Beauty on a shoestring

Beauty on a shoestring

Maintaining a healthy skin is not as expensive as it is made out to be

By Ayat Toufeeq

Published: Thu 12 Dec 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 Dec 2019, 1:00 AM

Being committed to beauty, they say, can cost you an arm and a leg. But it doesn't have to be so. You can maximise your routine without spending extra. Here are our tips for beauty on a shoe-string:

Wash your beauty tools regularly
Keeping your beauty tools, such as make-up brushes, makeup sponges, konjac sponges and even your pillowcase (which your face rubs against every night), clean can make all the difference in avoiding unnecessary breakouts and infections. Use a little of your favourite face wash for those tools and let them dry thoroughly.

Invest in tools, accessories that last
Spending on products which last can help save you more in the long-term. For example, if you apply makeup daily, buy a good set of brushes. Spending less on simple brushes can mean  you need to replace them more often. Investing in a silk pillowcase can mean saving more in anti-aging treatments in the long term, as silk helps keep your skin crease-free and hydrated while you sleep - which should be a minimum of seven hours daily.

Do research before purchase
Understand your skin, its likes and dislikes - this will help you save money in the long run. Read reviews and inspect the ingredients lists when it comes to buying any products, from a simple, low-cost face wash to more substantially-priced serum and treatments. Avoid low-priced products which may lead to breakouts and other skin conditions. Adverse reactions can be costly to fix.

Request samples
Almost any reputable beauty retailer will provide, or make, samples of the products you're interested in. If you have sensitive skin, always patch test. Invest majority of your beauty budget in products that have the biggest impact. If the budget is limited, invest it in the serum step. Face wash is very important and as long as it does its job, it  can be kept simple and inexpensive. Creams are predominantly occlusive, which means they seal moisture and goodness into your skin, and although it can be nice to have them packed with additional beneficial ingredients, it is not necessary when you are trying to save. Where it makes sense to invest is in your serum or treatment, which is where your personal needs - such as clarity, luminosity, minimising the appearance of aging, dehydration or anything else - should be addressed.

Less can be more
Is that highlighter/mask/serum really necessary? If you are just looking for maintenance, are those expensive oils really going to make a difference? Resist marketing temptation and listen to your skin.

Work with your natural hair type
Styling your hair with heated tools and drying colourants can either be damaging or costly. If you want to avoid regular salon visits, masks and hair treatments, work with your natural hair type. Experiment with new styles but your natural style will suit you if treated and maintained gently.

Drink water
It's the easiest way to improve your appearance and will bring a natural glow. In this humid desert environment, stay hydrated by drinking water. It will help you save on serums and treatments.

Keep your lifestyle clean
Stop smoking. Not only is it expensive, but it has a noticeable impact on the appearance of your skin. If you are committed to your skincare, avoid the smoke. This includes passive smoking, too. Always choose the non-smoking section. The same goes for junk foods and late nights. Avoid them.

Avoid picking, touching your face
However often you wash your hands, they're not always clean. Picking and touching your skin can leave scars, which could take a long time and expensive treatments to fade. Picking can be seriously addictive, so confront this issue head-on. Write this commitment down, repeat affirmations and keep a stress-ball handy so your hands have something to occupy them when temptation strikes.
(Ayat Toufeeq is co-founder at

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