Your Say: Do you try to save on product when using your skincare?

by Paris B on · 68 comments

in Discussions,Musings,Skincare

save product skincare Your Say: Do you try to save on product when using your skincare?

I had a very interesting chat with a friend very recently about the lengths people go to, to save on product use when they’re using their skincare. This is especially so when using an expensive brand or product.

If a cream costs you RM400 or a lotion costs you RM300 you want to make sure that you make it last as long as possible, don’t you? Hopefully that way, your dollar/ringgit stretches further. I heard a strange story which I’ll narrate below of one method of saving, but I’d like to hear from you.

Do you try to save on using product when you’re using your skincare to make it last longer? What are the lengths you’d go to? Be honest now! icon wink Your Say: Do you try to save on product when using your skincare?

Personally, I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt when I’m using an expensive product and realise that it lasts me about as long as an inexpensive product. In many ways, it would be the case. If you are to use a dollop of moisturiser each time, it wouldn’t matter how much it costs. A dollop is a dollop and if the size of the tub is the same, it’ll finish at the same time.

When I was using the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence many years ago, it was very much of an indulgence. I was advised to use a cotton pad to pat it on my skin. To save, I eschewed that and poured it into my hands to pat on my face. At the very least, my hands benefit from the product instead of a piece of cotton! It worked fine for me back then and I still do it with all my treatment lotions especially the La Mer.

Another way I stretch my dollar is when I use sheet masks with a lot of essence, like the l’Herboflore masks. The l’Herboflore masks have so much essence left behind each time that I reuse it, but not in the way you imagine. I buy a pack of peelable cotton pads from Muji, soak a piece in the remaining essence then peel off the layers to put on my face as a mask the second day. This way I don’t waste anything.

The tip I heard of that sent shivers down my spine was of people who reused their sheet masks, specifically SK-II sheet masks. Now these sheet masks are expensive I do not deny, but they are meant to be disposable and used just once. Apparently, it’s a common tip to replace the mask into the pack, to reuse the next day or in a few days, so it “doesn’t go to waste” Uh… no. Just as you do not reuse a condom, please do not reuse your sheet mask! icon razz Your Say: Do you try to save on product when using your skincare? It’s so unhygienic!

That said however, I don’t advise trying to save on product. My wallet cries every time I have to replace my sunscreen because I happen to use an expensive one but I don’t stint on use and the amount I use each time shocks people. I go through a bottle in about 2 months, which is true of all brands I use, but I’m getting the most out of the product. Ditto facial lotions, serums and creams. If it calls for a drop, use a drop. If it calls for a full pump, use a full pump.

Ultimately, you want to derive the most out of your skincare and using less, so it lasts you longer, isn’t helping you derive the best for your skin although it may suit your wallet. I’m all for using skincare that suits your wallet so if a product isn’t within budget, use something that is and use enough of it. That’s more important.

Just don’t reuse your sheet masks please!

Do you try to save on product when using your skincare? What lengths have you gone to and do you (horrors!) reuse your sheet masks?!

The latter sheet mask tip really puzzled me so if you’ve come across it before, or have actually done it, please do share!

Paris B

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[ 68 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

LeGeeque April 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

Oh saving! My favourite topic!
1. If it’s a tube, I cut it up and scoop out everything into a clean container and keep using. Not a single drop is wasted.
2. If it’s sheet masks, I don’t actually reuse, but when I peel it off, I slap it onto different body parts. Knees, elbows or rub it all over my feet and wear socks and pad around at home. The remaining essence, I use it in the next few days as a serum or sometimes, like you, cotton pads as additional masks :D

Funnily, Tine blogged something almost similar today! :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 11:50 am

Cutting up a tube is something I haven’t done in a very long time! But then I don’t use a lot of things in tubes haha It’s a good point though! As for sheet masks, I tried applying them to other parts of my body but I didn’t like how sticky it felt. So I usually toss them. But then by the time I’m done with them (I’m really mad and leave them on for almost an hour sometimes or until it feels a bit dry) there isn’t much left anyway haha

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Tine @ Beautyholics Anonymous
Twitter:
April 15, 2014 at 8:57 am

I learned something from Val (ponikuta) about using leftover face masks. Once they’re done on the face, tear them into two and then put them on your knees! Or use the mask and rub it all over the body. I’m terrible when it comes to products left in tubes or bottles. If I can’t get to the bottom of the product, it goes into the bin. I should get one of those tube wringer thingies. Apparently they’re fantastic for squeezing every last drop out! :D

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Jyoan April 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

I do this two!

To MWS: But I never ever ever store masks back and reuse. omg! I think if I cannot afford a certain mask, then I’d rather not buy. Furthermore, there are tonnes of good and high affordable Korean masks here in SG (maybe not Australia or US, but I am sure there are ways to buy Korean masks).

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

Good point about the masks Tine :) I didn’t like the sticky feeling which is why I don’t do it but what a great way to rejuvenate the skin on the body! :D I’m not terribly good about squeezing out the last drop of anything or cutting up tubes either. If it’s too much trouble I bin :P

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Emy April 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

If it’s an expensive product, I do tend to “save” at the beginning by using less per use than I might have a less expensive product. However, this only lasts a week or two before I get “used” to the product and begin using it liberally. I never save on sunscreen, however. I’d rather purchase a slightly less expensive sunscreen and use a teaspoon amount each time, than an expensive one and use less.

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Emy April 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

I meant 1/4 a teaspoon. My face would be ghostly white if I were to use a teaspoon each time!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 11:52 am

I know what you mean Emy :D I think it’s a psychological thing that we should use less so we stretch the use further but ultimately, we won’t get the most out of it right? :) You’re also right about the sunscreen. We need so much of it that if an inexpensive one does the job, that’s the smartest move you’ll make!

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Firn April 15, 2014 at 9:31 am

Some things like cleanser, I do use very little (about a smushed pea’s size) because overwashing makes my skin red and very very sensitive (that even sunscreen stings it!). And since my skin is soooo fussy, I have to rely on prescription face washes which are pricey, so this works out fine.

I have discovered the ULTIMATE sunscreen (http://www.rosacea-treatment-clinic.org/Rosacea-Sunscreens/De-Sensitizing-Barrier-SPF.html) but again oh so pricey. :’(
The good thing about this is that, the pump dispenses a known amount of sunscreen with a full pump, so I can measure out the correct sunscreen dosage and it’s not as much as I thought it would be. I would advise you to do the facial surface area calculation (http://www.makeupalley.com/user/notepad/radiocure11) to work out how many mls of suncreen you actually need. It’s good when you are using expensive products. The BMJ (http://www.labmuffin.com/2012/07/sun-protection-basics.html) lists two fingers’ length of sunscreen but I think that only applies to cream formulas.

For irritating/drying skin treatments like mandelic acid/retinol, less is always better! So using small amounts of product for me seems to work out well. The only thing I really lay on thick is moisturiser (now topped off with a thin layer of HABA’s squalane) because my skin’s barrier function is weak.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

Thanks for the tips Firn :) With prescription items, I think its always best to follow doctor’s orders :) With sunscreen, I tend to be liberal anyway, to make sure as much of my skin is covered so for me, formula is key!

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Fathin April 15, 2014 at 9:46 am

I used to try to make my skincare products last as long as possible. For toner, just about one big drop at center of a cotton pad instead of soak the entire pad or use my palms to apply toner (wanted to save on cotton pad, too, haha). Or tiny dollop for cleanser, moisturizer and eye cream. The worst was I applied skincare once a day, especially serum (serum are always most expensive, hehe).

But after a talk to some product advisor/sales girl for different brands, they gave me same advice – I need to use more to get full advantages of the products! Of course, I was skeptical and thought they wanted me to use more so that my products finished faster and I have to buy frequently. But I tried what they said and I was proved wrong and they were right LOL

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hey Fathin, with regards the toner on your cotton pad, it will depend on what sort of toner it is coz one big drop sometimes may not be sufficient and the cotton pad may then be abrasive to the skin. Just a thought coz it depends on the sort of toner you’re using. If it’s a hydrating toner, I’ve found that it’s quite easy to ditch the cotton pad and just use hands directly. It’s good to know you’ve worked out that you need enough product to get the most out of it for your skin benefits. Sometimes, SAs seem like they want to push more sales but sometimes, they make sense haha

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Angelina April 15, 2014 at 10:07 am

I don’t save when it comes to skincare, even when it’s an expensive product. It’s meant to be used (that’s why you bought it in the first place. No?). I don’t reuse my sheet mask. YUCK. OMG, REALLY YUCK. My bf would rub the mask on his neck, elbow and kneecap after peeling it off from the face. I don’t. Somehow it feels weird to be doing that. Haha.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I feel the same way Angelina – even if it’s expensive, using it less doesn’t make it work better (although sometimes, if the ingredients are more concentrated then less product can work too) but the face mask thing had me shuddering too. I don’t reuse my masks over my body either. I don’t like the sticky feeling after :P

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shasha April 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

Interesting topic Paris! Money saving tips;definitely something I love discussing :)

I admit, to a certain extent, I do save on my skincare, especially the more pricier ones. When I say save, I don’t mean skimping on product, but more like making sure I grab ever last bit before tossing out a tube/jar/bottle. I’ve cut up more tubes than I would like to admit…! And also making extra sure no spillages or wastage ever happens! God forbid loose caps!
Oh and on another note, ever since I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve been applying most of my skincare by patting in on my hands, so that’s another way to save! Off with those cotton pads!
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Good job cutting up tubes and being careful with expensive skincare. That would be the way to go about it, not trying to use less so it goes further heh I’m glad the patting technique works for you Shasha :) I still go through cotton pads coz I use an exfoliating toner which necessitates the use of a cotton pad but that’s where cheap cotton pads come into play :D

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Victoria April 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

I save the following ways:

1. I use 2 different sunscreens – your HG Shiseido from Monday to Friday and Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion on Saturdays and Sundays.
2. I bought ANR II in 50 ml early this year and since I want to stretch the product usage for at least until end of this year, I use it on alternate days and use a chemical exfoliator on days without ANR II. I also have some Kiehl’s MRC so instead of using a full pump of ANR II as advised by the SAs, I used half a pump and add 3 drops of MRC to ensure that it is enough for my whole face and neck.
3. I transfer my moisturisers from jars into 50 cent coin containers (I got them from Muji) as it is more hygienic this way and also allows me to monitor the amount of usage everyday.
4. I would NEVER reuse a sheet mask and I cannot believe people actually do that. I also use the balance of the essence on other parts of my body especially my knees and elbows.

I cannot really save much on the rest of my skincare products because you need to use enough to ensure good skin. But I do check out beauty blogs to ensure that I am not over-using or under-using my products. Thanks for this post, interesting and informative discussions as usual :-)

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liyeun April 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Wow you are really diligent by dividing your moisturiser into 50 cent coin containers. I am impressed! How many do you need then?
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Victoria April 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I only need 2 of these containers, one for my day time moisturiser and another for my night time moisturiser. I also recently bought a 30 ml eye cream in a jar and plan to transfer that one into a 20 cent coin container. LOL.

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Victoria April 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Oh, I think I now understand why you were impressed. LOL. After the moisturiser in the 50 cent container finishes, I will use my spatula and scoop moisturiser from the mother jar into the same container again. This process continues until the the mother jar is empty. Hope that clarifies :-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Gosh you’re so disciplined Victoria! I take my hat off to you to apportion out your skincare! The trick about mixing the ANR and MRC is excellent too. That way, you stretch the use of both products :D Good tips all around I’d say. Thanks for sharing!

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lyn
Twitter:
April 15, 2014 at 11:50 am

I used to be a little more careful with the amount of product used but nowadays, I just slap them all on. As long as my face doesn’t feel too sticky and uncomfortable, I’m fine. However, there are some heavier creams that I use less of because they are very thick. It’s so difficult for me to finish certain types of skincare that I am making an effort to use more before they go to waste.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I’m doing the same thing Lyn, trying to finish my skincare. I find that if I’m not being fickle I actually go through them in a decent length of time, and that way, there’s less wastage too coz I don’t have all these half finished creams lying around :D Doesn’t stop my eye from wandering though!

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Sze Ling April 15, 2014 at 11:54 am

Ways we try to stretch the lifespan of our expensive products. LOL.

I used to be really stingy with my pricier products. I’d use as little as possible, in hopes that it’ll last longer. Later down the road, I actually realize that I’m not reaping the full potential of the product that way. So now, I usually go with the recommended dosage. If I’m paying so much for it, might as well reap all it’s goodness. :)

And people are amazed at how thin I can squeeze my toothpaste tube to get every last dollop out. :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

I think most of us are guilty of the former – using less hoping for it to last longer haha :D Glad that most of us have snapped out of it! I squeeze my toothpaste to death too, angling it this way and that LOL But in my case it’s often because I’d forgotten to stock up and have to do it out of necessity :P

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jk April 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I think I can summarize when the saving and splurging (usage-wise) kick in vis-a-vis skin care in 2 categories.
Category 1 – New or Old
New – I tend to be a little more conservative in usage when the item is new and slightly more pricey. Old – rushing to finish it – so that I can start on another item. Its price becomes less of an issue (the only exception being the Le Mer cream which I hoarded and held back using it unless it’s for a super serious face treat)

Category 2 – Cleansing or Preserving.
Cleansing – generally I splurge. A generous dollop, 1-2 pumps or even 3 if the directions say so. Preserving like for Essence/Serums etc – saving or rather a more conservative usage. Since the first day I started using, the SKII Facial Treatment Essence goes on the palm of the hands and carefully (to make sure it lands correctly) close-splashed on the face first. I cannot bring myself to use cotton pads. Face masks – after the face, the neck, the shoulders, the elbows, the arms, the knees, and if there’s any left, the legs before hitting the bin – the sheet mask that is.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Wow now that is what I call systematic :D I think most of us fall into either category too but with face masks, I can’t bring myself to use it anywhere else coz the sticky feeling really gets to me. Funny how I don’t mind my face being sticky but I mind when my body is LOL

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giddy tigress
Twitter:
April 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Yeah I do the cut-tube thing too…and I blogged about it sometime back too.
I don’t use sheet masks yet so i Don’t do the save-for-later thingy…but yerckkkk!!!
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm

At least when you do use sheet masks you’d know not to reuse it! LOL!

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Shija Rahim April 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Nope i dont save ..seriously.. I dont waste either… I make full use of it :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Good point Shija! Haha We have to make the best use out of our skincare :)

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Shreya
Twitter:
April 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I trust high end brands when it comes to skin care ! I do save when buying makeup products … I love to shop more drugstore makeup product than highend ! But love pampering my skin with pricey products :)
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I don’t think all high end skincare is wonderful but if they work then it’s such a nice splurge isn’t it? :)

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Beauty Bee April 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

These posts are awesome cause you can always learn a few penny saving tricks hehe If I love a product which is expensive but want it to last longer without diluting the effects to much, I will use the product every alternate day or night instead of every day or night.

If it is a product in a tube, as some other readers have mentioned, I will cut the tube in half to dig out the last bits of product which have stuck to the side of the packaging (there is usually more product left in the tube then you realise!).
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm

You’re right! I’ve picked up a tip or two myself from reading all the comments :) That’s a good tip about alternating product. I like doing that once I’ve derived the most use out of it which would be using it straight for about a month before I slack off. That way my skin is already primed and I can afford to slack off a little ;)

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I think it’s important to use enough product without going overboard, so the only thing I do is trying to dig out as much as possible at the end. I’ve seen a friend’s grandmother cutting the tubes open to get the last bit out, which I kinda want to try but I’m also worried about the product getting contaminated. Reusing sheet masks is probably not that good of an idea… I do rub whatever is left on them on my neck and body though. Does that count? ;)
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Good thing to note about contamination Sunny. If cutting up tubes and such, I’d suggest putting the remaining product into a jar or pot so you can at least cover it up again :) At least you use the remaining mask on your body, I don’t even do it haha! I just don’t like the sticky feeling :P

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm

I used to avoid that as well, but here really nothing much ever gets sticky! ;)
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liyeun April 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm

When it comes to skincare, I don’t save now, but I did when I was an undergraduate because cash was hard to come by and I had to work just to support my studies and my self. Once I enter the workforce, I don’t save because I am also older and I must take care as much as I could, as long as it is in adequate amount. Also, most of the items are still affordable for me, unless I start to use La Prairie or La Mer or even Sisley extensively. Hehe.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm

That’s a good point to note – the point of life you’re in. As a student, I shopped exclusively in the pharmacy so I didn’t really save either then because most of what I used was fairly affordable. The most expensive thing I’d ever used was The Body Shop haha! I only started going for department store brands when I started earning my keep and it’s been a slippery slope ever since!

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Jennifer April 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Lol this is a wallet to wallet heart talk topic. Well so far the most expensive skincare for me would be serum. But if it works, I’ll stock up at duty free outlets. For my favourite serum like ANR, I mix it with Trilogy Rose Hip Oil to get the goodness from both products and stretch my ANR. I’ll tilt the bottle and to the extent of scraping the remnants clean with fingers or cotton bud. So clean it shocked me when I brought some of the bottles and jars for the recent Origins recycling program. If the product comes in tube I’ll squeeze till I can’t squeeze no more. Actually it is a thrift habit since young. I’ll innovate the application method for certain skincare, e.g pour directly onto palm and skip the cotton pad. I have never recycled any products just to prolong the usage though.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

In most cases, serum would be the most expensive item also because they have the highest concentration of ingredients :) I love splurging on serums! Buying at duty free is a very smart move. Quite often you can get deluxe sizes there especially for things like ANR where they sell them in 100ml bottles! Mixing ANR with Rose Hip Oil is a smart move too (and saves time) I can’t use rose hip oil coz it breaks me out but it’s a good idea to keep in mind :) I think most of us have some idea of how to get the most out of our skincare products, so long as it doesn’t mean using less product, it’s all good!

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Laila April 15, 2014 at 11:37 pm

I never like cutting up tubes or bottle because I feel as if I am contaminating the product. Simple things I do is flipping the container upside-down to let gravity do its work, or running the product under hot water to loosen the particles. I never reuse face masks, I pour the remaining essence into serum bottles and reuse for the rest of the week. Great post ^_^
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Good idea about flipping the container over, Laila :) I think anyone who does cut up tubes should remove the product and put it into a clean pot because leaving it in the tube (I’ve seen that happen!) isn’t that great an idea :) Thanks for sharing!

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lisa April 15, 2014 at 11:56 pm

I save by using products to the last drop but i use as much as required to reap the most benefit out of them. For sheet masks, i used to use the leftover essence in the foil packs on my body but eventually i don’t really bother anymore these days as i don’t really appreciate the sticky feel from it.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

hahahaa Lisa you and I are the same! I used to use the used sheet masks on my body too but the sticky feeling really put me off so I don’t do it anymore :D

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Joann April 16, 2014 at 12:12 am

I find cotton balls use a lot more product. I realized recently when I started using cotton pads, that they use less product AND cover more area. So I’ve reverted to that.
Sometimes if I have an expensive moisturizer, I use a little bit at a time. Even if it means it doesn’t cover the entirety of my face. I don’t skimp out on the amount of serum I use though. Which usually means I use it up the quickest.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Good point about cotton balls vs cotton pads Joann :D I never thought about that because I’d never used cotton balls before. I don’t know how to to be honest haha! :D

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sasha April 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

I stretch the use of serum and moisturisers by applying them after toner. I find that toners/softener helps with dampening the skin and prepare the skin for better absorption. So a little bit of product goes a long way..But then again, this is not proven :p just my own experiment…

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Good practise Sasha :) You should absolutely use serums immediately after a toner without letting it dry as damp skin absorbs product better :D Not to worry, it’s a fact so you’re doing it right.

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Jess April 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Ewww never re-used a mask for 2nd day. I\’m fine if to use the excess to wipe on neck, arms and elbow. I\’m pretty generous when comes to using skincare… after all we want to see the products works… that\’s the no 1 aim for everyone right?

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Absolutely, Jess – no point spending a lot of money on a product and then not using enough of it so it doesn’t work LOL

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CELINE April 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Haha I do this too! Except I\’m more of a cheapo, and instead of buying pots I use the tiny ones that samples come in :)
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

That’s a SMART move Celine :)

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CELINE April 17, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Also, instead of buying sheet masks (which aren’t at all popular in the UK), I peel cotton pads apart and do DIY versions.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I admit I was stunned when I found out how pricey sheet masks can be outside of Asia. But using cotton pads soaked with a hydrating toner I’d imagine, does a pretty good job too for a quick mask :)

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