How to Save Money on Your Skin Care Routine

If your morning routine is comprised of endless applications of products to your skin, you're not alone. The average American woman uses 16 skin care and cosmetic products every day and spends upwards of $300,000 on skin care in her lifetime, according to a 2017 survey by SkinStore.com. What's more, market research company Euromonitor International estimates global sales of skin care products will top $131 billion in 2019. With numbers like these, it should come as no surprise that skin care is the largest segment of the beauty industry.

Given the sheer volume and variety of skin care options on the market, it's easy to understand how people can overspend on products for their skin. To better manage your skin care budget, consider these tips to save money on your daily routine.

[See: Do's and Don'ts of Shopping for Skin Care Products.]

Find the right products. The average consumer doesn't know what products and ingredients are right for his or her skin. What's more, nearly every brand touts the superiority of its formulas and hires celebrity spokespeople to further its message to the masses. To avoid wasting money on products that don't live up to the hype, schedule a facial with an esthetician to receive professional recommendations. You should ask about ingredients to prioritize or avoid, based on your needs, to help narrow your selection process. In some cases, you might receive specific product recommendations to further reduce your research time.

A facial can also help you learn what routine works best for your skin and potentially cut down on the number of products you use. To save money on a facial, shop around for monthly specials and read client reviews before booking.

[See: 11 Expenses Destroying Your Budget.]

Shop around. Once you find the right products, it's important to compare prices between sellers. Salons, beauty stores, drugstores, department stores and big-box stores, such as Target and Walmart, all sell skin care products and cosmetics, as do online-only providers such as Dermstore, Pharmaca and even Amazon. Compare prices of your preferred products between these stores and don't assume one will always have lower prices than the other. Seasonal sales and product-specific promotions can make one store a better value compared to another at different times, so pay attention to these offers before you buy.

Stock up during sale time. If possible, stock up on your preferred skin care products when they're on sale. While it will cost you more upfront, you will pay less per product when you purchase it on sale. Plus, you avoid the discomfort of running out of a product before you've had time to replace it.

Compare ingredients. Compare ingredients between Aveeno, Neutrogena, Oil of Olay and other "drugstore brands" with store brands, such as Walmart's Equate, and pay up to 50 percent less for a nearly identical product. You can also follow beauty bloggers and lifestyle blogs to find out which drugstore products are just as good as pricey designer items.

Consider natural or household alternatives. Some food-grade ingredients work well for skin care. For example, coconut oil is a popular moisturizer and makeup remover, while body scrubs made with sugar and essential oils make for effective exfoliants. Like with lab-developed formulas, your skin may react poorly to natural products, so test homemade ointments on a small portion of your skin before applying the solution to the rest of your face or body.

[See: 12 Shopping Tricks to Keep You Under Budget.]

Use two-in-one products. Using tinted moisturizers, face cream with sunscreen and acne-fighting concealer are cost-effective ways to treat your skin while also receiving the benefits from cosmetics. Some products may be marketed as single use but are actually applicable in multiple ways. For example, lipstick can double as cream blush when applied and blended correctly, and highlighter can be used as a base eye shadow

Amend your diet. You can buy the most expensive skin care products in the world and still have problems with your skin if your diet is high in sugar, dairy and fried foods. The nutrients contained within fruits, vegetables, nuts and some oils can help make the skin appear younger and healthier. Staying hydrated with water means your skin looks more plump and less wrinkled, plus you avoid the sugars contained within soda, juice and sports drinks, which can make the skin sag and appear wrinkly. Reducing the number of products you buy as a result of healthy habits is likely the best money-saving move you can make.

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