Let’s face it: anti-aging products are NOT cheap – geez, sometimes they aren’t even REASONABLE! Sure, we all want the latest and greatest skincare products, but we shouldn’t have to SPEND a million to look like a million.
Here are 10 Tips For Anti-Aging on a Budget to consider from The Anti-Aging Analyst:
1) ALWAYS Ask for Samples
Take it from the sample QUEEN and don’t be shy: TRY before you BUY. I mean, how do they expect you to shell out hundreds of dollars for a product when you don’t know if you’ll absolutely love it? Some cosmetic stores like Sephora are great about this – they will make you a small trial sample of the cream you are interested in. While you won’t get enough product to see dramatic results, you will get an idea if you dig the smell, texture and feel. Visit your fave cosmetic counter at the department stores and ask for samples. (Ok, sometimes this depends on the mood of the clerk, but keep trying.) They may even fill a little trial jar for you if you are nice and as long as you don’t walk in there with a giant tupperware container. Tell them you want to try it for a few days at home, or try it overnight and most sales clerks will understand. Always ask ask ask!
The best way to double your samples? Take a friend! (Make sure it’s a guy or you’ll have to wrestle your BFF to the ground!)
The photo above is actually my stash of free samples! I used to have 3 times as many – but that’s the beauty of sample collecting – you get to try products and when you are out of your expensive jars, you raid your trial-sized stash to save money!
2) Timing is Everything
The 3 little words any skin-care or beauty addict LOVES to hear are: “GIFT WITH PURCHASE!”
If you time out your big purchases to giftie time, you can buy what you were going to buy anyway and walk out with some nice extra goodies. TIP: One time, during Clinique gift time, I phoned my order in. Since it was pre-ordered, I not only got the gift with purchase, but they threw in some extra extras like lipsticks and blushes too! SCORE!
Be in the know! If you sign up for their newsletter, these guys will give you the heads-up on when they have gift time in your area! Easy Peezy.
I’ve noticed that the same promotional gifts rotate at the department stores, so if you miss one at Bloomies, a few weeks later Macy’s will have the same gift. Lightbulb moment: sooo, that also means, if you usually buy a load of products, you can “hold back” and buy just the qualifying amount at one department store, then go to the other a few weeks later and have another giftbag of goodies for the office or to give away to a friend! Everybody loves a freebie!
3) Buy Where You Get a Money-back Guarantee
You had an allergic reaction to a product, so tossing it is your only choice, right? REWIND! Before you buy, try to get a handle on the store’s return policy – if they have a “no refund policy,” at the very least, they should help you exchange your product for another. CVS and Rite-Aid now have money-back guarantees on all cosmetics including moisturizers. I’ve taken back a Perricone lip product to Sephora because the tube was defective and exploded in my purse. Actually the girl in front of me was doing the same thing! And we did them a fave by returning it – now Perricone knows that their packaging sucks (or did) and it needs to be changed. So, keep that receipt! I always like to shop at stores, whether online or in person that offer a 30 day money back guarantee so I can try the product and if I don’t love it, I know it can be returned for a full refund. There are also some quality membership sites out there where you pay a one-time fee and then can purchase products at wholesale prices.
4) Don’t Be a Name Brand Snob
It’s the INGREDIENTS that matter, not the name. You can find low-cost alternatives that have the same ingredients as department store brands. Try holistic vitamin stores which sometimes have jars of cream with no name – they simply are called “Vitamin C” or “DMAE and alpha lipoic acid cream” or have “off-brand” names. Even drug stores like CVS and Rite-aid have their own brands of “copycat” formulas of Olay Regenerist for example – if the ingredients are the same, why not? In fact, it’s these CVS and Rite-aid brands that go on sale often for buy one, get the second half off!
5) Be a Guinnea Pig
Be on the lookout for anyone in need of your face. Yes, YOU, Sweetie, you are in DEMAND! Sometimes local companies need women with skin concerns for their infomercials or focus groups. All you have to do is try their product at home for a few weeks in exchange for an on-camera interview. I actually got free Restalyne injections (MAJOR SCORE!) and wound up on the Doctor 90210 show all because I answered an ad from a dermatologist on Craig’s List! Goes to show, you just never know!
6) Good to The Last Drop
Guilty of buying products when the jars and tubes you have at home are still full and fabulous?
Okay, I admit it – me too. I once had an Emmy gift bag FULL of products but HAD to have something I just discovered at a spa. It’s nice to have choices, but try to resist the urge to buy MORE and try to use up the products you have first. Patience and buying wisely in the first place is key. Waste not want not…oh, and spend more not.
7) Make Your Own Products
You don’t have to be a chemist to concoct your own slathery goodness in the privacy of your own home. And if you are addicted to stores like Bath and Body Works or even the smellies at Victoria’s Secret, a home recipe once in a while will save you TONS, especially since they want $8.00 for like 4 ounces!
It doesn’t seem as complicated as you might think. Most recipes call for a skin oil (grapeseed oil, coconut oil or almond oil are good choices) and an emulsifier – usually beeswax- which keeps the oil from spoiling and extend your lotion’s shelf life. Then you’ll need some jars or containers and you’re golden!
Brambleberry.com sells all kind of lotion making supplies and have tutorials and recipes on their site:
There are tons of recipes on-line, or you can get a book from the library, or buy one. TIP: Buy a recipe book for a friend and maybe she’ll make you a batch next X-Mas!!
You might even invite a few BFF’s over, split the cost of supplies and make it a fun kitchen laboratory night. Just go easy on the wine!
8) Have An Anti-Aging Strategy
Anti-age skincare manufacturers LOVE to tell us we can’t live without their product. Shhh, chances are, we can. The smart way to purchase is to buy skincare with your lifestyle and skin concerns in mind. You DON’T have to purchase a full line of toner, cleanser and moisturizer. Invest the bucks for your problem areas – if your goal is firming, spend a little more on a firming product, and use less-expensive, good-ingredient cleansers and toners to save.
9) It’s All About The Sale!
For drug store products, coupons rule! Ulta often has great sales and stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx and Nordstrom’s Rack have a beauty section, where you can sometimes snag department store brands like Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and more at deep discounts!
Here’s something you may not know: COSTO carries lots of Olay, Elizabeth Arden and more. But, the beauty there, is that you get special bigger packaging or TWO jars for the usual price of one elsewhere. Girls, they have Strivectin-SD there, which is the cream originally for stretch marks which has been proven to help with facial wrinkles as well as stretch marks. Oh, and yes, you get TWO tubes for the price of one elsewhere at Costco for $149.99.
Oh, and don’t forget to check with your favorite med spa for any smokin’ Black Friday deals. Yes, Black Friday is NOT just for electronics – it’s for anti-aging too.
Membership sites are also great — contact me and I’ll send you info on joining a great one I know about.
10) Wish List
So you are using your coupons, watching sales, buying generic brands, cutting back on impulse buying, ingredient-comparison shopping, taking advantage of gifts with purchase. Sheez! Pat yourself on the back, girlies! You’ve done a fantastic job! Now put the last of the big items on your X-Mas or B-Day wish list and receive a little present from a loved one or family. You DESERVE IT!
If you have a budget-friendly tip you want to share about anti-aging, please write a comment under this article! Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.