Its safe to say most of us are cluching our wallets tighter these days and for those of us who refuse to compromise quality and purity in our beauty products despite these economic times, there is hope! Follow one or all of these tips below to avoid falling victim to cheap and toxic beauty buys in the name of saving a buck.
1). Open Your Cupboard
Keep it simple and affordable by getting back to the basics. Know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and you’ll save some dough in the process:
Olive Oil: Some swear by no other moisturizer than this; in fact, I was surprised to learn that one of my relatives has used nothing but olive oil to cleanse and moisturize her face for years and she has great skin. I’ve tried organic olive oil this winter in lieu of lotion on my legs and it works great; soaks right in! Celebrity makeup artist, Rose Marie Swift of Beauty Truth and founder of the new organic cosmetic line, RMS Beauty, suggests using cold pressed olive oil on a cotton cloth or pad with warm water to remove makeup.
Baking Soda: For ultra cheap and effective exfoliation, Rona Berg, best selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes, suggests mixing 2 teaspoons baking soda with a teaspoon organic olive oil. Apply to damp skin, massage gently, and leave for five minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Apple Cider Vinegar: If you’re able to tolerate the smell, many find just a little mixed with water works wonders as a facial toner or steam on oily and/or blemished skin. If you’re having dandruff or product build up issues, try an ACV rinse after shampooing. Find an organic version, like Bragg’s or Spectrum (it should be cloudy, not clear). Drinking up to 1 Tablespoon per day can also help clear troubled skin from the inside out (be careful, start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up so not to shock your digestive system). For years, Patricia Bragg has helped health conscious celebs like Madonna, Carol Alt, Demi Moore, Clint Eastwood improve their health with this “miracle juice”.
Discover DIY recipes in books like The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel and Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics by Barbara Close, Founder of Naturopathica, and Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy Book by Suzanne Catty, former President of the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists and Founder of Acqua Vita; a company specializing in hydrosols and essential oils.
Learn which Top Beauty Products To Make Yourself, And What To Leave To The Pros. Find free recipes and helpful info on blogs like Essential U and Natural Beauty Workshop.
3). Go Straight To The Source
Mountain Rose Herbs has been supplying high quality raw materials such as herbs, butters and oils to skin care companies since 1987, but just a few months ago was awarded Co-Op America’s Green Business Of The Year Award (2008) for their steadfast dedication to certified organic products and their strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Find pure ingredients for your skin care recipes or buy the finished product (organic facial cleansers, toners, masks and moisturizers) at half the price, or less, than you’ll pay for the same ingredients in pretty packaging. Read more about the guiding principles that inspire Mountain Rose Herbs here. Find soap making, skin and hair care ingredients, herbal preparations and more at From Nature With Love as well.
4). Take Advantage Of Competition
If DIY isn’t your thing, keep checking in with your favorite organic and natural beauty brand and retailer, or better yet, sign up for their newsletter. Brick and mortar as well as online retailers are all vying for our attention right now and throwing some pretty enticing bait our way. Keep updated on current sales by subscribing to email newsletters and be the first to know when your favorite brands go on sale.
5). Keep Value In Mind
The notion that natural and organic beauty products are more expensive is for the most part very true, but its important to remember that in many cases you also get what you pay for. Keep in mind that quality products can be very concentrated and can last three to six months longer than their conventional counterparts. If you break down the cost per month, they can oftentimes end up being the same price or less than their synthetic counterparts which are many times diluted and may only last a month or two per bottle.
6). Don’t Pay For Water
To ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, be on the lookout for water as the first ingredient and instead of paying for a hydrosol toner, make your own with free water and essential oils. (Refer to #2 above).
7). Know What To Splurge On
If you must choose, decide to spend more on what sits on your skin for the longest period of time (i.e. moisturizer, foundation, lipstick…).
8). Stalk Bargain Sites
Sift through sites that offer deep discounts like Vitacost.com, LuckyVitamin.com and MotherNature.com on brands like Aura Cacia, Weleda and Desert Essence. Check out EcoSteal, the brand new site launched yesterday as they’ll be offering up green beauty buys at 40% to 80% percent off retail prices.
9). Forget What The Packaging Looks Like
As difficult as this is to do, even for me, if you’re looking to save big, sometimes that means paying no regard to whether the label and packaging is hip, chic, glam, cute or otherwise. Look beyond the bottle and take a clue from two wise sentiments, “its what’s inside that counts” and “don’t judge a book by its cover” (caveat: unless of course that ‘cover’ has a reputable organic certification seal on the front of it)!
10). Get Products For FREE!
Visit blogs that highlight natural and organic beauty products as they’ll oftentimes offer great giveaways. [*Shameless plug alert*] For instance, Fig+Sage is hosting three HUGE natural/organic beauty giveaways (skin care and cosmetics) this month totaling around $800; the first of which was announced today valued at over $300!
What ways are you saving on natural and organic beauty products???