Many of us are hard pressed to keep within our budget when shopping for skin care and beauty products as well as cosmetics. Whether it’s for preventing premature aging, treating a skin condition like acne or fighting wrinkles and blemishes, it always seems like our budget falls short.
However, your skin care regime shouldn’t drain your bank account. There are effective, economical alternatives to keep your skin young and healthy.
Anti-aging skin care without breaking the bank
Let’s start with the basics of anti-aging skin care.
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In order to take care of your skin, follow the basic universal recommendations of the American Academy of Dermatology. They seem simple, but they’re effective.
- Clean, treat, and prevent: The key to proper skin care starts with cleaning, hydrating and protecting. If you’re treating a condition like acne or blemishes, don’t let a period of 12 hours go by without using some type of treatment. Prevent sun damage by applying sunscreen daily and reapplying several times a day.
- Sunscreen is for 365 days a year: In spite of what many believe, sunscreen isn’t just for when you’re under direct sunlight on a hot day. In order to prevent sun damage (which can cause wrinkles, blemishes and even skin cancer) apply sunscreen under your makeup and other products and let it set for at least 15 minutes before going outside. Use sunscreen throughout the day, even on cloudy, rainy days and in cold climates.
- Get the most out of your moisturizing cream: Moisturizing creams are a big help and a total necessity, but they don’t do much if your skin is chronically dehydrated. That’s why it’s important to consume lots of liquids, especially water, throughout the day. For greater effectiveness, apply your moisturizing lotion as soon as you finish bathing, in order to seal in the moisture.
Anti-aging skin care hacks
Besides these basic steps, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following “hacks” for anti-aging skin care within your budget.
- Don’t take showers for longer than 10 minutes and never with water that’s too hot.
- Choose fragrance-free and paraben-free soaps and cleansers.
- Never use too much soap or shampoo, because it leaves an invisible layer on your skin that promotes blemishes and acne.
- Don’t over dry your skin. Pat it gently with the towel to remove excess water, but let your body air-dry.
- Apply moisturizer immediately after you bathe or wash your face, even with some water on your skin.
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- Choose creams, gels and oils over lotions, which tend to be more irritating.
- If you have dry, delicate skin, avoid products containing ingredients such as alcohol, fragrance, retinoids and alpha hydroxy acid.
- Don’t forget your lips. Always apply moisturizer in this area and apply sunscreen for the lips during the day.
- Avoid overly dry environments. If the heat is always on in your home or office, or if the air is too dry, have a humidifier handy to make the environment more humid in the room where you are.
- For greater effectiveness, apply your daily products in this order: sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup. The rule is to apply the lighter products first and the heavier products, or those with pigments, afterwards.
- Use Vaseline to soften rough, dry areas of your body and to keep your cuticles, lips and nails moisturized. If your feet have rough skin, apply Vaseline at night and use socks. The next morning just rinse them off.
- Don’t be seduced by the pricier beauty products. Find out about their ingredients and look for more reasonable alternatives. Many products have the same ingredient list, but price varies according to brand.
- Use multifunctional products. For example, use a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen.
Anti-aging skin care on a budget with natural products
An excellent option for keeping your skin young and beautiful without spending too much is to choose natural products.
Dr. Andrew Ordon, a beauty and plastic surgery specialist, attests to the effectiveness of some natural ingredients for rejuvenating skin and treating problems such as acne and blemishes.
If your budget is tight, choose these natural beauty treatments. However, always perform a patch test before using any ingredient, because even though they’re natural, they could still cause skin allergies and irritation.
- To keep your skin free of blackheads and whiteheads, use white sugar to cleanse your face once a week. Add honey if your skin is dry or lemon if you have acne. Take a handful of sugar and massage it gently over your moist skin. Rinse.
- For acne outbreaks, use the juice of one ripe red tomato. Apply the juice and a bit of the tomato pulp over your face. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse. You can do this up to three times a week.
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- For skin blemishes, discolorations and melasma use an organic turmeric powder free of any other additive (otherwise it will stain your skin). Mix a tablespoon of this powder with water or lemon juice, enough to make a paste. Apply over the problem area or over your entire face. Leave it on for 5-15 minutes. Rinse. Don’t worry if your face is stained yellow – as long as the turmeric is organic and pure, this is temporary. To get rid of the stain, gently rub a lemon slice over your face, then wash it with a facial cleanser and half a tablespoon of sugar, and apply a few drops of unrefined castor or jojoba oil. If you do this at night, leave the yellow stain alone, because this makes the treatment more effective. In the morning you’ll notice that the stain is gone. Be careful with the turmeric, because it stains clothing.
- For healthy deep skin cleansing and toning, use an additive-free mother-of-pearl cream. Use it as a mask twice a week. Apply it and leave it for one hour. Rinse with lukewarm water.
- For a deep moisturizing, anti-acne and anti-wrinkle treatment, use honey as a mask. Apply for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
- For treating rosacea, use rosehip seed oil. Apply every night on the affected area. This oil is also excellent for preventing wrinkles.