Written By: Caron Smith
Alright everyone -- it’s officially time to stop ‘skin-care shaming’!
When it comes to getting the “best” products for our skin, most of us head to premium retailers like Sephora or MAC.
But -- if this pandemic’s taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the expensive options aren't exactly the most feasible options.
That’s why this week, I'm holding onto my pennies and heading to Trader Joe’s!
Now I know what you’re thinking -- Trader Joe’s? Isn’t that just for groceries?
Yeah -- I did too. But surprisingly, it’s full of hidden gems that are perfect for anyone trying to ball on a budget.
If you’re like me -- “between jobs,” as a result of this COVID-19 employment catastrophe, then it’s a pretty great way to get the skin care products you need instead of splurging on the ‘pricier’ creams, lotions, and potions that you’ve grown to love.
At least until you land that job, get a sugar daddy, or things miraculously turn around.
Okay, getting a sugar daddy for someone who is…ahem…well over 40 like me—may not be realistic; but hey, if you can get me some good skincare on the cheap—anything is possible, and a girl can dream!
Disclaimer: Before I get started this is absolutely not a “paid endorsement.” I just believe that when you find something good, you should share it. Times are tough right now, and skincare is so important. We need to help each other out; particularly because some of these overpriced, high-end products we feel we need to buy don’t deliver the results we want.
If you can find something that works—that’s much cheaper—why not?
So let’s get started!
MUST-HAVE SKINCARE PRODUCTS YOU CAN BUY FROM TRADER JOE’S
I never would have thought that Trader Joe’s could have anything to satisfy my skincare needs. Sure, my daughter and I shop there for some specialty grocery items, alkaline water, and maybe a miscellaneous item here or there, but certainly not anything seriously “Health & Beauty.”
However, having to pinch pennies has a way of opening your eyes to other options and changing your perspective on the way you look at what’s important.
On one of our usual trips there to pick up a few regular items, we ended up walking through an aisle that had a small selection of skincare products. The prices were amazing! Everything we looked at was under $10.00.
Of course—at a price point like that—you’re instantly skeptical. I mean anything that cheap is bound to be a rip-off -- right?
But after my daughter and I spotted some Rose Water Facial Toner in a rosy-pink colored spray bottle for just $3.99, we decided to try it.
I mean if it didn’t work, at least we didn’t break the bank on it.
Then just like that, in a matter of days, my pores were smaller and my skin looked more hydrated, refreshed, and refined.
The difference was so noticeable, even my 26-year-old daughter commented on how beautiful my skin looked and asked if I was doing anything extra.
I absolutely wasn’t.
I was just using my Trader Joe’s toner with an inexpensive Olay moisturizer I had started using 2 weeks prior.
Even her skin looked better -- particularly her pores. Plus, the breakouts she was having were disappearing too.
At that moment I realized I was hooked. I needed to try more!
As I said, I am over 40 and my skin was suffering from brutal neglect. I was in desperate need of anti-aging anything and was all out of the expensive stuff I just couldn’t afford to replace. BUT, after the rose water success and my skin starting to glow again, I enlisted my daughter on another quest to Trader Joe’s. While I didn’t find much in the way of anti-aging products, I did find a few items that, believe it or not, feel fantastic and are bringing my lack-luster skin back to radiant life.
-Trader Joe’s Supreme Hydrating Eye Cream
What a find! This eye cream was a saving grace for my tired, crepey-looking eyes. After just a few days of use, I noticed my eyes were brighter, the skin felt smoother and firmer. My eyeshadow went on a lot more easily and had a more luminous, less cakey look.
As you age, the texture of the skin in that area becomes more of a problem and you get that tired look that we all hate. But, since I started using this cream, my eyes are looking a lot more youthful and I’m loving it.
The best part? It’s under $10 and it actually works!
-Trader Joe’s Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum
According to a recent Shape article, if you were to “ask any dermatologist which skin-care product will give you the most anti-aging bang for your buck,” it is highly likely they would say a serum.
And after trying this Antioxidant Facial Serum, I’m completely sold on that idea!
I found that it’s lighter than a moisturizer, super hydrating, and has my skin on its way to a healthy, youthful, happy glow again.
The bottle says you only need two pumps for your face and neck and literally…that’s all you need. It makes your skin feel velvety smooth and has already started reducing the lines on my forehead.
Oh, and it can act as a primer too because I've found my foundation goes on like a dream. If I were to compare, it reminds me of the POREfessional Face Primer by benefit I love---this serum feels silky-smooth just like that.
For ingredients, they have stuff in there I can actually recognize; things like Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Copper, Chamomile, Green Tea and other antioxidants like Resveratrol. Seeing ingredients on the bottle I know, that are more natural, gives me comfort when applying it to my face. My skin is super-sensitive and reacts to a lot of products, but this product totally agrees with it (It's for all skin types). I will continue to use it consistently to see if I get even better results over time, but so far, this serum is a WIN!
- Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm
I got this product for my feet, believe it or not. I really didn’t have much faith in it because I was
using the old faithful go-to of Vaseline on my feet with socks to help soften the dry, cracked
heels I had acquired by spending the winter in Canada. Living in warmer Atlanta now has
helped, but my heels were still rough.
I didn’t expect much from this buy -- but since pedicures aren’t really possible when you’re living on a budget, I figured why not give it a try! After replacing the Vaseline with the Head to Toe Balm and sleeping with socks on overnight, I truly saw a huge difference. After about a week, I could wear flip-flops without seeing or feeling) that white, crusty layer of hard skin on my heels.
Sounds gross I know -- but I know you know what I’m talking about.
This balm literally made my feet soft and touchable again.
The great part is, you can use this balm anywhere—lips, elbows, knees, hands (yes, those over-washed hands we all have from this pandemic), feet, and even to tame fly-away hairs. It’s non-greasy and leaves no residue at all. The balm has a fresh lemony fragrance but no heavy perfume, which is great for me. And for the price…it’s definitely a keeper!
So there you have it! My real-life, non-paid review of your less than typical skin-care provider.
It just goes to show expensive is not always better and less can definitely give you more. So, if your pockets are a little lean right now and you can’t get your usual high-end products, don’t let your skin suffer.
Give your local Trader Joe's a try (if you have one), because you may be pleasantly surprised.
Happy skin-care hunting!