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The $4 Skin Care Routine That Makes Me Regret Every Other Product I’ve Spent Money On

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Squad, I’m coming at you today with a good old-fashioned Beauty Post, because I’m feeling like I haven’t been enjoying life in the slightest lately, and it is definitely time to talk about a fun, lighthearted subject. (Instead of, you know, student loans and work projects… blegh.)

This is an important post, because as a human, a writer, and a true citizen of the world wide web, I find it very important to be as transparent as possible at all times — even if that means I have to go back every once in a while and address some inconsistencies.

But here’s something that will probably always be true: I like to talk about beauty. I love this topic so deeply that it makes me question whether or not I’m actually a terribly shallow person, although I don’t think I am.

I like to talk about beauty hacks, budget beauty tips, and have gone into great detail about how I created (and maintain) my own beauty budget. I’ve even discussed the time that I threw my entire beauty budget out the window to make room for a super bougie $80 moisturizer, and justified that purchase to high-heck for nearly a thousand words.

And while I don’t necessarily regret purchasing that moisturizer, (it is super amazing, and should I find myself in a comfortable enough financial spot once it runs out to replace it, you bet your ass I’ll want to) I’ve actually had a bit of a beauty-budget change of heart.

When I brought that beautiful pot of Lush face lotion home, I was convinced that I needed to spend that amount of money in order to have the type of skin that actually made me feel somewhat comfortable as a bare-faced human. (Actually, if we’re being really honest, I’ll probably never feel completely comfortable as a bare-faced human.)

The point is, I had been testing every single “miracle” product I read about in a trashy magazine or beauty blog, and was actively searching high and low for the thing that was going to save me. When I did find something that happened to work (and also happened to be extremely expensive) I figured it was well-worth the splurge, because it was honestly the only way I ever saw myself having nice, soft skin ever again in my life.

But sometimes, the exact moment you decide to stop digging is the moment when you strike pure gold.

One night, panicked after I left my Lush face cleanser and moisturizer (aka my skin’s actual saving-grace) at home, I dragged my confused “why don’t you just use my liquid Softsoap” boyfriend to the local CVS so I could get something to cleanse my skin. After walking up and down the aisle for a minute feeling hopeless, I remembered that African Black Soap existed. I’d used it before but not since my skin got really bad in 2014. I remembered at that exact moment that before I’d gone Lush-crazy and started spending a ton of cash on pricey skincare, I was able to spend $4 on a bar of soap that kept my skin feeling amazing. I swiped it up right there, and when I washed my face later that night, I was hooked again. I’ve pretty much packed up the majority of my skincare-product-collection and have only been scrubbing my mug with my $4 soap since then.

The point of all of this, really, is uncertain. It seems to me that any time I make a blanket statement regarding beauty or skincare, something comes along and ~changes my life~ a week later, and I emerge with somewhat-clearer skin and a brand new beauty-philosophy. What seems to remain constant is the fact that when it comes to this stuff, change is inevitable, and making any overarching statement about the best skincare and the most effective moisturizer and the sure-fire, never-fails, $400 beauty budget is eventually going to come back to bite me in the ass.

This does go to show, also, that while it is certainly okay to spend a fuck-ton on skincare or makeup (provided that you have that money to spend, and feel like it is a positive or necessary addition to your life), it is also entirely possible to find things that work beautifully and effectively when you’re on a tight little budget.

I feel like living proof of this, because a month ago, I was swearing up and down that the only thing my skin needed was an $80 moisturizer, and today, a $4 skincare routine has made me regret every cent I ever spent on any other products.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com!

Image via Pexels

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