15 Sephora Products You Can Buy with Your FSA or HSA Before the Year Ends

published Nov 17, 2023
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rendy Sephora make up and perfume store in shopping Mall. Sephora is a French chain of cosmetics stores, featuring nearly 300 brands along with its own private label.
Credit: TY Lim / Shutterstock

Have you ever gotten to the end of the year, only to realize all the money you put away in your FSA or HSA is going to expire — and you can’t think of a single doctor’s appointment you need to squeeze in?

You thought you were doing the right thing by putting those pre-tax dollars away in an account that you can use towards certain medical expenses, but they’re only good if you actually use them.

“The catch is, while some employers allow you to carry over up to $500 per year, FSAs tend to be ‘use it or lose it’ accounts, so any unused contributions are lost at the end of each year,” explains Courtney Alev, consumer financial advocate at CreditKarma. She notes that it’s critical to keep an eye on your account and plan carefully so you don’t put too much money in your FSA or get to the end of the year without a plan in place to spend every dollar. 

However, if you do find yourself counting down until the end of the year with extra money sitting in your account, don’t worry. There are everyday healthcare items that you might not realize can be purchased with FSA dollars, and you can use this opportunity to go on a “use it or lose it” shopping spree. And one of those places is Sephora. From sunscreen to acne care, you can tally up some bougie items on your pre-tax dollars, and we have a list of 15 of the best items to pick up at Sephora to burn down your FSA balance.

But, despite the fun of spending your leftover dollars at Sephora, you might not want to find yourself in the same situation next year. Alev suggests, “Take a look at your budget and at any expected healthcare costs in the coming year. How much you save really comes down to your unique financial situation, including how much you can afford to put into an account, what you qualify for, and how you plan to use your funds throughout the year.” Only put in what you need because one person can only use so much sunscreen in one year.

Note that Sephora does not accept an FSA or HSA card as payment. You’ll pay with your regular form of payment, then submit your receipt for reimbursement with your benefits provider.

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This broad spectrum SPF lotion is a classic, and it’s one beauty experts swear by for everyday wear (the name gives it away, right?). That happy yellow tube is a great one to slather on in the morning and take with you all day.

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Who knew you could get something so fancy with FSA dollars? Now is the time to splurge on La Mer, and find out what a $115 bottle of sunscreen is all about.

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Over 300 reviews with nearly five stars for an acne product means something is working. This retinoid helps fight acne while also building back up the skin’s protective barrier.

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Don’t forget about your lips when you’re applying your daily SPF! This SPF 30 lip balm has a delicious vanilla brown sugar flavor and includes good-for-your lips ingredients.

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You can get a setting spray that’s packed with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E using your FSA dollars, all because it also happens to have SPF 30.

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Use this brightening eye cream every morning not only to add SPF, but also coverage, luminosity, and peptides. It also has the buzzy ingredient, squalane.

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This clearing cleanser with 2 percent salicylic acid, zinc, and niacinamide will help resolve any stubborn breakouts on your body. It’s also a favorite of dermatologists.

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The mint flavor of this lip balm tastes like it’s working, and, with an SPF of 25, it’s one that you can feel good about wearing both inside and out.

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This clean, silicone-free mineral sunscreen comes in the most cheerful packaging, but it also packs a powerful punch with ceramides, peptides, and zinc.

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Stop the presses. You can get Sunday Riley with your FSA dollars. This 1.5 percent salicylic acid face oil helps treat acne while also feeling indulgent on your skin.

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This luxury sunscreen says it becomes more effective in water, sweat, and heat, thanks to WetForce and HeatForce Technology. That sounds like a challenge to take this on your next beach vacation.

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This skin-focused sunscreen and moisturizer in one is packed with antioxidants and squalane to help make your skin feel refreshed and hydrated, while also protecting it from the sun.

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This thick repair cream helps relieve dry and eczema-prone skin, helping it strengthen the skin barrier within a week. This provides the comfort you’re missing when your skin is dry and itchy.

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If you’ve been curious about all the buzz around Murad’s products, now’s the time to try them out. This 2 percent salicylic acid treatment helps fight current breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.

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Another Supergoop! Favorite, Glowscreen has been an influencer-approved product for a few years and its pearlescent finish offers more than the average sunscreen. It’s also clean, functions as a makeup-gripping primer, offers blue light protection, and has plumping hyaluronic acid — what more could it do?