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Aesthetics Practice Today

Skincare on a Budget

Published July 2, 2013 12:35 PM by Kimberly Cray
Quality skincare does not have to come at a steep price. If you splurge in some important areas (that benefit you the most) you may need to skimp a little in other departments and that is okay. Let's call this skincare on a budget, if you will. 


  1. Face Wash: Don't get me wrong. I love high end, fancy foaming, pretty smelling facial cleanser more than anyone, but that's not the first place I recommend putting your skincare dollars. I mean seriously, you WASH it OFF. If money isn't a concern there are ample products to use that will make you feel like you are in a spa every single day. They will also leave your skin pristine. However, if you are on a budget, take it easy in this department and you will have more to put towards a problem area or something your skin really needs kicked up! Also note that a face wash is not intended to remove eye makeup. For eye makeup I love OTC cloths that are gentle on the skin.    
  2. Moisturizer: This is hard because I love some great (ahem, pricey) moisturizers, but there are many very good OTC options that are much more affordable. For the face, go with a lotion during the day (with sunblock or layer your favorite sunblock on top) and if skin is very dry, opt for a thicker cream formulation in the evening. Shampoo or Conditioner: While I have come across some really nice ($$) shampoos and conditioners, there are so many good inexpensive options out there that it really doesn't make sense to splurge. An idea: pick your favorite shampoo and go with a less expensive conditioner (or vice versa). Use a more expensive conditioner as a weekly treatment so it lasts you longer. Remember, you really only need to condition the midsection and ends -- using too much will bring out excess oil in the roots and weigh your hair down.  


  1. Sunblock: If you don't want your eyes to burn, your skin to break out or the dreaded white "vampire" look, splurge here and you will be happy you did. Opt for mineral based with titanium or zinc oxide.
  2. Make-up: Splurge here because it is fun and worth it. Using higher end products will allow your skin to breath and be more radiant. You don't have to go extravagant, but find products that work well for your skin and are less likely to irritate you. Start with your foundation or powder (loose mineral is my preference), blushes and shadows, and then you can always play with OTCs for mascara, liners or trendy nail polishes.
  3. Growth Factors: This splurge is an anti-aging MUST: Gentle yet effective at stimulating collagen and rejuvenating the skin. The key here is to use them sparingly to make them last and to use them on the areas you need them the most. For example, if you have prominent lines around the eyes, stick to an eye product with growth factors or an intense, more concentrated serum in that area.
  4. Facials: Especially if you need them, they are not a treat but a valuable treatment. Deep pore cleansing with extractions or a more fun oxygen infused session will rev up your skin so you can continue keeping it that way at home. Focus more on an aesthetician that is medically trained over the day spa type varieties for the best results. 
  5. Travel Size Versions of Your Favorites: Don't use the hotel soap on your face. Just don't. Splurge on great travel size lotions and washes and you won't suffer on your next trip. Just because you aren't home doesn't mean you can't take care of your skin properly. If you are traveling to drier climates, stock up on hydrating agents such as moisturizers or day creams. And of course, don't forget your travel size SPF!

One of my biggest pet peeves is all the promises a lot of the OTCs make and how glorified "average" products are on commercials. What I've learned in my time in skincare is that often, spending more on a quality product will cost you less in the long run (certainly in the peace of mind department) than if you try numerous over the counters.  

Online reviews can be helpful. Skincare blogs, your dermatologist and even skin savvy friends are great people to go to for product advice. So if your aesthetician recommends ten products, try starting with the one or two you might benefit from the most. Work them into your current routine and you have an improved skin regimen without breaking the bank!


When attending a skin care seminar, learning about a company's product line and how you could potentially

December 3, 2013 4:59 PM

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About this Blog

    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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