Skincare is much more than just anti-ageing creams and beauty masks. Everyone can benefit from taking care of our largest organ, so here are a few useful tips if you're just getting started.
So, what camp are you part of? Do you have a whole cupboard filled to the brim with creams, serums, and clay masks and are committed to a complex 12-step routine every evening? Or do you consider splashing a bit of water on your face in the morning as the pinnacle of facial hygiene?
If you're part of the latter group, you might want to consider upping your skincare game just a little bit – without necessarily having to get as elaborate as the first group.
First of all, DON'T assume that skincare is somehow "not for you". Right now, we're at this weird stage where, on the one hand, it feels like we have moved past this as a society, while at the same time, there are still some who think that skincare is "just for women" or just for those interested in anti-ageing. Taking care of your skin is universal and can quickly become a key part of your self-care rituals.
DO start off by considering your specific skin type. Are you prone to oily skin? Dry skin? Or perhaps, you have what is called "combination skin", for instance dry cheeks and an oily T-Zone. Even if we've never thought about skincare before, we generally know how our skin reacts to certain situations or environments. Skincare is something very personal, so it is important to know what YOUR skin potentially needs and doesn't need.
When just starting out, DON'T get overwhelmed by choice. Skincare is unsurprisingly a huge market and there are countless products out there. But don't be fooled, skincare does not have to be a bottomless pit of monthly spending if you don't want it to be. To make it very simple, here is a list of the three most basic skincare routines you could have:
- The only skincare product that crosses the line from "a-nice-treat-to-yourself" to "actually-you-should-really-be-using-this" is sunscreen. If you do nothing else for your skin, please at least consider wearing sunscreen. In a previous Do's and Don'ts, we discussed sunscreen in a bit more detail – suffice it to say here that putting on a good SPF regularly is something we should all be doing.
- If you want to add just one more product then go for a cleanser. Properly washing your face, especially in the evening, will make a world of difference if you've never done it before. In addition, you can get good cleansers at really affordable prices.
- Finally, the one product that you can add that will make the biggest difference – in my own personal opinion – is an exfoliant. They can be a bit pricy, however, and are definitely not a must but if you want to treat yourself, this is the product to do it.
DO remember that our skin can change over time. What works for you today might not do the trick anymore sometime in the future. Conversely, what helped you as a teenager against hormonal acne might cause breakouts today. There is no perfection in skincare, you just have to keep listening to your skin and adapt to any changes that might occur.
Whatever you do, DON'T fall for the empty "all natural" marketing slogans. For some time now, there has been a trend towards a demonisation of "chemicals", with brands churning out "no nasties" lines left and right. A big part of that is nothing but fearmongering and, in some cases, it can even be quite dangerous. Listen, nature is great, but for the love of God, do not rub fruit seeds on your face as a sort of "natural exfoliant". Remember that literally everything is chemistry, and that the ingredients in skincare products are formulated to specifically work on your skin – something which you cannot say about a walnut-citrus paste that you've whipped up in a bowl your partner had breakfast out of this morning.
Finally, DO remember that skincare is self-care. Remember that it is allowed to be fun too! Doing your skincare in the evening and maybe in the morning if you feel like it, should not feel like a chore but like something that you look forward to. It is also worth pointing out that skincare is in no way a trend of the modern era: From ancient times, our ancestors have used a surprising variety of tools and concoctions to treat and pamper their skin. As such, skincare is much more than just superficial self-indulgence: A healthier, less breakout-prone skin that, on top of all of that, you also like the look of (say it with me people: There's nothing wrong about wanting to look good) can immensely increase your quality of life.