10 Everyday Beauty Items To Stop Buying Now

Rachel Abene
7 min readAug 30, 2021
Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Here’s why they’re a waste of money — and what to pick up instead.

#1: Tooth Whiteners

According to Boston University, while Americans spend roughly $1.4 billion on over the counter teeth whitening each year, dental professor Gennaro Cataldo says that the majority of these products are ineffective. Further, these products are sold unregulated by the FDA. At the same time, many of these products damage tooth enamel and can cause greater tooth sensitivity with extended use. And as someone who used to faithfully go through a full box of Crest White Strips every year, I can confirm that my teeth are now far more sensitive than they were before I picked up that habit.

Rather than switching to a much pricier light and gel combo to brighten up my smile, which Cataldo says is largely ineffective anyway, I decided to forgo the OTC whitening altogether in favor of a stricter dental care routine immediately following my morning coffee. The two products that I absolutely swear by for keeping my teeth white as a coffee addict are the Colgate Optic White Renewal Toothpaste and the Crest 3D White Brilliance Mouthwash. Not only am I now saving $50+ each year not buying white strips, but I’ve also been able to prevent any stains before they have an opportunity to warrant an aggressive bleaching agent in the first place.

#2: Eye and Neck Creams

A quick stare and compare of face, neck, and eye cream ingredient labels may surprise you. Most of the time, these three products feature almost identical ingredients. And while it is true that the eye area has thinner skin that contains fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, this just means for the most part that that skin requires a tad more moisture. A much cheaper way to give your eye area the moisture that it needs is to sleep with a bit of petroleum jelly around the eyes and avoid applying retinoids to the area. Beyond that, moisturizing the area as you would the rest of your face is more than enough.

The neck, like the eye area, also requires comparatively more moisture due to fewer oil glands being present. This skin is also slightly thicker. But even having thicker skin on the neck does not warrant paying for a specialized product. Instead, opt for a thicker cream at night like the…

Rachel Abene

Hi, I’m Rachel. I’m passionate about beauty, personal finance, and how the two often intermingle.