Kissing goodbye to the grooming bill One Kiwi’s fight back against the personal products industry costing us all an average $1300 a year.
Waihi woman Lucy AitkenRead is saving money by giving up toiletries,
Ditching all cosmetics and beauty products has saved one New Zealand woman thousands of dollars – and she says if other people realised how easy it was to make your own, they would probably do the same. Lucy AitkenRead gave up shampoo five years ago as part of a quest to save money when she and her husband first had children. She wrote a book about the experience, which became popular around the world. Now, she has been a year without any commercial beauty products, including things such as shower gell, toothpaste, sunscreen and deodorant. Her new book, Freedom Face, offers a how-to guide to help others who want to do the same.
She says she used to be a ‘‘bit of a cheapskate’’ when it came to toiletries but would still have spent at least $20 a month on shampoo and conditioner alone.
Now she spends $20 on the ingredients it takes to make months’ worth of all her products.
‘‘I estimate I would have spent something like $1000 just on shampoo in a year. Now, I make all my own stuff and it lasts forever.’’
Statistics New Zealand estimates that in 2016. every person in this country spent $1362 on personal grooming, including haircuts and cosmetics.
AitkenRead said a $30 or $40 haul of basic ingredients, such as oils, shea butter and honey, would allow her to make everything from deodorant to shower gel and moisturiser.
‘‘It can be costly stocking your shelves to begin with but when I buy a chunk of beeswax that can last three years.’’
AitkenRead said the idea that more expensive products were better was not true. Many of the most expensive creams and potions were made using
I estimate I would have spent something like $1000 just on shampoo in a year. Now, I make all my own stuff and it lasts forever. Lucy AitkenRead
substances that were found in nature in their most powerful forms, she said.
‘‘Take urea,’’ she said. ‘‘In its most natural form it is found in urine. You find a synthetic version in most expensive creams and balms, when we have a very readily available form, if you are prepared to use it, and you see the same results... it’s incredibly effective on cracked heels. It’s a miracle.’’
She said it did not require any particular skill to make your own beauty products.
‘‘All you need is a blender. If you can make a basic meal and follow a recipe, you can do it.’’
The book offers homemade alternatives to facial peels, mascara, face masks, facial serums, hair products, deodorants, shower gel, bug repellent and fake tan.
It also includes a summary of her own results with each homemade product.
She said many of the homemade products, such as face creams, were very like the massproduced variety.
‘‘You can spend a lot on them and you wouldn’t believe how much like a store-bought product they can be and a hundredth of the price.
‘‘In the shop you buy a little bottle and it’s mega-bucks.’’
Lucy’s shopping list:
Previously (monthly): Shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo: $20 Shower gel, face wash, exfoliator: $10 Body butter and face moisturiser and lip balm: $10 Hair spray and mouse: $5 Mascara, foundation, blusher, lipstick: $10 Toothpaste: $3 Bug repellent: $10 Suncreen $15 Deodorant $5
Total: $88 Now: Baking soda: $3 Coconut oil: $4 Beeswax: $4 Small amount of Essential oils: $2 Zinc oxide: $2 Mica mineral powders: $2 Cinnamon: $1 Apple cider vinegar: $2 Cornflour: $1 Rye flour: $1
Every New Zealand man, woman and child spends about $1300 a year on toiletries and grooming, according to Statistics NZ.