8 Jun 2019

Tips to Save Money on Skincare


Those of you who have been following me know that most of the stuffs I shared on my blog are bought with my own hard-earned money. As a normal OL earning normal income, these would not be possible if I didn’t learn how to “save up” on my skincare expenditure.

In fact, one of the reasons that drives me into minimalism is to save money! Of course, that is coupled with some religious and philosophical reasons like reducing waste and “bad karma” but I still believe that saving is good. Saving, is not equal to stinginess. In fact, I notice that I actually spend more on “quality-items nowadays, but less on low-quality but easily perishable “quantity-items”.

So, I am dedicating a post on this “save money” tips that I have over the past few years!


Tip 1: Work out your skincare goal

Always remember to plan ahead before buying anything, be it skincare or grocery. For instance, you may only need 1 cleansing oil, 1 cleanser, 1 toner, 1 serum, 1 cream, 1 sunscreen, and 1 sleeping mask. So you don’t really need to buy “other stuffs” like cleansing balm, cleansing water, bubble mask, treatment essence, ampoule, oil, sun cushion, clay mask and many more if you don’t “need” it.

Tip 2: Get yourself two cleansers, one to remove makeup or sunscreen, and another to remove your makeup remover.

Usually, cleansing water + foaming cleanser is enough for most sunscreen and light foundation. Cleansing water is gentle, non-greasy, and produces less chemical waste into the ocean, because usually you use it on a cotton pad, instead of rinsing it off with water.

But for those who put on makeup, cleansing oil + foaming cleanser is enough. Alternatively, you can also use makeup wipes (RM20 for Bifesta one) and foaming cleanser.

After using tonnes of makeup remover, I realize that I don’t need expensive makeup remover. Just the RM25-50 one is enough. But for foaming cleanser, I still think that my RM90 Krave Beauty cleanser is unbeatable so I will keep repurchasing that one. But I am sure Hada Labo, Nature Republic, and Bifesta cleansers at RM20-25 work great if not superb too on most skin types.

Tip 3: Use your treatment essence as toner, essence, and exfoliator

I learn this after realizing that I don't really need a toner. An essence will fulfill all my demands. I want a liquid that is refreshing, hydrating, and lightweight. I don't need the astringent or skin tightening effect of astringent toner. So I am left with hydrating toner. But treatment essence can hydrate my skin equally well as a toner you see. So what's wrong to replace toner with essence then? Besides, you are even asked to use your essence at the first step of your skincare regime! Nowadays, I am basically doing essence --> serum --> cream and skip toner. My pores aren't getting bigger. I feel as happy as when I am using toner. Of course, I am not completely off the toner-game, but I just want to make a point that if you feel like skipping toner and go for essence, just do it!

Tip 4: You don’t need ampoule, serum, and essence with similar efficacy

I am a product junkee so I stock up on serum or essence with similar efficacy. For instance, you don't need Lirikos Marine Oxygenic Essence if you are happy with Laneige Water Bank Essence. They are both for skin moisturizing. You also don't need two brightening serum otherwise you won't know which one works better for your skin. As such, don't get two or three similar products. You are just wasting your money!

Tip 5: Either Emulsion, Lotion or Cream

Use either an emulsion, lotion, or cream. You really don't need an emulsion and a cream because it is not really necessary. They are, after all, in the moisturizer category, hence you might not need all three at once. Sometimes I saw skincare set comes with a toner, emulsion, and cream, but often time I just need either the emulsion or the cream, not both. So knows your need and spend wisely!

Tip 6: Don’t spend more than RM50 on a sunscreen

I think this applies to most people, but it doesn't always have to be the case. For instance, I recently fell in love with Anessa sunscreen and it costs me roughly RM100-135 for 90g, which is fine, because that would be roughly RM60-70 for 50g. But if you want to save some extra bucks on skincare, then maybe you should consider a more economic option like Biore Aqua UV Essence, which is also really great!

Tip 7: Sleeping mask is essentially a hydrator

I tried so many sleeping masks in the past, and they are nothing more than a hydrator in my opinion. Some may have added skin brightening or anti-aging benefits, but those effects are less significant if compared to a real essence. So take sleeping mask as an all-in-one hydrator with some additional skin benefiting effects, but nothing more than that. Don't expect too much from them. They are nowhere near the efficacy of a real serum or essence. For me, they are just a moisturizer+.

Tip 8: Wishlist things you want to buy, and check back 2 weeks later

This tip is so important because most of the time, things I wishlist and check 2 weeks later are no longer attractive to me. Sometimes you buy things because you feel like buying it, not because of needing it. And the moment you finish your existing products and are actually going to use it, you might find that it is no longer serving you or is attractive to you. So the best way to avoid this situation is to wishlist anything that you want, and check back 2 weeks later to see if you really want it. Of course, this doesn't apply to the case where you already finish using a product and want to find a replacement. But if you are just shopping randomly and seeing things you really want, then it is best advised that you wishlist it before dropping it to your basket.

Tip 9: Don’t buy because of sales, buy things that you truly want when it is on sales

I think this is an important tip if you are into skincare minimalism and want to save extra bucks on your skincare expenses. People always fall into sales trap, unconsciously buying a lot of stuffs that they dont need at the moment, simply because it is "cheap", not knowing that you are actually spending more because of the volume and ended up regretting it later.

Tip 10: Limit your sheet masks to a maximum of 50

It is easy to overspend on sheet masks, especially during sales and overseas trips. You may be driven to buy tonnes of sheet mask, but if you do your math, you might realize that you only use sheet mask once a week so that’s 52 masks per year. And since sheet mask is only good for 2-3 years, maybe give yourself a maximum of 50 sheet masks in your shelf. Don’t buy if your current stock is above 50.

I used to have over 300 sheet masks in my wardrobe, because I buy in bulk, thinking that it is cheaper that way, but ended up giving away to friends and family.

So, limit your sheet masks collection. Of course, if you are someone who masks everyday, this does not apply to you. But individuals who can afford that are not someone who will worry about budgets in my opinion so this post may not be helpful for you.

Tip 11: Limit your collection in each category into a maximum of 3 each

By this I mean you need to make sure that you don't "accidentally" buy more than 3 products for each category, no matter if they are on sales, or if you really want to have them. This applies to products that you "stock up" as well, not necessarily must be different products from different brands. That means, don't buy 3 or more serums or creams. If you need a minimum of 3 months to finish off a bottle of serum, it is best don't "plan ahead" for your skincare needs next year (3 months x 3 products = 9 months), because your skin conditions, preferences, and goals change from time to time!

Tip 12: Not everyone needs 10-step skincare regime

This is very true indeed. Not everyone needs a 10-step skincare regime. Most people do fine with just a toner, serum, and cream. And you top that with masks or exfoliator once in a while. Skincare should be relaxing and enjoyable, don't make it a routine and spend a lot unknowingly.

Tip 13: Price does not always equal quality

I can't stress this enough. Most skincare is great at the range of RM50-200 (depending on product category), so anything beyond that is frankly speaking, unnecessary. I don't think most of the >RM200 products I use are fancy or really "worth" the extra bucks, so choose wisely!

Tip 14: Spend less on skincare, more on food

I think the saying that "you are what you eat" is the bible of all skincare and health care. So always try to maintain a good "70:30" budget for food:skincare. It should be 90:10 but I understand that skincare is actually pricier than food (how irony) sometimes so do budget wisely and prioritize good foods over fancy products!

Tip 15: Benefit from cash back, shopback, voucher and points offered by banks and retailers

Although I don't buy during sales, but I still try to find sales when buying products. It is always good to have several things in your wishlist and go for the ones that are on sales. You will unconsciously save up a lot in the long-run!

I hope you like my share today and hopefully that it will benefit you and your wallet in the long-run! That's all for today. Talk to you guys later!


[Disclaimer] Product(s) mentioned herewith is purchased with my own money. All opinions expressed here are my honest views on the product(s). All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

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