Date: 16 june 2016

Before you toss another unsuitable product into your beauty graveyard, consider these other uses for it - By Parizaad Khan Sethi

No one ever said skincare was easy. Certain formulations take to your complexion instantly, like they’ve always been BFFs, but sometimes we get dealt hard cards by the beauty gods. It often turns out that a few seriously amazing products are just not your type. Very similar to men, actually.

If you ever make a bad beauty match, and are getting ready to toss the offending concoction into your product graveyard, pause long enough to read our cheat sheet below. This will help you repurpose various skin and hair products, so that a bad hookup needn’t turn out to be a complete disaster. The general rule is that you can try a product meant for the face on the body, but not vice versa.

(PS: treat these as experiments; if a product really doesn’t work for you and creates irritation or breakouts irrespective of where you use it, give up on it. Life’s too short!)


Moisturizers and serums can have multiple alternative uses. If it turns out that one is incompatible with your face, migrate downwards and try it on your neck and décolleté (these areas need as much TLC as your face).


If that doesn’t work out too well, the next piece of body real estate you can try are your hands. Hands show signs of ageing and reveal your age quicker than your face, so if your $$$ cream or serum didn’t work magic on your face, your hands are an equally worthy canvas.


Moisturizers can do double duty to soften cuticles, elbows, knees, ankles and feet.


Rich creams (think a Nivea-like texture) are genius for giving hair a windblown look with separation and texture. Rub a tiny amount between your fingers and rake it through the ends of your hair. It’s nourishes the ends, plus imparts a sexy, boho beach babe vibe.


If sunscreen looks too white or ashy on your face, start slathering it on your body, which could use the SPF shield as well.


If you’re prone to breakouts and find your acne-fighting cleanser is too harsh for the face, use it to wash your back (another area prone to breakouts). Lather it up and leave it on for 5-10 minutes before washing off, so the ingredients have time to work.


Shampoos can double as suds for the soaking session of your mani or pedi.


If your conditioner is doing nothing for your hair, employ it as a shaving cream when you defuzz your limbs for a softer, smoother shave. Scan the ingredient list for panthenol though. Panthenol-containing conditioners have been known to cause acne in some people, so use with caution. Soap off your limbs after shaving, so no conditioner residue is left behind.

Parizaad Khan Sethi

is a beauty and wellness editor based in New York. She was the former beauty editor at Vogue India and now serves as a contributing editor for the magazine. At age 5, Parizaad fell in love with an old cream blush she found in the back of her mother’s drawer, and has been in awe of the transformative power of beauty ever since. When she’s not writing about beauty, she researches advances in skincare as a hobby, and is constantly guinea-pigging herself in the name of beauty.