PSA: This email came from a very witty friend of mine, who is a native of Turkey. I used the words "cleanser" and "exfoliate" in my prior email, which I then had to translate into "wash your face" and "get rid of dead skin / resurface / glow baby glow."
When I asked what you all wanted to see online, many of you opted for the "how to 'do' skincare" idea. I have also written down everything else that was suggested in that Instagram post. That being said, I'm going to do my best to start a series and include as much information as I can. Irrefutably, the skincare world is a jungle that is completely inundated with marketing ploys, ingredient fillers, false claims, and impossible promises. Thus, when you don't know what you should be on the lookout for, things can get crazy and overwhelming pretty quickly. On the contrary, when you find the brands who have awe-worthy ethos and care about what they are putting on into the market, everything changes. When you become an informed consumer, skincare quickly becomes a way for you to take care of yourself. A form of self-care. If you have a question/topic/concern that I don't address, leave a comment here or on IG. If you think you're question is too "basic" to leave publicly as a comment, 1. It's probably not, and 2. Send me an email. Here we go.
people want quick fixes. that is why wipes and scrubs are so popular. it's why marketing is so dangerous. ironically, these so-called 'quick fixes' turn into lengthy, cyclic, time-consuming problems.
One of the questions I'm asked most frequently is "How do you know what to use in each routine / how do you know what your face needs / why don't you do the same routine every morning and night?" The short answer as to why I don't do the same routine is that my skin isn't the same every morning and night. A non-negotiable fact is that you need more than one cleanser. If I don't pay attention to what my face wants/needs, it goes downhill pretty quickly -- it's that simple. Be mindful of the dehydration, the spots, the clogged pores. You're an intelligent human being. If you have a headache, you take an Advil and get a coffee. That being said, if you're hormonal, you most likely reach for a purifying cleanser. If you're dehydrated, you reach for milk or oil. If you're super oily, you reach for a clay or gel. It depends. Dryness (lack of oil) and dehydration (lack of water) + stress are definitely not a good combination. Your skin is your largest organ. It breathes, it regenerates, it gets mad, it gets hormonal, it gets tired. It is a part of your body.
Almost a year ago, I wrote this in an Instagram post: "You know your face better than anyone. Be its friend, don't attack it. Attacking is not the answer. I have a hormonal cheek that loves to flare up. Especially when I'm stressed. Treat when necessary- I don't treat my entire face like it has acne, I focus on the cheek. Treat it, then also reach for recovery treatments: oils and non oil-free moisturizers. You can do different things on different areas- it's all about balance, which is why I use different kinds of products. Start with how it feels... Oily/dull/grimy/dry/dehydrated/in need of resurfacing/congested, and go from there." As obsessed as I am with skincare, it's important to remember that a spot on your face is not equivalent to your demise. Truly. It's simply just not going to be 100% perfect all the time. Take care of yourself, cleanse well, forgot the spot on your jawline. Half the time, what you see is not what everyone else sees. Step back from the mirror.
Two things I think most people need, yet are afraid of: a good oil cleanser and proper acids. YES, YOU NEED AN OIL CLEANSER. AND NO, ACIDS DON'T MAKE YOUR FACE FALL OFF.
You don't need 100003892 products by a thousand random brands to take good care of your skin. I promise you really don't, despite what Instagram flatlays might tell you. Sunday spa days are a different story. You know what works for you, and it might not be on trend or the product in the spotlight right now. Sometimes, I go an entire week picking from the same group of products for cleansing and treating. I've been using Tatcha cleansing oil or May Lindstrom honey mud + Biologique Recherche P50 1970 + Vintner's Daughter almost every night for the past 2.5 months. Oftentimes, my morning routine will be the bare bones: cleanse, tone, moisturizer/SPF. The important thing is that you are properly cleansing your face with (quality) products that you love.
What's the proper "order?" Morning: Cleanse, tone (acid tone and/or nourishing tone), eyes, serum, moisturizer, SPF. Simplified: Cleanse, tone, moisture/SPF. Evening: First cleanse (to remove makeup/SPF, should be less expensive than what you use as a second cleanse), second cleanse (this is cleansing your *skin*, not removing makeup), acid tone, nourishing tone (to rehydrate and balance), eye cream, serum(s), oil (if needed/wanted), moisturizer. If you want the oil to penetrate, it's going to have to come before the moisturizer. Often I will stop after oil unless I'd like a blanket of moisture on top. Note that oils always come after serums. Remember that some mornings/evenings you may need less or more product.
How do I triple mask?
Low end vs. high end products? It's all about ingredients. Send me to CVS, send me to Target, send me to Ulta. You can create a routine. Ingredients are more important than the $ amount; however, remember the "best" ingredients (this could be another post) are pricier. Serums are always the place to splurge. Save: nourishing toners, first cleansers. Balance - not everything has to be $100+. Stalk my Instagram and you'll see this.
What don't I mix?
"I don't even know where to begin. This is why i use wipes."
Everything wrong with US skincare in one picture:
acids and oils. acids and oils. acids and oils. Someone make me a t-shirt.
Don't know where to begin? I've compiled 24 cleansers, of all kinds and price points, below. We'll talk about cleansers in the next "How to 'Do' Skincare" post.