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For many women, this is a familiar moment:
You're standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom, with an expensive cream, examining its claims that it will erase fine lines, firm up your skin, super-moisturize, exfoliate, clear your pores, make you smell like peaches and exude a glow of health and happiness.
This must be true, because its special formulation contains these special beads, or special proteins, or special vitamins, or this special scientific thing that sounds really impressive though you're not really sure what it is, and it's got a picture of a mountain on the front and says something about being a traditional Swiss formula. You've been using it for three months now every day.
And you look exactly the same.
The Case for Simplicity
Each year, American women aged 30 to 49 spend approximately $1,200 on cosmetics; $1,000 on their hair; $500 on eyebrow maintenance and waxing; and $400 on caring for their hands and feet, according to Newsweek. That's around $3,100 annually—and $31,000 over a decade!
If it seems ridiculous to you that you could put the cost of a nice car on your face, believe us--we agree. While there are some tried and true beauty products we think are worth the splurge, there's also a lot of silly stuff that costs us more. Like pink shaving lotion. What do those "silk ribbons" do exactly again?
We've decided to simplify this routine a bit, and sourced low-cost, one- or two-ingredient replacements for your personal care products that are just as effective. And not only are they less expensive, they're also healthier and more natural than the 15-ingredient alternatives, which use an alarming number of preservatives and parabens (linked to cancer and organ toxicity).
(And pssst ... these recommendations are pulled right from our free Cut Your Costs Bootcamp, a ten-day email program with quizzes, checklists and ideas for reducing expenses in every area of your life. If you like these tips, you can get more by signing up for the bootcamp!)
Check out our slide show, and let us know: What other simple products do you use instead of conventional, branded products?
To view the slide show as one long list, click into the show and choose "list view"
*All prices from Drugstore.com and FreshDirect.com as of May 2012