Beauty hoarding and multiple backups : organizing tips.

A lot of people struggle with hoarding makeup and skincare. While I have many beauty products for the average person who doesn’t even moisturize, I find my stack to be much more minimalist and realistic than in the past. I never was a collector, I never was a compulsive skincare shopper. I just have a lot of skin issues and allergies, and spent years not knowing what works for me. So I would try a product, my skin did not like it, and buy another product because I wanted my skin to be healthy. After all, it is a legit need to have healthy skin. It is not like having a tantrum because you are 12 and need a second retinol cream, right ?

When I had an issue with haircare backups

My other issue is haircare. I dislike having my hair short, and I have baby-like fragile fine hair but oily scalp. Most cheap products do not work at all for me. Among all the cheap products, there are products that absolutely work, but it took me a decade at least to find them. The probability of finding holy grail products in luxury or pharmacy haircare was much higher for me.

So when I was settling for cheap products, most would not work at all, and I ended up with a total of 10-30 products at the same time, and such a waste of space, energy and money. When I was fed up with that cycle, I would finally buy expensive haircare, holy grail products, and I was so much more satisfied. Those products also lasts much longer ! That is why I even see them as less expensive in the long run.

I got results, and I did not have to spend time to search for new products (it is endless because there are new products every day). So my point is that you should avoid settling for cheaper products just to save money (unless you absolutely need that saving for rent and food, or have your holy grail cheap products), because it might have the opposite effect in the long run. There are sales, there is a second hand beauty products market, so it might worth it splurging on some more expensive stuff if you are more satisfied with it. If you are satisfied with something, you crave other things less, if that makes sense.

My main issue was hoarding shampoo. Right now I have 1 bar shampoo (I use it as a clarifying shampoo), 2 big bottles of shampoo (same), 1 sulfate-free shampoo for daily use, and six travel size shampoos. I already see it as too much, and I do not buy more until I finish all of them. At least, it is still realistic because only 3 bottles are opened. So I will use all of them before they will expire. Before, I had to give my products away because they would expire otherwise.

My future rules :

  1. 1 sulfate free shampoo for daily use (bar shampoo or bottle) and eczema flare up
  2. 1 shampoo with sulfates for occasional use (bar shampoo or bottle)
  3. No more big bottles unless it’s holy grail.
  4. One conditioner with those ingredients : panthenol or honey. Two allowed if one is a bar conditioner.
  5. One mask (mostly Shea Moisture) at the time. Switching lines each purchase (Protein treatment, Manuka Honey, Superfruit)
  6. No more trying new products, unless it contains my favorite ingredients in good proportion (panthenol, honey, protein)
  7. 1 oil
  8. 1 aloe vera gel (the same that I use for my body and face)

My issue with eczema, rosacea and backups

I have eczema and rosacea, so I was a lotion, balm and cream hoarder. I am still a mild one I think. It got much better but I do not have that much skincare holy grails besides Cosrx oil-free lotion. My skin changes a lot, and my favourite ingredients can become my enemy the next week. I love urea and azelaic acid, but lately, my skin was not really happy with them. So I finished my azelaic acid serum on the scalp. I have no idea if this is a good idea, but well, some people put glycolic acid on the scalp, so I told myself why not ? It was a 5% azelaic acid serum with 1% Zinc PCA. So far there is no side effect. I finished the urea lotion on my legs. You can also finish any urea products on elbows, shoulders and feet. I had some repair cream with honey that I like, but my face did not like it because of the squalane. So I finished it on the shoulders and hands. They were so soft. I also finished hyaluronic acid serums on the scalp, but I also put them on cotton pads and apply the pads like a mask on my eyes (on the eyelid and under the eye), and then seal it with oil in the evening. It was very effective !

My new rules to avoid accumulating skincare

  • I can hoard 2-3 full size (400ml) body lotions and balms until I find what works for me (goal would be only one body lotion with one backup), but I don’t open a new one unless the previous one is completely finished. One shea butter container + two coconut oil containers. Same rule for lipbalm (2-3 max), but I cannot test new lipbalms because I know what works for me. Backups not in the bathroom.
  • No more serum at the moment, I use aloe vera gel (the same I use for my hair). No lotion. No mask besides honey. I use face creams that are too rich as eye cream.
  • I can have 1 unopened backup of my Cosrx oil-free lotion (it lasts so long). Backup not in the bathroom
  • I can have 2 or 3 (30-40ml) new face creams (for rosacea and eczema flare-ups) until I find one that works, but only one opened. Backups not in the bathroom.
  • I hoard 6-7 bottles of my shower oil that I buy on sale. It lasts me 6 months, then I buy the same stock. One bottle a month + one more for washing my hands in the sink when I have some eczema flareup.

What about make-up ?

I will be honest here, I am not a big makeup user. I have one nail polish and one base coat that will last forever, two eyeshadow palettes (nude tones and pink tones), one cheap mascara. I almost never use the eyeshadows, but keep them for events. I have three lip glosses and one nude MAC lipstick. I am panning them right now. I force myself to use the mascara everyday now but I have no issue going without. You will have better luck on r/MakeUpRehab.

My goal is to only have one opened lipstick at the same time. It will not be hard for me. What I notice is that big makeup users are often very creative people who love expressing themselves with the choice of colors, shapes. So maybe instead of buying makeup, you could have a creative hobby that does not require craft hoarding : digital art, dance, singing and more. You can also cook or bake with limited options.

Hoarding packaging

I was also hoarding packaging. When I liked a packaging, or when it was a very beautiful packaging, I could not let it go. It seems weird for most people, but I was very disappointed to discover that the following path for that cute packaging was the trash bin. I would also repurpose packaging. What works for me : I don’t keep any plastic bottle, no matter how beautiful it is. I realize it makes absolutely no sense to keep it just because it is beautiful. So many things are beautiful. Does it mean I have to own everything that is beautiful ? No. Just like a beautiful butterfly that your childhood self will eventually let go, instead of keeping it on your arm, to regain freedom, let the plastic containers go. While it will probably not kill you, it is not that safe to repurpose. If I don’t have any glass bottle I might eventually repurposing once a plastic bottle to wash my hands, but not twice. This is also the beauty of bar beauty products. You do not have any packaging left.

I feel very guilty for the waste as I do not really think that recycling is the perfect solution, as plastic quality degrades over time. However, choosing to hoard or reuse containers while making a mess of my place is not the solution. When it comes to glass packaging, like some Cosrx ones, they are good quality and safe to reuse with good hygiene, so I think it is worth it to reuse it ! You can reuse it for : hand wash, shower oil, aloe vera gel. If you have many of the same packaging it will be very pretty to have the same containers in the same room, but also better than just buying new ones. If you have extra of these packagings, you can give them to family members, neighbors or people you know who rent Airbnb apartments. Just take off the label ! When it comes to cardboard, you can use them to ship second hand items. If you don’t sell any item, you probably know someone who does. You can also use them for short term storage. However I would not recommend to keep them for too long because it can catch fire and attract bugs.

Scarcity mindset and poverty fears

A lot of hoarders hoard because they have a poverty trauma and fear they never will access to the item again. It is not always poverty trauma. It can also be war trauma. Even if you never experienced this yourself, the fear can also come from your parents, grand-parents, or anyone you know. Let’s be real : while it is good to be prepared in life in general, and have mental ressources to overcome rough events, you cannot control everything. If you cannot access to shampoo tomorrow, you will always find a way to wash your hair. It can be with salty water, with cornstach, which chick pea flour, with soap (yes, sounds scary, but better than nothing). Yes I did that one when I was a student in scarcity mindset. By the way, you can find extremely cheap shampoo today. If you have zero access to shampoo, then it means you are in a very bad place (homeless, or your country has a severe crisis) : your shampoo stack would be useless, because you would not even have a place to store it or access to water.

My own childhood was extremely frugal by today’s standards. I remember that conditioner was so precious for me as a child ! Any cheap conditioner, I would treat it as a rare item. Warm water was the same. I was so grateful to have access to enough warm water. We might take it for granted, but we are very lucky to even get warm water. Not to sound like a stick-in-the-mud person, but I am so baffled when I see young kids bored with their high end skincare. Remember : water is more difficult to get than any skincare and haircare when things get bad. This is the same for things we take for granted like scholarship, and access to health. You can always find cheap haircare and skincare, at the shop or DIY, but cheap water ?Our survival instinct can get out of control, but we can always rationalize.

How do I store stuff ?

I do not think that more place or more storage will help you. Instead try to limit yourself to what you already have. While you can buy organizers to organize your existing storage, do not buy more furniture. It will only increase the issue. So I put what I am using now or panning in the bathroom (and one hand cream, one lipbalm near my bed), backups are in a medium-size box under the bed and in a drawer. My goal is to get rid of the box and drawer as a storage, and limit myself to the bathroom.

How to organize the bathroom stuff

  • I use medium or small sized baskets for hair brushes and body lotions
  • I recommend a small open box or a Lazy Suzan for serums and face creams
  • For cottons pads, Q-tips and jewelry, I recommend this
  • For make-up, this kind of organizer is the best
  • For full-size shampoos and conditioners, I recommend not having backups at all, unless you have a lot of storage. Bar products also take less space. If you need to keep sealed backup shampoos in your bedroom drawers, here are some organizers.
  • Note that I choose efficiency over aesthetics. I need my organizing system to be efficient and could not care less if it does not match my tastes 100%. My taste is much more vintage but it’s not as efficient as what we have today. As a slightly chaotic person, I cannot always afford my taste. However if you are an old soul, you can find vintage sewing baskets and vintage round nested boxes on the second hand market.

If you cannot afford any storage system, the key is to 1) avoid backups to avoid chaos 2) put the backups in some invisible place (under the bed) 3) organize your items in groups of 2-3, like explained in this fantastic video I could not recommend enough. This trick is absolutely the best advice you could find. In general, only buy small organizing items, and stick to it. The more you buy big storage items and the more you want to fill it with more stuff. Note that I make rules for myself because I function better with them, but do not make strict rules if it makes you feel guilty or if you are a perfectionist. It is just skincare after all, you are not a serial kitten killer just because your place is a mess.

Transparency :

This article contains affiliate links for the Amazon Affiliates program, which means I might gain money if you make purchases after clicking on my links. Price is not increased for you. Amazon prices are very volatile I recommend you to install a price tracking extension like Keepa (not sponsored by them, just a tip so you avoid buying at the highest price). Please not that opinions remain my own. Purchases are not required to read and appreciate the articles ! 🙂

Ringarde Skincare

Le site qui ne vous vendra jamais de Drunk Elephant. Les conseils que je vous donne sont ceux que j'applique moi-même.

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