It's time to evaluate your skincare routine against the rest of your life

Last year, many people found themselves, and the light, amidst the chaos. Many women used beauty and fashion as outlets to fight the monotony of #shelteredinplace. They became estheticians, beauticians, and makeup artists overnight, birthing some of our favorite 2021 beauty trends, such as skinimalism and dolphin skin. I can’t be the only one who enjoyed the creativity of at-home photoshoots! Yet, as we are a few months away from 2022, I can’t help but look ahead with a bit of uncertainty. Why? People are still unsure whether they want to vaccinate, gas and housing prices continue to surge, and returning to a physical work office sounds like the worst idea since Rihanna started wearing mullets. 

I guess the pejorative question amidst this madness is: what is the point of it all?

Take, for example, your skincare routine. There are people [read: men] out there who use shampoo, body, and face wash in one as parts of their daily self-care routines. Not to mention, they use the same washcloths for their faces as they use to clean the rest of their bodies. Despite no skincare routines whatsoever, they walk around with tight pores, zero acne, no blemishes, and clear, even skin. If you ever wondered what unfair looked like, he has a face, and he is likely your boyfriend! That brings me to today’s topic: 

How would you fare without a skincare routine?

Before we commodified the hell out of personal upkeep, times were simpler. Not too long ago, a woman’s nighttime skincare routine consisted of a drugstore cold cream that she swore by. If she grew up in the 80s, Noxzema’s Original Deep Cleansing Cream and Sea Breeze’s Astringent were the only two skincare products that she needed as part of her daily skincare routine. Depending on the house she grew up in, Vaseline’s Petroleum Jelly or Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Oil doubled as makeup removers. While, Oil of Olay’s body lotion covered her from head to toe, literally. 

We talk about skinimalism today as if it’s something new under the sun, but those of us who grew up in the 80s and earlier invented this iconic beauty trend. 

Your skin type may determine whether you need a skincare routine

Although many decades passed, there are still many people who swear by these products. Or do the least with their daily skincare routines. Up until two years ago, for example, my best friend washed her face with warm water twice a day - that’s it. On the days that she wore makeup, she used Cetaphil’s Original Cleanser to remove excess dirt and debris. To exfoliate her skin, she used a clean, damp washcloth to scrub her skin raw until it “felt clean.” I have never seen her with so much as a pimple! Her skin is smooth, clear, and even. Estheticians and dermatologists will tell you that she has a normal skin type. You know, like the kind of skin Kim Kardashian spends a lot of money to maintain. 

Without trying, my friend taught me that your skin type should influence your skincare routine. While investing money in skincare has lasting effects beyond vanity, why spend the money if you do not have any skin issues? You can use that money on other forms of self-care, such as your 298249824th trip to Cabo, a new bottle of Baccarat perfume, or something else that you may consider luxe. In the spirit of skinimalism, you should learn what your skin needs, how it reacts to certain stimuli (if at all), and what specific products or treatments work. Knowing your skin type is the best place to start with a solid skinimalist skincare routine. 

Sometimes less is the best skincare routine

As someone who struggled with unexplainable cystic acne for almost two years, I can tell you that nothing worked! I invested in chemical peels, weekly facials, medical-grade skincare products, etc. Still, nothing worked. They did not work because I targeted skin issues that did not exist. I treated my skin as if my cystic acne was the evidence of acne-prone skin, although I always had a normal to combination skin. Though the acne would dry down after each treatment, it returned as quickly as it went away. 

One day, I took a frustrating midday nap. I was over my skin! A couple of hours later, I woke up to a thought that prompted me to research bacteria from enflamed wisdom teeth. I noticed that my breakouts occurred in the same area that my wisdom teeth grew in and suspected that they were at the root of my skin issue. Pun intended. It turned out that I was correct, and the solution to my problem was not another $250 chemical peel. Instead, it was to rinse my mouth twice daily with a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water solution. After doing that for three days, not only did my swelling subside, but my acne stopped. Afterward, I spent almost a year clearing up hyper-pigmentation left behind from my acne. 

Because I am still so scarred from that experience, I committed to doing less with my skincare routine. I try to keep things as natural and skinimalist as possible. Yes, I still use medical-grade face cleansers or exfoliants, but I prefer gentler skincare products such as anything Masktini carries. Their four-product skincare line is ideal for sensitive skin.

The best skincare routine is one that works for you

As we preached all year, skinimalism is still the way to go. The best way to care for your body is not to hop on a trend or listen to whatever a #sponsored influencer says. It is to take your time testing a skincare routine and creating a lifestyle that best supports it. You can spend all the money that you want on under-eye creams, but if you insist on keeping late hours, smoking, etc., you will still struggle with dark circles. Look out for your body! It is the only one you will have for the rest of your life, and it is more than capable of taking care of you. Until next time!