I have never put much time or thought into my skincare routine. But, after buying some new products last month and using them every day, I realized just how much your skin can change when you're giving it what it needs.
I have never had naturally beautiful skin. From the moment puberty started, I had a lot of problems with acne. My only skincare product was soap (which was perhaps part of the problem). Thankfully, my acne has gotten better over the years, but it flares up from time to time. Besides that, my skin is oily and has redness.
Especially when I was younger but from time to time now, I get self-conscious about it. I tried to cover up what I could with makeup but would still long for the smooth, healthy skin other girls had. I'd get really frustrated whenever my acne would flare up or simply be disappointed with my skin.
This summer, I finally decided that enough was enough and I needed to take the time to invest in skincare products that might have a chance at reducing or eliminating my issues. I obviously have skin that needs more than bar soap to look good. After using these products, I noticed some small changes immediately, and as the weeks went by, my skin looked and felt amazing all the time. My skin has never been so soft and moisturized, and not only have I not gotten any new acne, my skin tone is starting to balance itself so it's not so red. I hardly wear any makeup anymore, and that's a good feeling.
I've now become an advocate for skincare. If I would've known that simply using different products was all I needed to do to get skin I've dreamed about, I would've done it years ago. Plus, with the resource of the internet, it's so easy to find information about beneficial ingredients in products, the best brands, how to apply the products, and more.
Here are some tips for starting your skincare routine, even if you don't know a thing about the subject.
Identify your problem areas.
There are four recognized skincare types: normal, dry, oily, and combination. Some sources throw in a fifth category of sensitive skin. Because each of these different segments require different needs to fix the issues, you need to know what your skin type is so you can get the right products.
In my case, I knew that my skin type was oily in addition to being acne-prone and red, so I specifically searched for products that are noncomedogenic (won't clog pores), among other things.
Do your research.
There are so many valid resources out there to help you know what to look for in products. If you are like me and don't know a thing about skincare, this step is necessary. You don't need to be a doctor to start a skincare routine, though talking to one can always be helpful.
I read countless articles – and even took notes – on ingredients I need, ingredients to avoid, consistently mentioned products, and more. After figuring out what to look for, I then looked for a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer that was good for oily skin, had high ratings, and was reasonably priced.
Read the reviews.
For really anything you buy online, but especially for skincare products, it's a good idea to read the reviews for the product on retailers' websites to see what people are saying about it. Maybe an article says a certain cleanser is really good, but if reviews for the product are really negative, look for a better option.
I read product reviews from Amazon and Walmart and ended up getting products that were rated five stars and priced well on both sites.
Start out slow.
When starting a new skincare routine, it's in the best interest of your skin to start using the product slowly so your skin has a chance to get used to it. This can mean using a product once a week, then a few times a week, then every day, then multiple times a day.
I started doing my whole routine twice a day, but after noticing my skin was really dry, I dropped to once a day and have been happy ever since.
Do NOT expect immediate results.
It's disappointing but true: your issues will not go away overnight. Because skin cells take at least a month to turn over, you may not see the best results until then or know if the product is even working. This is certainly frustrating if you're eager to get better skin, but consistently using products will eventually give you remarkable results.
It's also worth mentioning here that using new skincare products can make your skin break out even more. This happened to me and I was really disappointed because I thought I was doing something wrong. But after some research, I realized that this was a totally normal condition and my breakout disappeared after a month. Breaking out may be a part of the process for you, so don't assume that it's a sign that your products aren't working.
If you have been wanting to start a skincare routine but haven't started the process yet, I encourage you to invest your time and money into it. If it will make you feel better about yourself, it's totally worth it.
"Take good care of your skin and hydrate. If you have good skin, everything else will fall into place."