Skincare as Self Care

Vice had an interesting article about minimalist skincare routines. It’s a backlash to the Korean beauty routines with their 10, 12, sometimes 15 step regimes. All of these steps are supposed to do something to improve your skin: reduce acne, prevent wrinkles, make your skin look brighter.

It turns out, though, that many of these treatments don’t actually work.

Of course, the “beauty” industry sets unrealistic expectations. And of course, they are just trying to make money. If you’re having serious skin issues, you should absolutely go see a dermatologist if you can. They are, obviously, the experts.

I find my 6-7 step skincare routine (remove makeup if I have it on, two-step wash, toner, moisturizer, sunscreen, eye cream) pretty low key. It only takes about five minutes. Sometimes I will wear an eye mask in the morning if the circles under my eyes are especially dark. I also do the occasional exfoliation step or add a face mask.

I don’t know how much of these things matter. The washing and moisturizing make a huge difference for me, and I was extremely surprised by how much better my skin looked when I started using a toner. Of course, the sunscreen and the eye cream are more for the long-term, so who knows? The eye masks make a visible difference, though so does just getting enough sleep.  

The rest? The rest feels nice. I don’t know if it matters for my skin but it does matter for my mental health. I have a hard time taking time to treat myself. It’s hard to make time for that. But if I schedule time every week for a face mask, it’s a thing on the to-do list and then I sit down for fifteen minutes and read a book without feeling guilty.

I make a lot of my products or get them cheap from a place like TK Maxx. Definitely cheaper than therapy.