Oralb.co.uk

Saving: £298.01

Would we swap: Sometimes

An electric toothbrush and a manual toothbrush can’t be compared in cost – one lasts years (with the changing of heads) and the other just a few months. That said, travelling with an electric toothbrush can be a pain – even when it does come with a helpful carry case – so having an easy-to-carry manual is always handy for holidays or nights away from home.

Again, we can’t fault this Superdrug option. Although it’s labelled sensitive, it isn’t the softest bristled option we’ve ever tried, but its long brush head did give a thorough clean and was great for reaching a large area of the mouth. All bristles are angled and at varying heights for a deeper clean alongside flatter plastic-paddled bristles. The handle was cushioned and comfortable with a firm grip, plus it’s compact enough to pop in any bag, too.

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Superdrug procare 6-in-1 mouthwash 500ml, £3.29, Superdrug.com

Our usual buy: Colgate plax cool mint mouthwash 500ml, £4.50, Boots.com

Saving: £1.21

Would we swap: Yes

Our tester has no strong affinity for any mouthwash, usually just choosing whichever one is on offer when in the supermarket. But, if purchasing from Superdrug, they could have saved a small yet easy win of £1.2, compared to what was already in their bathroom cabinet.

With a fresh yet not overpowering taste, the Superdrug mouthwash left our whole mouth feeling clean. The six-in-one title refers to the claim that it: fights bacteria in the mouth, protects teeth against cavities and decay, remineralises tooth enamel and strengthens teeth, reduces plaque and tartar, freshens breath and maintains healthy gums. And, although we didn’t have a dentist check to confirm whether all of these things really did happen, our mouths certainly did feel cleaner, breath fresher and teeth just that little bit sparklier. So, at well under £4, this one will definitely be swapped out for an everyday saving.

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Superdrug procare mint floss 50m, £1.49, Superdrug.com

Our usual buy: Oral-B essential waxed mint floss 50m, £1.60, Boots.com

Saving: £0.11

Would we swap: Yes

Ok, 11p isn’t a huge saving, granted. But when totalling up the amount spent on everyday toiletries, any saving no matter how small is a win. Again, our tester had no strong loyalty for any tooth floss, but the Oral-B option has been a regular feature in their bathroom cabinet for many months, thanks to being 50m long.

We have to say that the Superdrug option, which also comes in at 50m, did the job just as well, with the only difference being a more subtle minty taste. The floss itself had minimal breakage, was slim enough to fit into very small gaps and was easily malleable, too.

So, while a saving of 11p may not be worth an extra trip into town, we’ll happily be swapping to Superdrug for all our flossing needs whenever passing by the store or placing a larger online order.

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Superdrug essential cleansing bio face wipes sensitive skin, £1, Superdrug.com

My usual buy: Face Halo, £17.10, Amazon.co.uk

Saving: £16.10

Would we swap: No

In a bid to reduce their single-use waste, our tester made the switch from make-up wipes to Face Halo’s reusable microfibre cleansing pads a few months ago, and never looked back. But, for any occasions where clean water is scarce – festivals/ camping/ wilderness holidays –  a make-up wipe can be a very handy necessity to keep you feeling that bit cleaner.

With 25 in a pack, working out to around 4p each, just one wipe (when using both sides) was enough to take off a full face of foundation, and even gave waterproof mascara a good go, too. More stubborn make-up, such as festival face glitter or sparkly eyeshadow, did require an extra wipe but that was to be expected with those pesky glitter flakes. Another bonus is that these wipes are fragrance-free and caused no irritation or dryness, thanks to being tailored toward sensitive skin.

Superdrug states its wipes are biodegradable but also instructs for them to be disposed of in a bin (then going to landfill), which does make the reality of them actually biodegrading a tad questionable.

While we won’t be swapping these for our Face Halos anytime soon, they were a welcomed addition for a quick fix when camping at a festival.

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Superdrug fruity orange and satsuma shower gel 250ml, £1.79, Superdrug.com

Our usual buy: Cowshed replenish bath and shower gel 300ml, £20, Cowshed.com

Saving: £18.21

Would we swap: Yes

Spending money on anything that washes straight down the plughole is definitely a bugbear for many. However, shower gel is a core essential that not only keeps us clean but also feeling and smelling fresh, thanks to a punchy mix of aromas. Both the Cowshed and Superdrug options have similar scents: Cowshed with red mandarin, bitter orange and grapefruit; and Superdrug with orange and satsuma – all ingredients that are said to lower anxiety and energise the mind.

For beauty lovers who really care about ingredients, Cowshed uses no parabens, silicones or mineral oils, and draws fragrances through essential oils. While the Superdrug body wash offers an impressive saving of over £18, none of these claims have been made when it comes to the ingredient list. But for those are after a simple fragrant wash that does the job, then we have no faults.

The natural orange and satsuma extracts create a fruity scent that really packs a punch, filling the bathroom with a citrusy blast. The wash has been pH balanced to be kinder on the skin and only a grape-sized blob is needed to give a frothy top to toe wash. For months where we’ll be cutting back, this is topping our list as a key swap to make.

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Superdrug revive keratin shampoo 400ml, £4.99, Superdrug.com

Our usual buy: Olaplex No.4 bond maintenance shampoo 250ml, £28, Lookfantastic.com

Saving: £23.01

Would we swap: Yes, for everyday use

When looking for an added treatment-boosted shampoo and conditioner, Olaplex is our tester’s go-to, but while this Superdrug product doesn’t claim to be a dupe of Olaplex, it does come with some impressive-sounding ingredients.

Infused with plant keratin oil (from corn, soy and wheat protein), this Superdrug shampoo states it’s for dry, frizzy hair (which our tester has, in abundance) and works to tame flyaways, while leaving hair soft and smooth. And, from what we’ve seen so far, we can’t argue with these claims. Used alongside the Superdrug revive keratin conditioner (£4.99, Superdrug.com) in place of the Olaplex no.5 bond maintenance conditioner (£28, Cultbeauty.co.uk), our hair was softer and smoother with fewer knots and noticeably less frizz.

Coming in at just £9.98 for the set, when used twice a week this hair wash duo should last a good couple of months. And, while you may still need the added help of a more intense treatment, such as Olaplex, overall it should keep the costs down and hair healthier for longer.

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The verdict: Superdrug price-freeze swap

If swapping all our testers’ usual products out for the similar Superdrug ones, while not taking into account the current discount on Colgate toothpaste, we’d see a huge saving of £374.66, which has really shocked us. But, of course, when considering a huge chunk of that comes from an expensive yet very long-lasting electric toothbrush and the reusable Face Halos, the actual realistic saving looks to be around £60 a month, which is £720 a year, so still an impressive sum to be pocketing.

As we’ve already said, not all of the products were direct swaps and not all lived up to our everyday favourites. However, for months where we’re looking to cut back – and if the cost of living rises even further, which appears to be the case – this two-week swap really has opened our eyes to just how much money can be saved in the bathroom.

While our boujee tester does spend a ridiculous amount of money on toothpaste and body wash – which, granted, may have skewed our original costs to be more than the average person – doing your own calculations for the Superdrug switch may surprise you, too.

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