On every beginner’s mind is one question – are we there yet?
I truly want every single person on this earth to care about and be excited about their skin. So seeing beginners take the first steps to a routine is exhilarating – I am so dang happy for them! But I can’t help but worry about the first few days and weeks.
When you’re excited to start your skin care journey, you’ve bought all the products, you’ve followed the tutorials, and you’re tucked up in bed, it’s hard not to let your mind get away from you and dream of the glowing, smooth skin that awaits you. But then your hopes are dashed when, come morning, your skin looks… the same. Or maybe even worse (in cases like purging). What gives?
It’s a common pitfall of beginners to anything – a language, an instrument, and even a hobby like skin care. You see others’ end results of years of dedication and know that’s where you want to be, but initially misjudge the journey.
The truth about the commitment to skin care
It will take weeks, months and even years to see the real benefits. Skin needs time to resolve, heal, regenerate, and resurface. Your lifestyle and habits have to change; your techniques will improve.
You didn’t get to where you are in a day, and you won’t undo it in a day either. Skin care is 10% money, ingredients and passion, and 90% dedication, commitment, and perseverance.
A lot of the time, especially in the first few weeks of a new routine or when you’ve added a lot of products at once, are spent simply as part of a careful observation game, watching for signs of improvement, purging or, alternatively, a breakout.
A person doing a basic bare-bones cleanse-moisturise-sunscreen routine every day for 50 years will always win out over the person who flip flops between an uber-expensive routine and giving up and not washing their face for a week.
How to get through the wait
But the wait frankly sucks. You don’t know whether what you’re doing is working, you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll be frustrated. I have some suggestions on how wait longer, better.
Take good progress photos – once you start seeing progress, it becomes exhilarating. it’s like a competition with yourself. Can your skin look better than it did a month ago?
Use up all your products. In the absence of an adverse reaction, stop buying new products to replace old ones all the time. Not only is this good for your wallet, it’s good for your mental state. The latest fad product isn’t going to get you dream skin. Often, it’s actually all in the technique.
Instant gratification tips
That being said, there are some things that will make you look and feel better immediately while the wonderful properties of your new skin care routine are working away in the background.
- A hydrafacial-inspired treatment (think double exfoliation and a big dose of hydration) instantly gives you a glow – plus it’s fun.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid gives me an instant radiant and clarified appearance. It’s so good I dedicated a whole post to it.
- Facial oils deliver calmer, dewier, smoother looking skin instantly. Even if you’re still recovering from past poor treatment, it’ll glide over flaky dry patches and make every seem… nicer. My favourites are Jojoba, Squalane and most recently Borage Seed.
- On the other end of the spectrum, blurring primers are for those days where your pores are stealing the spotlight. Matte skin hides all sins.
Most of all, have hope. Everyone’s on their own journey to improvement and has their own things to focus on other than your skin.