How do you decide what products to buy for your skincare? This is a question I have been asking myself and others repeatedly for years, as I've always been on the quest for perfect skin. This quest once appeared impossible, as for years I have dealt with acne, hyper-pigmentation, and the oiliest skin ever. I've tried quick fix solutions with makeup, I've tried mail-order products, department store gems that were all the rave, and about every other drugstore miracle product there was. It wasn't until recent years that I decided to take a simpler approach to caring for my skin. And through much trial and error, I have learned what works for me and what doesn't. I would like to share with you guys the five steps in which I tackled my skin care troubles and came up with a regimen that works for me. Hopefully this will be of help to someone else!
1. Research. This is the most important step in creating any type of routine for yourself. Before heading out to the store and buying whatever you see stocked on the shelves, let's do a little research first. The process of researching skin care options begins with asking yourself a few key questions. What is your skin type? Your skin could be dry, oily, or combination (like mine), where you experience a bit of both as the seasons change. Another important question would be "what is your skin care budget?" While many like to peruse the drugstore aisles for skin care products that are more affordable and easily accessible (also, like myself), others opt to visit department stores where there is more than likely a consultant that could help you choose the right products for your particular skin type. Something else people consider when making skin care purchases is if the products are organic, or as natural as possible. There are lines out there that will fit your specific needs, but first you have to take inventory on what you need and want out of your skin care.
2. Choose core items for your regimen. Core items, or the bare necessities of your skin care regimen are your cleanser and your moisturizer. Quite a few people have told me over the years that they don't need a skin care regimen because they do not wear makeup. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with this to a degree. I believe that everyone can benefit from having a well cleaned and moisturized face. And oftentimes the same cleansers and moisturizers we use for our bodies may be abrasive to the more sensitive skin on our faces. So no matter how simple or complex you decide that your regimen will be, make sure to choose a nourishing cleanser and moisturizer for daily care. The easiest way to choose cleansers and moisturizers is referring back to those questions we discussed in the research step and noting products that align with your answers. Many skin care lines, such as Mario Badescu, match products with skin types to make things easier for us.
3. Consider your skin's special needs. So now that we have our cleanser and moisturizer figured out, we can move along to attending to those special needs some of us may have. This is where your skin care regimen could go from simple to complex. Special needs your skin may have are sensitive skin, acne prone skin, eczema, and hyper-pigmentation (dark spots) to name a few. And you just might have to add a few more items to your skin care arsenal to give your skin the best care possible. For example, as someone who has hyper-pigmentation, I might add a gentle exfoliating product to my regimen. This helps fade my scars faster, as well as slough off dead, dull skin. Having a special need may also mean that you would upgrade your moisturizer or cleanser, as well. I make sure my moisturizer helps fade dark marks or that my cleanser does the same. So if you have skin care concerns such as the ones that I mentioned above, you might want to add a gentle scrub, toner, serum, and/or mask to help remedy them.
4. Shopping | The Trial & Error Process This step is actually what I consider to be the fun part of the skin care regimen building. This is the step in which you get to put all of that research to work! If you are like me, you have already searched products you want to try on YouTube and other social media outlets to determine if they are a possible fit for you. Yes, I'm the one in the skin care and beauty aisle with my notes and screen shots saved in my phone, debating on which products get the privilege of going home with me! More often than not, careful planning and research will help you mark off a dud before you even get to the store. So take your time, search those aisles, compare and contrast labels, and hopefully you will score some great products.
5. Be patient as well as consistent. This is the second most important step in creating the perfect skin care regimen. You must consistently use the products (as directed on the packaging) and patiently wait for results. It won't help to buy the best cleanser and moisturizer if you don't use them consistently. Most products aren't one-time use miracle workers (oh how I wish there was one though!) so we must do our part in making sure the products are as effective as possible. That being said, don't get discouraged if a product doesn't work it's magic overnight. More often than not, it takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks to see results when using a new product. So relax, enjoy the journey, and continue to drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet.
Other things to be mindful of: If a product irritates your skin or gives you a bad reaction, please discontinue use. There may be an ingredient in the product that you're allergic to. Also, bear in mind that some skin care concerns may require a professional. Do not be afraid to see a dermatologist if over-the-counter skin care solutions are not working for you.
I hope this post was helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns in the comments and I'll try my best to help!
DO YOU HAVE A SKIN CARE REGIMEN?
IF SO, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS?