I have problematic skin, and I have tried many, many different products. I am a bit of an au natural gal when it comes to the products I use and I really don’t like overly chemical items. I’m also skeptical that our bodies need a lot of help when it comes to regulating itself. So I usually keep my skincare basic and pretty natural, but I have tried many different brands including many chemical based products. Unfortunately my skin problems are from internal problems, not external, so skincare can only get me so far. For the last few years, really since I started this blog, I mainly used Lush. I love their philosophy and the products themselves, but it just never worked overly well for me. So I finally decided to branch out and try some new brands and just revamp the whole thing. So, take my advice if you’re doing it too, and save yourself some hassle.
This might sound odd, but write down notes (or just make mental notes) about what wasn’t working for you with your current routine and what you want out of your new one. What do you want that you aren’t getting? What do you want to keep/replace? What is important to you with your routine? What do you want to spend? What is your desired end result? It’s important to at least know some of these answers because it can dictate where you shop and what companies you look at. For example do you want something really basic or do you not mind using many different products? If you want to not spend too much, that rules out some brands, however I usually think it’s worth looking at places you might think are too expensive as many places have less expensive options.
Speak to every company, even those you haven’t really heard of, and compare products. Also talk to absolutely everyone you know about their experiences and where they like to shop. It’s really important to keep in mind that your best friends or your favourite blogger will most likely have a different skin type or have a different reaction to products then you will. However, knowledge is power! Getting recommendations of who to talk to and favourite brands make it easier to work out what appeals to you. It also means that you’re making a more informed decision and you’re not just going to take one persons opinion as the absolute truth. Finding a salesperson who understands what you actually want is hard when you don’t even know what you want.
Samples are 100% your best friend. You need to try the product before you buy it, otherwise you might get home, all excited to try this new product and realise the smell makes you want to throw up, or it doesn’t leave your skin feeling good, or it just might not do very much for you at all. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples because most places would prefer you to go home and try something rather then return a used product that they can’t resell. However, if you do go to the drug store or other cheaper places this might not be an option.
If you love part of your routine, don’t change it. I felt like I needed to change all of it, but that doesn’t mean that’s right for you. It can be helpful to take it slow and start with changing, or adding, one product at a time. With skincare, the most basic routine is a cleanser and a moisturiser so I would focus on those two things first. Get a cleanser and a moisturiser that does what you want it to. Then start adding. Making sure your makeup is being removed properly is important. This might mean a seperate product or it might be something that your cleanser already does for you. For me, Sunscreen is not negotiable in my morning routine and I think it should be in everyone elses too. I use a moisturising sunscreen in the morning and a different, heavier moisturiser for night time. A toner can be a fantastic addition, some people even say it’s a necessity. There’s many that don’t seem to do too much but getting a good one, really amps up your routine. You can have a basic routine or if you want, you can then add in an eye cream, a really good lip balm and maybe a serum too. Face masks and exfoliators are really good to add in as a bit of a sometimes thing to really address certain problems.
SPEND THE MONEY
My argument personally is that it is well worth the extra dollars for decent skincare. When you buy cheaper options a lot of the time it is filled with fillers to ‘bulk out’ the good ingredients. Which essentially means that you run through products faster and they are doing an inadequate job. This especially applies to anything oil based, like a serum or a moisturiser. It is so easy to add a little bit of the good thing and a lot of an average thing but advertise it as the good thing. However, there are brands out there that are less expensive and are actually really good, and there’s also expensive brands that do this anyway so they can pocket more profit. Personally I really like Mario Badescu for this, they skrimp on packaging to keep costs down, rather than compromise on products. Other brands that aren’t too expensive are Lush, Origins and Frank Body. Some brands however that I think are totally worth the extra bucks are Aesop and Kiehl’s. The best thing about buying good quality products is that they last for so long that essentially per use, work out not much more expensive anyway. You also rarely have to replace your products, which save on hassle and they actually work! Also if you can’t afford to spend a lot, you can totally ask for things as presents.
Bonus: DO WHAT FEELS GOOD
I know I’ve pretty much said this already but I wanted to reiterate it. Do what works for you and do what you want. I have my own set of rules that I looked for such as; trying to be as cruelty free, natural and vegan as possible (I know I haven’t been perfect with this), I wanted to address my acne and my skin texture, I didn’t want my skin left feeling anything other than fresh and I also don’t mind spending more and making my skincare complicated to get the result I want. Essentially you need to have your own too. Nobody knows how your skin feels and nobody knows what you like more than you. If you know that you wont use a complicated routine, don’t get one. You also wont use products you don’t believe in or don’t like, which is a waste of time and money. Don’t be afraid to keep changing your mind and your products. If something isn’t working, cut the loss and get rid of it and start again. Your skin changes as well, so don’t just keep using something because you have always used it.
Good luck with your search and let me know if there’s anything that you think is helpful that I’ve missed!
Thanks for reading,