Excuse me, what?!.. is probably what you’re thinking right now. The title of this blog is as simple and crazy as it seems. I’m annoyed at myself for not giving in sooner.
Skincare was in fact, making my skin worse.
Around 7 to 8 months ago, my skin started to get very irritated and dry. Certain products I was using inflamed my skin, making it really red, sore and dry. At some points, it was also flaking off. Especially on my eyelids and quite honestly, it was gross.
It seemed like overnight, products that had been working wonders for me, all of a sudden I was reacting to. And this wasn’t in a good way!
So, what did I do?
I decided to completely strip my skincare back to a simple routine;
Morning: Cleanse and moisturise.
Night: Remove makeup, double cleanse and moisturise.
At first, as you can imagine, my face went crazy. It didn’t know what to do, I’d have breakouts, small bumps under the surface and a face that couldn’t decide whether to be oily or dry.
Whilst my face was in this unsure stage, I’d occasionally use some Mario Badescu drying cream or lotion on tough breakouts, but made the tough decision to stick it out.
My plan was to then start adding products back in, so they were able to work to the best of their ability on my settled down skin.
After reading numerous studies (yes, I’m that girl), the general consensus is that it can take up to 3 months for your skincare to really work. Although your general skin cell turn over is around 21 – 40 days, it can take longer than this for the effects of some products to happen. This will also be dependent on the quality and percentage of good ingredients in your skincare.
When I stripped my skincare back to the basics, I’d say it took 4 – 6 weeks for me to notice my skin ‘getting back to normal’. All I wanted it to do was get to a place where it was calm, not flaky and smooth in texture.
After 4 – 6 weeks of basic skincare, my eyelids had significantly improved and I was able to start wearing more mascara and eye shadow again. I also noticed I was getting less major breakouts. In general, my skin was a lot calmer and brighter too.
As I noticed the difference in my skin from cutting back on using so many products, I ended up making the decision about 4 months ago to pretty much use water, soap and moisturiser.
Where am I now?
In a really good place. My exact skincare routine now is:
Morning: Soap and water, followed by moisturiser.
Night: Soap and water (twice, to make sure all the makeup/dirt’s off).
You probably think I’m crazy and there’s no way this works but my god, it does! I honestly don’t remember the last time my skin was so good. I’ve always been happy to go out without makeup day to day, but I think if I had to, I’d even be happy to go to work without it. That’s saying something!
Why does this work?
I’m no scientist, so please don’t come at me for the following things I’m about to say. I feel a bit like hair, skin can be ‘trained’. For example, by not putting moisturiser on each night, I feel like my natural face oils are able to produce. This means that overall, my skin’s not as dry or flaky.
By not using a mixture of different skin products, from different brands, I feel this helps too. It’s important to note many brands create a ‘line’ of skincare. These will be formulated to work together in harmony.
If you use all sorts of different products, they may actually be combating each other. Not helping your skin out at all.
As I now only use soap (Dove Beauty Cream Bar), water and a moisturiser (Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré). They’re not working against each other. Firstly, as they’re both intended to do different things and secondly, as they mainly contain very different ingredients, my skin’s not getting too much of a particular thing.
Would I recommend it?
HELL YES. Back before everyone had so much disposable income, people survived and had great skin without the need for a 10 step night time routine.
By cutting back on your skincare, not only will it save you time and money, you’ll also be helping your skin come into it’s own and look after itself. I personally can’t see me going back to a full skincare routine.
Also, how often do you see someone with good skin and they say ‘I only use soap and water’. I’m telling you, this is the way forward and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Love, always – B