Developing a Skincare Regime
Ever since the famous Egyptian Queen Cleopatra used milk baths and olive oil to give her skin a god-like glow, skincare has been a part of our life and culture.
Today, more than ever, it has taken a place into popular limelight. Korean 10-step nighttime skincare routines started trending on the Internet a few years ago, and recent makeup trends embrace everything from "no-makeup makeup" to a full-face of contour, baking, and glitter. I still remember the first time I purchased a skincare product from Sephora in high school. When deciding between a moisturizer and a bottle of foundation, an employee told me something astounding.
“You won't even need that foundation if you've got such a good base that you'll want to show that off instead! Makeup might give you a few hours of beauty a day, but skincare gives you years."
Seven years later, I've developed a daily skincare recipe. Of course, approaches to skincare vary from person to person, so it's important to identify your own concerns and treat them accordingly.
Here’s a glimpse at my process to help you get started with one of your own.
What: First Aid Beauty | Face Cleanser ($10, 2oz)
Why: I like starting with a fresh face in the morning –– plus the act of splashing water on my skin first thing each day helps me wake up. I've been using this product because it keeps things simple. This cleanser is fragrance-free, good for all skin types, and doesn't strip your face of important oils that your body naturally produces and needs. The brand also remarks that their products as containing a special blend of "FAB Antioxidant Booster" to protect and restore your skin after a day out in a harsh environment, such as the UT campus on a hot August day.
What: Clinique | Pep Start Eye Cream ($26.50, 2oz)
Why: I actually got this eye cream in a Sephora Play! Box, a monthly subscription box, and it's lasted me for a pretty long time. The area around my eyes is usually the driest, so I like to use this cream to bring a little bit of life back into it. Also, I don't always get as much sleep as I need (that late-night study life), so eye cream is always a good way to combat puffiness. Plus, I just like the name of the cream — pep start -— who doesn't want to start off their day with a bit of pep?
What: Biossance | Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil ($72, 1oz)
Why: Here's another product I managed to get from a Play! Box. I was a bit skeptical about using oils on my face at first because I've had some problems with acne growing up. I used lots of harsh treatments with salicylic acid cleansers, benzoyl peroxide creams, in combination with drying oral antibiotics I've since eliminated the salicylic acid cleansers from my routine. Using oils helped restore my skin to a smooth, bright texture and made it look dewy instead of ashy. It also didn’t make me break out! The oil moisturizes my skin more effectively than a moisturizing cream alone, and I definitely need that when I'm using harsh treatments to fight acne.
What: Origins | GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer ($29.50, 1.7oz)
Why: This moisturizer isn't as concentrated as the one I use for my night routine. It does a good job of giving skin vibrancy in the morning. This is ideal as I don't want to use anything too heavy before I put on makeup.
What: Dr. Jart + | Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 ($39, 1.5oz)
Why: Starting off the day with SPF is incredibly important. If you think nothing else in this skincare routine applies to you, SPF definitely does. You don't need to use BB cream(I use it because it evens out the texture/tone of my skin), but if you spend any time outside, sunscreen is essential for you. This is true whether you burn or not, but either way, it is worth keeping it in mind because it can cause health conditions in the long run. Having 5 or more sunburns before age 20 increases your chances of developing melanoma by 80%). Caring for your skin when you're young is key not only for aesthetic reasons but for self-care in general.
Take off makeup.
What: Farmacy | Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm ($34, 3.2oz)
Why: This stuff works wonders and it's honestly pretty fun to just rub the day's face away with your fingers (I am convinced this is how Mulan actually managed to wipe away half a face of makeup in one swipe). This is another thing I got in the Play! Box and it took a while to get used to but now I'm hooked. I've always had trouble getting all of my makeup off, but it's super important to do that because, at the end of the day, makeup isn't natural (no matter how "all-natural" the ingredients). You don't want to go to sleep with makeup on your face, and this stuff gets it all off.
Eye makeup remover
What: Sephora Collection | Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover ($11, 4.2oz)
Why: You can literally see the separation of the nonpolar and polar solvent in this thing — where the clear liquid sits on top of the blue liquid. Shake it up and you've got the perfect amphipathic substance to get the job done—taking off eye makeup that's waterproof or not. You can easily find good dupes for this for cheaper, and the product itself lasts a long time.
I use the same cleanser in the mornings and evenings. Sometimes if my face feels clean enough after taking off my makeup, I skip this step and go to the exfoliator.
What: AMOREPACIFIC | Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60, 2.5oz)
Why: This stuff is actually pretty fun to use because it comes in a powder form that quickly gains a creamy consistency when you activate it with water. It smooths out the texture of my skin with no roughness or irritation, and leaves it feeling refreshed and clean!
What: Son & Park | Beauty Water ($30, 11.49oz)
Why: I like using toner to get my skin feeling balanced before I pile on a few more skincare products and call it a night. I honestly don't remember where I found this item, but the packaging is charming and minimalistic, and the product itself offers a nice refreshing feeling to your face. Serum.
What: OLEHENRIKSEN | Truth Serum ($48, 1oz)
Why: Here's a product I bought out of an OLEHENRIKSEN skincare starter kit! I like this serum in particular because:
1) it's affordable compared to other serums (a lot of which retail for $100+)
2) it keeps my skin feeling light and moisturized
3) my skin looked brighter after a few weeks of use!
What: Sunday Riley | Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($55, 0.5oz)
Why: This night oil contains retinol, which is used by dermatologists as an anti-aging and anti-acne product! I got this as part of a Sunday Riley mini bundle set, and it's really fun to use because it is blue in the package, but colorless after being rubbed.
What: Shiseido | Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched ($45, 1.7oz)
Why: This is quite possibly one of my favorite skincare products! It is the best value moisturizer in my book. This product is a great place to start when developing a nighttime skincare routine. I have used this face cream every night for a few years and it has been a breakthrough. I think people have started to discover the wonders of this face cream because I have found it to be low on stock in Sephora. But when I don't have any sample serums and oils in stock, this cream is more than enough.
What: Glow Recipe | Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask ($22, 1oz)
Why: This goes on top of all the skincare products you just applied and helps them to absorb while you sleep. It will give you that "I Woke Up Like This" fresh glow, and will help prevent your products from transferring onto your pillow. If you want to wake up looking like a Disney Princess, I cannot sing the praises of a face pack enough.
So the takeaways about skincare? It should be tailored to you! Be aware of what kind of problems the ingredients target, and don't be afraid to experiment! You can ask for samples of products from Sephora before you commit to any of them. Plus beauty subscription boxes or beauty rewards clubs are a good place to get expensive products without breaking the bank.
Something important to keep in mind is that you don’t have to overload on products targeting one concern — this can hurt your skin more than helping it. The best thing you can do for your skin is to consult a dermatologist who can prescribe you treatments that will help you come up with a good daily skincare regimen. Everyone’s skin is different, so don’t take this article as law; do some digging yourself and explore your own needs.
The key takeaways are SPF and moisturizer — and don't forget to stay hydrated, eat well, and get enough sleep!