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Beauty Tips That Won't Break the Bank

Head to toe treatments for a spa getaway at home

COLUMBIA, Md. (June 1, 2010) - Between hair products, make-up, skin care and spa treatments, looking your best can cost you an arm and a leg. The summer is a popular time for consumers to increase spending on beauty products between tanning salons and vacation preparations. According to a 2008 study by the YWCA, women in the United States spend an average of $7 billion a year on cosmetic products and services alone each year.

Last year, a report on Beauty Consumers' Reactions to the Economy from The NPD Group, showed that women were unlikely to consider cutting spending on beauty products - even in tough economic times. In April 2009, only 42 percent said they would cut back spending on beauty before other items, versus 45 percent in November 2008.

"Beauty products and services are an easy area to reduce spending to put toward other needs," says Jenny Realo, executive vice president of CareOne Services, a company that helps consumers get out of debt and strengthen their financial footing. "By swapping salon treatments for do-it-yourself versions, you could save hundreds of dollars a month and still look fresh this summer.”

In some instances, seeing an expert is worth the cost, like that six week haircut. But a lot of beauty comes from simple health and self-maintenance. There are a lot of small, cost-effective preventative steps consumers can take to avoid high costs for future care.

Love the Skin You're In

A high end product may be loaded with ingredients that promise to make your skin smoother, brighter and younger. However, what you could be left with is pricey ingredients that irritate your skin. Having great skin may be as simple as using a gentle cleanser every day. The cleanser will remove dirt, oil and dead skin cells but leave natural and necessary oils.

Here are some additional (and inexpensive!) tips for healthy, younger looking skin:

  • Use a dry brush to exfoliate your skin every morning before you shower. This removes dead skin cells and improves blood circulation to decrease puffiness. A dry brush costs less than $8 and saves you from having to buy skin creams.
  • If you need to wear make-up, look for products are that are more organic. They contain less chemicals and oils that clog up your skin and cause breakouts. Not to mention that they are light weight and provide a more natural finish. And choosing organic doesn't mean going for the most expensive brand of cosmetics. Do your research on your favorite brands. You might be surprised to learn that they, too, offer a more natural alternative.
  • Wear sun block if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period of time and avoid damage that can age the look of your skin. Consider sun block or a moisturizer with SPF if you're going to be outdoors near water, sand or even snow because of reflective intensity.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet of necessary vitamins and minerals. Be sure to get a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, E and B complex. This will keep your skin moisturized and improve your overall health!

Put Your Best Nail Forward

A good pedicure or manicure can cost you anywhere between $20 and $50. While you may not have the skills to shape your nails or get that French tip look you love so much, keeping your nails healthy at home can lessen your trips to salon and save you money.

  • Add a little extra zinc to your diet. This will help your nails grow strong and healthy. White spots on fingernails are often a sign that you're not getting enough of this mineral. Having an extra glass of milk each day is an easy way to add zinc to your diet.
  • Keep your nails and feet moisturized. While a salon may recommend you use cuticle oils or lotions to keep your hands and feet moisturized, you may also find the solution in your kitchen. Extra virgin olive oil is an inexpensive alternative to keeping your skin moisturized. Rub in a dab of olive oil until it has worked into the skin.
  • Regularly massage your nails. Use extra virgin olive oil and rub the tips and cuticles of your nails. Not only will the relaxation help your mental health, but it will also stimulate the blood flow in your nails to maximize growth.

The Mane Event

Split ends, frizziness, flyaways and more - we all have issues to deal with when it comes to our hair. The solution doesn't have to come in the form of salon-quality products. There are a number of things you can do to improve the overall health of your hair.

  • To add a little bit of shine to lackluster locks, look no further than the kitchen pantry. Apple cider vinegar is a great solution to improving the overall look and feel of your hair because its acidity is close to what's found in hair. It's great for conditioning, cleaning hair and even helping with itchy scalp. Mix 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and rinse hair with it after shampooing. Rinse and dry. The smell should fade in less than 30 minutes.
  • Brush your locks before you shampoo and massage your scalp before and while you are washing your hair. An extra few seconds can go a long way to improving the health of your hair. Both brushing and massaging help to stimulate the scalp. They also help send nutrients to hair follicles because they encourage blood flow.
  • Avoid using harsh chemical products and heated appliances. Not only do these items lead to major damages, such as breakage and hair loss, but it will take time and a lot of money to improve the health of your hair again.
  • Is there anything you can do to better protect your hair if you color it? The answer is yes, you can. Before it's colored, deep condition your hair. Not only will your hair be better off, but you will also help prolong your color. Afterwards, don't be fooled by shampoos that claim to be for colored-treated hair. Instead, use a gentle shampoo that contains fewer detergents and chemicals that won't strip away the color.

"There are a lot of inexpensive beauty secrets that can help you spend less in the long run, but one of the best tips I can offer is to relax and relieve stress," says Realo, noting that financial difficulties are often a main cause of stress. At CareOne, she provides these and other tips on how consumers can save money, live within their means and achieve financial stability. For more tips on saving money and managing your debt, visit www.CareOneCredit.com.

About CareOne Services

CareOne Services, Inc. was formed in 2002 to provide consumers with multiple solutions to complex money problems. CareOne boasts a unique Financial Fitness Center that examines each consumer's individual financial situation and develops a personalized solution to help the consumer get out of debt and strengthen his or her financial footing.

CareOne has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers. CareOne takes a holistic approach in assisting customers to manage their debt, looking at an individual's situation and creating a solution that is achievable and works. CareOne does not offer to change or improve an individual's credit score, record or rating. CareOne goes beyond providing the standard debt payment programs, helping consumers address day-to-day life issues that are the result of being in debt along with free educational tools online.

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