Nearly every time I go into a drug store and peruse the skincare aisle, I end up feeling overwhelmed. Wrinkle creams, anti-aging serums, skin plumpers… oh my!
The sheer number of different products along those shelves fills me with questions. “What special combination of formulas does my skin need? Are the more expensive brands really that much better than the bargain buys? Are there DIY versions of these products that I can make for a fraction of the cost?”
The stress of all these unanswered questions is enough to give me wrinkles. (And that’s on top of the ones that brought me into the skincare aisle in the first place!) ;-)
But after doing some research on my own, I have some good news to share about the cost of skincare! The bottom line is that while some people may benefit from specialty skincare products designed to tackle specific conditions, most of us can maintain youthful-looking skin without spending a fortune to do so.
Here are 9 simple, low-cost and no-cost tips you can use to achieve happy, healthy, glowing skin without breaking the bank! :-)
9 Low-Cost & No-Cost Skincare Tips
1. Wash Your Pillowcase Often
Go ahead and add your pillowcases to that weekly mountain of dirty laundry! Keeping your pillows clean is one of the top beauty secrets for a reason.
Pillowcases can hold dirt, oil, and bacteria from our faces, hair, and environment, making dirty pillowcases a breeding ground for acne! I like to have two sets of pillowcases in rotation and swap them out weekly to help keep breakouts at bay. (Those who struggle with frequent breakouts may benefit from swapping out their pillowcase more frequently, as often as nightly!)
2. Sleep On Your Back
Most of us like to sleep on our sides, but compressing your face into your pillow all night isn’t doing you any favors! Sleeping in this same position over and over can, unfortunately, contribute to wrinkles.
If you can help it, try sleeping on your back instead. If you can’t help it, I recommend switching to a silk pillowcase, which is an easy way to reduce the skin-smushing effects of sleeping on your side.
3. Reduce Stress
Constant worry and anxiety can have a huge impact on your skin. (I guess they don’t call them stress lines for nothing!) You can use deep-breathing exercises to help combat the physical toll stress can take on your body.
Just inhale through your nose until your lungs have filled, then exhale slowly through your mouth. This simple deep-breathing exercise can have tremendously calming effects!
A few other proven methods for reducing stress include spending time with friends (at a safe distance, of course), snuggling your pets, and even watching fish swim around (even if it’s just a video!) Since stress can exacerbate conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, anything you can do to relieve stress will help support healthy and beautiful skin.
4. Wash Your Hands Often
Here’s one more reason to wash your hands frequently (as if you needed one!) Washing your hands properly and regularly helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria from your hands to your skin. Every time you touch a doorknob, keyboard, or your phone and then touch your face, you may be spreading bacteria to your skin that can trigger breakouts and other skin problems.
If you don’t have easy access to a sink but know your hands are grimy, be extra careful not to touch your face. (That’s one silver lining to wearing our face masks during this pandemic—it also keeps the bacteria on our hands away from our face!)
5. Don’t Smoke
Along with yellowing your teeth and nails, smoking can wreak serious havoc on your skin. Cigarettes (and e-cigarettes, for that matter) contain nicotine, which shrinks the capillaries that carry blood throughout our bodies. Smaller capillaries mean poor circulation, and poor circulation can lead to quicker aging in the form of wrinkles (particularly around your mouth.)
Nicotine also slows healing, destroys collagen and elastin, and thins the skin—all things you don’t want if you’re trying to take good care of your skin! Plus, considering the price of cigarettes, your skin AND wallet will thank you for kicking the habit.
6. Wash Your Face With Cold Water
Quit waiting for your water to warm up and use cool water instead! Rinsing your face with cool water can calm inflammation and tighten pores, so it’s perfect for those with skin prone to puffiness
Plus, the shock factor from the cold helps me feel more awake and alert, especially when it’s hot out!
7. Wash Your Face Towel After Every Use
Similar to washing your pillows regularly, you should always use a clean, fresh towel to avoid lingering dirt and grime. If you are willing to spend a little bit of money in this area, consider buying a pack of towels big enough that you can use a fresh one each time you wash your face.
You can use any towel you like, but I personally prefer pure white towels. That way, if they start looking dingy after a while, I can use my miracle whitening solution to restore them to their former glory!
8. Get Your Beauty Sleep
We’ve all heard it before, but there’s really no easier way to get your skin in prime shape than getting enough sleep consistently. Skimping on your beauty sleep impairs circulation, which can cause the skin to look pale and tired.
9. Massage Your Skin
Gently massaging your face with your knuckles is a great way to improve circulation for a healthy glow! Do this for two minutes after cleansing and moisturizing to improve blood flow, bringing nutrients to the surface of your skin to help keep it looking healthy.
I start my nighttime skin routine this way, using my jade roller (which I highly recommend if you’re willing to spend a few dollars!) If you prefer to use your hands instead, just be sure they’re clean and avoid tugging or pulling at your skin.
What’s your best low- or no-cost skincare tip?