How to be a more conscious (skincare) consumer in 2020.

Skincare is a lot of fun. Buying new products, testing them, learning about new ingredients and their combinations, getting to know your skin better and better each day – what’s there not to like? But as with all good things in life, love for skincare comes with a price.  

From the impact on the planet to personal finance issues, this fun little hobby can quickly spiral out of control if not approached responsibly. Sure, it’s fun to giggle at a “my bank account vs. me” skincare memes until you’ve spent half of your paycheck on skincare and have to eat instant noodles until the end of the month just to make it through. Yes, this comes from personal experience, and no, it wasn’t as fun.

So today, we’ve compiled a list of actions that you can start taking right now that will hopefully help you to develop a healthier and more responsible relationship with skincare in the upcoming year. Read along!

Setting a budget (and sticking to it)

Whether you’re an aspiring skincare blogger or just an enthusiast who lives and breathes for new releases, it’s essential to know your boundaries. There are so many great products out there, but it’s impossible to buy and try all. After all, you’ve got only once face. Plus, with all the buzz happening on YouTube or IG, it’s easy to lose track of what it is YOU really want/need to try vs. what social media makes you believe you want. Budgeting is an excellent way to cut out the noise and hone on to your inner (skin) cravings. Since you can’t go over a certain amount per month, your brain will start prioritizing and hopefully save you from many an impulse purchase.

Track skincare spending

Even with a budget, it’s a good idea to record every skincare purchase you make. By doing this, you’ll be able to go back and review your buying patterns and might get some interesting (and eye-opening) insights like routinely buying lipsticks when all you wear is a tinted lip balm. If you want to take it one step further, when you do a monthly review, write a quick note next to each purchase. Did you enjoy it? Did you use it as much as you thought you would? Did you have something similar already, and how did this new item compare? These quick notes will help to understand why you make certain choices and to avoid buying mistakes in the future.

Make a wish list

This is an oldie, but goodie and works like magic every time. When a product is not a necessity, don’t rush into buying. Put it on a wish list first and leave it for a couple of weeks. If, after all this time, you’re still thinking about this product – get it. But most likely, you’ll have already forgotten all about it and moved on.

Use it up

This is self-explanatory, but you’ve got to use the stuff up. If a product wasn’t the greatest fit for your skin, see if there any friends or family who might enjoy it. If not, repurpose! Face cleansers can be used as body washes or for cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges. You’ll be surprised to learn that old creams can be used to remove makeup. Just google it, and you’ll find plenty of articles and videos showing you exactly how to do that.  

Try shopping fast

There’s a growing number of people going on various shopping fasts from no-buy months to no-buy years or replacement-only purchases. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of needing (or thinking that you need) more and more, which often leads to anxieties and stress. These kinds of exercises help to stop chasing elusive trends and just enjoy what you have since you’re not constantly thinking of what to buy next.

Bottom line. Ultimately, conscious consumption isn’t about numbers or excessive restrictions. If ten different serums make you happy and serve a purpose in your skincare routine – so be it. If you’re happy spending more money on skincare/makeup because it’s how you care for yourself – by all means, do it. The purpose of conscious consumption is not to not buy or consume, but to buy with meaning and purpose.

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