With time, our bathrooms and cabinets can become overfilled with different creams, washes, body lotions, shampoos, masks, special concoctions and every other possible cosmetic.
We want to feel and look our best, so we believe by acquiring more and more items we’ll become the best version of ourselves.
But the problem is that the process of keeping up with beauty routines and products can become stressful instead of enjoyable – sometimes even so much so, that we don’t want to do anything at all.
That is why the best thing we can do for our skin is to build a simple beauty routine with some great items and let go of (or use up) everything else.
Here are my top tips specific to decluttering beauty products and staying organised after you do so.
STEP 1 – EXPIRED PRODUCTS MUST GO
Many people don’t realise that toiletries actually have an expiration date which is either listed as a symbol of a little open jar with a number that tells us how many months after opening the product is still usable, or there is an actual date after which the product expires (that is very important when it comes to sunscreen!).
So before doing anything, go through your cabinets and toss out everything that is not suitable anymore.
*TIP: I keep a waterproof pen in my bathroom cabinet so I can write down a month and a year each time I open a new item which helps me to have a clear inventory of how much I’m using something and when it needs to go.
STEP 2 – PLANNING YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE
Now it’s time to design your habits so take a pen and paper and write down how you want your simple and enjoyable beauty routine to look like.
I suggest doing one for the morning, one for the night and maybe adding a spa routine and a shower/bath one as well. Think about how many products you would like to use and what you already love using.
Keep in mind that we don’t need a hundred different creams to have beautiful skin – that’s what the marketing tells so that they can (you guessed it!) sell us more products.
A good simple routine is all we need to renew our skin and feel our best. And if we really want to improve our appearance there is an even better way to do it – by drinking more water, improving our sleep, less drinking and smoking, eating healthy, being active etc.
When you’re happy with the routines you’ve written down, get all of your products out of the cabinet and put them on a large surface so you have a good overall view of everything.
Now check your list and select the best items from your own stash to create a combination for each routine so that by the end, you have your favourite items in four little groups. And if there are special products that don’t belong in any of the groups but you still use them, then put them aside as well. Now anything that didn’t make the cut is something you can let go of or ultimately use up.
*TIP: You can use the same approach when decluttering makeup – first, get rid of expired products, then take your time to create a few lovely looks that will have you covered for most occasions using the products you love and then you can easily let go of everything that is left.
STEP 3 – DECLUTTER
You’ve got rid of your expired products and chosen your favourites but you still have a pile of items left. And because they’re still good and usable then throwing them away would be a waste so instead, you can do three different things:
Give products a new home
This one is pretty straightforward – if you have an item you know someone would love to have pass it on to them.
Make a plan to use products up
If you have items that you like but they serve the same purpose as other things in your routine, then consider creating a little schedule to use them up. That means if you have three face creams, commit to finishing them all until you have only one left.
Start with the one you had opened the longest and finish with the newer one. If you know it will take you a while before getting to the last few products and that means they will expire in the meantime then consider giving them away before they do.
It’s important you do this only with products that you enjoy using because it’s not worth forcing yourself to finish something that you don’t really like – there are better and more enjoyable ways to do it, which brings me to the next point.
Creative ways to use up beauty products
When you have an item that is still good but you don’t like using it for its intended purpose, consider repurposing it – that way you can use the item up in a short time without the guilt of throwing it away, plus it’s also very gratifying. Here are some different ways you can use various products – and if you have any tips of your own don’t be afraid to share them 🙂
- PERFUME – use it as a room spray or to spray your car tree that’s already lost its smell to make your car smell beautiful – with perfume, a little goes a long way.
- FACE CREAM – if a cream doesn’t agree with your skin or just don’t see any results when using it, repurpose it as a night hand cream meaning you apply some just before going to bed so it has time to absorb. If you want you can even use it on your body. I love this one because of how quickly we can use something up that was previously just sitting in our drawer, plus our hands get a little bit softer.
- EYE CREAM – because of the small size they are perfect to put in our bag to moisturise our hands once in a while.
- BODY LOTION – because they are usually less thick and oily than face creams I use them as a day hand lotion. The best tip is to bring a bottle to work, maybe putting it on your desk next to your computer etc.
- FACE WASH – you can use it up as a cleaning product for your makeup brushes and beauty blenders.
- FACE SCRUB – instead of using it on your face you can use it on your body or feet to make them softer and smoother.
- FACE OIL – you can use it on your body, your neck and decolletage or your hands and feet overnight.
- BODY WASH – use body washes you don’t like as a shaving cream (you can use as much or as little as you want).
- HAIR SHAMPOO – a gentle shampoo can be used to clean your brushes and beauty sponges.
- HAIR CONDITIONER OR A MASK – you can use it as a shaving cream, or to stretch out clothing that has shrunk in the washing machine or a dryer.
- FACE SUNSCREEN – sometimes face sunscreens can lead to a break out so instead of throwing them away we can use it on our body.
STEP 4 – STAY ORGANISED
After organising and finding beauty routines that you enjoy, consider applying a ‘one in, one out’ rule to keep your cabinets neat and tidy – that means you only buy a new product after you run out of one, pretty simple!
A great idea that will help you live even more simply is to find beauty staples which are products you want to rebuy after you finish them because you like them so much.
That way shopping becomes even easier, we don’t have to think about what to get next and we don’t get sucked into buying new trendy products.
And of course, we’ll sometimes want to upgrade our routines so researching and trying out new things is no big deal, especially when we have a plan of what to do if the product doesn’t work out.
So have fun, be mindful about your purchases and adjust your routines so they resonate with who you are and how you want to feel.
Out of chaos, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. – Bruce Lee –