Samples seem like a cost-effective way to try products you’re interested. However, it’s easy to go overboard with skincare and makeup samples, especially in a market that uses samples an incentive to shop. When sample collecting becomes excessive, it is less helpful to you and more harmful to your skin.

I have started a Sample Purge. My enormous collection of Sephora samples had become a mental and physical burden. The spontaneous and brief introduction of a new skincare product would irritate my skin. Furthermore, I could not determine enough about the product from one sample.

Some guidelines that I am using in my sample purge:

  • Designate another area for sample use. To counter my thrifty nature, I’m using up my sample packs on my neck. My decolletage is less sensitive then my face, so it’s a good way to test a sample and help my skin at the same time.
  • Stop thinking of samples as travel items. Keeping samples you don’t care for, “just in case of emergencies” will just lead to hoarding. Instead, invest in a travel pouch and mini bottles for impromptu weekend trips.
  • When given options, stick to multiple samples of one product. Since DHC offers 4 samples with each order, I get 4 of the same product. With this, I have more time to test out a product’s compatibility with my skin.

Other blogs that have addressed this issue well are Ask an Esthetician and Beauty Reductionista. They have great tips for minimizing sample hoarding.