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Why You Should Stock Up on Specialty Toiletries Now

Woman holding bottles of her favorite spa skincare treatments.
July Prokopiv/Shutterstock

Do you have a particular skincare or haircare routine that depends on specific products? If so, now is the time to buy a few months’ worth of those specialty toiletries.

All over the world, supply chains are being disrupted by the current pandemic. That doesn’t mean you need to worry about running out of basic essentials like soap, which are made by many different companies. But non-essential toiletries, especially those made by smaller companies, might be out of stock for weeks or months at a time. Here’s what you need to know.

What to Buy Now

As the great toilet-paper-hoarding scandal of 2020 has shown us, stocking up on products is only wise to a certain point. Panic buying is a natural reaction to emergency situations, but it’s not necessary. You don’t need to run out and buy a years’ worth of shampoo.

As a Syracuse University professor of supply chain management put it, “We’re not going to run out of food. We’re going to run out of maybe your one particular favorite food.” That idea can be extended to toiletries—the world won’t run out of shampoo altogether, but it may run out of your favorite kind of shampoo.

That’s why, if you rely on a specific product for your skincare or haircare needs, now is a good time to pick up a few extra containers. Some products may very well run out during this pandemic, especially those made by smaller companies that can’t easily weather supply chain shifts. Non-essential toiletries, like your beloved anti-acne moisturizer or deep-conditioning hair mask, will likely be the first to go.

Of course, you’ll survive just fine without those specialty products. But those things can make life better, such as by helping manage breakouts or making dry tangled hair easier to brush. If a product improves your quality of life and you have the cash to spare, now is a good time to order a few months’ worth of it before it sells out.

As a bonus, placing a larger order now may help small companies stay in business during these difficult times. Plus, lots of brands are offering discounts to help boost dropping sales, so you can stock up for a lower price than usual.

Where to Buy What You Need

We don’t recommend making a special trip to the store for non-essential toiletries, but luckily, most personal care brands can be found online.

However, you might visit your favorite brand’s website only to find that what you wanted is sold out already. Don’t give up yet—check the websites of larger beauty stores like Ulta or Sephora to see if they stock that brand. Many products can also be found at big-box retailers like Target or Walmart, which tend to offer an even bigger selection online than they do in stores.

When your package arrives, keep in mind that studies suggest the coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard. After you handle the package, wash your hands carefully and throw the external packaging away. Or, consider leaving the package untouched in a separate area for 24 hours to let the virus die off.


There’s no need to go crazy and fill your cupboards with countless bottles of your favorite toiletries. But having enough to get through a few months can provide a little peace of mind right now—so consider placing an extra order of products that might soon be hard to find.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a Seattle-based writer and editor with a Master's in Writing Studies from Saint Joseph's University. Her work has appeared in publications like Racked, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Rum Punch Press. She was awarded a 2017 Writing Between the Vines residency.  Read Full Bio »

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