It’s been a while since I last talked about beauty / skincare so I’m excited about this post.
I have a (terrible) secret to share with you: I was deliberately ignoring any sort of skincare in my teens as well as in my early to mid 20s. Sounds horrifying, I know.
Well, in my defence, when I was a teenager I was lucky to have clear skin. I had absolutely no issues with it while my classmates battled with adolescence acne. Then, in my early 20s I went through MAJOR stress which made my hormones go haywire. Hence, I got my first spots (and scars). It was the most traumatic time in my life in many ways. My skin responded by breaking out badly.
That’s when I first started trying out skincare to treat my acne.
Then I was battling oiliness.
Then post-acne scars.
Then fine lines.
Every girl and woman knows that there’s always something we are try to improve about our skin.
Every case is unique but we all know how important it is to A) identify the issue(s) and B) do our best to look after our skin.
Which brings me to the most recent “situation”.
For 3+ months I have been awfully good with my skincare.
Well, to be fair, my skincare game has improved greatly since I started blogging. At the same time, in these 2+ years there were days and weeks when I felt lazy and unmotivated to take care of my complexion, especially on those late evenings when all you want is crawl into your bed and sleep rather than properly cleanse your skin.
Then, I simply had enough. I decided it was time to stop ignoring the problem and take care of myself. Even if it means I have to spend 10-15 minutes longer in the bathroom both in the morning and in the evening. What’s 10-15 minutes comparing to the results you get? At the end of the day, we are to look after our bodies and nurture them.
I carefully analysed all the mistakes I made in my skincare routine before. I knew it was time to change things up and bring in new habits which in the last half a year (and especially the most recent 3+ months) have proven to be the best decisions for my complexion I’ve ever made.
that changed my skincare game
1. Cleanse properly.
I used to be guilty of this one years ago. I’m talking about using makeup wipes.
Not only do they dehydrate your skin (mine used to feel so dry after using them!) but they also don’t do a very good job at removing all of your makeup. On top of that, they just spread all the grime all over the show.
Ditch soap, too.
Once I started cleansing my face PROPERLY, I started noticing a huge difference.
I recommend getting a gentle (but effective!) cleanser, like my favourite Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (comes with two muslin cloths) or Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. I always make sure I have at least one clean muslin cloth handy. They are irreplaceable when it comes to wiping off the product. I found the best muslin cloths here, here or here.
By the way, I reviewed Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser in detail here.
2. Make it a routine.
When it comes to skincare, in order to see changes, you need to be VERY patient and VERY consistent.
I know, we’ve all been there.
We’ve all had those nights when we went to bed with a face full of makeup. We’ve all had mornings when the closest thing to “skincare routine” we did was “washing” our faces in the shower.
Only by disciplining myself to develop a skincare ROUTINE, I managed to figure out what products worked (or didn’t work) for me and I was able to see my skin transform when I stuck to those new habits.
It might take you a while to follow the same pattern every morning and evening but it will be worth it.
Swap bad habits for good ones. Example: I used to wash my face only with warm-to-hot water. Now I always remember to rinse last bits of the cleanser with cold water. Tiny little thing. Mammoth impact.
3. My EMP: Exfoliate, Moisturize, Protect
You would think this “trio” doesn’t need an introduction, and everyone does these steps every day/week. But do we…
This might sound like the silliest revelation ever but I was amazed at how great my skin started to feel and look after I made exfoliation a part of my skincare routine. I usually use my St. Ives Scrub Blemish Control Apricot or Malin+Goetz Jojoba Exfoliating Cleanser twice a week. These scrubs are excellent at unclogging pores and helping to clear and brighten up your complexion. Every time I’ve used them, I woke up next morning with happy skin.
If I could go back in time, I would tell my 20-year old self to start moisturizing ASAP. I remember struggling with oily skin, and I thought what could possibly make my oily skin feel even oilier than a moisturizer. Unfortunately, I also couldn’t find a good one at the time. Now I never skip my moisturizer in my skincare routine! Not only because I know how good it is for me but also because it physically hurts when my skin goes very dry.
Personally, I have neglected the “Protect” habit for years. By “Protect” I mean using products with SPF.
I always thought this is a must for someone who lives in sunny California and is exposed to sunlight every day.Well, even on a gloomy day here in England we can’t hide from those harmful UV rays which dehydrate and age our skin. I’m not even talking about applying SPF when you’re on holiday somewhere sunny. If you could take out one thing from this post, I would be happy if it was this: always protect your skin from the sun.
4. Facial oils are amazing!
This is the most recent discovery I’ve made.
I have consciously ignored facial oils for absolute ages. I don’t really know why. I guess I just thought they were overhyped and useless. I also believed in the well-known “myth”: oily skin and oils don’t mix.
Boy, was I wrong!
Not only do facial oils moisturize like there’s no tomorrow (without leaving my skin feeling heavy), nourish and hydrate my complexion, they also make me look fresh, awake and alive! You might laugh at the last one but I’ve struggled with dull and grey-looking skin for weeks and months on. Facial oils did wonders for me, making me look rested and giving my skin that healthy glow. Especially my absolute favourite – Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil.
5. Wash your makeup tools.
How many times in the last 7 days have you been reminded (be it by someone’s tweet, Insta stories or a blog post) to wash your makeup brushes or your Beauty Blender? Probably quite a few.
I won’t lie and say I’m the best at keeping an eye on my makeup tools and washing them whenever they clearly need to be washed. I’m awful at that. Though, recently I have been reminding myself to keep my Beauty Blender and my brushes tidy.
There’s absolutely no need in going into detail about how harmful those dirty makeup tools are. Just imagine all the grime, dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria traveling to your face every single time you use that nasty Beauty Blender, which is also probably falling apart at this stage, or a makeup brush that has accumulated the remains of hundreds of layers of powder.
My makeup brushes are currently drying as I’m typing this. Go wash yours. You won’t believe the difference this little habit makes for your skin.
6. Less is more.
I saved best for last.
This is one habit I’ve always tried to be good at because A) I don’t like wasting money on products I might not use or don’t really need and B) using too many skincare products or constantly switching from one thing to another doesn’t produce good results (it’s usually causing more harm).
I think it’s okay to try different products to see what works for you. Once you find the ones you love, stick with them.
(Why fix something that’s not broken?)
An over-hyped product might sound tempting but wait it out until you hear more about it from people whose reviews you trust or when you’ve run out of your current one. Hoarding skincare is just as big of an issue as hoarding makeup. It usually ends with products being dumped because they’ve expired.
Likewise, using 10+ products in your daily skincare routine is also not the best idea. It might be too overwhelming for your skin. That’s why I choose my essentials carefully, and it’s usually a 5-step process: cleanser, exfoliator, serum or oil, moisturizer and eye cream.
What about you?
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.
Products featured/mentioned in this post:
Now it’s time for a
+ the giveaway is open internationally
+ you can enter from January 26th to February 10th
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Leave me a comment and let me know what bad skincare habits you have and how you’re dealing with them.
What good skincare habits would you like to start?