You know what they say, the best things in life don’t come free. Curating your own multi-step skin care routine can be a daunting task, especially when you watch the costs start racking up. The temptation to fill your medicine cabinet with the latest skin care products can be strong, but doing so isn’t within reach of the budgets of many individuals, nor is it smart for your skin.
The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice the wellbeing of your skin because of your budget! Read on for tips to developing an affordable skin care routine that still gives your skin the products it loves and the nurturing that it needs.
1. Eliminate Products You Don’t Need
Korean skin care routines were quite the rage for awhile there but 10-step regimens aren’t realistic or even necessary for most of us. We all have different skin and needs and building a skin care regimen that addresses those needs and areas of concerns is key. Learn more about the benefits of the main skin care categories, such as cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, exfoliators and more, and consider which ones are essential for you. Your skin care routine could be as simple as a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF if you aren’t looking to focus on any areas of concern, like acne or dark spots.
Asses your skin type and skin concerns before you start picking up new products for your routine. For example, if you’re under the age of 25, you may not need to use an exfoliator. If you aren’t looking to hone in on fine lines, hyperpigmentation, rough skin texture, or any other common concerns, you may be able to remove a serum or eye cream from your routine until those concerns become an issue.
2. Use Your Product Sparingly
A little goes a long way with your skin care products. In fact, you may be using more product than is necessary to see the results.
Wondering how much to apply? For cleansers, aim to use a nickel-sized amount and massage into your skin to get the best results. The amount of moisturizer you’ll want to use depends on where you’re placing it. If you’re just putting it on your face, a nickel-sized amount will do. If you’re applying it on your neck as well, you may want to up the quantity to a quarter-sized amount. Serums and eye creams call for a pea-sized amount, while you’ll want to use between a dime to nickel-sized amount of a physical exfoliant. Your masks will vary the most depending on how much product it will take to cover your entire face. Aim to use a quarter-size or less to preserve your masks for continued use in your routine.
3. Layer Your Products Correctly
If you’re spending your hard-earned money on skin care, you want to ensure the products are as effective as they can be. The order in which you layer them plays a role in this! Layer skin care products in the wrong order and the active ingredients in that expensive serum may not be getting to the area of your skin where improvement occurs.
The general rule of thumb is to layer leave-on products from lightest to heaviest. It’s best to use no more than three leave-on products at a time to avoid diluting any of the active ingredients or minimizing the effects of the last product you apply.
4. Buy Products in the Right Sizes
Consider the shelf life of your skin care products, evaluate how quickly you go through them and adjust accordingly. For example, if you use eye cream only at night and find that it takes you a year to get through a jar, move down to a smaller size, if available. Not only will doing so ensure that the active ingredients in the product stay as effective as possible but you’ll also save yourself a few dollars. If you cleanse your skin with the same product morning and evening and find yourself buying every month, move up to a larger size. While buying the larger sizes of products may cost more up front, you typically get a better deal.
5. Set Up Product Subscriptions
Many skin care companies offer a discount when you automate shipments of their products, allowing you to save money while ensuring that you never run out of your favorite product. Subscriptions are best used only on those products you already love, rather than those you’re trying for the first time.
6. Try Before You Commit
If you are trying a product for the first time, purchase sample sizes whenever possible so you can see how your skin responds before committing to a full size. Most of us at one point or another have found ourselves accumulating a cabinet full of unused skin care products. By testing them first, we can avoid all those wasted dollars.
7. Do Your Research Before You Buy
It’s easy to look at pretty packaging or be convinced by the lineup of the “best new skin care products” in your favorite magazine, but not every single product is going to work. Do your research before buying a new skin care product by looking at the ingredient list, reading unbiased consumer reviews and researching whether or not the active ingredients it contains will interact with active ingredients with the other products in your skin care routine. The more you know about a product, the better able you’ll be to make smarter skin care buying decisions.