While I've been interested in beauty for as long as I can remember, I don't think the word "skincare" entered my vocabulary until my late twenties. Fast-forward to my thirties, when it's arguably the most important part of my beauty routine, both in terms of making up for past mistakes and preventing future signs of aging. While I've made plenty of questionable decisions when it comes to skincare (hindsight is 20/20), here are 7 of the biggest mistakes I made when I was younger (and how I'm correcting against them now):
I've lost count of the number of makeup tutorials I've published that immediately received the response, "But where's the SPF?" The truth is, for years I didn't use any—most face sunscreens either smelled too much like sunblock, were too greasy, or felt like an annoying step after moisturizing. I recently became a fan of OLAY's Total Effects Moisturizer with SPF 15, because its sheer, lightweight formula is easy to wear and does so much more than just protect my face against UV rays. I love that it provides my skin with moisture and vitamins C & E, leaving my skin looking healthy-looking, fast. It's an enormous relief to know my search for SPF moisturizer is over, and that I've found something I can feel good about wearing everyday.
It's practically a job requirement that I try out new products—otherwise, I wouldn't know which are worth recommending. But I used to be much more flippant about which products I tried, which resulted in a laundry list of skin irritations. As a general rule of thumb, I only now use products that have been vetted—either by a friend I trust, or a brand I love like OLAY.
I've mentioned this before, but it truly can't be said enough. In my twenties, I frequently went to bed without washing my face (let alone using a toner), and it wasn't until a few years ago that I got into a routine of washing my face with any regularity. As soon as I started washing my face every evening—not just in the shower in the morning—I immediately noticed my complexion brighten.
While I still struggle with hydration, I'm much more aware of it than I used to be. I now carry a water bottle with me everywhere, and am careful to go to bed somewhat early, so I don't need to get too creative about covering up under-eye bags.
I think it's safe to say we're all guilty of going after a blemish we know we weren't supposed to touch, but it used to happen much more often when I was younger. I've since learned that picking at my face can result not only in a lasting blemish, but scarring—it's a better idea to let a trained estheticians handle the extractions.
This is more of a mental shift than anything, but I used to approach skincare from a short-term benefit, i.e., wear illuminating gel to look glowy that evening, rather than targeting long-term anti-aging. As soon as I began to approach my skincare holistically, I began to notice longterm effects. I now make sure to use masks several times a week and get facials every so often.
To make up for my all-too-casual skincare routine, I drowned out blemishes and discoloration in foundation. As soon as I learned the power of caring for my skin, I found I also needed less and less makeup, which in turn resulted in better skin.