Before I’m being a sucker for skincare, I too have experienced a dark age of being totally clueless about skincare. Well, maybe not totally clueless. Ignorant may seem to be a better description. Now that I understand a little bit more about skincare and being a religious user of it, I came to regret some things. Things that I wish I didn’t put on my face, things that I wish I did to get better skin. I believe I’m not the only one who suffer from this problem. I bet a lot of people out there have felt the same way or are still as clueless as I was about skincare. In this post, I’m going to write 5 things I wish I knew about skincare back when I was younger. It may come in handy to those who are just beginning to learn about and practice skincare.
1. Skincare is an investment
Everybody wishes to have glowing, acne-free skin that looks good even without makeup on. But I know some people who think that skincare is a waste of time and money. Well, I once thought that too. Back then I cringe when my friend told me she uses a particular brand of skincare that I know is very expensive. I thought that many skincare products are for those with deep pockets and I should stick to my the very basic product I use. Well, it might be true to some extent. Obviously, we shouldn’t push ourselves to purchase pricey products we couldn’t afford. I’m not promoting the act of impulsive splurging on skincare products either.
Back then I rejected the idea of doing the right skincare routine. The only steps I did was only cleanse and moisturize. I may have practice a “skincare routine” that I thought was good enough. But even the very basic good skincare routine consisted more than that. And my skin yearned for more than that. Only putting on night cream or day cream wouldn’t magically make my skin brighter. Cleansing only won’t make my dull skin disappear.
What I didn’t know is that skincare is an investment. It takes time and commitment to do it but it’s worth it in the short and long run. It could help me exterminate acne once and for all, it could make my skin less susceptible to aging or at least delay the process. My mantra now is, I only have one face so I have to treat it respectfully if I want to have a great skin in the long run.
2. Find the right products
Finding the right products for a skincare routine may seem like a piece of cake at first. But there are actually a lot of things to be considered. I would put price as my number one priority as money is quite a serious subject for me (at least recently). Even so, I wouldn’t sacrifice quality and its fit with my skin concerns. I also have to take into account my skin goals which come hand in hand with my skin concern, which is affected by my skin type.
I don’t have $100 to splurge on one item of night cream just because it’s cult favorite. But I would spend the same amount for several products that really address and tackle my skin problem.
A good skincare routine doesn’t really have to broke my bank. It doesn’t consist of pricey skincare product but it has to consist the right steps and commitment because there are quite a lot of step. I also have to invest the time to evaluate my skin problem and find the right products for it that are still within my price range. It’s not easy but then again, no investment is. But I believe in the long run, my skin will thank me. And I will thank my younger self.
3. Read the ingredient list
To find the right product that matches the skin type and effective to help out the skin problem, it’s essentials to read the ingredient list. How many times do we neglect this and go straight on buying the product just because “everybody else is using it and it does wonder to their skin”. It’s important to remember that some products work for some people but it might not work for you. Maybe a product is filled with highly potent ingredients but one ingredient you are allergic to.
If we want a product that exfoliates our skin then look for AHA/BHA within the ingredient list. If we’re looking for hydration, look for hyaluronic acid. If our problem is aging, look for anti-oxidant ingredients. If we have sensitive skin avoid certain ingredient. And so on.
We have to listen to our skin. And if the ingredients are not suitable for them, best believe they would tell you. In the most unpleasant way possible (i.e irritation, acne, flaky skin, etc)
4. Exfoliation and over-exfoliation
As I have mentioned above, the only skincare steps were cleansing and moisturizing. I neglect exfoliation completely. Well, maybe completely. Every once in a blue moon, I do scrub my face with any facial scrub I could find. But then again manual exfoliation is not the best exfoliation method there is. And even that I didn’t do regularly. Little did I know, regular chemical exfoliation could help me to diminish my dull skin and reduce the likelihood of acne. The two main skin concerns of mine.
My first exfoliator was the highly raved acid toner, Pixi Glow Tonic. And it was a game-changer. My skin gets clearer and the dullness disappears. Ever since then, I have never neglect exfoliation. It becomes an essential part of my skincare routine. But I got carried away a little bit. Since it gave a great result to my skin at some point I began to abuse this step which finally resulted in over-exfoliation. Sometimes the telltales sign is more subtle. It slowly gets dehydrated and before you know it the evil acne began to pop up.
So my piece of advice for everyone is to exfoliate but exfoliate wisely. Again, listen to your skin. If it gets hypersensitive, red, and overly sting, maybe tone down the exfoliator a little.
5. It’s a trial-and-error process
Getting the skin of your dream is not an instant process. As I’ve said before, skincare requires effort and time. We cannot expect to get the best result just a few days after trying a new product. Some products may give you a speedy result, some take weeks to finally show the expected result, some doesn’t change anything at all, some even break our skin. It’s inevitable. There’s no exact way to know how your skin will react to certain product except trying it yourself.
We can do research by reading the endless reviews out there or ask a friend who has tried it. But always keep in mind that no skin is identical. Even if we share the same skin type with our friend, our skin concern and goals may differ. Not to mention our diet, environment, and weather. Every skin is unique and because of that, we have to take the plunge and try the product ourself. Obviously with sufficient research beforehand.
That is why it is important to understand our skin type, concern, and goals before we go around buying skincare product merely based on other people’s experience. We can use it as a reference but shouldn’t blindly follow it.
It takes patience, time, and commitment. But trust me, your skin will thank you.
So, do you have skincare lessons you would like to share with me? I’m all ears, fellow skincare junkie! <3