I tried to save money last week and got burned.

Isabella and I went shopping and one of the items on my grocery list was moisturizer. Let me just start by saying that I have sensitive skin. When I was in high school, I washed with Noxzema and moisturized with Ponds ( – and took Geritol complete…gees, that sentence makes me sound like a grandma) and it did the trick. In college I decided I needed the latest and greatest products so I was always switching to whatever was trendy (remember Biore strips anyone?).  Well, all that product hopping wreaked havoc on my skin and by the time of graduation, I was a pimply mess. I had NEVER  had trouble with acne my whole life and now here I was, 22 years old, about to head out in to the real world, and I’m popping zits. Great.

I tried everything to fix it. Products marketed specifically for acne-prone skin, medication, doctor prescribed creams…nothing worked until I was put on The Pill. That cleared it right up and I vowed to never stop taking it. Shortly after starting on The Pill, I switched back to Noxzema and used Dove or Oil of Olay for moisturizer (because they were cheap) but didn’t really think much of its effect on my skin until I went off The Pill a few years ago (when we were trying for our first baby).

My skin stayed clear and I realized it was because I wasn’t punishing it with harsh chemicals and things. For my skin, less is more. Now that I’ve figured that out, all is good.

Until this week.

In my quest to stick to the budget, I bought the generic face cream that says it’s equivalent to Oil of Olay. Hey, it was $3 cheaper! Score! I buy generic stuff all the time and have no problem. In fact, in some cases I prefer generic brands (like with macaroni n’cheese. I know – Kraft is supposed to be the best but I personally think the cheaper the mac n’cheese, the cheesier it actually is. I’ve eaten my fair share too so I know what I’m talking about here people)! But this time it wasn’t a great substitute.

I got home and started using the moisturizer and noticed right away that it wasn’t as thick as the brand name product. Then I noticed how my skin still felt dry even after I had used it, and I had to reapply.

My skin rebelled and decided to erupt.

As I was washing my hands after using the bathroom yesterday morning I looked in the mirror and saw a patch of dry scaly, flaky skin right on my chin. GAK! How embarrassing! I immediately put lotion on it and spent the rest of the day hiding my face and talking with my hand up to my mouth like I was thinking hard about something but really I was covering the hideousness of my skin.  

So I’m left with a dilemma. Do I keep using the cheap stuff until it’s gone, knowing I’ll have to reapply it like 5 times each morning OR do I call it a loss and go buy what works for me? The penny-pincher in me cringes at the thought of throwing an almost full bottle of moisturizer away but my vein side is screaming “GET RID OF IT BEFORE YOUR FACE TURNS IN TO A LIZARD!” I followed the screaming, somewhat dramatic second voice and bought some new stuff on my way home tonight.

Lesson learned: some generics are great. Other products it’s best to just pay the extra money.

(Oh, and now I’m craving mac n’cheese.)

If you liked this, you might also like:


The Magic Behind Couponing

I Hate the Grocery Store

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