15 Products To Cut From Your Beauty Routine ASAP

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Anyone who has spent a weekend reading Marie Kondo or watching Minimalism on Netflix, all the while surrounded by chairs hidden under piles of clothes and a medicine cabinet filled with expired products, spills, and lipsticks only worn once, knows how tempting the idea of hauling over a dumpster and going to town is.

But going to the other extreme causes just as much of a headache. So here's the plan for tackling your overflowing beauty supply: Take a deep breath, maybe do a stretch or two, and head into the bathroom with this guide open on your phone. Forget about asking yourself if the item sparks joy, don't try to remember exactly how many times you used it in the last year — just allow yourself to let these 15 things go.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
We've all gotten the memo loud and clear: Cleaning our makeup brushes is very, very important. So, we're certainly not saying this is now a step to skip, but we are giving you permission to never re-purchase that $20 brush cleanser. Use gentle baby shampoo, Zote laundry soap, or dish soap mixed with olive oil — they all work just as well for next to nothing.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
If you have extra time, oily eyelids, or are going for a super-pigmented look, eyeshadow primer is great insurance. But you don't need a dedicated one if you've got concealer and setting powder in your kit already. Blend your concealer across your lids with a sponge, tap loose powder on top, then go to town with your palette.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
The explosion of the Kylie Lip Kit onto the scene meant the explosion of lip liners in our makeup bags — one for every shade of liquid lipstick we own. Yes, they make everything look a little cleaner and more precise, but how often do we really use 'em? Hardly ever.

If you have a great nude that matches your natural lip color, you're set. If you want to play it safe, hold on to a true red, too. But ditch the green, navy, and five variations of burgundy taking up space.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
We're going to go ahead and bet that you have at least one heavy-duty body butter and gritty body scrub in your collection. (If you don't, why are you here? Get to shopping!) And if you do, and you're not using them on your dry, scratchy winter feet, ask yourself why the hell not. The only difference we've found in scrubs and creams marketed toward feet is that they contain menthol for that tingling sensation, which is nice, but far from necessary.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
You can never have too much of a good thing, right? Eh, not so fast. Wearing sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do for your skin, but guess what: You don't need more than 30 SPF to effectively protect against damage.

“When applied properly, there is little difference between a product with SPF 30 and anything higher,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “However, in the real world, we do not apply as much sunscreen as we should and we do not reapply as often as we should. As a result, that SPF value gets diluted out.” If you're swimming or sweating, you're going to need to reapply every two hours; you can take it easier if you're just sitting in the office all day. (Oh, and here's how to re-up on the stuff without messing up your makeup — because that's always top of our mind, too.)
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
We love lip scrubs, but we love saving money more. So instead of throwing down for a tiny jar of honey, sugar, and fruit seeds, make your own at home, then use a washcloth or toothbrush to gently buff it away along with all the dead stuff.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
That mascara you've had for an entire season? The nail polish that's thick and bubbly when you paint it on? The moisturizer you got two years ago? Toss 'em all. Expired beauty products serve no purpose in your life, so take an inventory by checking the packaging for the little jar symbol with the monthly time frame inside it.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
It’s true: The skin on your neck and décolletage is thinner than the skin on your face, and it does benefit from some TLC, but it's not so needy that it requires its own cream or sheet mask. Your regular moisturizer, plus a lot of sunscreen, will keep it looking firm and spot-free.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Don’t get duped by those teeny-tiny brushes that promise better results on your lower lashes. With a steady hand, your regular mascara (unless it's truly jumbo-sized) can coat the little guys without making a mess. Just look up when you go to apply it.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Hate to break it to ya, but Santa isn't real and neither are split end sealers. If you're in a bind, they can temporarily make your ends look smoother (just as an oil you already own can), but they aren't magically fusing the hairs together. Your best bet? Call up the salon and book yourself a trim.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Pore strips are fun, but your money and time is best spent elsewhere. "For long-term blackhead removal, using a product with salicylic acid is much more effective than a pore strip. Salicylic acid gently helps skin turnover, unclogging your pores,” explains dermatologist and director of Minneapolis-based Zel Skin Clinic Brian Zelickson, MD. “It works by penetrating the inside of the pores and all of the sebum that has accumulated within them, versus just the top layer.”
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Let us count all the ways to soak up facial oil in a pinch: toilet seat covers, toilet paper, tissues, pressed powder, rolling papers...
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
When it comes to your pores, there’s good news and bad news. The bad first: The size of your pores has more to do with genes and aging than anything else, and they cannot be shrunk. The good: There’s a way to keep them from getting any larger in the short-term. “Pores are really unable to be reduced any more than we can grow taller,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD. “As we age, we start losing collagen, which keeps our pores nice and tight. Therefore, using exfoliating and collagen-stimulating products, such as retinoids and peptides as well as broad spectrum UV protection, can help ‘diminish’ pore size.”
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Health experts and manicurists agree: When it comes to cutting your cuticles, just say no. Of course, trimming rough skin that's sticking out is fine, but cutting your cuticles weakens the nail's protective barrier, leaving it more susceptible to germs and infections. Instead, rub some cuticle oil on and gently push them back before brushing on a nourishing base coat.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Loofahs are, quite frankly, gross as hell. Dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, explains: "Loofahs have porous structures and contain nooks and crannies, which can become filled with germs, fungus, and bacteria, which can be transferred to the skin, potentially causing infections." Stick to bar soap if possible, but if you insist on keeping your pouf, Dr. Bowe recommends shaking it out and letting it air-dry outside of the bathroom. If you aren't replacing yours every three to four weeks, make the switch to this new Olay product we love, which forces you to toss it after 30 uses.
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