Advice for Skincare Newbies

Skincare Newbies

If you saw my morning skincare routine, you know I don’t play.

I also didn’t just decide to start using all those products one day. I’ve spent years and years getting to know my skin, and guess what? Every time I think I have this shit figured out, something changes. Moving to a new climate, hormonal shifts, dietary changes, medication … it’s a marathon, not a sprint y’all, and the road to happy skin is paved in Sephora Beauty Insider points.

But maybe you’re just starting to get interested in skincare. Maybe your skin is going through a major change. Now what?

Don’t be scurred. It’s time to take that before photo and get after it!

Get to know yo self.
Think about how your skin has behaved in the past year. Is it oily or dry? Are you breaking out a lot? Does it feel sensitive or balanced?

Prioritize.
Give yourself a good look in the mirror and determine your top concerns. Acne? Fine lines? Hyperpigmentation? This is not an invitation to hate on yourself. Do as the millennials do and #selfcare.

Check your inventory.
Have a look at what you’re using and make a list. If it’s nothing, cool. This will be fun.

Consult an expert.
I may have spent a lot of money time on this stuff, but that doesn’t make me an expert. When you’re just starting out, visiting a dermatologist and/or licensed esthetician should be your first stop for insights about your skin. Take note of any ingredients they recommend you should try or avoid. Nutritionists or naturopathic doctors can also be wonderful sources, since how healthy your body is on the inside shows up on the outside [she typed after eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos].

Make a plan.
Decide how much time — and money — you want to spend on your skin with your schedule, budget and goals in mind.

Do your research.
Armed with the info from your appointment, start looking into products and brands you’re interested in, keeping in mind what’s important to you. Natural, vegan, cruelty free, unscented, etc. Your skin is your largest organ and you should absolutely be picky about what goes on it.

Start slowly.
If you’re someone who doesn’t use much on your skin, start with a cleanser, treatment (toner and/or serum) and a moisturizer. SPF, too, for the daytime. You can always add more later but you need to see what works for you. When introducing a new product, test it overnight on a small area of your skin like the inside of your wrist or under your jaw to check for any negative reaction.

Consider treatments.
Spoiler alert: I love facials, microdermabrasion, peels and everything in between. But they can be expensive and doing too much to your skin can make things worse. If you’re suffering from a condition like acne, more regular treatments may be something to consider until you get things under control, but I typically book one facial per season for a nice deep clean and to reassess my skin’s needs.

Be patient.
The reason I only review products here after I’ve used them up is because I don’t believe in single-use skincare miracles. Sure, I’ve used a product like a serum and felt it made my skin look more radiant the next morning, but that’s not lasting change. As long as you don’t experience any negative side effects, give your new regimen a few months.

Good luck and welcome to the skincare cult. Share your advice and let me know how your skincare journey goes!

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