By Arwa Lodhi
Have you resolved to use organic beauty products this year, but find that most brands are a bit out of your budget? There are lots of reasons to use organic beauty products: they’re better for your skin, your health, and the planet. But yes, it’s true – they’re usually a bit more expensive that industrial, chemical beauty products, so it’s no wonder that many of our readers ask how to save money on them. Luckily, it’s not all that complicated.
I’ve asked various editors, beauty bloggers and beauty addicts for their top tips – and here’s what I’ve compiled. Following any of these tips will surely save you some bucks deluxe.
1. Grab Samples When You Can
Whether it’s online or in a brick-and-mortar shop, you’ll be able to find loads of free samples of products you can try before making an investment in a product. Organic skin care products can be especially pricey, so be sure you can try before you buy. 100 Percent Pure will send you two free samples with every $45 purchase, and Juice Beauty is even more generous with their free samples, for example.
2. Use Browser Extensions
This is probably the weirdest tip on this list, but it’s one worth trying. On Google Chrome, for example, download shopping-friendly extensions like Ebates and Coupon Cabin. Ebates will send you alerts when cash back offers are available, and with CouponCabin, you’ll be alerted to both coupons and cash back offers. Just click on the banner to activate the offer.
3. Sign Up for Newsletters and Rewards Programs
If you’re a fan of shopping from the comfort of your laptop, then you probably know that you can take advantage of online-only specials and products. In fact, shopping online is a great way to save extra bucks from exclusive deals, first purchase discounts, email signups and flash sales.
Most online sites will have loyalty programs that allow you to earn redeemable points, and may also give you members-only discounts on top of usual deals. Sephora has a fabulous rewards program, for example, and Dermstore Rewards lets you earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on Dermstore.com.
4. Buy More, Save More
Buying products in bulk during sales might seem counterproductive to some, in the long run, you’ll actually save money. And that’s especially true when you do so for durable stuff you use every day, like toothpaste, cotton pads and wipes. None of these ever go off, so you can literally buy a year’s supply when it’s on sale and store it in your cupboard with no worries.
5. Wait for the Sales
Whilst we don’t normally advocate for Black Friday or Boxing Day, there’s little doubt that this is a good time to stock up on items you’ve either had your eye on for ages but couldn’t afford before, or on stuff you use all the time (see above). You’ll be able to save as much as 30% to 50% on top-rated brands – seasonal sales are undoubtedly the best times to get the most bang for your buck.
6. Keep the Containers (sometimes)
Did you know if you save your empty containers, some companies (especially those who pride themselves on zero waste) allow you to swap them out for a new items or discounts? You can also refill shampoos and conditioners for a fraction of the price. Not all brands have this kind of recycling program, but some that do are Aveda, Antonym Cosmetics and Kjaer Weis, for example.
7. Know Your Dupes
Almost every high-end, chemical makeup product out there has an organic, and often cheaper, dupe. You just need to know where to find them, and this article can help. Low-priced items often work just as well as their pricier counterparts – most of the markup is down to branding and marketing budgets. This is especially true for really basic, minimalist organic beauty products, like oils.
8. Hunt for Good Ingredients
And speaking of oils, these are often one of the key ingredients in expensive skincare items. Do some digging and find the active ingredients exist in that pricey cream you’ve got your eye on, and type the ingredients into your search engine to see which other (cheaper) products contain it. You’ll often find less expensive brands on sites like Amazon, for example, which mirror the contents of high-end brands.
9. Don’t Reject The Dollar Stores
Dollar stores are getting some pretty incredible brands these days! On a quick trip to one in Canada recently, I found Dr Bronner’s, REN and Bio Beauté, for example. You never know what you’re going to find, so pop into your local dollar store and see what’s in stock.
10. Use These Websites
There are plenty of beauty discount sites, and some of them do carry organic beauty products. Check out Escentual for perfumes, ImageBeauty for skin care and Glambot for discounted makeup, for example. You can also find online coupon codes for different sales on sites like this, but note that you will have to scroll through quite a few brands before you find something that may be suitable.