Already have an account?
Get back to the

8 Ways to Save on Personal Care and Beauty Products You Probably Didn’t Know About


A whopping 69 percent of Americans rate personal care as a top priority-but the cost can add up fast! So we polled pros for ways to look beautiful without breaking the bank with these eight ways to save money on personal care items.

Buy skincare items tax-free.

“Have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses through work? Many shoppers don’t realize that you can use the pretaxed money you contributed to the account toward personal care items. Just some of the FSA-eligible items: face lotion with SPF 15 or higher, anti-dandruff shampoos, face wash, lip balm, body lotions and hand cream. To find out what other beauty supplies you can buy tax-free, go to and type ‘FSA’ into the search bar, or head to and search for ‘FSA store.’” -Lesley Sheridan, money-saving expert at

Shop international.

“You can find natural remedies at ethnic markets for so much less! For example, in India they use chickpea flour mixed with water as a skin cleanser. You can buy a 500-ml. bottle of cleanser containing the flour for $15 at big-box stores, or opt for the flour at an international market for $1.50 a pound — it will last you months! I also chew fennel seeds as a breath freshener — a half a pound bag costs $3 and lasts six months, versus a $3 bottle of mouthwash, which lasts 30 days.” -Anjali Pradhan, money coach at

Snag deals on Yelp.

“On the lookout for a salon service like a cut or color? You’ll not only find the salon’s reviews on Yelp, you may discover deals too! They’re highlighted at the top of the page and usually say something like, ‘$20 for $40 worth of services.’ Just click the link and buy the certificate, which you can print out or use straight from your phone.” – Vivian Cook, makeup artist, La Jolla, CA

Get cash back online.

“Free cash-back sites like Rakuten will put money back in your pocket as you shop, but they often offer discounts and coupons on everything from beauty treatments to makeup. I also visit if I need something pricey, like a high-end serum or a new blow-dryer. They have a deal alert feature that cues you in to great savings on items you love. To find the best deal, I use a combination of the two. Just download their browser extensions, and savings alerts pop up as soon as you shop!” -Trae Bodge, money-saving expert at

Examine the ingredient list to save more.

“I’ve been a dermatologist for 20 years, and I’ve learned there is no correlation between the cost of a moisturizer, soap, or sunscreen and its effectiveness. You just need to look at the product’s active ingredients to know if it will work for you — the rest is marketing. So, for example, if you use a cleanser with salicylic acid, check the ingredients on high-end and store brands. If they have the same amount of salicylic acid, they’ll work the same, and you’ll save $5 or more per bottle!” -Fayne Frey, MD, dermatologist and founder of

Grab “two-in-ones.”

“We’re so conditioned to believe we need to buy a different product for each beauty need, but you save a bundle by using multipurpose items. Take Bio-Oil, for example, a mineral and vitamin oil brand that was first used in emergency rooms for treating scars and stretch marks, but it also moisturizes your entire body, fights wrinkles, and can even be used to tame flyaways in your hair. What’s more, you can find it right at the drugstore (Buy at Walgreens, $5.99). The same goes for makeup-a lip stain can work as blush and an eye shadow!” -Joann Butler, mom of two, New York City

Check in with “trainees” to score a bargain.

“Most people know that you can get a good deal on haircuts by going to beauty schools, but many salons also offer free or discounted services with trainees who are practicing new services, from cuts and facials to massages and waxing. Most have a sliding scale of fees that pertain to the experience of the facialist or waxer. Simply ask about any sliding fees or trainee prices available when you call to book an appointment.” -Audra Senkus, owner of Haven Spa and Eve Salon

Look here for promos and discounts.

“Lots of savvy shoppers know to get on snail-mail and email lists of their favorite brands to snag savings. However, there are other clever ways to use social media to find deals: Check out the makeup tutorials or product reviews on YouTube. Lots of the influencers that create these videos are given special codes to pass on to viewers that can be used to save while shopping. Say you want to try a FabFitFun box, you type FabFitFun into the search bar on YouTube, click on an influencer video that comes up about the box, then look in the information section (below the video under the subscribe button), and you’ll usually find a promo listed.” -Trae Bodge

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for Women.

First For Women aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. Questions? Reach us at

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.