Why No-Buys Don’t Work and How To Have a Healthy Relationship With Your Skincare Addiction*

*if they truly work for you please disregard and keep doing your thang.

The Dreaded No-Buy

You’ve heard of them, you may even participate in them: No-Buys. These are the dreaded months that we declare we will not buy any skincare or beauty products for the entire duration of the given month. They usually are prompted by excessive splurges on beauty items that leave your wallet scorched and your bank account crying.

While they are often born of good intentions, they rarely ever work. Not that the no-buy is necessarily broken but the intended effect to curb consumerism and save money is rarely ever achieved.

Let me explain.

Lack Mindset (like a no-carb diet for your wallet)

When you declare a month of no-buy you are essentially entering into a lack mindset. Instead of focusing on the abundance that you already have (oh, like you don’t have a stash?) you are focusing on what you don’t have. You are focusing on the fact that you don’t have the money to spend or can’t spend. You focus on how you *can’t* get new skincare.

The lack mindset is dangerous territory because it pushes us to the edge. Ever gone on a restrictive diet? Ever promised yourself you’d stop eating so much chocolate? And how long did that last?

When we focus on what we can’t have we drive ourselves crazy and usually end up face first in a box full of new skincare (or chocolate).

It’s Only For a Month

The thing about no-buys that can make them ineffective for your financial goals is that it only lasts one month. That’s a short period of time, all things considered, to build up your savings. It’s not really feasible to think that the damage done in previous months will somehow magically correct themselves in a month’s time.

It also encourages us to go all out when the month is up. Think again about that restrictive diet; when you do finish it, do you celebrate with a big bowl of ice cream or pasta? Or both? Together?

When you put a time limit on your restricted buying you are basically telling yourself that once the month is over you have permission to go wild after.

They’re Called Crash Diets For a Reason

When you’re so used to buying skincare whenever you want, going on a no-buy can really throw you for a loop. Now, instead of buying whenever you feel like it, you have to wait. So you start to plan. Plan for the day the no-buy is over so that you can get all the things that you want. The planning becomes excessive and all of a sudden the no-buy is over and you’ve already got five boxes on their way to your door step full of things you would need five faces to put it all on at once.

They’re called crash diets for a reason, and I believe no-buys will make the majority of us crash and burn.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

But Kelly, What About 1 Empty 1 Newbie?

Now this is a much more manageable approach to skincare addiction, in my opinion. This theory has the addict only purchasing a new product when a current product is now empty.

What’s great about this is that you can buy whenever you need to and it doesn’t trigger lack mindset. It also helps keep us from accumulating our very own skincare closet for our stash!

But there are some drawbacks. It definitely relies on the fact that the skincare addict already has an established routine that is working for them (not always the case, and sometimes our routines need major overhauls depending on what is occurring on our faces at any given time). And it’s boring. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of skincare out there and not a lot of time for us to try it all.

I do believe that 1 empty 1 newbie should be a guiding principle that we all follow but I don’t believe it is the only way.

So What’s a (Skincare) Junkie To Do?

I definitely believe in a middle-of-the-road approach to skincare addiction. I can’t deprive myself so much that I crash and burn into skincare excess and end up living in a tent made out of skincare packaging (like you don’t keep yours?) But I also can’t stick to just buying something new when something is empty — I will go crazy from boredom.

I generally will stick to 1 empty 1 newbie for the core of my skincare, as along as my routine is working I will only replace products as needed. But I do like to try new things and I kind of am in this skincare blogging game, so I do need to try new things every now and then.

So I take a sensible (for me) approach and if the purchase doesn’t follow 1 empty 1 newbie, I ask myself the following questions:

Processed with VSCO with  preset

The Checklist

Do I Have a Product That Already Does This?

Is there a product in your routine or stash that does whatever this new shiny product claims to do? You really can’t use two Vitamin C’s at the same time and you definitely don’t want to end up with 5 niacinamide products that all have to be used up by the expiration date.

If yes — stop, add it to the wishlist and purchase once the product you already have is gone.

If no — continue to next question.

Can I Finish Open Products Before This One?

Maybe the product you want can’t be duped from your current stash, but do you have room in your routine for something new? Can this product wait until you have finished up some other products before you purchase?

If yes — add it to the wishlist and start working to empty those products (remember you can always speed up the process by applying to your neck and décolletage).

If no — proceed to next question.

Will I Use It Or Is It Skintertainment?

You know those products that look so fun, so cool, so Instagramable. I’m thinking masks that bubble up on your face, glitter in everything, rainbow swirls of #texturetuesday goodness.

That’s all good. But will you use it? This is a serious question to ask, and there isn’t anything wrong with a little skintertainment, but do you really need to spend your money on this now?

Will this add value to your routine or is it just a trendy product that will most likely end up ignored at the back of your skincare closet? (I promise you, I don’t have a skincare closet.)

So, will this product help improve your routine?

If yes — get it! If you genuinely think the product will enhance your routine and improve your skin, get it gurl! (or guy!!)

If no— continue to next question.

Do I Really Need It or Do I Want To Buy Something To Cheer Me Up?

This is a pretty serious question that I think we all have asked ourselves at least once. I know I have had to question hauls I’ve made, only to discover the root of the issue was stress, feeling out of control of my life, or unhappiness (or all three).

And let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with trying to cheer yourself up with a little gift. It’s definitely not the solution to your feelings, but it can be a nice distraction.

But there is a problem when it becomes a cycle of unhappiness = excessive buying = more unhappiness = more excessive buying, etc.

So ask yourself, are you trying to pacify a feeling by buying this thing? If so, I think it’s best to try to deal with that feeling rather than suppress it temporarily with a purchase.

Are you buying it to make yourself feel better?

If yes — I’d recommend that you not buy it and think about realistic solutions to your situation.

If no — get it!


We all struggle with our skincare addiction, but at the end of the day it should be fun and not stressful!

Hopefully this guide can help you buy on with confidence!

I wish you all a happy and healthy skincare addiction!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s