If you’re like me and like to watch skincare commercials, you’ve probably had them convince you that unless you have twenty-seven steps in your beauty routine, you just aren’t really a beautiful person. You need several different products just to clean your face, then even more to moisturize it, then even more to treat it for a specific issue. It just never ends.
I’ve always had sensitive skin, so the thought that some of these products could help me, could make me more beautiful, made me want to buy everything. After all, if I didn’t get them, that would mean I’d never have good skin, never be happy, right? Well, the reality is very different.
The bare truth
Have you ever thought about how commercials work? Why do you feel a strange mix of inadequacy and excitement after you’ve seen them? Well, let’s break it down: you see a person, someone with an issue that you can relate to. The person on the screen is devastated, you see them panicking, you see their confidence is low, they aren’t good enough because they have this issue. But then! They show you a product. A product that is better than any other you’ve used before. It’s the one that’s going to solve everything. Large pores? Acne? Wrinkles? Oh you ugly creature, let us make you beautiful!
In truth, companies have the job to offer you things that you wouldn’t otherwise get. They create the idea that you need them out of thin air, and that’s why we’re so eager to own stuff that doesn’t help us in any way. Same goes for skin care. You don’t need that many products, and you won’t even use most of them.
So, what should you buy? How do you know what you’re getting is good enough? It’s simple – read the labels in the back. Become informed about certain ingredients, what’s good, and what you need to avoid. I used to struggle with dryness and breakouts all the time because my skin is super sensitive, and the fact that I kept piling on unnecessary products only made everything worse.
For me, Dermalogica UltraCalming line was a godsend because I finally found something that didn’t irritate my skin. I think that sticking to one brand that you trust is a good idea, because then you won’t have to worry too much about whether you’re supporting a company with questionable ethics or putting things on your face that are filled with lazy, cheap ingredients where the best case scenario is that they won’t do much for you.
For your daily ritual, you really only need a few things: gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. Once a week you should do a scrub to clean out your pores, and that’s about it. For my makeup removal, I use coconut oil, and I make my own DIY facial masks with household items. I try to exercise five times a week and eat a balanced diet, because beauty comes from health, and no amount of expensive products can ever change the consequences of a bad lifestyle.
Change your rituals
In the morning, you don’t need more than a splash of warm water and some sunscreen to protect you from the UV rays. Our skin regenerates during the night, so you just want to clean off the sweat and make it feel fresh. Put your makeup on and feel free to head out. Your skin could use a rest from all the intense products, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time.
The evening is when you want to use a good cleanser, because you’re bound to have a lot of dirt and grease that can clog your pores, so take off your makeup and wash your face well. If you use any special treatments, apply them after everything is clean, and then use your moisturizer and you’re pretty much ready for bed. That’s it. That’s all there is to it, no complicated steps, no pointless waste of time, only simplicity.
You’re already beautiful and you don’t need to conform to consumerist ideals just to feel like you’re worth something. I want to use vegan, cruelty-free products, I want to live sustainably, and I think that this is definitely one of the ways I can do that. It makes me happy, it saves me a lot of time and money and I know it’s a lot better for my skin, and not to mention the environment. I hope that these tips help you as well, if for no other reason than to make you think about which products you really need in your beauty routine.
Sophia Smith is an Australian based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about natural skincare cosmetics, yoga and and mindful living. Sophia writes mostly in beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Viva Glam Magazine, LA Fashion Magazine, How to Simplify, Carousel, Just Haves and Eco Warrior Princess.