Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alternate Uses for Products You Hate

I haven't been very good at reducing my stash of products as promised, and it was tempting for a while to think of gathering all the products I hate and throwing them out en masse into the trash. However, the part of me that was raised to be thrifty and unwasteful cannot bear to part with even crap products that do me no good. And with the mass of specific products out there micromanaging and marketing every tiny unit of the human body into being shaved, groomed, slathered and massaged "properly," it's difficult to think outside of the box.

Then one day it occurred to me. What can scrub the face can also scrub the feet. And what can moisturize the face can also moisturize the decolletage. And what can cleanse the makeup off your face can cleanse the makeup off the brushes!

Take the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which I don't actually hate, but will be using until 2025 at the rate I dab my fingers into the pot. Some complain that it's too harsh for the face. Well, if it's too harsh on your delicate parts, how about using it on the not-so-delicate areas, like the soles of your feet? Making it do double duty is the only way that I am going to get rid of it.



And how about this Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser that does nothing for my face (except to possibly aid it in breaking out)? It's been gathering dust in my bathroom cabinet for months and no one will take it off my hands. I used it to clean my concealer brush and it worked like a charm. That brush is clean without being stripped, just like your face is supposed to be after using this. At around $7 in the drugstore, it's also much less expensive than the MAC Brush Cleanser or other cosmetics company brush cleansers that typically sell for more than $20.


And this Marcelle Essentials Night Cream - it's actually not mine. I got it for my sister on a whim one day and she said she didn't like it. So there it sits on her vanity, all lonely and dusty and neglected. I suggested she use it to slather it on her decolletage and arms and hands like a body butter, where it won't have a chance to break her out. She thought it was a good idea.


Though it seems she hasn't actually put the idea into execution yet.

So, it's not like the idea is genius, and I'm sure a lot of practical-minded women out there are already doing the same thing or even more creative things with disliked products. Like I said earlier, it's difficult to train the mind to resist the labels that are pre-applied for us. At least, I do.

How about you? Are you already using certain products in ways that they're not really meant to? Is there something you hate in your stash that can double as something else that you need?

23 comments:

  1. I started using the facial cleansers as brush cleansers. No harm done to my brushes or my face so I'm a happy camper :)
    I also use eye creams that don't do anything for my eyes as face creams instead. They work all the same!

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  2. Glad for the confirmation! (Jusssst in case I was advertising doing something terribly wrong.) Eye cream as face cream is another great idea!

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  3. I don't think this St. Ives Apricot Scrub is meant to be used on the face, that's why it's so harsh. Great tip for the cleanser, I have a few that I don't use on my face as they dry me out. Thanks x

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  4. I've actually had decent results using it on my face (I'm not very delicate, apparently!) but it does work superbly on arms, legs and feet. :)

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  5. I use my Apricot Scrub for a body scrub & I have a Burts Bees cleanser that didn't work on my face but I use to spot clean my Clarisonic, in between weekly cleaning. I've used hair conditioners for shaving lotion & baby shampoo for a brush cleaner. Great post!

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  6. That's awesome, go Tracy! :D I do use baby shampoo for brushes but I'm going to use that on my hair now and using the Neutrogena cleanser for brushes. I've heard of hair conditioner as shaving lotion but never tried it. I'll do that with the Albert European crap I hate. :D :D :D

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  7. Yep this makes total sense, I use face lotions and eye creams on my body. Scrubs on my body too, it doesn't have to only go on your face.

    Shame on that neutrogena cleanser though, I like that one.

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  8. Great post! I also use conditioners I hate as shaving cream and face creams on my arms and decollatage. I'll use lip balms as cuticle cream as well.

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  9. @Justine - I'd trade you for it but it's about 2/3 full. Not worth your while, I think. But email me if you're interested!

    @Tracy - I did try using the Rosebud salve on cuticles but didn't like the stickiness. I'll have to try that with the Bonne Belle I dislike.

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  10. Great ideas. The last picture with the caption made me laugh. As I'm typing I'm trying to remember which products I don't use and how to re-use them. Hmm...

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  11. These are some genius solutions! I will definitely steal the apricot scrub on your feet idea! I have a gigantic tub of that stuff too! And sometimes I get that helpless, overwhelmed "what am I going to do with all of this!?" feeling when looking at it! Thanks for the inspiration!!! ;)

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  12. Most of the time if I hate something I give it away because I don't like thinking of it going to waste, but sometimes - like with a jar of product, for example - that's not very hygienic, so I do try to find something else to do with it. I've used scrubs on my feet, body lotions on my hands, facial moisturisers on my elbows, etc. I also bought a L'Occitane cleansing oil once that was rubbish so I used it to clean my brushes.

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  13. @The Rhapsode - Let me know what you come up with! ;)

    @Amy - I get the same feeling. Glad to be of service!

    @Dee - What was wrong with the L'Occitane and which was it? I try to give things away but it's easier with makeup than skin/body products that are already used.

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  14. I'm the same way; I hate feeling wasteful. Recently, I've finished up a few subpar shampoos by using them as body washes. :P

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  15. I also use facial washes/soaps/shower gels as brush cleansers. I tend to use the ones I didn't like.

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  16. I wonder how interchangeable some of these cleansers/shampoos are. Would be fab if someone came up with an all-in-one formula that could be used from head to toe!

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  17. Liz, you had Juice Beauty Apple Peel in the photo. How do you repurpose it? I love it for my face, but hey, if it has other great uses, please tell!

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  18. @Lizzy - Sorry, I don't have a multi purpose use for the Juice peel! I was recycling the pic of the St. Ives from a skincare inventory entry. I'd say it would work on your hands, too, but it's pretty costly to use aside from the face.

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  19. Actually they were very drying. But I felt like I *had* to use them up. Very thick lotion had to be used with them.

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  20. You're better than I am. I really want to throw away the Alberto European shampoo & conditioner but they're just growing mildew in the shower right now.

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  21. Old post I know but they do have head to toe beauty products for babies. Head to toe baby wash. And Dr. Bronners. And shampoo bars like chagrain valley sells can be used on the body as well. They also sell a jug at Sally's of Hair and skin conditioner which they say you can use to remove makeup/ cleanse skin( like a cetaphil- same fatty alcohols etc as conditioner reason why some use just conditioner to wash) shave, conditioner hair and as a lotion.
    While super green and crunch folks really go in for these, beauty obsessee's( yeah I made it up) like us find them lacking in pretty packages, fragrance appeal etc.

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  22. I do find those very lacking, though I go through phases of wanting to live a simplified life and feel tempted to pick up such multi-taskers! But then, it's usually a phase and soon enough I'm picking up other "prettier" things. Maybe some day, but not any time soon that's for sure!

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