For a lot of obvious reasons, self-care was a huge part of my life this year. I found a lot of joy in my morning and evening rituals.
And I’ve always loved skincare and makeup but I’ve never been able to more freely try and experiment with different products and dedicate time to sticking with a routine than I have this year. I lived skincare in college but due to financial insecurity, I was always afraid of not being able to replace my products. It’s a mindset I still struggle with— I always felt like, if I used something up it would be gone and I wouldn’t be able to afford to rebuy. Additionally, I was just so tired and busy all the time— what time did I have to dedicate to an extensive routine? And everyday too? No thanks. I mean, I knew my basics and I could splurge every once in a while, so that’s good enough, right?
Now that I’ve graduated and started working, I now not only have the time to dedicate to a routine, but I’ve also finally felt comfortable enough to start my journey for my ~holy grails. Do they really exist? I don’t know. Do I really want to find them? Now I really don’t know! I’ve found a lot of happiness in experimenting with different products and seeing how they work and what works best. But also I’ve gotten to a place where I’m realizing that some products are more enjoyable to use than others. Not even in just practicality, but mostly in how they make me feel and how I feel when I see myself after using them. I’ve also found that sticking to a skincare routine is awesome and would 10/10 recommend for everyone. Also as a heads up, I have mostly combination skin.
The Plant Base Time Stop Collagen Ampoule
This product really surprised me. Although wrinkles aren’t a huge concern of mine, I hated how defined my smile lines were. I mean, I’ve tried to think about them as poetically as I could (“it’s proof of how much I’ve smiled and laughed in my life!”) but candidly, I wasn’t a fan. Within a few weeks of using this product, I saw my smile lines visibly decreased. It might be because I’ve smiled less in the pandemic, sure, but I really enjoy this project and will likely repurchase.
Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel
Okay so this year I’ve tried the Biore Aqua, Purito Unscented (yes I know about the scandal), Nature Republic Aloe Sun Stick, Missha Cicadin Mega Sun Protection Cushion, but this one is probably my favorite. I mean, I’ve enjoyed all of my sunscreens this year (I think they are all worth a try tbh!) but this one made my skin look SO pretty. My mom would ask me if I was wearing foundation with this stuff on, it makes my skin look that good. And because it looks so good, I’ve been actively reaching for it when I get ready for the day. It makes me feel pretty in my skin!
Purito Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence
I understand that people might be wary of Purito after the sunscreen debacle but I’ve used a couple of their other products (including the sunscreen) to pretty good results. One of them is the Niacin Power Essence of which I’m already on my second purchase. Although my skin was a little red when I first started using it, I’ve found it to be such an easy way to get my niacinimide in my AM routine. It’s very watery, and I used it right after I cleanse/wash my face as a sort of super toner. A little goes a long way and there’s really no scent.
Rohto Mentholatum Melano CC Vitamin C Essence
I think this is a HG product for many and I can totally understand why. Again, with its watery texture it’s super easy to apply. I’ve used it for about a month now and it has been helping with my hyper pigmentation. No real scent and absorbs quickly. No frills, it’s a pretty good vitamin c product for a lovely price. I looked at other vitamin c products like Klairs and Glossier but this is the one I felt most comfortable purchasing at its price point and I’m glad I did!
My skin has definitely experienced more of a rollercoaster this year then in year’s past. I had an almost year-long flare up of eczema on my hands (it’s gotten a lot better) and I’ve broken out a lot more this year too (likely due to a combination of stress, sadness, maskne, and a lot of experimentation lol)
That being said, I’m so glad I was able to stick to a formidable routine above all else. In past years, I would just cleanse and moisturize and use other products pretty haphazardly. This year, I was pretty strict with following through on my routine day in and day out. Now it brings me sense of joy and stability. I know the day has started has soon as I finish applying my CC cream. I know the day has ended as soon as I finish putting on my sleeping mask. In short, my skincare routine has grounded me in a sense of time, for which I’m extremely grateful. If nothing else, it gave me short windows to just pamper myself a little bit everyday.
I know for a lot of people, skincare can be more of a burden than a point of happiness. If you’re the type of person who finds no joy in their skincare routine, I really hope that you can find products that are not only effective, but are also fun and joyful to use. Ultimately, I hope you can find a self care routine that makes you feel good and lets you carve out some time every single day to physically go through the motions of caring for yourself and cherishing yourself. Because you’re worth it and you deserve it!
Additionally, I bought all these products from YesStyle. Please feel free to use that link or my code 2T9PJW so we both get some perks! I’ve had an easy time ordering from YesStyle and the shipping is always so fast (like less than a week).