*Written by Jackie Leschin*
I want to preface this article by saying that my skincare regimen is what has worked for me and everyone has different skin. Being confident in your own skin is all about finding what works best for your own skin type. If you are seeking out skincare advice, always consult a doctor first.
I have struggled with my skin for a very long time. I was in 8th grade when I first began to experience small breakouts, and since then it has been an uphill battle.
When I was younger, I used to go to my local Walgreens and buy countless products aimed at helping acne. Whenever I went out, I would pile makeup on small imperfections because they seemed so important to me and truly took a toll on my self confidence.
While I have been lucky enough to never suffer from extreme cystic acne, I have dealt with pesky hormonal breakouts throughout my early adulthood.
I have tried essentially every product on the market to help my skin. This includes almost every drugstore product, Curology and a variety of prescribed creams and lotions from my own dermatologist. However, it was not until recently that I finally began to feel confident in my own skin.
Last year, I finally found a routine that changed my attitude toward my skin. It took years of useless grapefruit Neutrogena products for me to realize just how important the ingredients in your skincare and makeup are.
With the help of one of my favorite youtubers Skincare by Hyram, I learned that clean makeup and skincare is the most important thing for people like me with sensitive skin. By clean, I mean free of harmful and irritating chemicals, like products with lots of fragrance.
After binging Hyram’s skincare youtube channel in the spring of my junior year of high school, I threw out almost everything in my bathroom cabinet and started from scratch. I also went through each and every one of my makeup products, because as someone who loves to wear makeup, I knew that the products I put on my skin everyday could also impact my skin’s health.
My first piece of advice for people who have experienced skin issues like mine is to keep it simple. The skincare market tries to draw young girls in by marketing their products with amazing scents and promises to see results in hours, but in reality perfecting your skin is an arduous process.
I only use CeraVe Foaming Facial cleanser, my dermatologist prescribed treatment, and then hyaluronic acid and CeraVe sunscreen in my morning routine. For the most part, stay away from any scrubs, as well as any products with fragrance, as they will only further irritate your skin.
My second tip is to always be aware of the ingredients in your products and buy new ones wisely. There are countless ingredients in modern skincare and it is virtually impossible to remember which are beneficial or possibly harmful for your skin type.
Knowing this, my holy grail when I am shopping for new skincare and makeup products has been the website cosdna.com. It is bookmarked on essentially every one of my devices and allows me to type in any beauty product and see a list of the ingredients and their “score” of how irritating they can be to my skin.
On this website, you can also paste in the ingredient lists if the product does not come up, which is extremely helpful. My rule of thumb is that if any product has an ingredient that has a score higher of two, I do not buy it. This small step has drastically changed my skin, and although I had to get rid of some of my favorite products, it was definitely worth it.
The next thing that I realized is how connected my gut and skin are. The things that I eat directly impact the status of my skin. For example, when I would have a weekend of burgers and processed food, I would see it in my skin the next week. I noticed drastic improvement when my family became mostly vegan and vegetarian and had monumentally fewer breakouts especially when I stopped eating and drinking dairy.
Overall, your skin’s health is a very complex ordeal. It is not just about the products, but also about what you eat and drink. Although finding the best skincare routine is a long and tiresome process, through trial and error you will be able to find products that work best for your skin, leading to a happier and more confident self.