If you’re a newcomer to using skin products, a college student or have limited spending money, is proper skincare on a budget possible? It can be if you know which products are worth investing in. Should you buy all drugstore products or spend half of your monthly income for a moisturizer? The answer varies, since everyone’s skin chemistry is unique and not all products will guarantee results. Here is a general guideline to help facilitate which products are best for you.
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The following products are recommended for investment:
- Cleanser – The correct cleanser will determine how well other skincare products in a routine will work. One that’s too emollient can clog pores and one that’s too harsh will strip skin of natural oils and disrupt the pH of skin, resulting in overuse of toners or the wrong moisturizer.
- Serum – The most important product to consider investing in, since serums are the actual skin treatments for firming, minimizing fine lines, lifting and contouring and evening out skin discoloration or brightening skin tone.
- Eye Cream – While lesser priced eye creams can promise the results of anti-wrinkle, firming, reducing dark circles and puffiness, some higher priced versions can contain botanical extracts, which can calm the skin, or peptides, which protect the loss of collagen.
- Shampoos and Conditioners – Many lesser-priced products have a pH and ingredients that, like with skin, can strip the hair of natural oils and disrupt the pH. A shampoo and conditioner matched to hair type will allow products such as hair serums and styling products to work more effectively, while actually helping to repair the inner cortex of hair strands and protecting from elements such as thermal heat or UV rays.
The following products don’t need to be major investments:
- Toners – The one rule to remember is avoid any formulas containing alcohol. Witch hazel is an ingredient found in several higher priced toners, so witch hazel from the drugstore can be just as effective.
- SPF – Many lesser-priced products are compatible to higher priced products, such as the use of similar ingredients and similar textures. And any SPF needs to be reapplied every two hours if spending two hours or more outdoors.
- -Moisturizer – There is a large belief that an expensive moisturizer is the one product to invest in, yet the role of a moisturizer is to hydrate. As long as a person has a quality serum, a moisturizer will supplement by providing moisture and helping to balance the pH. However, to treat and hydrate skin, one suggestion is using a vitamin C enriched moisturizer, which can be found at specialty vitamin stores for under $5.
- Weekly treatment, such as an exfoliator or masque – Some individuals choose to use homemade masques or exfoliators made out of ingredients such as oatmeal, honey or sugar. Again, drugstore versions can be as effective as higher priced formulas, since the functions of both are to balance the pH and slough off dead skin cells.
Several more bits of advice are:
- Take a collagen supplement, which are be found at specialty vitamin stores and a 60 day supply usually costs less than $10. Collagen supplements will treat skin, hair and nails by keeping the cell structure healthy, thus minimizing and helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, maintaining firm skin and strengthen and helping the growth of nails and hair.
- If you can’t decide on using both a separate serum and moisturizer, consider using a formula that treats as well as hydrates (some formulas even contain an SPF, eliminating the need for three separate products).
A final word of advice: always ask for samples before purchasing to determine how a product will react with each skin type.