A Response To The Woman Who Thinks The Skincare Industry Is A Con

A Response To The Woman Who Thinks The Skincare Industry Is A Con

Does skin care fall under the category of vanity and materialism?
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On January 31st, 2018, Time Magazine ranked the article "The Skincare Con", written by Krithika Varagur, as one of the best "idea" articles circling around the web. It categorized trendy skin care brands such as Glossier and Drunk Elephant to be "New Skin Care", claiming their products are chemical induced problems being marketed to woman. The author writes, "Perfect skin is unattainable because it doesn’t exist. The idea that we should both have it and want it is a waste of our time and money. Especially for women, who are disproportionately taxed by both the ideal of perfect skin and its material pursuit"

I understand criticizing makeup as a materialistic waste of money. I can wrap my head around that argument, even though I am a happy makeup addict. But why are we going after skin care products? Is it because it's becoming more popular than makeup brands? Is that a bad thing?

I grew up with cystic acne (large, painful acne) and I never believed I would find a cure. I was fortunate enough to not have it as bad as others, but my teens were not enjoyable years because of it. I remember being about sixteen years old and telling my dermatologist that I have accepted the fact I will always have acne. I tried everything, honestly, and I wasn't getting very far with results. It began my fascination in skincare. Was I seeking "perfect" skin? No. I was looking for relief and self-confidence.

After working with dermatologists and estheticians, as well as conducting a heavy amount of self research, I was able to find my own solution for healthy, clear skin. Is my skin perfect? No. I do have minor scaring and the occasional break out, but overall my skin improved dramatically. I sometimes shake my head at myself for giving up on skin care when I was in high school and throwing my hands in the air.

I think about how early I used to wake up to put on makeup to try to make myself feel better. It wasn't until recently that I have felt comfortable enough to not wear makeup in public. The root of my better skin, believe it or not, was the "New Skin Care" products that Krithika Varagur shakes her head at.

Krithika Varagur talks about how many chemicals and acids are featured in these new products. Yeah. We know. Chemicals such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, used in variation based on your skin, can prevent effective results without harming the skin. Chemicals in your skin care products aren't as scary as it sounds. The key is using the right ones for your skin.

A product that may not work for you, could help someone else. Your skin is heavily effected by your environment and your hormones. The stress in your life can reflect on your face. Eating habits and hydration can also shown off on your skin as well. Someone who has dry, sensitive skin would not respond well to products that show success for oily skin. Is every cosmetic brand ethical and proven to work? No.

I do have a handful of brands that I feel live up to the reputation that Krithika Varagur talks about. Selling the idea of the impossible "miracle" products for the sake of giving people the illusion they could finally get the skin they have been dreaming about, is a clever marketing tool that isn't unheard of. I call it "selling the dream" and skin care isn't the only industry that does it.

If you want to know the truth about achieving your own version of perfect skin, here it is:


1. Know your skin, understand your problems (acne, dry, sun exposure, etc)

2. Do your research. See what's out there. See what has worked for other people. Look into skin care lines that have products to help your skin type and concerns. The best products don't always cost the most money.
3. Talk to professionals. Estheticians and dermatologists are skin care experts, ready to guide you down the correct path.

Taking care of your skin isn't about vanity or materialism. It's about taking care of yourself and feeling good about the person who is looking back at you in the mirror. Women should not be ashamed or criticized for having a skin care routine that works for them, even if that means its nothing at all. If you have skin concerns, don't be like me and throw your hands in the air because it seems like nothing will help you. Seek help. There will be some trial and error, but I promise you will find an amazing amount of confidence in your results.

Cover Image Credit: Tanja Heffner

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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If You Want Smoother Skin, Take A Look At This Beginner's Guide To Chemical Exfoliants

There are two types of chemical exfoliants: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).

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I'm sure there was a time in your life when you used the St. Ives Apricot scrub with the tiny granules to exfoliate the flaky skin off around your nose. But what if I told you there was something that could that and more? Behold, chemical exfoliants, an absolute game changer to skincare. The way chemical exfoliants work is different from physical ones. They use, you guessed it, chemicals to help speed up the process of cell turnover, which is just a fancy way of saying dead skin being shed. They also help to brighten dull skin, smooth fine lines and textural issues, fade pigmentation, unclog pores, and even reduce acne and oil production.

OK, so maybe they're a bit more superior. That being said. if you want to know the 411 on everything about chemical exfoliants and become a skin goddess, keep on reading.

Benefits and products that contain chemical exfoliants

There are also two types of chemical exfoliants: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).

Alpha hydroxy acids

This is a water-soluble acid, so it doesn't penetrate as deep as BHAs but is great for moisturizing the skin and is still very effective at shedding dead skin cells. AHAs are great antiaging fighters as they stimulate collagen production, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It also reduces the appearance of acne scars and dark spots. AHAs are naturally derived and can be found in fruits like grapes. Products that include AHAs will be labeled with glycolic acid, lactic acid, alpha-hydroxyoctanoic acid, etc.

Beta hydroxy acids

BHAs are oil-soluble so it can penetrate deep in the skin. This is very beneficial for acne-prone skin as it works to unclog pores and reduce oil production. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in BHAs is what makes them great to put in acne products. Be on the lookout for products with salicylic acid and citric acid on the label.

How do you use them?

First off, when trying out chemical exfoliants for the first time, it's best to gradually incorporate them into your skincare routine. Start by using the product once a week until you can handle using it every other day. Also, if you have sensitive skin, try a patch test first to see if your skin can handle it. Now, depending on the way the chemical exfoliant is added or used in the product, instructions can vary. Those that come in the form of toners can be applied with a cotton pad all over the skin after you've cleansed then followed up your moisturizing routine.

There are also exfoliating pads that give you the best of both worlds and include a chemical exfoliation in the solution and a physical exfoliation via a more abrasive texture on one side of the pad. With these, you can just rub it all over your face and let it dry or some require you to wash it off afterward. Serums and essences can just be pat into the face by putting a few drops into your hands. Chemical exfoliants can also be used day or night, depending on your preference.

One very important thing to remember when using chemical exfoliants is to use sunscreen! Using chemical exfoliants makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and can cause more damage for you to fix.

Recommended products

Now that you know the lowdown on chemical exfoliants it's time to dive into some products to try out!

Toner

The Pixi Glow Tonic is a holy grail for many and there's a reason why. It's an AHA product with 5% glycolic acid that brightens dry and dull skin, giving your skin a glow. It's formulated with aloe vera as well to help soothe the skin.

Exfoliating pads

The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine pads are also a cult favorite for many. The pads include lactic acid, but the star ingredient is Resveratrol, naturally fermented in red wine and has naturally occurring AHAs. This ingredient is a great antioxidant that helps prevent wrinkles.

Serum liquids

The COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is my personal fave and I've been using it for months now. As the product name suggests, this essence targets blackheads and unclogs pores. I also found that it helped to fade preexisting hyperpigmentation as well as quickly fade any scarring from a popped pimple. This essence really helped to clear up the acne I would frequently get on my forehead and it really smoothed any texture on my face. I also noticed the number of blackheads on my nose decreased.

I know, that was a lot to take in. But hopefully, you've learned a lot and will consider working chemical exfoliants into your skincare routine. Try out some of the products mentioned above and witness your skin transform into the skin of your dreams!

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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