Skincare. WOAH. It’s a topic that has legit been blowing my mind for the last couple months. I recently came to the conclusion that I didn’t actually know much about skincare, but I was becoming increasingly interested in taking better care of my own skin. What I didn’t realize was exactly HOW LITTLE I actually knew. Especially with clean beauty becoming a thing, I honestly felt overwhelmed really quickly once I started diving into it. What products did what? How often should I be using everything? What ingredients are bad? How long will I wait to see results? What’s actually worth the money? Where do I apply what? It’s a lot!
And since I try to be real with y’all, probably too real at times, I didn’t want to lie and start writing articles about skincare—when in fact, I knew nothing. But I was interested in learning more slash I do want to start taking better care of my skin! And I’m sure there are some of y’all out there too, right?
So…I wanted to start a skincare series that’s basically Skincare For Dummies (aka me right now). I LOVE learning about new topics (as you know), so I’ll be sharing the best or most interesting things I’ve learned about skincare every month or so. Some stuff you’ll probably know, some you may not, but I hope you learn alongside me through this series! I’m really, really excited about it. I’ll be sure to share the products I’m loving slash actually seeing results from along the way too.
My first step in this process was committing to seeing a facialist about 1x a month. I hadn’t been in forever but knew the esthetician would be knowledgeable and be able to hold my hand through the initial stages. Plus, I’ve had friends rave about how monthly facials have changed their skin. I asked about a million questions, naturally, which is where I got my first real lessons and am sharing today.
The US Beauty Industry Regulation is Seriously Outdated
Lesson #1 was a big one. And pretty scary TBH. Though I’m not super committed to switching out all my products yet, this definitely got the ball rolling for me in terms of learning more about clean, non-toxic beauty. You see, our country’s beauty industry hasn’t been regulated since 1938(!), so beauty companies aren’t restricted from putting a lot of harmful ingredients into our mainstream products. A lot of these ingredients include carcinogens (can cause cancer) and other really scary things—many of which I need to learn more about. Places like Europe actually regulate heavily, and don’t allow a lot of the ingredients that we are using daily in the U.S.
For now, I’m starting to research articles like this even more and make clean beauty swaps as certain products run out. I loved this article on good alternatives, and you can read about my experience with a clean deodorant here. More to come, but I thought this was really interesting—and a topic that’s only going to grow in my opinion.
What the Heck Toner Does
I’ve heard about toners over and over, but I’ve never actually experimented with one. Still haven’t! I asked my facialist what the heck toners really do—and if I have the skin type that requires one—and these are some of the things she told me.
First off, it’s an astringent liquid that is used to help decrease oil and improve your skin’s overall condition. Apparently, more updated toners are now alcohol-free so they can soak up oil without being overly drying (which is how I always thought of toners TBH).
You’re supposed to cleanse and clarify your skin, then use your toner and let it sink in for about a minute (or longer if possible!). You can actually choose a toner based on whatever your skin needs—so anti-aging, dark spots, dryness, oiliness, etc.—there’s basically a toner for everything these days. And they have lots of goodness inside of them (who knew?!) like healthy acids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Lastly, toners are actually really helpful in giving you that DEWY look! The ingredients give you a burst of hydration while removing dead skin from your skin’s surface layer (more on layers next). So toners leave your skin really healthy.
I’m now searching for a toner that I love, so I’ll keep y’all posted! Any that you guys love?
Our Skin Has Multiple Layers
OK, this might be a lesson that y’all are like DUH BRIGHTON. And I think I knew this, but I didn’t ever stop to really think about it. Or how the layers work. My facialist also mentioned skin layers—when talking about exfoliation (more on this next time—just starting to learn more here), but apparently, we have a few! Ready for a really quick science lesson?
The top layer of our skin is called epidermis, the dermis, then hypodermis. And our skin cells turn over every 30 days or so—at least while we’re young. As we age, skin turnover doesn’t happen as naturally, so it’s all about finding products (like toners!) to aid in removing dead skin slash helping them to turnover. Collagen also helps with this apparently…but I haven’t started with learning about collagen yet. It’s also easier on your body to produce new skin cells when it’s properly nourished with vitamins, minerals, oxygen, antioxidants and thoroughly hydrated. This is why they say your diet can affect your skin.
To penetrate the skin most effectively with toners and other products, you want to make sure it’s in prime condition to do so. Products penetrate best when skin is freshly exfoliated/cleansed (because dead skin cells are being washed away), damp and warm (pores open when skin is heated).
Again, I’ll get more into exfoliation in an upcoming version of this series, but just a little lesson in skin layers for now. I thought it was super interesting actually!
I don’t know if y’all caught me taking my makeup off on Insta Stories a couple weeks ago, but I got yelled at. A lot. OK, in a nice way, but y’all quickly told me that I was being too harsh with my skin. Lesson learned! Instead of roughly rubbing makeup off or product on, you’re supposed to “treat your skin like silk,” which I thought was a quite well-phrased example one of you shared! I’ve started being a lot lighter on my skin, and now pat on my skin oil instead of rub rub rub—another lesson from that Insta Story.
OK, I think I’ll stop there because those are 4 things I truly learned and have a better grasp on. Again, I’m really excited to bring you guys along as I learn, and hope it’s providing insight on your end.
Let me know what you think of this series and if there’s anything specific to skincare you want me to touch on!
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