Get glowing skin on a budget.
Women want the best beauty products money can buy, but many may not have the budget for pricey, high-end foundations and moisturizers. While there are many ways to save on personal care, there are also times when women should invest some money to get the best results for their skin.
Don’t: Buy the wrong product for your skin.
A big mistake consumers make when purchasing skin care products is not doing their research. “Before you purchase it, you need to know what type of skin you have,” says Yvette Rector, a professional makeup artist based in the District of Columbia. Skin care products such as foundations and moisturizers tend to target the five major skin types: oily, normal, combination, dry and sensitive. Not only will buying for your skin type help reduce irritation and improve appearance, you won’t waste money on a product you use only once.
Do: Pay attention to ingredients.
“Using products that contain botanical ingredients will help maintain healthy hair, skin and nails,” says Mulibinge Mauridi, founder of Mauridi Cosmetic LLC. Products you purchase should not cause breakouts or irritation, which would require more effort (and money) to cover up, she says. Mauridi suggests skipping skin care products with harsh ingredients, such as parabens and DEET, and investing in products infused with herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme, or that include oils from jojoba or coconut.
Don’t: Believe miracle claims.
Does the product say it will get rid of wrinkles around the eyes or wipe away stretch marks? If the label seems too good to be true, stay away, says Dr. Melda Isaac, founder of MI-Skin Dermatology Center in the District of Columbia. Instead, she suggests speaking to a dermatologist who can help treat more serious skin care problems. “It’s worth the money and investment to check with your health care professional, dermatologist or skin care professional before you embark on big [skin care] purchases,” she says.
Do: Buy a protective sunscreen.
As a skin cancer survivor, Mauridi stresses the importance of taking care of your skin and applying sunscreen daily. “If you don’t use sunscreen, then all the efforts you put into your skin care will be zero,” she says. She recommends using Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid from La Roche-Posay cosmetics for its UVA and UVB protection and lightweight feel compared with other sunscreen brands.
Don’t: Buy several cheap products instead of one pricier product.
A collection of cheap products that goes unused because of poor results is a bigger waste of money than using just one more expensive product, says Audrey Bethards, founder of Audrey Bethards Hair and Makeup in the District of Columbia. “A lot of times when we buy $5, $6, $7, $10 foundation, we have 20 of them,” Bethards says. She suggests investing in one high-end product, but only after using a sample of the product for a few weeks and seeing how it looks in different lighting.
Although it may seem pointless when you’re young, taking care of your skin now can lead to less money spent on anti-aging products later. Bethards says she often sees young women taking poor care of their skin, which is a bad investment decision. “Too many woman say, ‘Moisturizer is $20 — that’s too much,’ and they just don’t buy it, don’t use it, and then they see the bad results,” she says.
Don’t: Assume high price guarantees high quality.
Although designer makeup brands hike up their prices, many times the ingredients are identical to similar products sold at drugstores. “Drugstore products can often be purchased even more frugally when you compare ingredient lists to store brands or generics,” says Kendal Perez, spokeswoman for Coupon Sherpa. For example, Perez purchases the Equate version of Aveeno’s facial moisturizer because she says the ingredients are comparable, and she saves around $10. She also recommends shopping during annual or biannual sales at makeup warehouse stores to stock up and save on “prestige” brands.
Do: Drink water
Rector says her female clients often have dry skin and lips because they do not drink enough water. “You can spend a lot of money on a product, but sometimes it’s all about what you put in your body that comes through to your skin,” she says. The best part? Water is free.