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Resolving To Kick Your Product Junkie Habit? Here's Your Game Plan For 2024.
Beauty & Fashion

Resolving To Kick Your Product Junkie Habit? Here's Your Game Plan For 2024.

You’ve probably heard that the beauty industry is a staggering $90 billion one (that’s annually). However, what you may not know is, reportedly, folks spend close to $750 a year on their products. I mean, based on your own budget, that might not be much to you yet as someone who knows that preparing for retirement is closer now than my college days were at this point, that’s pretty steep to me, especially since I know that, easily half of what I currently have on the skincare and hair care tip, I barely even use.


Me? Aside from the products that I try in order to create content (that’s free stuff and also why I have so much of it), I gave up being a product junkie years ago. It was hard, yet it was also hella liberating. It freed up space. It freed up money. And it helped me to focus on what I know my skin and hair need as opposed to what the industry tries to cram down my throat.

So, why is my mission what it is today? If the beauty world is making billions, of course, they’re gonna try and sell you everything under the sun. Yet if you want to only purchase what will be truly effective for you this year so that you can keep some space and some coins, here are some tips that fully freed me from the bondage of always digging underneath my bathroom sink and knocking stuff over, only to be pissed as I cleaned it up (if ya know, ya know).

1.Learn Your Actual Skin and Hair Texture

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The benefit of being in the information age with internet access to boot is there is so much intel that’s readily at your disposal (which is why I don’t get how so many debates about opinions happen on social media when you can just open up a browser and find the facts). The challenge is sometimes there’s so much stuff to learn about that it can become super overwhelming. And honestly, I think that’s how a lot of us end up becoming product junkies in the first place. There’s one influencer on IG who says her skin is bomb due to one product, while someone on TikTok guarantees a totally different product will give you the same outcome.

And don’t even get me started on how many debates naturalistas have on YouTube about what works well on their hair vs. what doesn’t. If you try and take everyone’s opinion into account, you can easily look up and have two cabinets that are filled with stuff that you either don’t use or don’t like. *le sigh*

What’s my suggestion? Well, something that I did that helped me to get some of my cabinet space back was really figuring out what my own skin and hair texture was before making another purchase — and that alone totally changed the game. Because the reality is, someone can say that a particular product gave them flawless skin, yet if their skin type is dry and yours is oily, it could end up doing your own skin more harm than good.

So, what if you have no clue what your skin or hair type actually is? Sites like Skin Type Solutions (quiz is here), Ask the Scientists (quiz is here), and even Sephora (quiz is here) have online tests that you can take as far as your skin goes. YouTubers like Angela C. Styles (here) and Daye La Soul (here) can help you learn more about your hair type and texture. I super appreciate LaToya Ebony Hair’s channel for explaining the difference between 4b and 4c hair (here). Also, Naturally Curly (quiz is here) and Carol’s Daughter (quiz is here) can help you figure out what your hair type and texture are as well.

That way, as you’re moving through a sea of recommendations and suggestions, you can better narrow down what will prove to be the most effective for your hair strands personally. Knowledge is power. This includes when it comes to your skin and hair.

2.Acknowledge That Hair Products Actually Do Expire

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Did y’all know that both skin and hair products expire? Yep. When it comes to skin ones, if they’ve got more oil than water in them, they tend to have a longer shelf life; although most skincare experts say that if you’ve got something that didn’t come with an expiration date but you’ve been holding onto it for 2-3 years, it’s time to toss it. As far as your hair goes, if a bottle of, say shampoo or conditioner has been opened, you shouldn’t keep it around for more than 12 months after you first used it.

And what if you’re not sure what to do? A solid rule is to pay attention to if the appearance or texture of a skin or hair product has changed. If that is indeed the case, go ahead and toss it. No sense in keeping something around if it’s not going to be effective — and if it doesn’t look or feel like it did when you first purchased it…chances are, it won’t be.

3.Toss Out What You Don’t Use on a Weekly Basis

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Okay, while this rule isn’t 100 percent, I would say that it’s probably around 70 percent accurate. What I mean by that is that there’s a good chance that you don’t wash your hair, like clockwork, every seven days. And so, the main point here is, if something is not in consistent rotation, all it’s really doing is taking up space.

For instance, I’ve got a couple of bottles of braid-out and edge control products that absolutely need to get up and out from underneath my bathroom sink before 2024 because all they do is leave a white residue and a frizz-like hold (I won’t say no names but some products out here charge way too much money for the chaos that they create). Why haven’t I done it? It’s honestly because there is a part of me that thinks that, perhaps if I blend those items with something else, they will be useful.

However, since I haven’t tried that yet and also since other products are serving me just fine, I need to let that “fantasy” go and put them in the trash. Clutter is clutter, no matter what lie I might tell myself. Words to live by, sis. Words to freakin’ live by.

4.Make Sure Products Are Seasonal Not Emotional

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Something that some people don’t take into consideration is the fact that your skin and hair oftentimes need different products based on the season that they are in. For instance, since winter is the time when we’re in dry indoor heat quite a bit, it would make sense to use a thicker moisturizer and hair conditioner than in the summer season; that’s what I mean by getting a “seasonal product.”

So, what do I mean by an emotional product? Just like you can have a bad hair day, you can have a “bad product reaction” sometimes. For instance, one of my absolute favorite braid-out creams, sometimes we work seamlessly together — sometimes we don’t. A bit of trial and error has revealed that on the wash days, when I use a heavy protein treatment, the product doesn’t take too well to it (go figure).

Anyway, what I used to do in times past was go out and buy 2-3 other popular braid-out products. Now, I just add a bit more patience in how I apply the one that I have.

Emotions are about feelings. When you want to stop being a product junkie, you’ve got to bring some logic and common sense into play. So yeah, when you’re out here doing your thing on your skin and hair, seasonal shifts in your products make sense; hinging everything on emotion (how you “feel” about your hair at the time) is unnecessary and costly. Literally.

5.Stop “Stress Shopping”

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I can’t believe that at my big age, sometimes I will still get random breakouts — and, of course, they happen at the most unexpected and inopportune times. Although I know that oftentimes, like a cold, I just need to let it all run its course…I also know that I’ve got a solid skincare routine, and I just need to leave things be. Still, sometimes the stress of a perfectly (or imperfectly, depending on how you look at it) placed zit will have me out here looking for any and everything that says it will zap it in 24 hours or less.

And that, my friends, is what I call “stress shopping.” Even a pimple patch (which is actually pretty bomb when you want to reduce the swelling of a zit) is not going to make your skin look like a pimple was never there in a day. So, if you’re out here wasting money because you’re looking for a quick fix, accept that 9.5 times out of 10, there is no such thing, and so, all you’re gonna do by purchasing more stuff is spend more money, which now stresses your bank account out — which profits (pun intended) you nothing.

6.Who Cares If It’s Popular. Does It Work? FOR YOU?

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And finally, this point right here can apply in so many ways and on so many levels. Thankfully, I’ve never been the kind of person (not as an adult anyway) who really cared to do something because it was “popular” — and it has served me well. Skincare and hair care products are not exempt because — and again, I won’t say no names — I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me that I’m crazy for not literally buying into a brand (or product from a brand), I got a test sample and either I was less than impressed, or my scalp or skin got irritated from it.

Personally, some of the best items that have worked for me are homemade products on Etsy’s site. The ingredients are natural, and the prices are fair. That’s just me…what works for me. Just make sure that if you are starting 2024 by promising yourself that you won’t be a product junkie anymore that you will really ponder what works for you and stick with that. It’ll save you time, money, and unnecessary drama. And won’t your skin and hair be thankful for that, chile.

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Featured image by Disobey Art/Getty Images

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