I’m often asked to recommend skincare products for people, or I’m asked if a particular brand or product is worth trying, or if expensive skincare are worth the money.
For some reason, people put their trust in my recommendations, and while that isn’t entirely a bad thing, it’s not a good thing either. I don’t mean that consulting someone you trust is bad, but you must remember this one thing – they aren’t you.
They don’t know what your skin is like, or how it behaves. Everyone is unique, with their own unique flaws and problems. They don’t know your budget, or your genetic make up.
When it comes to skincare and making recommendations, I have one principle to hold on to, and one skincare tip to share, and it is this – Be Practical.
Very often, skincare afficionados consume more than they can realistically handle. Or, like me, you TRY to consume more than you can handle, by buying all the new skincare products that cross your timeline, whether you need it or not!
Perhaps, you’re trying out Vitamin C serums. Suddenly, you want to try every single Vitamin C serum out there in the market, and you start hoarding. Nevermind how expensive or how affordable, you want to catch them all, as if they were Pokemon!
But if you pause to think, and as I have previously discussed, how practical is it?
Understand your skin
The first thing you need to do, if you’re not intending to consult a dermatologist or an expert, is to figure out your own skin. Do you notice that it gets irritated when you use certain types of products? Do you notice it feeling drier if you use a certain cleanser?
If you don’t know your own skin and how it reacts in any given condition or situation, you will struggle to identify any triggers, or to notice improvement.
For example, I started out my double cleansing journey using cleansing oil. For many years, I was a firm believer in using cleansing oil, and I was on a mission (almost!) to try as many brands of cleansing oils as I could.
RELATED READING: Here’s a collection of all the cleansing oils I’ve ever tried, and then some! READ HERE
But a few years ago, I noticed that my skin was feeling drier after cleansing. It eventually struck me that it might be my cleansing oils. This wasn’t something I was told to expect. In fact, most people in the industry are surprised when I share this piece of information with them.
But I stuck to my gut feeling, and switched to using cleansing balm for my first cleanse. I have never looked back!
RELATED READING: Should you use a cleansing oil or cleansing balm? I give you an idea of which to pick READ HERE
Now, if you were to talk to me about wanting to choose a cleansing oil, I’d tell you this little anecdote, and you’d have to pay a little attention to your skin, before you make up your mind which to pick.
Some tell me they never made the connection, but stopped using it, and have experienced a better result. Others are creatures of habit haha! 😀
That’s fine though, we all use what we enjoy using most!
Use products within your budget
The second important practical thing I always tell people to think about is this – what’s your budget?
It is a fallacy that the more expensive the item, the better it is for your skin. What is more important is to be consistent with what you are using, in order to see results. Having a complicated routine with 15 steps in it does not guarantee success, and neither does slapping on a RM3,000 face cream.
RELATED READING: You must be consistent and have a routine not necessarily a complicated routine READ HERE
Having a skincare routine with many steps usually necessitates using different products. Now, imagine how much the costs can add up to!
While it is nice to want to use certain highly raved expensive brands or cult beauty brands in the market, what matters most is whether you have the budget for it.
There is little point in buying 1 fancy product, using it and seeing results, only to not be able to afford it the next month or two. No one should ever have to go into debt for beauty!
So, once you understand your skin, the second practical concern is to look at your beauty budget, and work within your means. These days, there are many brands with effective products, that do not cost an arm and a leg. Brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List have turned the beauty world upside down cost-wise, and that’s a wonderful thing!
For me personally, I don’t always use pharmacy brand skincare, but neither do I regularly use luxury skincare anymore. I go for what works, and what suits my budget at any given time.
Aim for long term results not short term gains
You see, what you want in a skincare routine is long-term results not short-term gains.
If you cannot afford to use a product in the long-term, even if it’s a product that promises you a result in 24 hours, that’s not going to do anything for your skin in the long run.
For example, I enjoy using the Vitamin C from Omorovicza. It is a very nice Vitamin C serum, and effective. But the price is a little high for my tastes at the moment, so I personally find it unsustainable in the long run.
Instead, I prefer to opt for something much more affordable, in the Timeless Vitamin C & E Ferulic serum. It is very effective, and importantly, at a price point I can afford to keep repurchasing, to maintain the health, strength and clarity of my skin. If I want something even more affordable, I’d go for the Melano CC Essence.
I apply this with all products in my skincare routine. I love the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. It is one of the best facial mists I’ve ever used! But it is also incredibly pricey, and therefore, while a nice treat now and again, unsustainable.
I compromise by not going into debt over a facial mist, but by using something more affordable, but just as effective daily, and perhaps splurging on the odd Tatcha mist once a year LOL! 😛
Use what makes you comfortable
Finally, this is a practical tip for everyone who’s ever had to deal with detractors telling you what you MUST use and what you MUST NOT use, or anyone who tells you you must use organic skincare, or that you must not use fragranced products, or products with alcohol etc.
Tell them to sod off.
No, I’m serious. Look at them in the eye, and say these 2 words “Sod off!”
Unless you are allergic to a specific ingredient, or if the product is poisonous or made with illegal/banned ingredients (like some locally rebranded products), if a product you’re using works for you, there is no real reason to stop just because some random stranger on the internet tells you to.
For this reason, I rarely tell anyone to stop or throw away any product they’re currently using, because it doesn’t line up with my ideals. I understand some people find using foaming cleansers cleaner for their skin. I say, use it if it makes you and your skin happy.
Some people don’t think much of a facial mist or of the moisture sandwich. I say, that’s fine. Perhaps your skin doesn’t need it! 🙂
I’m all for people using what suits their skin and their wallet best, because ultimately, it is about being able to stick with a routine, and with a product, in order to see results.
So, before you run off to read what any skincare ‘guru’ is telling you to do, have a look at your own routine, think about what you’re using and what your budget is, then work with what makes you feel most comfortable.
A skincare journey is not about using the latest and trendist product or routine, or copying wholesale what another person is doing. It is about understanding yourself. If you achieve that, you’d probably achieve better skin too! 😉
What’s one practical skincare tip you’d like to share?
So, if you’ve ever asked me about skincare recommendations, and can’t get a straight answer, here’s the reason why LOL! 😛
4 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Very timely and well said Paris ! Hard to come up with my skincare tips to share as you have covered all points haha 😉
Given my weakness for promo / deals/ limited editions and the hoarder that I am, I actively remind myself NOT to hoard skincare, especially those in the clean beauty section. They go off real fast !!
For new product (even within the same brand it different product series), I always seek out sample or patch test under my wrist over the counter (pre covid days) before buying the product.
Yes I agree! Our skin is as different as our looks, so what works for one may not for another.
My practical skincare tip is: try one new skincare product at a time! Don’t switch an entire routine. So if a product dries you out or breaks you out, you know the most probable product behind it.
I used to change to one skincare line at a time, and at the end of the day I couldn’t tell the effect each product had on me, and it’s such a waste of money. Nowadays I try one product for at least 2-3 weeks before introducing another. Works much better!
I don’t like it when people ask if there is immediate result? I think products with immediate result are always sketchy.
Neither I am proponent of using multiple products/steps because hey let’s be real. Real life catch up with you either in terms of cost or time.
I’m seeing a lot people under 20’s that multiple products and if you sum it all up it comes to quite a hefty sum. I am not sure how they can afford it while just starting out working or studying.
For me, I use micellar water as the only thing that left on my face is just sunblock, cleanse using cetaphil and wear serum. On alternate days I apply retinol or Alpha H.It works for me but I can see a lot of people thinking it might be too sparse.
Hi! I love reading your blog and am glad to find a blogger who has the closest skin care concern as me. I have a request. I remembered reading your skincare regime previously but is there a latest one? I am rather confused with what product to use for day or night, and what can or cannot be use on top of ea other, and which comes first , after. So like to use your regime as a guide. I’m 50, dry with heavy pigmented skin, and also all over my arms (yucks!). I’ll like to start Vit c and Retinol serum like you do. Pls help.