I’ve been on a journey to simplify and minimize my life, and one of the ways that I’ve done so is by shopping a whole lot less than I used to. In the past, I used to be a product junkie, and one of my downfalls was spending money on personal care items. So several of the items that I will mention fall into that category. So without further ado, here are my five items.

Item#1: Expensive, facial cleansers, skin masks.

I’ve spent a lot of money over the years purchasing items to beautify my skin and to make sure that my skin is nice and clear. But what I’ve found (after much money spent and much time spent), is that there’s no holy grail product, no absolute #1 product that’s going to work for my skin all the time. My skin has a mind of its own and it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do anyway. No single product, whether it’s expensive or inexpensive, is gonna force my skin to do something that it doesn’t wanna do. So why bother? No more expensive and time consuming skin care routines for me.

Item #2: Shampoo

It’s probably been close to a year since I’ve purchased shampoo. Instead, I DIY my shampoo with a combination of African black soap, essential oils, and a bunch of different other products. Bonus Tip: One of my #1 minimalist beauty hacks is to multipurpose my personal care products. For example, African black soap is one of the essential items that I must have. I use that in shampoo, I use it as a facial cleanser. I’ve also used it to cleanse my makeup brushes and to shave my legs. I no longer have to purchase separate shaving cream, separate shampoo, separate facial cleansers, separate makeup brush cleanser. I can accomplish all of those things with one item.

Item #3: Socks.

I don’t know what it is, but I just realized this the other night, that it’s been forever—probably years—since I’ve purchased socks. And I don’t know what the difference is, because for my children, the washing machine seems to eat up their socks, they seem to disappear in record numbers, and I have to always buy them new socks. But for myself, my socks seem to last forever. And they are in good shape. They don’t have holes in them, they’re not falling apart, so I guess I’ve been purchasing good quality socks. So socks are an item that I no longer spend money on.

Item#4: Perfume and Body Splash.

I was queen of the Bath & Body Works section. I would buy all types of perfumes, body splashes, hand lotions, body lotions, foot creams, hand lotions, it’s all a marketing scheme. Do we really need different lotions for different parts of your body? Can you not just buy one that works for everything? My son spent three months in the NICU and there was a no fragrance policy. Neonates are very sensitive to scents. So I became accustomed to not wearing any body splashes or perfumes when I was going in to visit him.  I went the entire summer without wearing any perfume or any body splash, and after a while, I realized it’s something that I don’t really need. A lot of those things are very expensive, for one, and they contain alcohol, which ultimately dries the skin out, and then you have to wind up putting more on, and then you’re dry again in 30 minutes. So it’s kind of like a vicious cycle. Another thing is that those products seem to last forever. So I do still have like one full size product and a couple of little mini samples that my grandmother gave me in a gift sampler that it’ll take me some time to work through, so I have not been purchasing any of those items. I have also begun to use more natural products as well as essential oils to provide scents as opposed to more manufactured items that have a ton of different ingredients that might be harmful to the skin.

Item #5: Expensive planners and journals.

I know I’m not the only one who has been guilty of buying expensive planners and journals and then not using them. They’re so pretty that I don’t wanna write in them! So they wind up sitting around, collecting dust, and just being pretty and decorative. Now last year, I decided to go the opposite route, and went completely cheap on my planner and got one from the dollar tree. Absolute mistake. It fell apart after about two weeks, and I was committed to it, though. I stuck with it, with the cover falling off, throughout 2016, but I said I would I never do that again. But I like to get a planner that’s nice and well-constructed, but inexpensive, something that I’m not afraid to scribble in and scratch in, because that’s what’s going to happen. So it has to be something that I don’t really care whether it gets messed up or not, but well-constructed enough so that it does not fall apart halfway throughout the year.

What items do you no longer purchase?


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