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Frugal Skin Care

Frugal Skin Care

Q. I appreciate all the helpful suggestions in The Frugal Life, and the emphasis on happiness not depending on wealth. Here’s my question: What are frugal, healthy ways of caring for one’s face/skin? There is a huge face-care industry that makes women feel behind-the-8-ball if they don’t use all kinds of potions and creams, and if they don’t spend all kinds of money on facials, spas, etc. In the long haul are these things healthy for one’s skin? I’d like to hear some ideas on this. Thanks. Lillian

A. I know some cosmetics are OK’d by dermatologists, but the cheapest way of keeping beautiful, smooth skin I have ever heard of (and it really works!) is to use an oatmeal based soap, rinse, then use the white of one egg slightly beaten. Put the egg white all over your face and throat. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes until it feels tight and is dry. Rinse off with warm then cold water. Your face will feel as smooth as a baby’s behind! For moisturizer try a 1/4 tsp. of mayonnaise – yes really! You will have the most beautiful soft skin in town! – Toni

A. To the question about which face creams are absolutely necessary for the face. I know for a fact any dermatologist, plastic surgeon and aesthetition would agree absolutely needed is a good quality Sunscreen with a block of at least spf 15! Whatever creams you use for cleansing should be compatible with your own skin. But that is important also for removing impurities from your face. There is such a wide range of prices to choose from today that women of all economic ranges can find good products at any level. Then they break down into: Do you need a moisturizer? Are you attempting to reduce signs of wrinkles? But the absolute not to go without is the Sunscreen lotion! – Jaimie

We recommend a natural sunscreen with a high SPF rating for natural, non-irritating ingredients

A. In regards to the skin question, I use baby shampoo to remove my makeup & wash my face at same time. It doesn’t burn my eyes!! I have heard using either baking soda or sugar/crisco combo to exfoliate the skin. I use a 99 cent buf puff in the shower, rinse & reuse. As far as moisturizer/sunscreen, Walmart usually carries their brand of most competitive cleansers, etc. Also check Dollar General for name brands if you have a coupon, they accept them!! DG also has beauty products too. Hope this helps out!! Love your newsletter, L Rush


A. Yes! There are ways to take care of your face/skin naturally. If you’re not up for researching, you might try a good book on the subject. I really have enjoyed a book called “The Green Witch Herbal,” which specializes in old ways of taking care of yourself. I have a few recipes that I use myself on a regular basis. Exfoliating moisturizer (I have dry skin and I live in the desert, this helps!):
2 TBSP oatmeal (non-instant)
2 TBSP plain yogurt
10 drops lemon juice
Mix all the above and scrub liberally on your face. Be careful, it can be very messy. Also, honey works very well to tighten pores and moisturize the skin. Use it directly on your face, in amounts enough to give a good coating. Leave until it dries (I know, it itches!) and rinse off. I use witch hazel extract as a gentle facial toner. Also, if you are interested in simply purchasing items, you might try Burt’s Bees online. They make all their stuff naturally, and avoid animal testing. – Shannon.

A. I use olive oil as a moisturizer and add the essential oils lavender and sandalwood to Sunshine….good quality, safe for you and the environment and cheaper than the fancy stuff in the mall! – RS

A. Lillian, I use Cetaphil lotion (or a generic version) to clean my face. I keep it in the shower with my body wash & shampoo, so it’s easy to do. Paula Begoun recommended it as a very frugal way to do what the very expensive lotions and potions do. Then I just apply moisturizer and whatever makeup I want to use. I haven’t had any skin problems from following this routine, and my skin is soft and smooth.

A. Check out “Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me ” by Paula Begoun from your library.

A. About 20 years ago a famous author of skin care was on the local TV station. She had some very cheap alternatives to basic skin care. Sugar….I exfoliate my face with plain old sugar. Doesn’t scratch and leaves my skin soft. For a daily wash and fabulous makeup remover….Natural care baby wipes…They contain vitamin E and aloe. Takes the makeup off as well as the more expensive face cleaning wipes (such as Olay). Got this from a Hollywood makeup artist and Starr Jones. Occasionally I also use plain old baking soda mixed with an Olay knock off. I massage it lightly over my face and then rinse it off. I read in one of the lady’s magazines where a well know dermatologist uses a dandruff shampoo to clean her face. She dilutes it with water in her hand and makes a lather, scrubs it over her face and leaves it on a few minutes, then showers it off. It breaks the ‘crust’ of dead skin cells, removes them and leaves your face radiant. I I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, once a week, and it does get rid of the flaking and dullness. To soften calluses on your heels use Crisco, works as well as Eucerine. Rumor has it that an old time movie star even used Crisco for her regular face cream. It contains a small amount of protein. I used to work for a hospital run Home Health agency in an economically depressed region. We regularly recommended Crisco as a moisturizer and because it’s cheap and everyone uses it. 3# pounds cost much less than most moisturizers and hand creams. The Olay* knock off I buy costs less than $2 for 8 ounces at an outlet center and works as well as the real stuff…even smells the same. Hope this helps and gives you some ideas to use. – Linda

A. The women in my family are known for youthful skin. As Italians, we extol the usage of olive oil. Either applied straight with a cotton ball, or a few drops mixed in with the most inexpensive face lotion, works wonders. Just remember to store it in the refrigerator for preservation, apply to a clean, wet face, and wipe your face after with tissue to avoid any greasy feeling. PS – Do not apply too much! A touch goes a long way. -Maria-

A. Hi; In answer to the question about cheap ways to care for our skin, I worked for a dermatologist and he recommended a Buff Puff and Neutrogena soap. I find I like Caress or another foaming soap. The Buff Puff is a brand name, and a generic brand such as Eckerd or CVS can be bought cheaper. Even if you have to buy the Buff Puff brand at $3.50, it is a worthwhile investment as it lasts a long time. You soap up your face, soap up the Buff Puff and gently wash your face once to twice a day. My daughter used this to wash her face as a teenager and never had acne. I also used it to exfoliate my older skin and it helps “erase” the lines. Any skin lotion should be put on after waiting about an hour. I like an Vitamin E enriched cream. People are amazed at the great condition of my skin. Some have said that my skin has no lines because I am “plump”. I tell them it is because I work on it! – May The Angels Watch Over You, Betty G.

A. I am so glad you asked!! I‚m a skin care specialist and I‚I’ve been helping people put together skin systems with or without budgets my whole life. Okay so lets start at the beginning; in the morning try a cleanser mad with a mixture of glycerin soap and olive oil (oily skin more soap than oil and dry skin less soap than oil). The glycerin is mild enough not to hurt your skin and the olive oil softens and re-hydrates your skin. Next toner, try nature‚s astringent, Witch Hazel (you can find it in the first aid section, right next to rubbing alcohol) I don‚t normally like to scrimp on the moisturizers but I’ll tell you what I‚I’ve suggested in the past. All of these need to be used sparingly (you don‚t want to clog your pores) Vitamin E oil (great at night, you‚all wake up with a rosy glow), Olive oil, Aloe Vera gel, Vaseline (great during the winter, for chapped dry skin) Okay now for the fun extras Masks, a Scrub and a Steam Treatment: For dry skin mask try; olive oil and mashed avocados. For oily skin mask; egg whites and just a pinch of cornstarch. This Scrub is my favorite: Bakers sugar (you can try brown sugar, yummy) and Honey. This steam not only clears up skin it alleviates headaches. Put a few sprigs of rosemary and peppermint (or mint) in boiling water. NOTE: these are all ideas for you to try. Keep in mind any allergies you may have and stay well away from your delicate eye tissue. Enjoy, BB

1 thought on “Frugal Skin Care”

  1. David – State Licensed Cosmetologist since 1977

    The aforementioned home remedies may give a temporary softness to the skin but in the long run do not work because they stay on top of the skin and do not penetrate the epidermis. Essential oils like Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Rose-hip oil, Carrot seed oil, Lavender oil, Bergamot , for the face and Cocoa Butter and Cocoanut oil for the body penetrate and are very beneficial to skin. Also a lot less expensive than the department store brands.

    Great mask for the face
    Oatmeal/Yoghurt Mask

    1 tbsp oatmeal, finely ground
    1 tbsp live, organic yogurt (skip the flavored stuff)
    A few drops of honey

    Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together.

    Warm a few drop of honey. To do this, warm a spoon under hot water for a minute, then add a few drops of honey to the spoon.

    Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture.

    Apply the mask to the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with several splashes of warm water. Follow with a warm washcloth.

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