Beauty on a Budget

by Mar 13, 2020Advanced Skin Care & Treatments

Where are all of my budget babes?

This post is for you, because we all know that you don’t get rich by spending every dime you have!

With things like children, budding social lives, travel expenses, and the unexpected, a lot of us are on a financial diet. But, being on a budget doesn’t mean you don’t care about anti-aging and whats trending in the aesthetic world. You’ve heard me say it before: “Anti-aging is for everyone.” So, here are 6 tips for staying young at any age and on any dollar.

1. Invest in 2 medical grade skin care products

Cancel your beauty boxes, and stop wasting your money on drugstore line products that just aren’t cutting it! That sample of lipstick, that’s not even your color, and those smell good creams will end up lost in a drawer. So why not invest that money into 2 products that are guaranteed to transform your skin for the long haul?

  • Vitamin A: prescription strength vitamin A, also known as retinoids are one of the top products anyone over the age of 30 MUST HAVE in their skin care arsenal. I love this product because it has multiple benefits, is very well researched, and will provide results. Retinoids are used to prevent acne, improve hyperpigmentation/brown spots, prevent wrinkle formation, and decrease the breakdown of collagen. Hows that for benefits? Because these creams work at the cellular level to cause skin cell turnover, results can take up to 6-8 weeks to see; good things come to those who can wait! Average cost for these products is $75, and the tube should last around 3 months. So, get an appointment at your local medical spa, dermatologist, or heck just ask your general practitioner for it, but you must have a prescription. Why? Because prescription strengths are 100 times stronger and will therefore yield more results than the over the counter brands. So, put back the beauty store brand promising you results it will never yield, and go get the stuff that works.
  • Vitamin C: If you follow this blog then you already know I’m a lover of the C, vitamin-C. This, like the vitamin A, is a multi-beneficial product that’s well researched, and everyone needs on their skin care line up. Benefits include: reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, specifically those smile lines (aka crows feet); brightens the skin by helping to even out skin tone; gives added protection from the sun. One of my favorites is Obagi Professional-C Serum 20%. It’s a game changer, and will cost you around $133 for a bottle that should last 3 months.
  • Hydroquinone: If dark spots, sun damage, acne scars, and/or melasma are one of your primary concerns, and you can only afford two products that work, I recommend skipping the vitamin C and adding hydroquinone instead. This, coupled with the retin A will yield more notable results for you. Hydroquinone is a prescription product, so you’ll have to get it from your local provider or medspa. Hydroquinone acts on the melanocyte, the cell responsible for producing the dark pigment. I like to think of it as putting a little lid on the cell. I love Obagi’s Nu-Derm system, but for the purpose of this article, if you can’t afford the entire system, choose step 3 Clear and use it religiously. Obagi also has a CRX system (I recommend for mild pigment issues), which is a vitamin C with hydroquinone, yes the best of both worlds. Expect to pay around $100 for either of these products.

2. Baby Botox it

Sure, when you go to your practitioners office for a consultation for Botox, or any neuromodulator, we will give you the big picture and quote you a massive price to smooth out all the visible wrinkles. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t focus on what fits your budget. Don’t be over whelmed with the big picture. Instead, target the area of most concern to you or the area that has the most visible lines already. Remember, neuromodulators area amazing at temporarily erasing our lines, but the preventative impact they have is their biggest bonus! Expect to pay around $150-$200 for your baby tox. 

3. Wear your sunscreen

Sunscreen is another key preventative measure that is easily overlooked. The sun emits UVA rays, which cause lines and wrinkles, and UVB rays, that cause burns and leads to skin cancer. Daily SPF is a simple, cheap way to keep your skin looking it’s best over the years. SPF 50 or higher is necessary and is recommend, even while drinking in your car. There are a ton of great SPF’s on the market. I love Neo Cutis Journee, but I’ll be happy with any brand, so long as you use it.

4. Use some at home tools

You can purchase dermaplaning blades from any beauty store like Sephora or Ulta. While they aren’t the same as the medical grade blades, they will take off the peach fuzz and allow your skin care products to penetrate better. It will also give you a more glowing look. The same goes for at home micro needling systems. Again, while not medical grade the at home systems will improve absorption of skin care products that in the long run will yield great results. My favorite is Rodan & Fields AMP MD system Derma-Roller which will cost you $227.

5. Stage your approach

If you have the budget for fillers, use a staged approach. Aging doesn’t happen over night and neither does restoration of youth. Just like with the Botox, choose your primary area of concern and discuss it with your provider. I also recommend smaller more frequent trips to top off your old filler. Instead of waiting until its gone and having to fork up the cash for multiple syringes at once, try going in at 6 months and brushing up the original work with one syringe instead. It’s way easier on the wallet. Expect to spend around $500 and up for one syringe of filler, with results lasting 9 months-2 years depending on things like placement and type of filler.

6. Get a medical grade peel

Sure, those trips to the spa with your girlfriends are fun, but those overpriced “fluff” facials aren’t going to save your skin. And, I hate to break it to you, but neither are those beauty counter masks. Put that money in a jar and get big girl spa experience. Save up for a medical grade peel or facial. Look for specials and lock in even better prices. Expect to pay around $300.

I recommend focusing on as many preventative options as you can, and add in the extras when able. So avoid all of those cute, good smelling wastes of money in the check out line and focus on research based products and modalities.

Remember, something is better than nothing, BUT only if you’re using the right things!

Bye Budget Babes,

♔Queen Cosmetic Injector

Ashley McShurley, ACNP-BC