When I first decided to really get into skin care and wanted to create a routine for myself, I was a weird combination of a kid in a candy store that was excited by everything I saw and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh where it was all too much and I felt like doing nothing. I’m sure some of y’all can relate, especially with how much the beauty and specifically the skin care industry has exploded in the last five years.
Every brand is coming out with every single type of product you can think of, and using the term “oversaturation” to describe the beauty market is starting to feel like an understatement at this point. Even as someone who has worked professionally as a brand educator in the industry, I have trouble keeping up with all the new things popping up and deciding what may potentially be a good fit for me.
But I’ve followed a few basic tips that have served me well as my routine and personal tastes have changed and as my skin care journey has evolved over time. These tips have helped me feel solid in every choice I’ve made in terms of product selection as well as the overall blueprint of how my routine is built. I guess you can say I’m “all grown up” now in terms of my beauty philosophy. So I wanted to share with you the tips on how I got to that skin care adulting space.
In my skin care adulting journey, I’ve followed a few basic tips that have helped me build my routine and feel “all grown up” in my beauty philosophy.
1. Impulses Are Not Your Friend
Brands have so many ways to market to us in the current age of social media, and it’s even more amplified when you’re spending a lot of time at home sitting idle on your phone. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook—you name it, there are advertisements. All the colorful graphics and product claims make it way too easy to just impulse buy things, and before you know it, you’re knee-deep in a stash of things you’ve purchased without much rhyme or reason as to why you have them or what you want them to do.
I’m a huge fan of spreadsheets, and while that may not be how everyone operates, I think having a good, clear idea of what you’re wanting to accomplish with your skin care routine will help guide you to the land of healthy, glowy skin that we all want to live in. Having a roadmap of sorts will help you not take a detour and end up two cities over without a clue how to even get back on track.
I’m sure I’ll go in depth into how I personally go about building a skin care routine and how I guide others to find what works for them. But the point I’m trying to get across here is that you should do your best to have a solid reason as to why you’re grabbing something. Ask yourself before you pick up the next product you get why you’re getting it and whether you’re realistically going to use and enjoy it. If the answer is anything but a solid reason you’d accept from your kid, sibling, or spouse, you may want to reconsider if your purchase is going to end up in a drawer until it expires. Don’t lie, we’ve all had that drawer before. Let’s not fill it up again.
2. It’s a Marathon, Not a Race
The impatience that I’ve felt when it comes to results from products is very real. Even with all my experience and knowledge, I’ll use something new for a week or two and find myself prodding my face in a magnified mirror wondering why I haven’t seen a magical transformation where every skin concern has vanished. The aforementioned product claims probably don’t help with the impatience since the vast majority of brands want you to believe you’ll see an overnight difference.
Of course, certain things may show results more immediately. If you try a new cleanser and it immediately makes your skin sting, do not continue using it, lol. However, it’s going to take some time to reap the benefits of the majority of products. There are different time periods that the internet will say you should wait before you see the benefits of certain products, but there really is no hard and fast rule other than it’s probably going to take a little longer than you’d think.
It can take weeks for a moisturizer to help restore your skin to a calm state if it’s become irritated. Something like a brightening serum is likely to take a month or two before you really see noticeable differences in your skin tone. Anything retinol or retinoid that can help with breakouts or signs of aging can take several months and multiple tubes or bottles to make a tangible difference. Patience really is the key here; switching out your products after a week or two because you feel like you’re not seeing results will likely keep you stuck at square one in your personal skin care adulting.
Switching out your products after a week or two because you feel like you’re not seeing results will likely keep you stuck at square one in your skin care adulting.
3. No Risk, No Reward
There are so many amazing products out there and even more mediocre ones, but all the research and YouTube reviews in the world cannot account for the fact that everyone’s skin and preferences are different. I’ve had many instances where I hear nothing but rave reviews from my trusted sources about how amazing a product is, how great the results have been, how awesome the user experience is, and after using it for a month or two I conclude that I just don’t like it.
I get it, it’s totally frustrating after having invested time and money into something only to have it be a total flop, but it’s important to accept that the potential disappointment is just part of the game. Not all products are created equal; if one vitamin C serum did nothing for you and/or irritated your skin, it’s not reasonable to say that all of them are going to suck and they’re not for your skin.
Of course if you’re having a severe reaction, I understand wanting to avoid a certain ingredient or product category. But otherwise be willing to work with a particular product or ingredient by using a product in different ways (i.e. using a different amount, applying it in a different order, etc.) or try a similar product from a different brand before writing something off for good.
I hope these tips can be a bit of a guiding light in your journey to skin care adulting, and you feel a little more confident while wading through the mass of advertisements and product releases. Don’t worry, we’re all in this together, and I’m here to do my part to steer you in the direction you want to go. Stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t forget your sunscreen <3