Consumers have a tough job trying to find their way through a sea of marketing mumbo jumbo, paid shout outs from content creators, and pointless fear pushed by the “natural is better” community.
The truth is, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot out there that is designed to steer you in the right direction. You may find some recommendations from peers or maybe an MD (who may not be well read in skin care outside of prescriptive problems), but really finding a source with solid information that isn’t trying to sell you product is close to zero.
This is precisely why I am able to make blog post like this. This is the truth based on science, not marketing, and if you put these steps into play, you will start having more “good skin days”.
You are wasting your money on jar packaging and clear containers
It doesn’t matter how well a cosmetic product is formulated if it is packaged incorrectly. This means if your product is housed in a jar, clear container, or has a wide lid, any and all active ingredients will deteriorate before it even has a chance to touch your skin. This is because most active skin care ingredients will oxidize out when light or air touches it.
Instead look for opaque, air tight packaging like a squeeze tube with a narrow opening, or better yet, an air tight pump container.
Sunscreen isn’t an option
Sunscreen is a requirement for good, healthy skin. If you are using active skincare ingredients and you are not protecting your skin from the sun (all year round), you are basically swimming against the tide so to speak.
Not only does sun exposure undo everything you are trying to achieve with skincare, the skincare itself more likely than not contains ingredients that could make you more susceptible to serious sun damage.
Always, and I mean always use a day creme that contains at least an SPF of 20 (SPF 35 is a good number all year round) and remember to apply to the entire face including under the eyes, neck, décolleté, ears, and back of the neck.
Keep fragrance in candles and perfume, not your face
Fragrance is probably the most common irritant still in skincare and make up today. I don’t care if it says “no added fragrance”, claims to have a “revitalizing” feel, or if you heard from your distant hippy relative that said essential oil has a positive effect on your skin; if you can smell it, it will damage your skin in the long run.
Actually, all essential oils (fragranced) will no only cause inflammation and irritation to skin, a lot of them will sensitize your skin to other damaging things like sun and pollution. This means, if you are using facial serums, creme, foundation, toners, and setting sprays that have fragrance, you very well could be causing more premature aging than if you did nothing at all.
If you have a hard time finding something that is completely fragrance free, just make sure that fragrance is listing towards the bottom of the ingredient list and that it does not contain essential oils like citrus, lavender, and peppermint.
Consistency is key
You won’t have a six pack by doing sit ups once a week and then lounging around the rest of the time. In the same way, sleeping in your make up most of the time and apply SPF to your face only when you think about it, you aren’t going to get very far.
Skincare doesn’t need to take up your whole morning and evening, and it definitely doesn’t need to break the budget.
A simple routine of cleansing, exfoliating (I have a whole post on proper exfoliation here), and an SPF in the morning is a perfect start. From there, just add what you think you might need like an additional moisturizer for dry skin or a balancing toner for oily skin.