Thursday, 9 June 2016

5 beauty products you don't need

Do you ever get that sneaking feeling that many of the products in your beauty cabinets are doing essentially the same job? While I can be satisfying to have a specific product for each concern, I've discovered that one product can serve a myriad of purposes in your beauty regimen, and that some items are entirely redundant all together. If you're looking to save money and space, I recommend that you take the following products off your shopping list.


Lip scrub // While I've used lip scrubs for years, I've always found them to be a little too abrasive and tending to leave my lips feeling parched. As a general rule, they're also inconvenient to apply (I find the little pots messy, and the grains of sugar annoyingly fly everywhere). Gently rubbing off the dead skin with a tissue is a gentler, less fiddly option that still gets the job done. I've heard some people recommend scrubbing lips with a toothbrush (one kept exclusively for that purpose, obviously), but I must admit that the idea unsettles me. The tissue remains my preferred method.

Foot cream // When one reflects on all the hard work they put in for us on a daily basis, it's clear that our feet are the most under-pampered part of our bodies. Consider, in comparison, the effort and energy we pour into tending to our eyebrows, which are essentially little more than facial decoration; it seems strange that we don't take more time to care for our feet. Many brands now sell dedicated moisturisers to hydrate and sooth tired feet (L'Occitane do some beautifully scented ones), but a hand cream works just as well. If you diligently apply your hand cream every night before bed, I suggest getting into the habit of using it on your feet, too.

Body exfoliators // I pretty much no longer use body scrubs, for much the same reason I've given up lip scrubs - they're such a hassle to use. Instead, I body brush on a (near) daily basis and as well as exfoliating my skin beautifully, it also boasts a wealth of other health benefits. All you need is a good body brush - the cactus brush from the Body Shop is an excellent choice. To hear me rave on some more about body brushing, you can read about how I incorporate it into my morning routine here. Perhaps this one might require you to purchase an item you don't already have on-hand, but I can assure you it's a much wiser and cheaper investment in the long run.

Lip cream // By which I mean products used around the mouth, that are designed to stave off wrinkles. If you're not interested in adding yet another product to your skincare regimen, dot on a little eye cream around your lips after your serum. The area around your eyes and lips is quite similar - more delicate and expressive than the rest of the face - so it's an obvious second use for an eye cream. I must give due credit for this idea to Isabelle Bellis, a French facialist based in New York. Her videos with Into The Gloss (here and here) will give you serious skin envy.

Brush cleaner // I've used fancy brush shampoos, and I've used shower gel, hand wash and liquid soap to clean my brushes, and I must admit I've seen absolutely no difference in the results. As long as you take care to treat your brushes correctly (making sure to use tepid water, rub the bristles gently, and dry them facing downwards so the water doesn't get into the ferrule), it doesn't matter as much about the cleanser you chose to use. I washed my tools this morning with a mild shampoo, and it worked wonders.

By all means, continue to use these particular products - I am by no means saying they are necessarily a waste of your money or time. I'll doubtless be jumping on the next beauty bandwagon to come along, be it elbow balms, ankle lotions, or some other ingenious invention we will soon be hearing about. But don't underestimate the items you already have as they likely can accomplish a lot more than what the instructions on the packaging are letting on. There may be some surprises awaiting you in your beauty cabinet.

What are your favourite multi-purpose products?
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