Skip the spa and try these drugstore finds for inexpensive at-home treatments


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Trips to the spa are relaxing, rejuvenating and, unfortunately, expensive, as are many luxurious at-home beauty products. DIY beauty treatments are a great way to save money and pamper yourself, but sometimes, life gets chaotic, and the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen concocting a face mask. Luckily, drugstores are beginning to stock natural beauty products that are indulgent and inexpensive. Plus, there are some old-school remedies that are perfect for a multitude of uses. Make your next errand run more fun by popping some of these money-saving goodies into your basket.


Fresh faced and frugal

Facials are my absolute favorite spa treatment. Peace and quiet, glowing skin — what’s not to love? However, as a beauty junkie on a budget, I’ve had to get creative. I’ve found some great multi-taskers for my home facial routine. Check out these steps from the pros at Mario Badescu skincare for how to give yourself a fabulous facial at home, and let’s get started.

The right cleanser is a must for great skin, no matter what your unique issues are. Neutrogena has been the gold standard for clear skin, and Neutrogena Naturals combines science and nature to create plant-powered formulas that work. The company engages in environmentally sound manufacturing practices such as using post-consumer recycled plastic. Neutrogena Naturals has formulated cleansers for a variety of needs; my go-to is the Purifying Cream Cleanser, which is rich enough to keep my skin from drying out but is not at all greasy, and it is made from 98 percent naturally derived ingredients.

If you are an exercise enthusiast, chances are you regularly stock up on Epsom salt. This cheap, classic soak can also be used in your facial. Allure suggests adding some to your hot water if you are steaming your skin to help draw out impurities as well as combining a bit with a cream cleanser to exfoliate. Multi-taskers are always welcome in my beauty arsenal, especially when they are cheap and widely available.

I love a good beauty mask and am quite impressed with the Ageless Clarity White Clay Treatment Mask by Nuance Salma Hayek, the actress’s beauty line created exclusively for CVS. The gentle, paraben-free formula contains lemon extract, which exfoliates skin without being harsh, and tepezcohuite, a botanical extract which contains anti-inflammatory properties. According to Hayek in a recent interview with Elle.com, “Tepezcohuite [is] used in Mexico for burn victims because it completely regenerates the skin”. She also told New York magazine that tepezcohuite is her “miracle ingredient.”

The mask did a marvelous job of drawing out an embarrassing amount of gunk cradled in my pores. Best of all, a rogue blemish threatening to bloom on my chin straight up disappeared. This deep cleaning, zit-zapping wonder mask retails for $12.99.  


Spa worthy soak

Most of us right now have skin roughly the texture of sandpaper, courtesy of a harsh winter. Wouldn’t it be nice to have soft, glowing skin again? Also, while you don’t need to have a totally toned bod to show some skin, I wouldn’t mind a bit more firmness in my life. Some spas offer fancy scrubs and treatments that pledge to make this happen, but thanks to Shea Moisture’s certified organic products, you can firm and soften skin at home without harsh chemicals or a high price tag. The brand’s Superfruit Complex line is infused with antioxidant fruit extracts such as goji and acai. Shea and mango butters soften while, according to the Shea Moisture website, “Green Coffee Bean Extract helps nourish, contour and smooth dimpled, uneven skin.” Basically, it temporarily tones up wobbly bits. The Bath, Body and Massage Oil is a godsend for those on a budget, since it moisturizes in or out of the tub, and the scent is divine. I also love the Hand and Body Scrub, which removes dead skin like a dream and restored my old-crone hands to their youthful beauty in a single use. When I layered the two products, the sophisticated, fruity scent lingered for hours. Both of these retail for around ten dollars apiece, a total steal. Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex products are available at Walgreens, Target and Ulta.

Treat yourself to a spa day on the cheap. Tell us: what are your favorite drugstore beauty picks?