I don’t use a lot of makeup…in fact, I don’t even know what a bronzer or highlighter is. But skincare on the other hand, is my jam. People have all kinds of buying obsessions, and for me it is skincare products.
I am by no means an expert, and I am still picking up knowledge from other people. But here are the things I wish I knew before starting my skincare journey. It would’ve saved me some time, money, headaches, and breakouts.
1. Know Your Skin Type
You guys…this sounds like such a basic step but I wish I knew how important that is. I used to buy random products because the packaging looks nice or the marketing sounds convincing. I would apply products for dry, oily and sensitive skin on my face. It was a nightmare.
My skin was breaking out every week and my face was always red. It never occurred to me that it’s because I’m not using the right products. I just assumed the products sucked. Eventually I realize I have acne-prone, highly sensitive, combination skin. But I learned it the hard way.
Don’t be like me. Spend some time to find out what yours is. You can get a free skin type test at The Body Shop. Just go into a store and ask the sales associate to help you figure it out. If you know other stores that also do free tests, please share with everyone in the comments below!
2. Ask for Samples at Sephora
Did you know you can ask for a sample for almost everything at Sephora?
Well maybe you did LOL, but I didn’t. This was a game-changer for me. There are so many products I want to try, but my wallet and my highly sensitive skin wouldn’t let me. Samples solve the problem. I never purchase a full-size item without trying a sample first. I also get a sample (intentionally picking the expensive ones) when I have a bad day and need to treat myself. No shame.
3. Get Value Sets
I am obsessed with browsing for things to buy (it’s bad I know). From affordable products to luxury brands, I want to try them all. But since your girl isn’t made of money, value sets is the next best thing to get. For those who don’t know, value sets are a collection of products sold at a lower cost than it would’ve been if you buy them separately. It lets you try multiple products for cheaper. In fact, I buy value sets during Sephora’s semi-annual sales so it’s even cheaper.
4. Follow the Instructions
Sounds ridiculous this is a tip right? Well, not to me LOL. Back then when I use sheet masks, I would have them on till they dry. Sometimes that means leaving it on for 45 minutes. My skin would break out the next day and I would again, assume the products sucked.
But that’s because 45 minutes wasn’t what it suggested. The recommended time was in the instructions for a reason. We can’t blame the products or our skin when we didn’t listen. Leaving face masks on for longer than recommended can irritate the skin or cause a reverse effect, according to Allure.
5. Know the Order of Application
I used to put on moisturizer before toner…and no one told me it was wayyyy wrong. To get the most out of the ingredients, it’s important to do it in the right order. Here’s an infographic from Cosmopolitan, outlining the proper order to apply skincare products. Some of you may or may not agree with all of it, but I think this is a good general guideline to follow.
6. Expensive Doesn’t Mean It’ll Work
Price doesn’t always reflect effectiveness. I’ve tried several “high-end” products that didn’t do anything, or at least not significant enough to justify the price. Thank goodness most of them I’ve tried through value sets and samples only. Some are great though, like the Tatcha Water Cream. But even if they’re great on me, that doesn’t mean it’ll be great on you. If you don’t know your skin that well yet, I wouldn’t recommend buying expensive brands. You don’t want to be spending money on products that turn out are not even suitable for you to begin with.
7. You Can Return Your Purchases
I haven’t done this before, since I usually get a sample to try before purchasing. I also just thought skincare is similar to swimwear, that it’d be final sale. But actually if you are not happy with your purchase, most of the common stores (e.g. Sephora, The Body Shop, Winners) allow you to return it even if it’s been used, given that it’s only used a little. Do check the return policy at the stores you shop at though because some may be different, and policies could change.
That’s It For Now…
I learned a lot of stuff the hard way so I’m hoping you can learn from my silly mistakes. There are more tips I’d like to share but didn’t want this post to get too long, so stay tuned for part 2!
Have you made any skincare mistakes? Or do you have your own tips? Please share them in the comments below I’d love to hear all about them!