I didn't always see the importance of a skincare routine (long days at the office with my head resting in my hands; hours spent studying mindlessly picking at stress-induced pimples; late nights falling asleep in my sweaty makeup). It all took a toll. My skin was, as a facialist once told me, "really angry with me." Tired of having to cover up blemishes and scarring, I decided to start taking care of my skin. I don't have perfect skin now, but I'm not afraid to leave the house without an ounce of makeup and that's huge for me. And when I do wear makeup, it looks better because I'm not caking it all on to cover my skin issues.
Here are my tips on how to finally get good skin:
1. Do Some Research
Standing in the cosmetics aisle at the drugstore or any other beauty store or counter (Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, Macy's, etc) can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. I often wander around for an hour and return home exhausted and either empty handed or having spent too much money on items I'm not sure will actually work. It's always so hard to know what's good marketing and what's actually good. The only remedy here is to do your research.
I always recommend checking out the reputable review site Beautypedia.com which has reliable research-based skincare and makeup reviews. Check out shopping websites and youtube for more reviews (taking into consideration some items are just hyped up). Book an appointment with a dermatologist for persistent skin issues and get some recommendations for products. Or ask a trusted aesthetician about your skin needs.
2. Create a Simple Routine
I've seen skincare routines that go on and on and on--layering serums and creams and oils and lotions and spritz's of this and that. But I know that for me to stick to it, my routine needs to be simple and therefore quick. For me, there are really only three night-time steps: 1. remove makeup, 2. wash, 3. moisturize. In the morning, I have three different steps: 1. wash with water only, 2. moisturize, 3. apply SPF. Once a week, I treat my skin to a little in -home facial which helps remove dead skin cells and address any problem areas.
Create a routine that works for both your lifestyle and your skin issues. If you're still sleeping in your makeup--GASP--stop doing that! Start with just taking your makeup off before bed. If you think you can handle something more than my three steps, look into a specific toner, serum, or other skin treatment that would help address your specific needs.
3. Be Gentle
Stop all the tugging, pulling, picking, and scrubbing. Be gentle with your skin, especially around your eyes. The less you touch your face, the better your skin will be. Now that I don't touch my face, it's rare for me to get a blemish.
Be gentle in the products you use as well. They just need to be effective, not harsh--your makeup remover should remove all your makeup, your cleanser should remove dirt, your moisturizer should provide your skin with soothing moisture. Simple, right? But there are lots of products with ingredients that irritate your skin and may be causing, even more, skin issues. As a general rule, steer clear of products with lots of fragrance. And watch out for any kind of feeling of tightness, burning, itching, or any other adverse reactions.
Note: Watch out for false advertising. Not all products labeled "gentle" or "for sensitive skin" are actually that. Refer to my favorite resource.
4. Be Consistent
To see any kind of results, you need to be consistent with your new routine. My college professor once said that doing homework was like brushing your teeth, you can't just do it once in a while and get good results. Skincare is the same. You have to be diligent when it comes to your skin. It doesn't have to be complicated, just enough for you to stick with it on a regular basis. And please please please take your makeup off before bed.
If you're already taking your makeup off, washing and moisturizing, and your skin issues persist, see a dermatologist. They can help you formulate a plan to finally get good skin. If you're not sure whether to apply your serum before your night cream, please reach out--I'd love to help you figure it all out.