My 7 Frugal Beauty & Skincare Products That Work

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Being frugal doesn’t and shouldn’t prevent us from staying healthy and looking beautiful or handsome.

I usually see ads about skincare and makeup products that are $100 or more. As I get older, I do get anxious about having more wrinkles and looking jaded, which I rarely ever cared about in my early 20s.

Aging is real, and it can do numbers to our looks. If I were scared enough, I might have set up a separate fund to purchase all those expensive brand-name beauty products out there. But I’m too frugal (or cheap?) to do that.

Today, I will share with my all the skincare and beauty products that I use. And yes, they don’t cost an arm and a leg either.

What I use daily

1. ChapsStick – $1

This is my most go-to most favorite lip balm. And my most beloved flavor is classic cherry.

There are three reasons why I love ChapStick. First, it does keep my lips moist for hours. Second, it doesn’t have any weird taste. I have tried Burt’s bees lip balm, and it just tasted really odd. I didn’t eat it or anything. But if I happened to drink water or something, I could definitely taste it.

Second, the cherry flavor has a light pink tint to it, which makes my lips look a bit rosier than normal. And third, it’s only $1 each compared to $2-3 for other brands. I usually buy 10-20 of them to give out as gifts when I go to Vietnam. And all the females in my family love it!

2. Jojoba oil – $9.99

I’ve been using jojoba oil as a facial moisturizer for a couple of months. And the results have been great!

I feel like my skin tone is more even and moist, especially in dry weather. I got the organic jojoba oil certified by the USDA. It has no smell, just the way I like it.

I use jojoba oil at night right after my shower since it’s a bit oily to use during the day.

3. Neutrogena green tea moisturizer – $9.92

This Neutrogena facial moisterizer smells like green tea and has green tea extract. It consists mostly of natural ingredients (97%). I applied it in the morning when I still had to go to the office since it wasn’t oily like jojoba oil.

3. Arm & Hammer deodorant – $3 (at the store)

I have used various brands of deodorant and never really loved any like I do Arm & Hammer deodorant. The previous brands I used darkened the skin area under my arms and were hard to wash off.

Arm & Hammer deodorant consists of natural ingredients (mostly baking soda). It works well and is easy to wash off.

I use it twice daily: once in the morning and once after shower at night. These days, however, I don’t use it often since I work from home and don’t really go anywhere.

4. Irish Spring soap ($15.92 for 24 count)

Mr. FAF and I use bar soap for showers. I don’t like using shower gel since I feel like it’s harder to wash off. We usually get the Spring bar soap in bulk from Costco which usually lasts us for almost a year.

5. Pantene shampoo & conditioner 2 in 1 – $5.82

I am actually fine with whatever shampoo as long as it doesn’t make me lose hair. I’ve tried a couple of brands before which made me feel like I was going bald in no time, which totally freaked me out.

The shampoo I use is 2 in 1 Pantene, meaning it has both shampoo and conditioner. I’ve used shampoo and conditioner separately before. But I always felt like my scald got super itchy after I applied the conditioner, so I stopped using it. But then my hair started breaking. 2 in 1 works best for me.

6. St. Ives lotion – $7

I’ve been using St. Ives lotion for years. I really like that it’s 100% natural and is relatively cheap ($7 for a huge bottle which lasts for months). I apply St. Ives on my body right after shower and on my hands in the winter.

St. Ives lotion has a lot of scents too. My favorite one is the almond scent!

8. Green tea facial cleanser – $3.35

I got a green tea extract facial cleanser when I went to visit family in Vietnam. I just use a little bit after shower every night to get rid of all the excessive oil and dirt on my face. I can’t find the product on Amazon since I bought it at a supermarket in Vietnam.

7. Lip Ice sheer color tinted – $3.50

I don’t wear makeup and don’t own any cosmetics. On special occasions, I would put on a bit of tinted chapstick. I like Lip Ice sheer color best since it has a natural tint and doesn’t waste weird.

Things I’ve tried but didn’t love

1. Rosehip oil – $13.95

I read that a couple of celebrities use rosehip oil as facial moisterizer and swear by it. I tried it for a couple of times, but it caused breakouts. And my skin just didn’t look as good as when I was using jojoba oil, so I stopped. From what I see (I’m no scientist), rosehip oil seems denser than jojoba oil, so that might be the reason why my skin broke out. I ended up using it as body lotion instead.

2. Yes to Carrot – $18.99

I tried this Yesto natural facial cleanser but didn’t love it. My face didn’t feel clean after I used it since it was still very oily.

3. Dove bar soap – $8.99 for 6 count

Mr. FAF bought some Dove bar soap a long time ago while on a business trip. I didn’t like it since it left an oily feeling on my skin after shower.

4. Degree deodorant – $3

I used this Degree brand for a couple of times. Although it worked to some extent, it darkened the skin under my arms and was hard to wash off at shower.

5. Burt’s Bees lip balm – $5

I was running out of Lip Ice sheer color lip balm and wanted to try Burt’s Bees for a change. The color and the taste didn’t impress me.

Non-product tips

Besides the products above, I find that the following healthy habits also have a great impact on my skin:

1. A good night sleep

When I get a good night sleep (uninterrupted 7-8 hours), I feel like my skin is glowing in the morning. On the days when I had interrupted sleep or just 4-5 hours of sleep, my skin is dull, and I just look tired the whole day.

2. Eating lots of veggies and fruit

I’ve been trying to eat a lot more veggies and fruit lately. There was one particular week where I ate a lot of cake and spicy snacks, and I started having breakouts. I also try to eat less salt, oil, and chilli lately.

3. Exercise

After Mr. FAF works out, he literally just looks five years younger. He told me there’s a scientific explanation for that. I don’t go to the gym, so on the weekends, I would clean up the house and do housework as a form of workout.


Although I use some commercial products, I try to pick the ones that are natural and inexpensive.

I think that no matter what products we use, a good night sleep and a healthy diet will be good not only for our skin but also for our health and our minds in the long run.

What are your frugal beauty secrets?

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7 thoughts on “My 7 Frugal Beauty & Skincare Products That Work”

  • I like straight vaseline. That’s the best, but it isn’t convenient when you’re out and about.
    For that, I keep a little jar of carmex in the car. I like them a lot. Not a fan of chapstick, but I forgot why. 🙂
    I’ll have to try the jojoba oil. My skin is super dry in the winter.

    • Great skin care tips, Joe! I have heard of carmex but haven’t tried it before. My skin is really dry in the winter too, so I try to limit using facial cleanser as much as possible 😀

  • “I don’t go to the gym, so on the weekends, I would clean up the house and do housework as a form of workout.” this comment made me feel sad that the housework is all on you instead of the husband/father. I don’t think that housework is a form of good exercise in the same way that following a focused exercise class is. It is a chore that I like to outsource to a cleaner.

    Deodorant often contains toxic chemicals made in a lab setting so I avoid it entirely.

    • Aww thank you! Mr. FAF helps me with housework too. But I do most of the cleaning. I think I will outsource some of the housework when Covid is over. 🙂

  • Don’t forget SPF for your pretty skin. And, some people struggle with lip products that have petroleum in them, like Chapstick. If you stop using it, excessive drying occurs. Thanks for sharing your tips. I’ll need to look into jojoba oil. I’m an Rx face retinol, Cetaphil face cleanser, and Dove body soap user, and with cosmetics, too. And, during the summer, I can buy fistfuls of SPF tubes at the Dollar Tree.

    • Yes! SPF is important. I totally forgot to mention it since I don’t use it often. I’m planning to try Cetaphil face cleanser after my cleanser is done!

  • Great list. I also love St Ives and often buy it. Tip for women like myself with frizzy fly away hair – Kativa straightening lotion.. Best money I ever spent

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