Friday, May 2, 2008

Frugal Friday ~ Cheap beauty regimens

This is my first Frugal Friday post - hope I do this right! For other fantastically-frugal ideas, pop over to biblical womanhood to see the amazing cache over there.

So I've had to tighten my belt a lot recently. The mortgage went up (a lot!), unexpected funeral costs came our way, and gas prices are killing me since I drive 120 miles a day to work and back. Needless to say, I've been looking anywhere and everywhere I can to get ideas on where I can curb costs. Things I tend to spend a lot of money on are "beauty aides" such as make-up, lotions, shampoos and conditioners, cleansers, toners, moisturizers... the list goes on. Of course, none of these things work like magic, so I just keep spending money on the newest beauty breakthrough. So when I came across some natural (and cheap) ways to scale down my regimen and get off the consumerism treadmill, I was a happy camper.

The first thing I found was the No 'Poo method.

No, not that kind.

This is actually about reducing the use (and eventually getting rid of) your SHAMpoo. I heard about the idea a couple of weeks ago, and then Stephanie at Keeper of the Home reminded me of it on her post for Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer. Basically, you phase out your shampoo and conditioner and use only baking soda and vinegar to cleanse your hair (both a whole lot cheaper than any other beauty products!). Some people don't even need those, they just use water, and some use only conditioner. I guess it's a matter of personal choice. There are tons of people who've had great success with this, as you can read on the site above. There's also great info on this site. The sites also have lots of good advice and helpful people. I've only been doing this for a couple of days, but so far so good. (Be aware, though, that your hair may go through an oily adjustment period.) I still have some shampoo and conditioner left, so I'll probably decrease the amount of use instead of going cold turkey, but I'm really excited at the prospect of not buying those costly products anymore!

The second radical natural cleansing routine I'd like to try (after I finish using up the rest of my old product), is the Oil Cleansing Method, or OCM for those in the know. This is the idea that you only use oil to cleanse your face. Yes, oil. Or a combination of castor oil and olive oil to be more precise.

I've heard about this before, too, but not in a whole lot of detail until I found this site (above). Basically, castor oil has a lot of cleansing properties, while olive oil moisturizes. I know it sounds counterintuitive, especially if you have oily skin (like I do), but castor oil can actually dry out your skin if you use too much, and that's why the olive oil balances it out. You can also substitute other oils as well; there's a list on the site. These aren't the cheapest oils on the market, but they are definitely less than a lot of the facial cleansers out there! And it eliminates the need for a moisturizer, so you save even more! Oh, and they also mention using witch hazel as a toner instead of brand-name toners, which saves even more money.

I like that these ideas are not only about using natural ingredients, but also reducing your use and using what you have already. So many sites/stores try to sell you on "all-natural ingredients" while charging you an arm and a leg for them. All of the things mentioned above can be bought in a grocery store or pharmacy, at a really reasonable price!

You can Google both "no 'poo" and "oil cleansing method" and find tons of info.

If anyone has tried either or both of these methods, I'd love to hear about your success, or lack thereof.

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