Monday, April 16, 2012

My One Personal Care Hack

Let's take a break from the serious topics, shall we? In fact, I'm so ready to have some thing less serious up on my blog that I'm doing something unusual and posting this from work. I'm trying out the "post via email" feature. I figure that if I want to write a really long email to myself on my lunch break, that shouldn't be a problem. So we'll see how that works. Who knows? Maybe this will become my new favorite lunchtime break!

Anyway, let's talk about skin care. Or specifically, the one thing I do on that front that saves me time and money.

I used to use fancy face washes. I was always looking for the "perfect" one. I'd cycle through them pretty quickly, too- a tube or tub of face wash would probably only last me a month.

But then, we decided we want to go on a big trip;. We'd each take one big backpack and one day pack, and we'd travel around for four months. Suddenly, every personal care item I used came under scrutiny for necessity and how easy it would be to replace on the road. I wear contact lens, and knew I'd need to take some soap to use to wash my hands before taking them in and out- you can't count on hotels to have something that won't make your eyes sting when you do that, and I certainly didn't think I could count on the guest houses and small motels we intended to stay in when we were in Asia to have what I needed. So I figured I'd take a bar of Neutrogena glycerin soap- you know, the plain orange, sort of see through bar with nothing fancy added. And then I wondered if I could just use that to wash my face, too. I figured it might not work as well as my fancy potions, but I was backpacking around, so who cares?

It turns out, my skin never looked better. Really. Plain old Neutrogena soap works better on my face than anything else I've ever tried. And one bar lasts more than six months, and can be bought at just about any drug store or grocery store, so no more trips to special stores to buy one tube of face wash.

Needless to say, I never went back to the fancy potions, although I have added a simple face moisturizer to my evening routine. (I always had a combo moisturizer/sunscreen in my morning routine.)

Do you have any similar stories you want to share? Distract us all from the latest round of the mommy wars and whatever else is upheaving our corners of the blogosphere these days!


  1. My biggest personal care hack is start every day with a big glass of water and ten deep breaths, preferably outdoors. It may sound ridiculous but I honestly think it helps me more than almost anything else.

  2. cetaphil is my secret cleaner and neutrogena face cream with sunscreen. I use glycolic acid on my face

  3. I am a Cetaphyl all around girl on my face. It's the only thing that doesn't leave my cheeks red. They have a moisturizer that is 50 SPF that I wear daily and of course the cleanser.

  4. My mother also uses Neutrogena soap and has been for years (my entire life I think...)

    I stumbled upon this:

    about 6 months ago, after experimenting with a whole range of different things that weren't quite working. You basically rub a mixture of castor oil (15-25%) and sunflower or grapeseed oil into your face and steam it off. I find that steaming it off doesn't work so well for me, and I actually do this in the shower and rubbing with my fingers. Turns out this keeps my face extremely happy, and I don't even need moisturizer - it is also a fabulous make-up remover. Best part - its cheap.

  5. Dove, plain white unscented bar. Lather on face every other day, and gently exfoliate with a washcloth, in an upward circular motion.

    Retinol at night, sunscreen everyday. I have no brand loyalty here.

    Whatever you're doing to your face, also do to your neck and upper chest area that gets a lot of sun exposure.

  6. I've done the opposite with shampoo. I used to buy the really cheap stuff, but found my hair would get limp and oily so quickly. I now buy fairly expensive stuff but I don't have to use nearly as much, or wash my hair as often, and my hair looks and feels so much better.

  7. I'm the same as Alyssa - I used to buy cheap shampoo but I've switched to an expensive shampoo (luckily sold to me at wholesale rates by a friend) and a spray leave in conditioner. The spray conditioner actually makes life easier in the morning by cutting down the # of things I have to do in the shower. And, it is great to need to wash my hair less frequently too.

    However, my body moisturizer of choice is QV Intensive. My husband was given some as a free sample at some allergy event and it is great on my very dry & sometimes itchy skin. It's water-free and fragrance free so not exactly exciting, but it's effective and cheap.

  8. I actually stopped washing my face at all (you may all commence to be horrified now) and it's never looked better. I rub a wet washcloth over it in the shower when I remember, and I use a wet washcloth to take off mascara when I wear it, but other than that I ignore it. Turning 40 might also have helped the situation as well.

  9. Apparently Jennifer Aniston agrees with you on the Neutrogena soap!

  10. I love hacks like this. I'm looking into the idea of using Dr Bronner's magic castile soap for everything (apparently you can use it for soap, shampoo, laundry, cleaning...) but haven't sorted it out just yet.

    It's funny how travel makes you realize what little you *really* need. I found that to be true with clothes. I packed 4 pairs of pants for 3 weeks in Ireland (we have laundry here) and ended up wearing only 3 of them regularly. I could have gotten away with 3-4 shirts as well, though I brought 8.

    Trader Joe's makes a really nice (cheap!) moisturizer with sunscreen in it. If they stop, I'll be very sad.


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