In tough economic times, looking your best is still important - maybe more than ever. Like it or not, studies show that attractive people earn more money and hold greater positions of power.
But when people are worried about keeping jobs and making mortgage payments, spending $120 for a few ounces of moisturizer is off the table, no matter how miraculous the marketing claims.
So how can the average woman afford to keep up her beauty regimen? Dr. Debra Luftman and Dr. Eva Ritvo, authors of "The Beauty Prescription" ( McGraw-Hill, $24.95), say you don't need expensive products for effective skin care. They add, refreshingly, that most women need only three basic skin care products. They offered other tips for how women can pamper themselves - sometimes without spending a penny.
1. Out of the gate, know that you are at least 20 percent more beautiful than you think you are. Women tend to underestimate their beauty by 20 percent, Luftman says. (The authors' studies and observations of patients in their clinics have borne this out, they say. And, hey, we'll take it!)
2. Many drugstore brands are as effective as department store brands, where you're often paying for packaging, fragrance and so-called "elegant" formulations. As a matter of fact, many drugstore brands have sister products in the department stores (e.g. Lancome and L'Oreal).
3. When it comes to skin care, keep it simple (KIS). Three or four daily skin care products - an exfoliative cleanser, a sunscreen and a therapeutic night cream - should do it. Need some suggestions? For cleansers, Luftman likes Cera Ve Cleanser, Aqua Glycolic Cleanser by Merz, Therapeutix Clarity Cleanser and Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash. For sunscreens, she suggests Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion, Dove Energy Glow Facial Brightening and Olay Complete Defense Daily Moisturizer. For night creams, she likes Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Visibly Even Night Concentrate and Eucerin CoQ10 Anti-Wrinkle Cream.
4. Look in your kitchen for free beauty products. Green tea bags soaked and frozen make great eye depuffers, thanks to the cold and the antioxidants found in green tea. For youthful lips, mix granular sugar with cherry Jell-O and do a light scrub of your lips. You will be left with a smooth, pink-tinted pout.
5. Exercise is free. Thirty minutes of exercise five days a week will enhance all aspects of beauty. Endorphins are released and your skin glows, muscle tone improves and attitude is enhanced.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times