The recent buzz around skincare and having a good ‘skincare routine’ has made a remarkably profitable global industry, with skyrocketing sales promoting products marketed towards young girls. Since I was 11 years old, one of my biggest insecurities has been my skin, and this recent craze has prompted me to share my journey and the best tips and tricks I can offer you to avoid spending all your well-earned money on products not worth your time.
As a young girl, I remember scouring over YouTube videos for hours on end, trying to find the best products, newest brands and crazes, and only trust those with the biggest skin transformations. This led me to buy a whole range of ‘miracle’ products, jumping from one to another, never being satisfied with any result. By the time I reached 14, I had developed pretty bad acne, and I had to take Accutane for it, which meant after a year of harsh medical skin treatment, I knew that I had to find some ‘routine’ that worked.
Your skin will look worse before it gets better
The first thing I must say is that a ‘routine’ is just a word, developed mainly to encourage you to buy a whole host of products that you may not need. In fact, your routine may be two steps long: facewash and moisturiser. Or even, like in my dad’s case, just a splash of water in the morning. I’ve found that finding just two or three products to use works best, as sometimes mixing the strong chemicals (labelled on the products as active ingredients) can actually do more harm than good.
I would recommend aiming to get a good face wash, moisturizer, and sun cream. If you introduce new products to use them for at least 3 weeks before disregarding them, as you could go through a ‘purge’ where the impurities in your skin come to the surface, meaning your skin will look worse before it gets better. A very helpful app to use to avoid any harsh chemical imbalances on your skin is called ‘Skincare Routine’ by Mento Apps Ltd, where you can add all your products in and it tells you what to use in what order and on what days.
Another important thing to know is if you do have a larger routine, it should change with the seasons, as your skin will naturally change with the weather. So, more oil can be used in winter as you may get dryer skin, and in summer it should be limited to avoid breakouts.
Ignore these claims and focus solely on the ingredients
Finally, and if you take anything away from this read, let it be this: no product will work miracles, especially if it is advertised as such. Big sweeping, generalized claims, like ‘will clear up your skin’ and ‘give you a glow’ will usually either only be temporary, or won’t work at all. Using products based on their claims will ultimately be time-consuming and financially draining. The best thing you can do is ignore these claims and focus solely on the ingredients. The Ordinary, The Inky List, and CeraVe are brands that focus on the ingredients first and I have found this to be incredibly helpful to find exactly what works well on my skin.
Ultimately, however, although a routine may end up improving your skin, your worth is never defined by it, and your skin insecurities fuel an industry of profits for (typically) older white men. Therefore, although I know personally that ignoring your insecurities can be impossible and finding products that help can instil a huge amount of confidence, remember that there are far more important things. Feel confidence in your ability to overstep tactful marketing techniques and do what is truly best for you and your skin.