Looking to add to your skincare routine without breaking the bank? Here are my favorite tips and tricks to staying on track with your goals while still improving your routine.
Skincare has been my favorite and most expensive hobby. I remember insisting to my father at the age of 12 how important it was for me to introduce a sunscreen moisturizer at my age or else I’d be dealing with wrinkles before my 30’s. Eventually I leveraged that skin cancer has a history of running in our family, and he gave in. Finally, I was able to cultivate my own little routine and kill all of my acne before starting High School! That was the goal at least, I’m sorry to say that I never beat teenage hormonal acne. I suffered through with cystic pimples, blackheads and little comedones that would pop up whenever my period was about to return. I hated it.
Now, I frequently purchase a variety of skincare and beauty products. I’m also subscribed to multiple beauty boxes so I don’t even need to go online or in store to add to my collection anymore. It seems luxurious and awesome, but the truth is that my love and addiction to skincare was hurting my wallet and depleting my shelf space. To fix this, and to give my boyfriend more shelf space on the counter, I decided to slowly implement some new habits to get my obsession under control. I hope some of these tips work for you too! Comment below if you’ve ever tried any of these methods or if you’re working on your own affordable skincare plan.
First, plan out your budget
Think of how much you can realistically let yourself spend within a month, two months, six months or even a year. You can plan to budget for as long or as little as you need to meet your goal. Create a hard number for that allowed time period, and stick to it. This is the hardest part! For example, Audrey might have a budget of $100 every two months, and Kayla might have a budget of $20 every month. Some people prefer to give themselves larger allowances over the course of a couple of months if you tend to purchase luxury skincare or sample and gift sets, while some individuals have to adhere to a more strict monthly schedule because they know they can find products that work for them every single month.
* Super Helpful Tip: Include all your beauty/skincare subscription boxes if you have any, these still count as monthly purchases!
Track your “empties” (aka your used up products)
The best way to find out what products you liked and didn’t like is to keep a list of what you’ve tried. I try to create a small photo journal (aka an album on my phone with the products I’ve recently emptied). This is especially helpful if you have a lot of samples you would like to go through but have a hard time keeping track of what you have and haven’t used. By tracking your empties, you’ll be able to clearly identify what you didn’t like or even products that have always worked well for you. It’s also a great way to let your friends and family know about products you’ve tried and results you’ve seen, even if it was months ago! It’s amazing how this seems like an easy trick, but remembering to log and save notes about a product is a little more tedious than you think.
* Super Helpful Tip: iPhones have an option in Notes where you can post images and then comment on it for yourself, this is the easiest way I know to organize an empties journal on an iPhone. You can always use traditional pen and paper too, I just prefer the photo journal approach because it’s easier when you have an image to associate the product name to.
Introduce Project Pan
I used to see posts on reddit titled Project Pan that would fall into my feed on a regular basis. At first it sounded a little weird, people posting photos of their used products. There were images of worn makeup palettes, concealer tubes with stoppers taken out and product running over. The most interesting photos were tubes of products like primers and foundation cut open in order for the person to use up every last drop of product. Now, it just makes so much sense. You use up all of your products, samples and backups before purchasing new items. No more backups of cleansers that already last for months, and finally finding out if that sample hair mask really works or not. It’s even better if you subscribe to beauty box subscriptions because you can finally use up all of the samples that fill your drawers and extra the bins underneath your sink.
* Super Helpful Tip: If a product irritated your skin, give it to a friend or donate it to a local shelter. You can try to use it again to make sure it really didn’t work for you, but use the potential problem child by itself before implementing it into your routine again. Better safe than suffering through a breakout!
Re-Gift/Trade Unwanted Products
Friends or family that collect samples, products or even subscriptions are probably in a similar situation as you and want to get rid of things they know they don’t like or won’t use. This is especially helpful if you and your friends or family have different skin types, which means that products are likely to work differently for each of you. Then you’re more likely to see some benefit out of the cleanser that didn’t work for Annie at all, because she has dry skin and you have oily! It’s awesome, and it’s a fun way to share and reach out to others that share similar hobbies. This is especially helpful on lower budgets, because you still get to try more products without having to spend any money
The One Product at a Time Approach
Using one new product that you already have or just purchased every 30 days. Spacing out your purchases allows you to purchase a little bit better products with your budget allowance. Introducing a single product at a time is much better for your skin too, it allows it to adjust and helps you identify if the product is causing any irritation or acne breakouts. If you have a larger collection of products that you want to use before buying new ones, working on rotating one new item might seem a little slow to eliminate items you’ve gathered. However, that slow pace of decluttering and using up products will help keep you from impulsively purchasing new ones as often.