I’ve been a beauty girl all my life. But skincare wasn’t my first love… In fact, now that I think about it, I most definitely did not do good things to my skin. But over the years, makeup and hair took a backseat and I became obsessed with learning and educating myself about the right treatments, techniques, ingredients and products for my skin. Being a beauty editor also helped me access and get in touch with the right people in the skincare industry. Below, I’ve listed down most of everything I’ve learnt in and around my journey as an editor and now a skincare aficionado (ref: my Instagram bio LOL).
Okay listen up, when it comes to trying a new skincare product, it will not (and I repeat, not) give you instant gratification. No zit cream or peptide, anti-ageing serum or acid will ever give you instant benefits and make your skin look all kinds of amazing after using it after just one or even five nights. Because it takes your skin at least 28 days to renew itself, which essentially means replacing all the old skin cells with new ones.
I know, it can be a real pain in the ass especially if you’ve paid big bucks for that serum or miracle cream, but I’m telling you from personal experience, you need to wait it out to reap the benefits. I’d say stick to your new routine or product for at least 3 months to see any sort of benefit. Think of it as working out—you need time, patience and consistency to make any real changes!
Rather than rubbing your oils and serums, as you would with your moisturiser and creams, your skin would benefit a lot if you pressed it on. The reason why we press these oils and serums on is that it aids product penetration and helps decrease chances of skin elasticity.
Facial tools may seem like a fad since they’re all the rage right now, but they are in fact quite effective if used correctly. Over the years I’ve invested in high-frequency tools, stone rollers, ice rollers and just about any at-home toning and firming devices. But it’s important to understand that what a certified dermatologist or aesthetician can do for your skin, at-home facial massager won’t be able to match that with the same effect. However, most of these tools aid lymphatic drainage, relieve tension, help relax the muscles and (like any beauty product), if used consistently, you’ll be able to notice firmer and fresher looking skin. I’d highly recommend investing in at least one facial tool.
No matter how old I was, I would always wash my face once in the morning and then again before I hit my pillows at night. My mistake, however, was spending lots of $$$ on my cleansers. I used to think that the more expensive and high-end the brand, the better for my skin… I mean, most people would think that too, right? But in fact, it’s way overhyped. In my mid-20s I realised that a drugstore finds served my purpose, and weirdly enough gave me better-looking skin than any fancy-schmancy face wash I spent all my money on. Remember, not to look at the price tag when it comes to face cleansers because essentially you don’t need to buy a very expensive one to just wash your face… Instead, invest that money in other skincare items, where the price will equal the benefit it has for your skin.
Most. Important. Thing. Ever. Just like everyone’s born with different heights, build, hair texture, hair-lines, body types, our skin types are also different. So what works beautifully for your BFF, might not work for you at all. Hell, what works for my own mother’s skin doesn’t work for me. It’s essential to keep in mind your own skin type and texture (also reasoning) before buying that hyped or cult-favourite product. And if you really, really want to use it, then patch-test it first before layering it onto your skin.
As the beauty industry gets more conscious and aware of the harsh and harmful chemical ingredients, certain brands have arisen claiming and branding themselves as clean. Clean beauty essentially means that it’s free from parabens and toxins. But not all non-toxic ingredients are “better” for the health of your skin. Since clean beauty products lack actives (as they sometimes compromise the skin’s lipid barrier) they lead to 1 of 2 things… They can either not give you any result after consistently using that product or due to the product’s “clean” and organic ingredients, it can be harsh for people with sensitive skin types.
It’s no secret that if you use vitamin C regularly, it can give you brighter and fresher looking skin. The benefits are endless but make no mistake, using a vitamin C product (especially a serum) can also have negative effects if you don’t use the right one, with the right concentration and for your exact skin type. Since different products contain a variety of concentrations of vitamin C it’s hard to exactly pinpoint the right one for you. Which is why patch-testing or seeking advice from a dermatologist is recommended. And if like me, you have highly sensitised skin, steer clear of this ingredient and make sure you do not use it along with other skincare products until you can find a balance with them all. Or wait until your active acne clears up first.
Never underestimate the power (and value) of a clean makeup brush/sponge. The dirt and build-up on your used makeup brushes can cause way more harm than any serum or mask can. And besides accumulating all the oils, there can also be residual bacteria that can clog your pores and lead to a sudden skin break-out. And if you’re already dealing with acne, you definitely don’t want to be rubbing bacteria from your brushes onto your face. Also, I’m not sure if it’s just me, but dirty brushes can lead to your makeup looking streaky and patchy which is why it’s essential to apply your makeup with clean bristles to ensure a smoother application.
This is something that took me a while to register. While seeking the professional help of a dermatologist regularly or an aesthetician, might burn a slight hole in your pocket, let me tell you that sometimes when it comes to matters of your skin, it’s the better way. Your skin is going to be with you all your life, so treat it right and treat it with the best care possible. Because no amount of DIYs on Pinterest or recommended celebrity at-home facials might work for you—and like I said above, we all have different skin types.
A question I find myself getting from my fam, friends and followers, (also something I questioned a lot too)—Does a tingling sensation after you apply a product mean that it’s working? And should a product even tingle at all? Hard-hitting questions when it comes to the skincare world… While I was always of the notion that ‘if a product tingles, it’s wrong for your skin’ but in actuality, isn’t so. In November 2019, I finally met Paula Begoun of Paula’s Choice and man, oh man, I can listen to her talk about skin and ingredients forever. In our brief interview, she did mention that if a product tingles it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for your skin—it’s actually due to the fact that the product includes an exfoliating ingredient like vitamin C, retinol and AHAs like glycolic acid which your skin hasn’t build the tolerance towards that kind of tingling.
Although the 80-20 rule is a helpful concept for life and time management, it also applies to your skincare. Many of us think that just by getting a derma-roller treatment or facial done means that all of your skincare worries and problems will go away… Wrong! Like I mentioned before (ref: point #1) consistency of treatments is needed—but what’s way more important, is that all your in-office treatments make up just 20% of your actual skincare work. The other 80% of it is how you maintain and nourish your skin at home. It’s crucial to remember this because home-care is a must if you want to improve your skin.
Man, oh, man! How I can vouch for this one. Since childhood, I’ve always heard the term “beauty sleep”, but it’s not until I actually got my 9-hours of beauty sleep did I realise it’s wondrous powers. Now, of course, not every day can I achieve 9-hours of sleep but I make it a point to hit that goal at least twice a week. Sleep can impact your entire body from your largest organ to your smallest, to even your hair and skin. According to many studies, our skin is affected by blood flow, so when we do not get enough sleep, it results in restricted blood flow to the skin—which then makes us look worn-out and tired.
I’m just gonna say it—you.do.not.need.a.15.step.skincare.routine! No matter what the Koreans tell you or skincare brands to advertise, no one should have to apply 15-odd products to their skin every damn day or night. Instead, approach the less-is-more concept. Why? Well, let me put it this way. Every skincare product has a certain amount of acids, vitamins, peptides etc. But not all ingredients are needed or necessary for your skin… So why over-do it? Instead, use only those products that serve your skin’s purpose in-order to nourish and remedy it.
Thanks for coming to my TedX talk, guys! Hope this helped x
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