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You could say that I’m low maintenance. But, really, I just never give myself quite enough time to get ready. Between a bad habit for booking my days straight from morning until night and always being up for a last-minute trip, I can’t always fit in (both figuratively and literally) my entire routine. If I’m in a time crunch or I need to pack a bag, I find that I have to sacrifice some of my usual products.
Fortunately, I’ve found a few products that do “double duty” that don’t feel like a sacrifice. They make it really easy to get keep my routine simple and effective when I’m traveling or get ready on-the-go when I’m in a time crunch.
Clarisonic PRO Sonic Cleansing
How it does double duty: Deep Cleansing and Gentle Exfoliation for face and body
Clarisonic PRO Sonic Cleansing ($225, amazon.com) for face and body comes with two brush heads: a gentle brush for the face and one that’s slightly firmer for the body. It makes it super easy to use on brush, then pop it off and use another brush — taking care of face and body cleansing with one brush. Add the gentle exfoliating, and I’m hooked.
The company explains that its brushes use a sonic frequency of 300 movements per second to clean skin. A research study, sponsored by Clarisonic developer Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, Inc., found that using the device with a mild cleanser was twice as effective as manual cleansing with a mild cleanser (Clarisonic). The Clarisonic cleans by loosening and clearing away inelastic comedones (aka blackheads) from the skin (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2006).
And while the brush provides some exfoliation, it’s gentle enough that won’t harm the skin or protective layers of skin and, in fact, can be used in combinations with a gentle exfoliating cleanser (Aging Cleanser, 2007; Clarisonic Blog, 2013).
Pure Argan Oil
How it does double duty: Works for hair and skin, Mixes with other products
Argan oil has been a hot ingredient for the past few years, and you probably know it works for hair and skin, because it’s popping up in products for both. But I love having a bottle of straight argan oil on hand because it’s so multiuse. Recently, I’ve been using a bottle Cultural Connections, LLC sent us of their fair-trade Eden Allure Pure Argan Oil from Morocco ($23.50, amazon.com), and I really like.
[Read More: Spotlight On: Argan Oil]
Thanks to beneficial fatty acids oleic and linoleic acid, which contain the medium-to-long-chain fatty acids that make the best emollients, argan oil is a great moisturizer (Dermatitis, 1992). Thanks to components like a healthy dose of vitamin E, it has skin and hair protecting antioxidants (European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 2008). And even better still is that it’s been found to have significant UV-protective properties (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2005).
I like having argan oil for the obvious purposes of being able to add moisturize to my skin and hair with one product, but that’s not the only thing I like. I also like using it in conjunction with other products, most recently my curl cream. When the weather’s hot, my hair frizzes, but using extra curl cream always made my hair crunchy. Mixing some argan oil with my curl cream in my hands before adding it to my hair keeps frizz at bay while making my hair soft and shiny.
Olay Quench Age Defying Body Lotion
How it does double duty: Anti-aging Moisturizer for body and face
Olay Quench Age Defying Body Lotion ($24.04, amazon.com) is a great drugstore find as just a body lotion, but it can work for the face too. That’s because its active ingredient, niacinamide, shows up pleasantly high on the ingredients list — within the first five, in fact.
[Read More: 8 Secrets Cosmetics Companies Don’t Want You to Know]
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is a multi-use ingredient. There’s a body of research studies showing that it helps treat hyperpigmentation, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, treat acne, and improves skin elasticity and texture (Dermatologic Surgery, 2006; International Journal of Dermatology, 1995).
The body lotion actually has a similar amount of its active ingredient to the pricier-per-ounce Olay Renegerist Night Moisture Recovery Treatment. There are a few differences. The body lotion uses higher concentrations occlusives petrolatum and isostearate, forgoing the silky silicones of the night treatment, which also contains petrolatum and a different form of isostearate, but in lower concentrations. And the night treatment has skin-firming palmitoyl pentapeptide-4.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Isostearate, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Sodium Pca, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Behenyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylparaben, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, C12-13 Pareth-3, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Mica.
Tarte Cheek Stain
How it does double duty: Works for lips, cheeks, and anywhere you need color
I’ve spent a lot of time doing my makeup in the car, on the bus, in the bathroom at work before heading out for an event, etc. Products that work for more than one thing are a total lifesaver. I’ve definitely pulled a lipstick-as-blush look before (mostly in my childhood dance recital days), and I’ve found the texture and look tend to be a bit lacking. These days, if I’m using something as a blush-lipstick combo, then I like Tarte Cheek Stain ($30, tartecosmetics.com). (I have to give credit to Nicki for being the one to point out that it works for both.)
The nice thing about Tarte’s gel- and cream-based stains is that, since they’re intended as cheek stains, they’re formulated to blend well on your skin, so they don’t feel like — well — lipstick. But because they’re a moist formula, you can also use them for color on your lips.
This and a tube of mascara are purse staples for me if I need to “put on my face,” so to speak, quickly when I’m out.
Keeping products that work for different parts of your body can keep the number of products in your routine low, particularly when you spend the day running around. Particularly when I go on short trips, I like to switch out certain things in my routine with more products that do double duty, so I can travel a little lighter without sacrificing too much.
How about you? What are your favorite products that do “double-duty.”