Pound for pound, it’s possible that covering your face in gold leaf is a more cost-effective way to protect it than most modern-day grooming products.
But with a little savvy (and help from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable names) you can stop pouring money down the drain every time you use that wallet-bruising facial scrub.
1. Less Is More
Using twice as much moisturiser isn’t twice as effective. But it is doubly expensive. “Around 90 per cent of people use too much product,” says Steven O’Neill, co-founder of thegroomingclinic.com. “A pea-sized amount of moisturiser will perfectly hydrate the skin. And the same amount of face wash will clean it.”
Overdosing can damage more than your bank balance. Fistfuls of styling product leaves even the best barnet looking like you’ve been for a dip next to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. And using too much shampoo to get rid of it strips hair of its natural oils.
“You don’t need to wash you hair as much as you think you do,” says Adam Brady, trend expert at London barbers Ruffians. “Unless you’re putting products in every morning, then you can leave it three or four days between washes.”
Fragrance goes further if you spray, rather than dab. The traditional pulse points are warmer, so disperse your scent quicker. Which is why you need to top up at lunch. Spritz under clothes instead – or even on hair – to delay evaporation and make sure that Christmas gift lasts until your next stocking.
2. Utility Player
A big chunk of a product’s price tag pays for what it’s housed in. One that doubles up as something else reduces costs because you’re only paying for one set of packaging, says Michael Kontos, artistic director of the London School of Barbering for Fudge Professional. “It’s one of the easiest ways to make your grooming regime more affordable.”
Look for products that negate the next step in your morning regime. “A good facial cleanser will thoroughly cleanse without stripping or drying,” says Andrew Goetz, co-founder of Malin+Goetz. “It should leave your skin completely balanced, so there’s no need to go back over with a toner to remove residue or dirt.” Because time is money.
Investing in proper products can also mean less money spent in the long run. “Get yourself a shaving brush and look after it,” Nick Gibbens, grooming expert at The Bluebeards Revenge. “Not only will the bristles exfoliate your skin, diminishing the need for pricey facial scrubs, but they also help you to whip up a handsome lather.” Which gives a lower cost-per-shave than aerosols.
Try products like Erno Laszlo’s cleansing soap, which can be lathered up into a shave foam, and Fudge’s Professional Dry Shampoo, which is not only an instant refresher but also works as a texture amplifier.
3. Make Do And Don’t Spend
When faced with a pump squirting air and a not-soon-enough payday, head to the kitchen, not the chemist. “Coconut oil isn’t just good for cooking and smoothies,” says grooming expert Mark Smith. It makes a great cleanser, is an excellent pre-shave, and in summer it hydrates your skin like a body moisturiser.”
Don’t be tempted by extra products that promise to tackle product build-up, says Brady. “Mix a bit of clothes detergent in with your shampoo, it will cut through the grease and oil.” Just pick a scent-free one, unless you want to smell like dishes.
4. Don’t Judge A Product By Its Cover
It’s not just big brands that offer sizeable results. “Focus on ingredients, not price,” says O’Neill, whose grooming arsenal blends high street and high spec products.
If a product you like is out of your price range, compare its ingredients with more affordable options. If that budget moisturiser also packs in co-enzyme Q10, the mark-up for the top shelf version is largely for the brand name on the box.
To get the most bang for less buck, research your skin type and shop accordingly. Expensive products for the wrong complexion are an expensive error.