This is a post I originally published on IG a year ago and I thought I would elaborate on it here.
1- Streamline your routine, focus on a few actives at a time.
One of the good thing about having a skincare blog is that you can go back and check out your old routines from a few years ago and see their evolution. For example, I used to have much more steps involved and now I’ve found that using more comprehensive formulas enables me to streamline my routine and improve my skin quality.
2- Strong acids are not for you, stick to the gentle formulas/enzymes and don’t overdo it.
l’ve learned this the hard way. I often fall for the lure of cult products. In this case, I jumped on the Biologique Recherche P50 bandwagon, convinced that I would find a formula that would suit me. Well, I didn’t. Using retinoids regularly means that I don’t need to exfoliate as often. When I do, I opt for gentle acid formulas or enzyme masks.
3- Retinoids are the best. Build your routine around them.
Retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) are true skincare multitasker since they help improve a variety of skin concerns (smoothing skin texture, fine lines, reducing breakouts, evening out the skintone, stimulating collagen production). As such, they are a key part of my skincare routine and I tend to focus on this active and build the routine around it, using hydrating and soothing ingredients to mitigate the potential irritating side effects of retinoids.
4- #1empty1newbie is great but always keep some of your favorite products in your skincare collection.
The “one empty one newbie” rule consists in buying a new product only when you’ve finished a similar one, so that you don’t accumulate backups. Although this is a great eco(logical/nomical) idea, it’s not without its drawbacks. I was following this rule so well that I ended up not having staples to fall back on when all of the new products I tried made me breakout. Now, I always keep some of my favorites on hand for a basic routine (cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen). If a new product doesn’t agree with my skin, I know that I can always go back to these trusted products.
5- Sunscreen is a must.
Finding a sunscreen that suits you is the most important thing to protect your skin health and quality. I had a hard time finding a replacement to my discontinued Purito spf (this was the year of breakouts) but I’m glad I stumbled upon the excellent Dr G Mild up sun + which I will review soon.
6- Introduce new products one at a time. Be patient.
That’s one of the hardest rule when you’re a skincare lover but it’s essential nonetheless, especially if you have reactive skin. Introducing one product at the time for a certain period of time enables you to spot any problems that might arise (irritation, breakouts…).
7- Don’t desperately try to make a product work for you (especially cult products).
This lesson is really self-explanatory and one I should have followed when I saw that the P50 acid toner was too strong for my skin. Seing all of the positive reviews sometimes hijacks your brain and makes you think that you’re doing something wrong when it’s just that this particular product doesn’t suit you.
8- Repurpose the products that are ok but didn’t wow you (except when they smell like shit, nothing can change that).
This is something that I’ve been doing for years as I hate wasting products. I either pass them on to family and friends or repurpose them on the body (I finished P50 on my feet for example…).
9- Cleanse your skin thoroughly (30-60 seconds/with a gentle cleanser).
I wrote a whole article about this more than two years ago. I still follow this rule and tend to cleanse my skin for around 30 seconds in the morning and a minute at night when I have more time.
10- Be consistent.
You have to be patient to see results. I know it’s hard, especially when we’re bombarded with before and after pictures on social media that don’t stress how much time a skin transformation can take. But it’s the reality of skin physiology and how skincare works. Being consistent and patient with your routines (when you have selected the proper products for your concerns) will enable you to reap the benefits of the skincare products you’re using.