Thursday, August 11, 2011

Personal Care Products: Get Stellar Results For Less

What's In A Name?
Once you pay for a product and walk out the store, it's nobody's business how you use it.  Recently I discovered that diaper rash rub makes an awesome hand, cuticle and eye cream.  The active ingredient is zinc oxide, making it highly effective in treating dry skin.  So far, I love it.  It's richness will protect hands all winter long.  A good one, available at drugstores, is called Boudreaux's Butt Paste, so you know the inventor has a sense of humor.

The idea of consolidating toiletries by finding new uses for old products is appealing.  So is saving time and money by finding drugstore counterparts that work as well as their high-end-cousins.  Why buy three different products if one gets all the jobs done?  Or, overpay to achieve identical results?  On occasion I may want an expensive cosmetic.  But if I choose to spend twenty times more for a luxury brand, I have to like it twenty times more than the cheaper version.  I like products with more than one use to reduce clutter.  And whenever possible I want to keep life simple with one-step shopping at the corner drugstore.

You don't have to change your personal care items all at once, but as a savvy shopper, ask yourself why you use them and what you expect them to do for you.  Consider: (1) does a product work; (2) what are its active ingredients; (3) and, can you get similar results for less?

Below are a few items to compare:

If you like:
Kiehl's Lip Balm  $15 for .5 oz.  It's 91% petroleum jelly.
Eucerin Aquaphor  $2.19 for a pocket size .35 oz tube, or Vaseline, $3.49 for a 14 oz jar.
Frederic Fekkai Shampoos and Conditioners, .08 oz at $24 and up.
Pentente's Shampoos and Conditioners in several formulas to treat your specific hair type. 25.4 oz at $7 and under.
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara, $30.  It's a great mascara, but so are drugstore options.
Maybelline – $7.  There are mutiple formulas to choose from, in waterproof or washable.
Lancome Huile Douceur Remove All Deep Cleansing Oil  $35 for 6.8 oz.
Noxema Original Deep Cleansing Cream – $3.99 for 14 oz.  It contains Eucalyptus oil and camphor to soothe skin.
Go Smile Go Whiter Whitening System  $89 for a kit.  I'm afraid of most home whitening treatments.  It's better to go to a dentist if you need extensive whitening.
Dr. George's Dental White –  $10 for 5.2 oz.  This is a hydrogen peroxide gel that's safe on enamel.  You can buy a kit with a tray for about $15, or use a dab of gel as a toothpaste booster when needed.

When you travel, you quickly learn that many cosmetics can be used for several purposes.  Lipsticks easily double as check color.  Bronzers too make excellent blush and eyeshadows.  Talcum power keeps the shine off your forehead and your feet dry and comfortable.  Doesn't it make you wonder why we accumulate so many personal care products?  As I've stated elsewhere, these days I try to put a little more thought into why I buy things ... learn about products and make better choices.  Plus, lessen my carbon footprint whenever possible.

Sorry Madison Avenue.  But.  Have you found a cheaper brand that works as well as a designer one?  Or, have you found a new use for an old standby you'd like to share? 
Red lips
You may also enjoy:
Drugstores: Where Value And Convenience Converge
The Story of Stuff, A Review
A Stop At Henri Bendel's NARS Counter
Going Organic: Face, Body and Hair Essentials


  1. I started using Noxema when I was 14 years old instead of soap to wash my face. Also to relieve a sunburn.

  2. I love your blog. Funny and good tips.