Having got through the third week of 2017 now’s the perfect time to talk about managing expectations when it comes to skincare. Why? Because by now, 99% of all new year’s resolutions have probably been broken.
But what do new years resolutions and skincare have in common?
By now we’ve figured out that most NY resolutions to get fit/eat clean(er)/become a brand new person doesn’t fit well within our lives; at least not as easily as we’d hoped for.
It isn’t simply due to goals being too high. It’s because we are addicted to staying within our comfort zone. It’s safe, it works, and it doesn’t take too much effort. But if we want to become a better, healthier version of ourselves, it’s going to take a lot more “order und discipline”.
Why do we think that making changes on January 1st will be easier? Or any given Monday? It’s not about the day! It’s about your will to make a change, sticking to your decision, fighting that desire/habit/cravings and most importantly, setting realistic goals. It’s about your mindset.
So, why am I still babbling on about NY resolutions? Because they have more in common with managing expectations about skin care that you might think.
If your gym membership has been on hold since last January and one of your resolutions is to start going 4 times a week, we all know that you probably won’t be getting a call from the Baywatch casting team until at least this Summer. Life happens, the power of old habits prevail, and willpower dies a sudden death. At best, it may stick around for a little longer after seeing some minor results. (this only comes quickly if you work hard and move more!).
Well, in skincare, there is no such thing as “looking tighter and younger in just three weeks” as promised in some recent ad for another magic moisturizer.
If you’ve been “neglecting” your skin for a big chunk of your life, making a few tweaks won’t make it start glowing straight away.
Nature just doesn’t work this way. And by neglecting I don’t mean not performing those high maintenance routines I preach about, but simply: (1) not using sunscreen every day for all months which do not have the letter “R” in the name, (2) not removing make up every day, (3) using inappropriate products, (4) skipping moisturising, (5) smoking. (I admit I’m am guilty of some of them).
And no, you are not some kind of a “I-was-born-with-good-skin” person. All the “sun exposure” and “leaving make up on overnight” will show some day. It’s about time to get your routine together: it’s never too late to start. Even if it’s already January 20th.
1 Don’t believe everything on the packaging
Don’t buy products just because they claim something you want to hear. Read the ingredients list. Learn about the skin care. Use your common sense! It might say anti-age, but the product can be full of silicones and soothing ingredients that will make your skin feel smooth and tight when applied. No more than that, and certainly no (or very little) beneficial ingredients for your skin.
Learn how to treat your skin, what it needs, how it feels … and give it just that. Find the right cocktail of ingredients. The missing ingredient could even be hidden in your kitchen cupboard.
Don’t just buy something that claims to erase all of your wrinkles, shrink your pores, delete dark under eye circles. It simply doesn’t work that way.
2. Give new products some time
So, you learned recently that you need a toner in your routine. You bought one, used it for a whole week, yet didn’t see any significant change. BIN THE DAMN THING!! (Just kidding)
Some people believe that you have to trial a new product for at least 28 days as this is how long it takes for your skin to completely renew. I think it can take even longer – there is no time limit for a new (ingredient-wise) quality product. Some of them may show results in a week, some take a month, others even longer. Give it some time before you make a final judgement!
Remember: skin care is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long term investment. A new good toner in your routine can only benefit your skin. Even if you don’t notice it immediately.
3. You can’t treat your skin type
If you were born with oily skin, this means that your skin produces excessive oil. That’s it. Unfortunately, this can’t be changed. It’s not possible to make pores smaller even though some products may claim differently. (Would you buy a cream that claims to make your legs longer? No!). Some things are given. You can only manage it by choosing the right products for the type of skin you have.
There is another little puzzle we have to resolve. Is your skin really oily? Or does it produce and an excessive amount of sebum because you’ve been using the wrong products?
I hope this post doesn’t discourage you. It was written to motivate you, and to continue doing good for your skin even if you don’t see immediate results and/or you are expecting too much of it. The point is to be in it for the long haul. Sometimes it takes a pricey product, other times the key ingredient is hidden in your kitchen cupboard. Even if you broke a new year resolution or two, please, don’t give up on your skin. It will protect you for the rest of your life!