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Beauty Products You Can Do Without

Is a Solution for:
Dull Skin, Oily Skin
January 7, 2011 Reviewed by SarahK 5 Comments
It’s the New Year, and that means I have a lot of resolutions to get cracking on. One of my goals is to make small steps towards exchanging my old beauty products for cleaner, more beneficial TIA-approved ones. I’ve already made the step with my makeup and my moisturizer. Next up: shampoo and conditioner. To be honest, though, I don’t have a huge budget to work with and much of the time the good stuff costs big bucks. I think it’s worth the investment, but it’s also worth knowing what products I can live without. Below are four beauty items that I will probably forgo so that I can afford worthwhile things like SenZen’s Infinity ($95 in the TIA shop).

Toner: Claire wrote a great article awhile back that pondered the necessity of toners. Many people grew up learning to cleanse, tone and moisturize every day. Old habits die hard, but it turns out that toners may be a bit outdated. While a toner does rid your face of oil, it is often overly drying (especially the alcohol-based ones) for the majority of skin types. Unless you have extremely oily skin, toner is a fairly dispensable beauty product. While many beauty experts agree that toner is just an add on to your daily routine, some do tout the benefits of toner; though, as this article points out, very few (if any) claim that it is an essential step.

Pore Strips: I hate black heads (and all the other crap that resides just below the surface of your face) as much as the next person but I’ve noticed that whenever I use pore strips to get rid of them, my nose becomes fairly inflamed. That’s never a good sign. When I looked into it, I discovered that pore strips can actually be damaging when used in excess. Though the immediate effect is aesthetically appealing, the irritation probably isn’t worth it when there are other options. First, many pore strips (including the popular Biore ones) are meant solely for your nose. To keep your whole face black head and gunk-free, wash your face each night without exception. Once a week, try covering your head with a towel and placing your face over a bowl of steaming water (which will open pores and loosen grime), as Copley describes in this article. Exfoliate afterwards. Which brings me to the next beauty item on my do without list:

Exfoliator: Now, I know I just said that I recommend using an exfoliator, so I should clarify that I don’t think buying one is always necessary; a DIY alternative is sufficient for most people. Especially because most of us probably over exfoliate, which does more harm than good and can result in irritation and even permanent skin damage. Mixing bentonite clay and water or olive oil and sugar should do the trick once a week.

Separate Neck Cream: I pondered this one for a while, and could not figure out one good reason for having a separate neck and face cream. Marta pointed out to me that while it is perfectly okay to use the same cream for both, the skin on your face does differ from the skin on your neck. Which is why if you’re going to combine the two, you need something very thick and moisturizing. For some people, a cream that heavy may be too much for the face and cause excess oil. However, it is worth looking into TIA’s 5 Best Neck Creams, 3 of which are not specified solely for the neck.
  • January 10, 2011

    by Susan

    Good article ~ By the way, for those who might be interested, I haven't used toner for 30, yes 30, years. My skin is pretty decent. I've heard one story that the Parisians began using toner a couple of centuries ago, as the water was stinky and filthy.

    I like the exfoliator recipe and think I'll give it a try--just as soon as I locate where to buy it.

  • January 10, 2011

    by SarahK

    Sunday, that pore strip story is scary - and unfortunately it's not the first time I've heard it!

  • January 7, 2011

    by Oksana

    I use MIA, but only at night. I'll try to use in am as well - maybe then a separate exfoliator won't be necessary?

  • January 7, 2011

    by Sunday

    Great post SarahK! Gotta say I've done away with toner also, and since my Clairsonic I also do not need any other exfoliater. I love your post for confirmation that less is actually more and we should/could benefit from doing less to our skin and yet still reaping awesome results. I Love this site for all the ideas that have led to the best skin I've ever worn! Here's a horror story for you, once I had applied a Biore nose strip to my nose only hours after applying my AHA cream and well you can guess the end result...skin was also removed ~ OUCH!!! ~ just another example of heavy handedness that was completely unnecessary. I swear if I had found this site sooner I'd be just that much more knowledgeable ~ at any rate, experience is wisdom and Thank You SarahK for sharing!

  • January 7, 2011

    by Oksana

    hi, SarahK
    first of all, I want to thank you for recommending Yarok serum - I have been using it once/week since July and love it! It promoted very nice, strong hair growth; I apply it to the scalp and then comb into the rest of my hair, and go for a run. Voila! Beautiful hair!
    I also recently learned to avoid a toner and love it! NYB Creamy Cleanser is all it takes.
    would disagree with exfoliator - tried sugar and clay, just not the same. I've been using Eminence Dermafoliant powder and the results are amaizing; it is very gentle as well.
    best!

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