SKIN SERIES | Conflicting Skin Care Advice
On a recent Almost 30 podcast episode, the guys from Mind Pump were talking about how 90% of the fitness advice on Instagram is basically garbage and it got me thinking about all of the skincare advice on Instagram. I'm not claiming to have all of the answers, but I also don't think you need to be an esthetician to hammer out a beneficial skincare routine. But it can be really confusing. Why? Because everyone on Instagram (or whatever platform you prefer) claims to know what's right for you and all the advice appears to be conflicting. One esthetician/influencer tells you that you are breaking out because you are using oils and another states that you would have to heavily slather yourself in coconut oil to see so much as one tiny pimple.
Who is right? Well both and neither. It really depends on your skin. I know this statement can be incredibly frustrating when you just want to know how to care for your skin, but it can also be liberating. You don't have to follow anyone's advice! You don't need 10 serums to achieve "perfect" skin. You really just need one that works for you.
Not that finding the perfect product for you is necessarily easy with the myriad of options available. I truly believe in finding a brand whose vibe, mission, and ethics really resonate with you. The founder should have familiarity with your particular skin condition and a thorough understanding of how the skin works. I also don't believe in gimmicky skincare - exotic extracts, snail goop, etc. For the most part, it's a waste of money. Do your research and stick to the basics. In years past, the focus was more on product categories - "Do you have a mist? A night cream?" and now the focus is on particular ingredients - "Are you using peptides? Hyaluronic Acid?" so we are running out and buying a ton of products so that each and every one of those ingredients is represented in our skincare routine.
This is where the conspiracy theorist part of my brain starts kicking in and I start wondering who is making money off of our naïveté. All of this conflicting advice incites our consumerist tendencies and spurs restless seeking. What if this newest, latest & greatest ingredient is going to make us just a pinch more beautiful?? Then we have to have it. I don't want this post about not taking other peoples' advice to turn into a post where I am giving advice, but if you aren't using a Vitamin C serum and retinol, start there before you go nuts with all the other ingredients. Or ignore that advice. You know your skin. Trust your intuition.
One last thing - my thoughts on oil-free skincare. I've stated before that I think oil-free skincare is akin to fat-free food. At this point we know that the oil-free movement was in response to the use of mineral oil in skincare and I've found that when companies remove oil from a product they typically replace it with a synthetic ingredient meant to mimic the skin-lubricating properties of oil, which I can't imagine is any better for skin than say, jojoba oil. That being said, if oil-free skincare has been working for you, don't change it on my account.