All my Kings and Queens who are well versed in the grand art of self-love will agree that an important aspect of loving oneself is self-care. One of my favorite ways, as a product junkie, to do this is through skin care. As with every exercise in skincare, I choose the proper tunes, set the mood in my environment, take a deep breath, and get to work. A lot of people are still confused as to why their skin is not at the level that they desire. If this is you, here are a few quick, life-changing tips to enhance your earthly vessel; you are probably making one (or all) of these five mistakes.
1. You Don’t Have a Routine:
Now… you know better. Despite all the pomp and pageantry of a crazy start to the year, 2020 is for clear skin and good grades. This means it’s time to stop using whichever cleanser is within reach that morning. I see you and God sees you, too. Get yourself a routine, but make sure it works for you or you’ll be committing mistake numero dos.
2. You Don't Have a Personalized Routine:
As with any journey, there is an individualized destination. In terms of skin care, this depends on your skin type and what you hope to achieve. You need to have a regimen and it needs to be one that fits your oily, dry, or combination skin. The typical formula is cleaner, exfoliator, toner, serum, then moisturizer.
There are common mistakes at each step. For example, sudsy or foaming cleansers are usually not a good idea for dry skin but work for oily skin types. If your have dry skin (like I do), your best option would be a cream cleanser like Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash. Witch hazel may be an irritant to some, so organic rosewater is a safe bet as a toner. Serums can range from cheap, simple almond oil or the $100+ collagen products. At the exfoliant step, there is a common misconception that any skin scrub would fit the bill. If you are unaware of your having sensitive skin, a gentle chemical exfoliant with alpha or beta hydroxy acids is your best option. I would recommend either Paul Mitchell or The Ordinary skin care companies. It is important to note, however, that you should not be exfoliating more than twice or thrice a week.
If the work seems too much for you, I recently found a small skincare company, Rosen Skincare, that would allow you to take a quiz on the state of your skin and receive a complete, personalised skincare routine in the mail. You can find coupons for them here: https://www.wethrift.com/rosen-skincare.
3. Your Routine Isn’t Flexible:
As an African immigrant, I have noticed that I have extremely dry skin if the temperature drops below 68 ̊F. Otherwise, I have combination skin that is easier to manage. As a result, my skincare routine differs between summer and winter. In the summer, I avoid heavy serums and may even skip the moisturizer step (bad, I know) in favor of a soothing rosewater or cucumber mist. If your skin fluctuates with the climate or your location, your skin care cannot be one-size-fits-all.
4. Your Lifestyle is Holding you Back:
Three things fall into this category: not making time, not changing one’s diet, or not wanting to inconvenience yourself. I am inclined (as most STEM majors and workaholics are) to skip out on self-care in favor of good grades. It’s clear skin AND good grades. Boffum. This means making time for my skin care morning and night. Another thing that matters is that diet. I know that highly processed foods and too much dairy cause me to break out. We should all be paying attention to the way our diets affect our skin. I am an avid gym rat. This means that I am aware that sweating out the toxins is helpful to my skin, but I also know that I must clean my skin right after the session is over. I get serious breakouts if I don’t. This can be an inconvenience sometimes—I have been the crazy girl bent over the locker room sink with a moist towelette and a bottle of face spray so many times.
5. You Expect too Much from Your Routine:
This can take the form of a rushed routine or unrealistic expectations. To address the former, your cleanser can’t do much if you’re only rubbing it in for ten seconds. The popular rule of thumb is that cleansers need 60 seconds to truly activate and do their cleansing thing. Glass skin doesn’t happen overnight—and, quite frankly, it is impossible for some people. Genetics play a factor in how clear or glowy your skin will be. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your role in skincare. Healthy, clean skin is more important than clear skin.
Oh, and stop popping them damn pimples.