I am regularly asked for advice on skincare by pals online and in real life. So I decided to start writing a little more about skincare, after a long time talking about it (extensively) on Twitter. You can expect product reviews, discussions about the beauty industry (and its huge problems), and the intersections between mental health, disability and beauty.
One of the most common issues people seem to have when they come to me to ask about skincare is that the whole thing feels like a confusing minefield. There are a million products promising to do a million things at a million different prices. And it’s hard to know what kind of thing is good for your skin beneath the fancy packaging. Most importantly, a skincare routine doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to take half an hour.
To begin, here are some things (I think) you should have & tips you should stick to:
- You need to have an understanding of your skin – which isn’t necessarily easy. I started to take my skin seriously when I first moved to London and the terrible air quality (along with a lot of job related stress and illness) was ruining it and making me miserable. So I began using some products recommended as good all-rounders for all skin types, and taking notice of my skin – when was it dry? When was it oily? What made me break out? How did my face make up look?
- You need a skincare routine, even if it’s only comprised of three products. I would recommend a light everyday cream cleanser for the morning; make up remover, micellar water, or a cleanser to take off make up (if you wear it); an oil or balm cleanser for the evening, twice daily toning and moisturising at least one a day.
- Buy cotton face cloths – it is impossible to have too many (use a clean one every time you cleanse). They aren’t too expensive and are probably one of the most useful things you’ll buy. You can get them in Primark.
- I use plastic cosmetic spatulas to take out product. It helps ensure you don’t use too much at a time and also minimises the risk of any bacteria/dirt/etc. ending up in your cleanser.
- Throw your face wipes in the fire – they are full of crap and really bad for your skin. Seriously. Use micellar water, make up remover or cleanser to take off your make up. And take off your make up before you go to bed. Related: avoid alcohol in cleansers and toners, and avoid foaming cleansers or face wash as it is usually full of it.
- Moisturise even if it feels like you don’t need to and/or you have oily skin – the minute you stop thinking you need to is when you’ll break out (if you’re me).
Despite being part of an oppressive, racist and elitist industry, skincare has become a way in which I can take care of myself within the confines of my disabilities. I don’t believe that buying-nice-and-expensive-things-counts-as-self-care, but I do believe in being kind to my skin. So I’m going to write about it.