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In this episode, one woman shows us how researching a science-backed skincare routine helped her save money — and stop believing skincare lies fed to her by the beauty industry. Find more budget skincare stories here:

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Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Video narration by Betsy Winchester

Video by Grace Lee

Based on an article by Bree Rody

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Start rebuilding your credit today. [PAPERS FLIPPING] After nearly two decades of a fickle and somewhat financially impulsive approach to skin care, I decided to make a small commitment. Develop a solid skin care routine.

Use the same products every day and night, wash my face thoroughly, enjoy the meantime, basically, grow the hell up and treat my skin better. And I wanted to create my skincare routines based on research, not just vapid claims from the beauty industry to completely transform my skin. As I pressed on with my new routine, I kept notes about how my skin responded, because skin care is rooted in science, not aesthetics.

And I realized that even as my skin started to clear up, soften, and just plain feel better, there was a lot that I would never be able to control. I realized that I, a fairly savvy consumer, had been fed a lot of skin care lies. Number 1, don't dump money on products that claim to transform your skin.

The most important lesson from my new found skin care obsession was that there's a huge difference between my complexion and the appearance of my skin. For example, my forehand doesn't always have to look shiny, but I will always have oily skin. No cleanser can change that over time.

It's like thinking a vacuum cleaner can change the shape of your house. Also you cannot shrink your pores. That poreless look on celebrities and Instagram models, genetics and face tune.

Take comfort in the words of Dr. Bobby Buka on the plus side of course. Large pores and the oil that comes with them can counteract the physical toll of aging and wrinkling.

All of this is to say, when you're choosing products like cleansers and moisturizers, don't choose based on the skin you're hoping to have. For me, that meant choosing a cleanser that stayed away from claims like increases radiance or improved skin's natural defenses. Number 2, basic skin care doesn't have to be expensive.

When I let go of these unsubstantiated expectations, it was surprisingly easy to find something that balanced my most basic needs, which is simply to remove dirt and excess oil without forming irritating dry patches. I actually found it in a cleanser that cost $6.99. One targeted at teenagers.

Number 3, no, every woman does not need a toner. My everyday skincare products, sunscreen in the morning, cleanser at night, makeup wipes only when I've worn a very large amount, a 10-minute agave mask-- literally, just a teaspoon of agave on my face-- and face oil. If I have significant breakouts, I will also use a spot treatment, but I also want to talk about what I don't use.

I don't use toner, although I was a huge fan of aggressive drying toners in high school. Today, trainers have become more diverse in their functions. Many are sold in spray bottle packaging targeted as refreshers, but numerous dermatologists, including Toronto's Dr.

Renee A Beach say toner is unnecessary. Whether you call it a toner or a refresher, its primary purpose is still to remove excess dirt. If you're using toner, you probably need a better cleanser, says Beach.

If you like the clean and crisp feeling of a refresher midday, a spritz of cucumber water is way cheaper. The main takeaway here, you don't need every single skin care product under the sun. Start with a good moisturizer, cleanser, spot treatment, and sunscreen.

Number 4, water is not a cure all for your skin care woes. One budget friendly tip you've probably heard is to drink more water. It's the top product celebrities with perfect skin credit for their ageless appearances.

Spoiler alert, the real answer is money. Beyond skin care, water is the catchall recommendation for oral health, energy, digestion, and weight loss, but hold up before you go out and buy a Mammoth Mug or a CamelBak. While hydration is important, the skin benefits are greatly exaggerated.

New York based derm Dr. Joshua Zeichner says that there is no evidence that drinking fewer than eight glasses of water per day is harmful to your skin. As long as you're not dehydrated, your skin is fine.

And if you are dehydrated, you have bigger things to worry about. I already drink a ton of water because I'm an extremely physically active person. When I first started drinking a lot of water, my skin did clear up, and I thought it meant I was magically flushing all the dirt out of my skin.

Chalk it up to confirmation bias, the next time I got my period, it was breakout city once again. Number 5, you can't get perfect skin by putting yourself in a bubble. There's a lot of tested and true skincare advice that is actually backed by dermatologists, and a lot of it conflicts with the condition known as being human.

Don't wear foundation, don't drink alcohol, perfectly valid advice, but some that's also alarmist and impractical. Yes, these things can stress your skin out, but it's also true that if these things stress your skin out, your skin was far from perfect to begin with. After six months, I found myself somewhere in between skin care is one big lie and skin care is the most important routine you will ever have.

There's no universal product advice I could ever share, but the best routine advice I can share is simplify. Don't buy products that are backups for other products. Stop overanalyzing every little imperfection.

Don't go to bed with a dirty face. Don't fall for the anti-aging price tag. There is enough proof out there from the pros that has convinced me that, yes, we are sold on too many products, but that doesn't mean the cure is skin care nihilism.

It's important to clean up after yourself and treat your face nicely. And certain routines like removing your makeup every night will help the appearance of your skin immensely. If you're one of the millions of Americans with an inaccurate or unfair credit score, think about working with

As their name suggests, helps people work to repair their credit, and they've been crushing it for the better part of a decade. advisors will help you analyze your credit report, identify any questionable negative items, and work to get them removed. If you have questions about the credit repair process or what the team can do to help you, give them a call or visit the link in our description to learn more.