My first brush with skincare was during my freshman year of college, when I realized that everyone else didn’t just rinse their face in the morning before going about their day. I’d only ever used my older sister’s Neutrogena cleanser or my mom’s Clinique moisturizer on any random day, so imagine my surprise when I walked into my hall’s godforsaken communal bathroom to find other girls’ shower caddies filled to the brim with cleansers, toners, and serums whose purpose I couldn’t even begin to understand. Skincare (and beauty in general) can be daunting, especially when you’re first starting out. Over the past few years, as I’ve ventured into taking better care of my skin, I’ve figured out four golden rules to caring for my skin.
Always wash your hands before engaging with your skin.
You touch so many things throughout the day, so washing your hands before touching your face is key. If you don’t, you’re essentially transferring germs from the subway, your cellphone, and door handles to your skin and practically inviting breakouts into your life.
Try not to go to sleep with your makeup on. If you do, it’s not the end of the world, but still remove it first thing in the morning.
It’s not terrible to sleep in your makeup every once in a while, but don’t make a habit of it. In an interview with HuffPost, Clear Clinic founder Dr. Eric Schweiger said, “each night you sleep in your makeup, your pores become more clogged. Eventually, this can result in the formation of a microcomedone, which attracts the acne-causing bacteria to your pores.”
Find what works for you, and stick to it.
It sounds basic, but it’s true—everyone’s skin type is different and should be treated as such! Finding your staple products might take some trial and error, but it’s generally a good idea to stick to the kinds of products meant for your skin type. For dry skin (if you experience tightness or flaking), look for products that are hydrating, like moisturizing cleansers, serums, creams, and face mists. Check out this detailed guide to finding your skin type!
Don’t pay attention to Instagram.
A few years ago, I came across this quote on Tumblr that said something like, “Never compare your insides to everyone else’s outsides.” That pretty much sums up how I feel about Instagram. Nothing on IG is ever as it is IRL, which is why it’s best to take the whole app with a grain of salt. People are only posting as they want to present themselves and not always showing the realities of their life.
What was your first skincare experience like, and what have you learned since then? Am I crazy for not having had a skincare routine until college? Let me know in the comments below!