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 Old habits die hard, but it turns out that toners may be a bit outdated.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.