You know what I love more than beauty? Saving money when buying beauty. I mean there’s more to life than skin care right? Off the top of my head, there are bills, food, and fabulous shoes.
Being ingredient aware when purchasing skin care is one of the best ways to save money. Quite simply, being ingredient aware means knowing which ingredients would best address your skin care concerns. This is one of the motivations behind the series ‘Cosmetics Ingredients Class‘ on Wolf + Moroko. You can also read this great post by Fiddy of Fifty Shades of Snail about how you can achieve your skin care goals by developing ingredient awareness.
When you’re ingredient aware, cosmetics marketing hype wouldn’t get past you because you would know what works (or not) for you. You would come to the following beauty realizations that could save you money.
1. High prices don’t mean high quality
When it comes to skin care, high prices have nothing to do with how effective a product would be. The amount that is charged for a beauty product has little to do with the amount of money it takes to produce the product. Many a time you are paying for the brand name and packaging.
When you know what ingredients work for you, you soon realize that a well-formulated product does not have to be hundreds of dollars.
2. It’s the same product with a different name
Sometimes, you will read an ingredient list and discover that the manufacturer has packaged the same formulation under a different name…for a different price.
Granted the color, fragrance and packaging may be different but the active ingredients (the ingredients that actually matter), are the same. To see what I’m talking about, just compare the ingredient labels of Pantene and Herbal Essences shampoo or Nivea and Labello lip balms.
3. Take sales with a healthy pinch of salt
Without naming anything, beauty companies using multi-level marketing have made their way to Kampala. Now as friendly as some marketeers are, it should take more than a smile to make a beauty purchase, especially if the product being sold is more expensive than products you can get elsewhere.
4. Dermatologist approved is not that big a deal
According to The Beauty Brains, “while dermatologists know how to treat skin diseases and their advice in this area need not be questioned, they don’t necessarily know the best skin care products to use.” Just because a product is proudly labeled “dermatologist approved” does not mean much. First of all, you don’t know which dermatologist approved said product and how great their qualifications are. For all we know, he could have graduated bottom of his class from the University of Oompa Loompah.
Secondly, if a dermatologist’s name is on the product, keep in mind that dermatologists often sell their names to a product and don’t actually have much involvement in the development.
5. Pseudoscience is the devil…and the devil is a liar
Pseudoscience is defined as “a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.”
Pseudoscience and the rise of technology do not a great combination make. The result has been the spread of misconceptions about great ingredients like talc, parabens, petrolatum, silicones and glycols which are perfectly safe and effective.
A lot of the quacks out there will quote sources without any legitimate scientific evidence. This is when being ingredient aware will save you frustration, panic and open your mind to the truth that natural beauty is not always better or gentle – afterall, lead, mercury and arsenic are natural too.
6. Some beauty issues have no solutions
Some beauty problems don’t have permanent solutions, yet. These include getting rid of cellulite and stretch marks, making hair grow, slowing hair growth or getting rid of split ends (only a haircut will do that).
Until scientists have come up with solutions to these, don’t waste your money.
7. It’s okay to side-eye Nutricosmetics
Nutricosmetics are health supplements you take to boost your skin and hair health. Exciting? Yes. Efficient? Nah.
As cool and Judy Jetson as it may sound, I searched high and low and couldn’t find enough scientific evidence that nutricosmetics like collagen drinks have any positive effect on your skin or hair.
Now, fellow Ugandans I can’t seem to find anything about UNBS’ policies on health food supplements. The industry has little regulation in the US, is that the case here too? Does that mean that all the food supplement companies around can make claims without any proof? iShudder. If you come across any documents, please let me know.
As you can see, you don’t need a lot of money to maintain your skin health. What will you spend your beauty savings on? (Hint, great skin goes with fabulous shoes) Let me know through a comment below.