The sweatpants and T-shirts many college students wear to class may say otherwise, but we really do care what we look like. We just don't want to spend a lot of money. Here are the must-have beauty products for guys and girls on a budget, all of which have been tested and approved by actual college students.
There's no doubt that great skin makes you look healthy and pulled together, even if you're still wearing yesterday's clothes. Take care of it now, and you'll thank yourself a couple decades from now. Washing your face twice a day, staying away from strong chemicals or exfoliants, patting dry after washing instead of rubbing, and keeping your hands away from your face are all cost-free ways to keep your skin happy. Choosing skin products doesn't have to be a challenge. A higher price on cleansers or lotions doesn't mean they're more effective, so don't be fooled by the beauty counter claims.
Have skin that's dry? CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is recommended by dermatologists, InStyle magazine and friends. Because it's soap-free, it doesn't strip your skin of any essential oils and hydrates while it cleans. It's available in a 12 oz. bottle at Walmart for $12. Aveda offers a moisturizing cleanser too, but their product costs $20 for only 5 oz.Is your skin sensitive or prone to break outs? Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser has been lauded for years by doctors and students alike for its non-irritating formula. You can pair it with any acne treatment without risking being too harsh on your skin. A gentle cleanser like this one can work miracles. Get a 16 oz. bottle at Walmart for $9 or try the generic version for just $6. Department store brands like Clinique have you paying twice the price for only 4.2 oz. of a similar product.
Skin needs a little exfoliation to keep it looking bright. Neutrogena makes quality exfoliating scrubs. For more delicate and sensitive skin, try their Deep Clean Gentle Scrub, which costs about $6 for 4.2 oz. at Walmart. The round microbeads slough off dead skin without cutting into your skin as rough exfoliants can. It made InStyle magazine's list of best beauty buys last year and this year. If your skin is acne prone, pick up the Deep Clean Invigorating Foaming Scrub for about the same price.
Always moisturize after washing your face. Both CeraVe and Cetaphil offer lotions that complement their cleansers for the same price. Neutrogena also makes great lotions for acne treatment, all kinds of skin, and sun protection. Their Oil Free Moisture for Combination Skin controls shine in oily areas and hydrates dry places, making it a good fit for any skin type. It's a little more expensive at $10 for 4 oz., but one bottle will last for a few months because you don't need much.
Guys with really short hair have it easiest. Pick up a 14 oz. bottle of whatever Suave shampoo best suits your hair and you're set for $2. If you have more hair that actually requires a little care, TRESemme offers a line of good products in big bottles. Paying $4 for 25 to 32 oz. is perfect for any college guy who doesn't want to remember to buy more shampoo.
Heat styling and coloring can really wreak havoc on your hair. John Frieda Root Awakening shampoos and conditioners offer formulas for dry hair and anti-breakage, as well as normal hair. Several friends use this line and recommend it. The products start working at the scalp, so your hair is strong and healthy all the way from root to end. Both shampoo and conditioner are available in 8.45 oz. bottles for $6 each at Walmart. Salon lines like Redken offer similar performance but can set you back $23 for one bottle.
Curly hair can be a nightmare to tame, but the right products can save you time and money. L'Oreal Studio Line Springing Curls Mousse pumps up curls and gives great definition for $5 for 6.9 oz. at CVS. Lock in those curls for the whole day with Mega Spritz hairspray from the same line for $5 for 8.5 oz. Many stores like Walmart and Walgreen's have stopped carrying both of these, but they are well worth the hunt.
Fine, limp hair needs a mousse or root boost spray to amp up volume beyond what blow drying your hair upside down can do. You can choose stylist-recommended TIGI Catwalk Root Boost for $13 from a salon, but TRESemme's 24-Hour Body Root Boosting Spray is also very effective. Fashion hairstylist Erin Anderson used it on several models during last year's Fashion Week. You can get an 8 oz. bottle for about $5 at Walmart.
Looking great doesn't have to cost a fortune. So even if you roll out of bed and stumble to class in your pajamas, your skin and hair can still be in top condition with these affordable products.
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