Are you new to skincare? As in – so far your routine consisted out of removing your makeup and slapping on some moisturiser. But now you are ready to step it up a notch. You could do with a serum. And what is this double cleansing everyone is talking about? Also, surely you must be joking, who puts acids on their face on purpose?
Fret not, our friends. Skincare is a journey, not a destination. And yes, it can be overwhelming at first. That’s why we made ALL the beginner’s mistakes, so you don’t have to. None of this is rocket science, just common sense. But it bears repeating.
You buy ALL THE THINGS. At once.
Stop right there. There is no need to go out and buy all the things that are missing in your routine, all at once. Start with a cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen. If you have any of these and are happy with them, stick with it. We talk a lot about how important it is to find the right cleanser. And it is the cornerstone of every skincare routine. Moisturiser is perhaps a bit less important, but a good one will keep your skin comfortable. Now sunscreen is important. It is one thing that will keep the signs of aging at bay.
Do not (we repeat DO NOT) use all new products at the same time.
This applies to everyone, but especially to people with sensitive skin. Patch test first. And then introduce one product at the time. How else are you going to know what is breaking you out? Or what suits your skin or what doesn’t?
Do not (we repeat DO NOT) use all the actives at the same time.
If you have never used active ingredients (like retinol, AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C), for the love of everything, do not start using them all at the same time! It is a recipe for disaster (trust us on this). We always say to start slow. Use retinol a couple of nights per week. Same applies to AHAs and BHA. Give your skin a chance to adjust and then tweak your routine accordingly. Maybe your skin is as resilient as an elephant’s hide and can take daily exfoliation. Alternatively, your skin might be a delicate flower and can only take exfoliation a couple of times per week.
Know your own skin and don’t get swayed.
On the road to becoming a skincare nerd, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the information available. Blogs, magazines, YouTube, review forums are a fab thing. That said – just because your favourite blogger is full of praise for the latest IT product, don’t mean it will work for your skin. A good start is to try and find people with a skin type similar to yours. At least that way there is less chance you’ll wreak havoc on your face.
See a dermatologist or a facialist.
Acne, hormonal breakouts, rosacea, eczema – different skin conditions require different types of treatment. If you have a persistent problem and it is causing you psychological distress, get a referral for a dermatologist. You are not alone, and there is no reason to suffer in silence. Or even worse, use products/remedies that are unsuitable for your condition. Skin is what they do, and sometimes nothing but a specialist will do.
Be realistic about the results.
Some skincare products (not many, but some) will give you immediate results. A hydrating mask will plump up and nourish the skin. An overnight peel should make your skin look lovely in the morning. But some products take time to work (regardless of what brands would like you to believe). Take retinol. It is an ingredient with a ton of scientific research and with provable benefits for the skin. But the use of retinol is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take up to 12 weeks to see the results. Practice patience and be realistic.