What I Spend To Look Good: Skin Care Edition

I've been thinking lately about how much women spend on makeup, clothing, and personal care, to maintain an appearance that really isn't authentic.

So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how much I spend on aesthetics every year. But I'm going to start with skin care.

I never used to spend a lot on my skin. Besides mild acne in middle school, I've been blessed with pretty decent skin; it's not normally dry, and not super oily, and while it's far from perfect, I'm sure this balance saves me some coin.

My skin-care routine is as follows:

1. Face Wash

I use two types of face wash - one for morning, one for night.

A) Burts Bee's Garden Tomato Complexion Soap - $6/Bar (4x/year) = $28

It's been discontinued but it worked great. I guess I'll have to find a new one.

B) Generic facial cleanser - $10/bottle (2x/year) = $20

I am currently using one that I don't think I'll continue to use.

C) St Ives Apricot Scrub - $8/bottle (2x/year) = $16

I exfoliate once every third day or so.

2. Toner

$7/bottle (3x/year) = $21

I use toner once per day. I currently use Neutrogena Deep Clean Dual Action Toner. It's alright. I'm not attached to one toner over the next.

3. Pore Strips

$14.99 (3x/year) = $45

These things are magic. I use Biore Pore Strips. I use them maybe once a week until I run out and then I forget to buy them for awhile.

4. Face mask

$13 (2x/year) = $26

I use Biore Shine Control clay mask. I use this maybe once every two weeks and this is a recent discovery. I received this in a package of other Biore products one time, and forgot about it. It's actually a really great mask.

5. Cream

$50 (4x/year) = $200

I used to use a different day lotion and night cream, but then I ran out of both, went to Sephora, and picked up one that could act as both.

Hope in a Jar by Philosophy gets a bad rap for smelling funky (and it does), but it's really not that bad and I find it tolerable. I'm thinking of getting a lighter day cream just because, while this cream is good, it can make my makeup slide off during the day. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

6. Under Eye Cream

$0 = $0

I don't use this yet but I'm definitely on the market for some. I've had it before, but ran out and didn't replenish. I'm taking suggestions for that, too!

Total: $356

I definitely don't spend as much on my skin as some people do. I don't spend money on facials, mainly because I would rather get massages and pedicures when I go to the spa. I've never been to a dermatologist, and I've never done anything like microdermabrasian.

I am only 23 and I do expect to spend more as I age, but for now, my biggest skin expenditure is face cream.

How much do you spend on your skin care regime each year?



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43 thoughts on “What I Spend To Look Good: Skin Care Edition

  1. I buy this really cheap neutrogena face lotion.. I think it's like $12/bottle but it's enough. I probably buy it twice a year because I use it pretty sparingly.

    I don't use anything else on my skin. A few years ago I asked one of my friends who has beautiful skin what her trick was, and she says she just washes her face with water and doesn't use any product. I thought that was crazy but figured I'd try it out. The first two weeks weren't great but once my skin adjusted, it was perfect. Now I haven't used a cleanser or toner ever since.

    I get a facial about once per year.. I'd like to make this more regular but they're so expensive.

  2. I spend next to nothing on skin care products, but I might have to change that as I get back into dating. I've been tempted to try a DIY biore type thing I saw online. As long as I don't eat a bunch of chocolate my skin usually isn't too bad though.

  3. Nathalie

    $0. I don't wear make-up and I don't have the need or patience for a skin-care regimen. I get some pimples depending on what I eat (and on the time of the month!) but otherwise my skin is pretty good. Middle-age problems like rosacea are starting to creep up a little but that's what ageing is all about and I think it adds character 🙂 At some point I used Oil of Olay(or the CVS equivalent, which worked just as well) but it didn't really do anything to my skin than NOT putting it on did. I use it once in a blue moon when it's cold outside and my face feels dry. Living in Florida, that's maybe once a year 🙂

  4. kreegs

    I am like Bridget I was my face twice a day with just water, I do exfoliate just with a mitt and normal body wash on a blue moon.
    I use skin cream twice a day Aveeno Fresh Essentials in equal parts for the moisture and the SPF 30. I get asked on a regular basis what I do for my skin and think it looks pretty good.

  5. Edward Antrobus

    My skin care costs are pretty basic. I'm allergic to many soaps, so I buy Dove almost exclusively. I pay extra for Nutragena shaving cream, because my neck is very sensitive and I usually break out after shaving.
    I also get really dry skin on the soles of my feet and the palms of my hand. I've tried a number of different hand lotions, but works best for me is the stuff that dairy farmers use on cow's udders.

    1. Udder cream is the best. I took a little tub with me when I went to university - it grossed out my roommates, but I had them converted before too long.

  6. Cassie

    I use products sparingly, but I do spend more on them. Moisturizer sets me back about $220 a year for both of them. Most days I wash my face with water, but I'd say about once a year I spend $25 on a cleanser. My exfoliator is a prescription, which comes to about $100 a year. The other prescription is about $150 a year. In total I sit around $495, $250 of which is dermatologist prescribed.

  7. Anthony Thompson

    Who would've thought that skincare would cost so much money? It certainly pays to invest time and cash into not only looking good, but looking healthy. In my younger days, I used to spend $60 each month on skincare. However, now that I'm older, I've let go of the spending but still try to take care of my skin for less.

  8. Your regime looks similar to mine in number of items. Tally in make-up with that and you have QUITE the expense. I definitely find myself spending more on my skin as I get older. 🙁

  9. Shilpan

    I love Burt Bee's product too! I think skin care is essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

  10. So you spend about $1 a day to look good? I’d say that’s worth it! 🙂

    I just splurged on some Bed Head pomade at Target. 2 for 1 sale!

  11. I don't spend too much on skin care products. I do like the St.Ives Apricot Scrub to ex-foliate, and Vaseline Cocoa butter (the brown bottle). I like to keep my lips smooth so I'm always using a lip balm of sorts. Other than that I go au natural.... Mrs.CBB well that's a whole other story! It's always good to break down the budget like you have here. Really opens your eyes to spending habits. Cheers Mr.CBB Shared on FB Page!

  12. My routine is : Vichy face wash in the morning, vichy matte moisturizer and watson's burn cream for spot treatment (hey, it works). At night I use vichy cleansing solution (can you sense a pattern?) and oil of olay cream.

    I use the products pretty sparingly because they are a bit pricey, but I figure it's worth it if it keeps my angry skin on the calm side.

  13. Katie

    I've heard the Nivea face cream is really good. I was in CVS once and there was a lady in the skincare aisle with me looking for Nivea face cream. She had to be close to 50 but I swear she didn't have a single wrinkle on her face. Her skin was beautiful and she told me that Nivea was the trick.I haven't tried it yet buy I am definitely going to.

  14. I think I spend around the same - probably a bit more. I definitely need eye cream - but I'm a lot older than you! 🙂 Do you find the Biore strips work well?

  15. I used to spend a TON on skincare (sensitive, plus used to be plagued with acne).

    Now I pretty much just use moisturiser and nothing else. I wash with water only. I have a ton of different moisturisers - an SPF, a mattifying, a deeply moisturising Elizabeth Arden and Lush Dream Cream (the last one is the only one I've paid for as I get a lot of freebies in my line of work, but Lush is also a client of one of my mystery shopping companies so sometimes I can get that for free too). I probably used to spend about $100 a year; right now it's probably $0-30.

  16. My cost is probably about half yours, mainly because I usually only wash my face once a day and I don't use toner or a mask (although it would probably be good for my dry skin). I have found myself starting to pay more for my skincare products as I get a little older - I'm 28 so by no means old.

    I completely forgot about those Biore pore strips, I may need to go out and get those again 🙂

  17. I'm afraid to add it all up. It's to varied to quantify, but like I had mentioned in one of my posts, I'm working more in inner beauty and saving money on products that haven't really made much of a difference.

  18. I'd say I probably spend more than that per year, especially now that I'm in transition and trying to find a regimen that effectively mattifies my oily, oily skin. And I'll basically spend anything if it actually works (hello beauty industry, come and get me!). Recently I've started using an anti-aging under eye cream (Korres) because I'm afraid of my eye bags getting worse than they already are!

  19. Barbara Friedberg

    Love the oil of olay new lines. I use lots of their products. And skinceuticals sunscreen every day!!!

  20. Emily

    I use either honey or a locally made goat's milk soap as face wash. Then spot treat with Tea Tree Oil, and moisturize with Jojoba Oil or Vitamin E Oil. The soap is $4-5 (5x/year), Tea Tree Oil is about $10/bottle (4-5X/year), and jojoba oil is $16 (3-4X/year). So, about $140/year.

  21. I would have to tally up what I spend for the year but I don't think it is unreasonable. I do have a regimen I follow with toners, moisturizers etc but that is partly because I have dry skin and live in a harsh climate. I really like the 100% Pure line of products. I get everything from them. Their stuff lasts a long time which is great since I only have to order it once or twice a year.

  22. Ever since I first was preggers my regimen went down a lot because there's a lot of stuff that you can't use. And I never beefed it back up because I haven't noticed any dramatic differences yet. So for now I use Dove bar soap and Melaleuca Renew lotion (cost $30 for a big thing of it, but it's lasted me over two years.)

  23. I dont wear makeup very often, so I spend a ton on clinque stuff for my face. I would love to try drugstore brands but everything makes me breakout.

    The price of beauty, huh?

    PS. I love the graphic 😉

  24. Well, as a dude, I just use whatever soap my wife has in the shower! And if my skin feels really dry, I ask her if she has some kind of lotion or something, and she always hands me something. ? Yeah, pretty low maintenance guy. Haha. I have a buddy who uses this aveeno eye cream stuff, we all make fun of him (as we should), but he swears by it.

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  26. This reminds me...I should probably use the eye cream I have. I always forget. I also forget to wear SPF moisturizer in the AM. I am out of toner!

    I don't spend too much except I use Clinique face wash and toner - $15 each probably 3x a year. Then I have the mask and the ointment, but I rarely use it so that's $30 total once a year.

    I spend more on going to the salon for highlights twice a year, and then I do box dye every 2 months. I'm super low maintenance! Oh and shampoo and conditioner from the drug store haha.

  27. Kris @ Simple Island Living

    I spend about $300 a year on four Philosophy products - Real Purity face wash, hope in a bottle face cream, help me (PM cream), and Hope in a jar tinted SPF moisturizer (AM cream). Given that the moisturizer is tinted and takes the place of foundation and powder saves me money, and I just find make-up coupon deals for eye liner and eye shadow. Last time cover girl had a crazy coupon deal and i got 6 eye liners and 1 eye shadow for free.

  28. I've never really added it up before, but that's okay because it changes each year. I use my luxury spending money that I earn from the previous year to pay for this kind of stuff, so when I run out of money I just have to wait until the next year.

  29. Julie @ Freedom 48

    I'd think that would be money well spent - it's your FACE after all!

    I should take some pointers from you. I use Dove sensitive bar soap on my face - and buy a 4pk once a year (costs $8). That's it. No creams, toners, masks or anything else.

    I do wear a light foundation and mascara though - so I probably spend another $80 each year on that.

  30. Gosh I wish I was 23 again! I still had breakouts in my early 20s though so I don't miss those. My skin has cleared up for the most part now thank goodness. I prolly spend about $150 a year right now on products but I could easily spend more like 200-250 if I went to Sephora more often. It's too easy to spend a fortune in there!

  31. I'm reaching my half-century but spend very little on skin care. When I was 23, I spent alot on moisturisers, scrubs and toners - when I didn't need to - go figure! I'm blessed with good skin and a healthy self image. There's no miracle product; good health inside and out - that's beauty.

  32. I learned the hard way to never go cheap on my skin. I buy what works for me and don't ever try to save.
    Hope in a Jar did not work for me, unfortunately. But I have to admit that I love Apricot scrub!

  33. I use Kose Infinity serum which costs $80USD in Hong Kong 3x a year, Qiora toner which I buy in NYC(Hong Kong does not carry) which costs $70USD 4x a year. Clarins foaming cleanser which I think is $20USD? I don't wear makeup every day so the Clarins has lasted 8 months already!

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  35. I don't spend much on skin care either, but my one splurge is Clinique's All About Eyes (I use the 'rich' formula.) It's about $30 or $40 for a tiny jar, but it lasts forever. I think I go through one a year. I've been using this stuff for years and I'm 30 and have no undereye circles or wrinkles.

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