Do you love beauty products? Do you spend your weekends running through your recently cashed paycheck shopping at Ulta and Sephora for the newest creams that claim to make you look younger and prettier? Are you still paying off the products that you got suckered into buying last year? You’re not alone!
Research shows that women spend about $426 billion on beauty products each year. According to studies, the average woman spends $15,000 on beauty products over the course of her lifetime. That’s a whole lot of your paycheck spent on just your face!
What if you learned that you could get the same products for a fraction of the price? That a lot of the stuff that you buy doesn’t work and that you’ve been tricked?
Read on and get savvy about the secrets that the beauty industry doesn’t want you to know.
1. You’re wasting money on fancy brands.
The difference between fancy brands and their drugstore counterparts is mostly just packaging. Beauty companies often use the same product and just package it differently to make it look either more expensive for fancy department stores (like using glass packaging) or less expensive for drugstores (like using plastic).
2. Most “age defying” products don’t work.
Most products designed to help erase signs of aging are marketing hype. Studies show that if the products don’t contain a Vitamin A derivative, like retinol or retinaldehyde, and also L-ascorbic acid, they won’t work.
3. There’s only one product that can actually stop aging.
Anti-aging gels, creams, and products can’t reverse the effects and signs of aging. The only thing that is proven to protect your skin from it is sunscreen. Prevention is the No. 1 key to anti-aging!
Unfortunately, most of us don’t use it. According to a Marist Institute for Public Opinion Poll, only 1:10 people apply it regularly.
4. The terms “noncomedogenic” and “hypoallergenic” are bogus.
They usually mean absolutely nothing in terms of the product's features and aren’t applied scientifically. There are no governmental guidelines for testing these products and the words are cleverly made up or applied incorrectly by the marketing industry to make a product appear to be “cleaner."
5. Your products may not be safe.
What you may not know is that the U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of cosmetics before they go to market.
The job is left up to individual companies and, unfortunately, American companies are doing a poor job of it. The U.S. has banned fewer than a dozen chemicals compared to the European Union, which has banned more than 1,100. Yikes!
6. Organic doesn’t equal safe.
Federal standards exist only for organic products made from farm products, not those made from chemicals. Many organic products still contain ingredients that can be harmful to your skin and your body.
7. Aerosols are awful for you.
They contain noxious fumes that you could be inhaling into your lungs, head, and bloodstream. It’s best to spray the product on your hands first and then apply.
8. Your lipstick may have lead.
In 2012, the FDA found that 400 shades of lipstick had traces of lead. Although it’s unclear how these amounts of the toxic metal may affect your health, it’s probably best to avoid any products that contain it.
Check out this site for a list of the safety ratings for thousands of products.
9. Your products may contain a carcinogen.
Two out of five beauty products contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. It’s not exactly understood how formaldehyde can harm you, but you can avoid exposure to this awful chemical by eliminating products that contain the following on their ingredient lists: DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, or bronopol.
10. You SHOULD spend your money on good brushes.
Even the best makeup will look bad with mediocre brushes. Invest in the best that you can afford so that your makeup will go on evenly and blend properly.
11. You don’t have to throw your half-empty mascara out.
As long as your mascara isn't expired (they last three months, ladies!), you can rescue it from an early death. If it’s drying up, you can extend your mascara by about a week by adding a couple of drops of saline solution to the tube.
12. Natural and plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for your skin.
Even naturally based products can cause some people to react (hello poison ivy!). It’s best to test the product on a small part of your skin before you commit to using it on your whole body.
13. The word “fragrance” can mean "chemical s***-storm."
Cosmetic companies are allowed to use the word fragrance instead of listing the exact chemical in the product. The campaign for safe cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products.
14. Unscented isn’t the same as fragrance-free.
Even unscented products are allowed to contain “masking” fragrances designed to hide the scents of certain chemicals. Fragrances are considered top allergens that can also contain hormone disruptors. If you check the ingredients, look to see if the word “fragrance” is listed.
15. Foundation can make you look older.
Don’t camouflage your flaws with foundation. It can accentuate wrinkles and makes you look older. For the illusion of younger-looking skin, it’s better to use concealer and spot apply.
16. You don’t need creams and serums to eliminate redness.
Choose a concealer with a little green in it and you’ll notice your rosy hue go away! As a bonus, a concealer with gold hue can also make you look younger.
17. You don’t need “eye brightening” creams.
The trick to making your eyes look fresh and awake is to line the waterline (inside rims, under the eyelashes) of the upper eyes with a light-colored eyeliner. A white or beige will create the illusion of larger eyeballs, thereby making your eyes look more awake.
18. You don’t need a huge eye shadow palette designed for every eye color.
If you have blue or green eyes, wear a shade that has brown, copper, bronze, plum, or terra-cotta tones. It’s best to highlight brown eyes with blues, purples, and greens. Wild colors are fun every once in a while, but for a simple, everyday look, it's easiest to stick with the colors that complement you best.
19. You don’t need lip plumpers.
For fuller lips, dab a bit of petroleum jelly or shiny lip gloss on the middle of your lower lip. Be sure to avoid dark red and plum colors as they can make lips look smaller.
20. Noncomedogenic makeup can still make you breakout.
If you use it sparingly you should be fine; but layer it on, and it will still block pores and cause you to breakout.
21. You’re wasting money on eye cream.
Even though companies promise that they eliminate wrinkles, de-puff the eyes, and lift the skin, eye cream is essentially just heavy moisturizer sold in a very small tub for twice the price.
22. Using an astringent can make your face even more oily.
When you strip your face of natural oils, it signals your body to make even more oil, thereby negating the intended drying treatments of most alcohol based astringents. A better option would be to used an alcohol-free toner to help counteract dryness and maintain proper pH.
23. No over-the-counter cream fixes wrinkles.
If you read the fine print, you’ll see that most of the product claim to decrease only “the appearance” of fine lines and wrinkles—not eliminate the wrinkles themselves.
24. Powder can make you look older.
If you’re middle-aged or older, it’s usually best to skip powder. It can settle into your wrinkles and make you look older.
25. There’s no need for fancy, expensive foot creams.
The best way to soften your feet is to mix a little petroleum jelly into your everyday body cream, apply liberally to your feet before bedtime, and put on socks.