How I Crafted a Quality Skincare Routine
By Georgia Collings
The world of skincare has absolutely exploded over the past decade. Gone are the days of washing our face with abrasive apricot scrubs and slathering on layers of cheap foundation. The majority of us (I hope) are saying “goodbye” to sleeping in cakey makeup or wearing chemical-laden sunscreen formulas. Now we cleanse, oil cleanse, double cleanse, exfoliate, use serums… there are TikTokers out there with 40 step skincare routines! Whilst this may be a tad excessive, we are slowly learning through the influence of beauty vloggers and Korean skincare specialists how to REALLY look after our skin. After all, it’s the biggest organ we have and if we want to stay looking young, healthy and blemish-free, a good skincare routine can be incredibly important.
So now we know that we do need to look after our skin, it’s time to figure out how. Because not only are there a million TikToks out there telling us how, as soon as we step into our local Sephora or pharmacy, there are about a million products with shiny, attractive labels (and often NOT so attractive price points) begging us to put them on our skin. It’s a little confusing. Vitamins? Chemicals? Minerals? Masks? Sunscreens? Organic? Vegan? None of the above? All of the above?
“Too complicated” was my first thought when I started thinking about changing up my skincare routine. Yes, I realised it was time to put the harsh, $3 cleanser and end-of-day makeup wipes to bed and put some nicer products on my skin, but I didn’t have a clue where to start. Until I started working my current job. Here at VeganicSKN I began (as a journalist) doing my best research into the importance of sunscreen, as that is our main product. I realised that every beauty vlogger and dermatologist out there have one thing in common – they use a HIGH-QUALITY SPF. Every day. Often multiple times a day. A broad-spectrum cream that blocks UVA rays (the ones that age your skin – sun spots and wrinkles and crinkles oh my!!!) and UVB rays (which give ouchy burns that damage your skin and cause nasty skin cancers). I realised these rays affected my skin even when I wasn’t actively out in the sun. You don’t have to be bikini-clad at the beach and tanning to get skin-damage. There is a study that has shown that we are more likely to get skin cancers on the side of our body which faces the drivers-side window of our car. I don’t drive heaps, but I looked at my arms and lo and behold, my drivers side arm is more tan and has more freckles on it. I’ve inadvertently been exposing one side of my body to a LOT more sun than the other side.
So, thanks to free work samples, I started wearing sunscreen on a daily basis. I had found my first holy-grail product – a mineral sunscreen that was 100% organic and vegan, no synthetic chemicals, that I could apply to my skin every single day. Skin cancers run in my family, I don’t want to be 24 with skin cancers getting cut out of me.
But my research – a lot of which has resulted in articles on this blog – made me think more carefully about what else I’m putting on my skin. If chemicals in sunscreen can damage marine life then what about the chemicals in the rest of my skincare? It’s probably damaging my skin too. At the very least, cheap, chemical ingredients are probably not going to nourish my sad, dehydrated skin.
I started simple. I needed to buy a bar of soap to wash my body with – nothing fancy, I just wanted to be clean and maybe reduce some of the acne on my back and chest. I switched from the cheapest, most chemical laden body wash to a bar of organic, oat-milk soap (which was less than $3 – organic doesn’t mean breaking the bank). Within a week my skin was softer, I noticed less body odour and my acne was healing. I realised I was onto something with this whole organic thing. Natural, high-quality ingredients, and less of them, may be my skin’s saving grace.
Next came moisturiser – easy! More oat-based, nice-smelling moisturisers with all-organic ingredients. My face was already feeling like a baby’s butt, and I had less ingrown hairs on my legs. Finally came the face wash, something I was nervous about – surely my combative, oily, acne prone face needed something harsher than some plants and essential oils???? I was mistaken. I found something simple and cheap, and my face feels better than ever.
Now I’m not fancy – I don’t have a 40 step skincare routine or buy expensive cosmetics and $100s of dollars worth of face serums. I don’t think I ever will to be honest, because with sunscreen, moisturiser, face and body washes that are organic and plant-based, my skin is thriving and doesn’t seem to need much else.
Organic skincare isn’t out of your price range, and as a bonus, it means you’re not washing marine-destroying chemicals down your drain every day. Long-term I know I’d rather put something natural on my face than something that’s made of nothing but ingredients I can’t pronounce. Natural products are also more likely to be hypo-allergenic and great for sensitive skin because there are no harsh chemical irritants. In fact, overall there’s less ingredients to upset your delicate skin.
Ditching synthetic ingredients might just be what your skin has been waiting for, so give it a try.