What do you get when you make a change-averse Fiddy move herself, her family, and her massive and ever-expanding skincare routine and beauty stash (also clothes and furniture and things) out of their home of three pretty accumulative years and into a brand new place?
Okay, it’s not that bad (though I am posting this from the neighborhood Starbucks because we don’t have a home Internet connection set up just yet), but I really, really hate moving. Something always goes wrong; several things did. The disruption and stress triggered a brief (well, I’m working on making it brief) relapse into depression. I am starting to feel almost normal again now, so I thought I’d share the observations I’ve made over the past few days about the importance of my skincare routine and how I now know that it does make a difference.
The Effect of Neglecting My Skincare Routine
I’m back in the (well moisturized saddle) now, but for the first few days at this new place, I could barely get myself together enough to swipe some cleansing water over my face and apply sunscreen in the morning. My post-shower routine at night was bare-bones, too. Forget about layers of hydration and doublefisted sheet masks. For several days, that was totally not happening, no way. Not when I could just throw on my actives and crawl into bed to quietly drive myself nuts with snowballing worry.
Some of you who’ve seen my routine posts on Instagram may have wondered whether those extensive routines actually made a difference for me, or if there was a point at which the layers upon layers of product became redundant or, even worse, counterproductive. I now have the answer. Yup, all those steps definitely make a difference, at least for my skin. (YMMV!)
My face didn’t fall apart after a couple of days of neglect, of course, but the decline in my skin was pretty apparent. The glow and bounce were the first things to go. I’m used to having my skin’s hydration levels pumped up to near maximum thanks to several humectant-heavy layers keeping the upper layers of my skin nice and juicy. The absence of those layers really showed.
My skin tone started to suffer, too. Right before the move, I was going without BB cream or cushion on most days and only using teeny little dabs in strategic places on the other days. Dropping several of my anti-inflammatory heavy hitters left me feeling the need to compensate with heavier complexion makeup during the day, especially around my mouth, where I’d just about eradicated some PIH left over from a mustache waxing gone wrong. It is not fun to see blotchiness and PIH starting to creep back in.
Here’s the silver lining: not only did the quick decline of my skin show me the importance of my skincare routine as a whole, it also showed me exactly which parts of my routine are the most important. So now I can pass that knowledge on to you!
The Bare Essentials of My Skincare Routine
I’m not quite back to 100 percent, mentally or…skincareily (facially? complexionarily?). I am, however, creeping back up from about 85 to maybe 95 percent, thanks to identifying the most critical items in my skincare arsenal. Those items are:
Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion, which remains one of the most hydrating and plumping products in my stash. Using this, particularly in the mornings, is helping me regain a substantial amount of the juicy bounce I had started to lose.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX, whose glow-enhancing effects have me totally hooked. After skipping it just a couple of times, I found myself looking noticeably more tired. A little too close to haggard for comfort, actually.
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, which…why would I ever go without this? What was I thinking? I haven’t gone through multiple bottles of it for no good reason. Whenever I skip this product, my skin gets a little blotchier and the texture becomes less refined. I need the soothing, smoothing, softening effects of this in my life. Actually, I need to restock again.
Shark Sauce: Remember I mentioned that PIH I mentioned? It should surprise none of you that Shark Sauce turns out to be the single most effective product I have for keeping that PIH under control and steadily fading away.
Sunscreen: No, I haven’t skipped sunscreen. We’ve moved down to Carlsbad, a beachy resort town, and to an apartment that’s literally a two-block walk from the ocean. I’ve been using sunscreen every day. But there’ve been days when I’ve used less than necessary and days when I’ve misjudged the strength of sunscreen I needed. As a result, I’ve picked up some fresh sun damage. Boo! When it comes to sunscreen, type and quantity really do matter. That’s why I’m about to grab four more bottles each of my Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (for not-going-in-the-water days) and my Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk (for might-go-in-the-water days). In a place like this, protection like that is necessary.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention actives in my list of bare essentials. I did keep up with my morning BHA and my evening Curology every day, even when I could barely bring myself to moisturize, but in retrospect, I actually think that was a mistake—the Curology, at least. Some time ago, I wrote about how my layers of hydration and moisture help me ward off the dreaded tretface. That still holds true. I’m pretty sure that at least some of the increased blotchiness and sensitivity I’ve been experiencing comes from carrying on with my actives while neglecting the supporting steps of my routine (and the increased sun sensitivity definitely comes from the tretinoin). Lesson learned: if I ever see myself slipping again, I’ll drop the actives first.
I have lots more to talk about as I work back up to 100 percent, and I have several reviews almost done, but I’m going to stop here for today. How have you guys been? What new and exciting things have you been putting on your faces? And what are the absolute bare necessities of your skincare routines?