Telltale Signs a Beauty Product Is a Waste of Money, According to Experts

The beauty industry is a very profitable one, and the cost of some beauty products on the market can really add up. And while it may be a worthwhile investment if the product in question does what it claims, the sad fact is, sometimes you’d be better off saving your money.

According to dermatologists and beauty experts, all it takes is a little knowledge to know where to splurge and where to save. Use these tricks the next time you hit the beauty aisle.

Expensive doesn’t always mean better

Woman applying moisturizing cream to her skin

Just because it’s pricey doesn’t mean it’ll work. | LuckyBusiness/iStock/Getty Images

Do you automatically gravitate toward more expensive cosmetics, cleansers, and skincare? Feel free to stop doing that — the amount that is charged for a beauty product has little to do with the amount of money it takes to produce it. This is not to say that all expensive products are a waste of money, but if you compare ingredients in your pricey products to their inexpensive counterparts, you might be surprised by the similarities. Spending more doesn’t guarantee a better item.

Next: Sorry, Mary Kay.

The company is a multilevel marketing organization

Mary Kay makeup

They’re not the best products. | Anna Webber/Getty Images for Mary Kay

You may love your Mary Kay or your Arbonne representative, but you don’t have to love the products. The direct sales beauty products on the market are no better than products you can buy in stores.

Next: If it’s trendy, be wary.

The product is trendy or makes groundbreaking claims

woman looking at mirror

Be wary of the ‘next big thing’ miracle product. | shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

Watch out for new and exciting anti-aging products that contain sexy-sounding ingredients like snake venom (or the vampire facial). They may have some skin benefits, but nothing has been proven scientifically, and you could very well be throwing your money away.

Next: Watch out for those impossible claims.

The claim is that a cream will cure your skin issues

Girl shows pushing the skin of the legs cellulite.

Nothing is a miraculous as they’d have you believe. | dimid_86/iStock/Getty Images

It’s nice to believe that something as simple as a cream can completely eliminate cellulite or stretch marks. But both are complex processes that nothing on the surface can currently correct, even though the appearance may temporarily diminish. Try using alternatives, like disguising your imperfections with self-tanner.

Next: .If it makes you feel fearful, save your money.

You’re falling for the fear

Beautiful woman in a bathrobe applying skin moisturizer

Don’t give in to the fear-mongering. | Dejan_Dundjerski/iStock/Getty Images

Certain brands try to tout their “natural” beauty products, claiming that products on the market are unsafe. And while avoiding excessive chemicals is never a bad thing, there is no scientific evidence that suggests that beauty products sold in the United States or Canada are unsafe for your skin or the environment.

Next: Under pressure?

You’re being told you “need” something

Young woman popping pimple on her cheeck

They’re just trying to make a sale. | DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

The skincare industry in particular of pressuring advertisements, trying to convince women they need serums, oils, eye creams, and all sorts of things to put on their faces. There is no evidence that suggests the eye area requires anything different than the ingredients in your face cream. Use a good cleanser, wear sunscreen on your face, and invest in a cream if you have dry skin or you’re concerned … but even that isn’t something you “need” to use.

Next: The state of your skin will tell you what you need to know. 

Your face won’t lie

young woman with clear complexion in the bathroom

You should start to see results within a month. | iStock/Getty Images

If you truly want to know if your beauty products are working, just look in the mirror. Nothing works overnight, but you should be able to tell in 30 days if something is working. If your skin feels itchy, looks red, breaks out in hives or pops out with pimples, it’s safe to assume your products are ineffective.

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