Why You Should Never, Ever Buy Beauty Products From the Dollar Store

Looking to save money on your beauty routine? The dollar store may not be the best place to do so. Sure, the products are dirt cheap, but there’s a higher price to pay. From expired makeup to harmful chemicals to counterfeit skin care products, the dollar store beauty aisle is chock-full of beauty faux pas that can wreak havoc on your skin and hair.

Need more reasons to steer clear of the dollar store beauty aisle? Read on for some of dollar store beauty’s biggest red flags.

1. They could be expired

Makeup cosmetics

Double check your dates. | iStock.com/Yuriy_K

When shopping for beauty products at the dollar store, one of the most important things to look out for are the expiration dates. While the products at dollar stores may look brand new, their actual production date could have been way too long ago. Always check the packaging for an expiration date to be safe.

2. Some beauty products may contain harmful chemicals

African American woman eye makeup

Keep these chemicals away from your eyes. | iStock.com/Stephanie_Zieber

As it turns out, many cheap makeup and skin care products contain harmful chemicals. So, err on the side of caution when purchasing a product from the dollar store. Always check the ingredients list on the back of packaging for signs of said chemicals.

3. They could be counterfeit

Colorful Eye shadow Palette

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. | iStock.com/Ancell77

Did you know that not all dollar stores — or even drugstores — are considered certified retailers for certain beauty products and brands? If you think a product sold at the dollar store is too good to be true, you may be right. Before purchasing, do a quick Google check to verify what stores are certified retailers for the product you’re considering.

4. You may have an allergic reaction

You'll think twice about hopping into the hot tub after you read about folliculitis.

If you see any sign of a rash, stop use immediately. | iStock.com/Parinyabinsuk

As we mentioned previously, cheap products may contain harmful chemicals — but, that’s not all. In many cases, cheap products contain cheap ingredients, too. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation, you may experience an allergic reaction to a dollar store beauty product. To play it safe, put the item back on the shelf and purchase your beauty products elsewhere.

5. They may cause breakouts

Young woman popping pimple on her cheeck

They may contain comeodogenic ingredients. | DragonImages/Getty Images

In addition to causing irritation, drugstore beauty products may cause your skin to break out. If you are naturally prone to breakouts or experience oily skin, make sure the label reads “non-comedogenic” and “oil-free.” That way, you can be sure that the product won’t cause your acne to flare up.

6. They could dehydrate your skin

woman looking at mirror

Check your ingredients. | iStock.com/Shironosov

Thanks to cheap ingredients, dehydration is another way drugstore beauty products can wreak havoc on your skin. Be wary of dollar store products that contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, fragrances, and preservatives.

7. They’re not always the best deal

two bottles of shampoo

Check the volume of each bottle. | iStock.com

We hate to break it to you, but even if your dollar store beauty product passes every other evaluation we’ve mentioned, you may still want to take your business elsewhere. When it comes to certain dollar store products — especially shampoos and conditioners — many have found that the size of the bottle is actually much smaller than what is sold in a drug store. To get the most bang for your buck, consider purchasing larger shampoo and conditioner bottles elsewhere.