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A Skin Care Guide From A Skincare Goddess

I have never been interested in skincare. In fact, I still consider myself completely inept when it comes to the world of skincare. The only reason I have any skincare routine at all is because of my roommate, Ally Burke. When we first started living together, I never used sunscreen on my face, which appalled her, and rightfully so (I got burnt a lot!) But now I have three sometimes four steps in my skincare routine that I do twice a day, and quite frankly, it has changed my life! My skin looks less greasy and dull, and I feel light, bright, and ready to take on the world!  In this article, I will ask the skincare expert in my how to start your very own skincare routine! 

What is the first step in developing a skincare routine?

Ally– “Finding out what skin type you have and then doing the research to find products that work best for your type of skin.”

How do you tell what type of skin you have?

Ally: “You want to take a very simple cleanser, like CeraVe foaming cleanser or Simple gel cleanser, and wash your face. After that, you wait like 30 minutes to an hour and then assess your skin. Is it dry, oily, or both? If it’s both oily and dry that means you have combination skin. If it’s just dry you have dry skin etc.”

What products are a part of a skincare routine? 

Ally: “There are four basic components to a skincare routine. Your routine can get more complicated but everyone should have these four things in their routine: A cleanser, an exfoliant, a moisturizer, and sunscreen. When purchasing products make sure you do a patch test, that is test the product on the skin that isn’t your face to make sure you don’t have a reaction or that it doesn’t hurt you!”

What are some skincare ingredients to stay away from?

Ally: “Fragrances are something to stay away from. They can be fine in small amounts for some people but stay away from fragrances and essential oils. If you can smell the fragrance of the product too strongly that means it’s in high concentration and it might be too sensitizing for your skin. Chemically, you want to stay away from ethanol, and aluminum sulfate. Lastly, exfoliants might contain ingredients such as coffee grounds, ground shells, or cinnamon which you would want to stay away from as well.”

What does sensitizing mean? 

Ally: When an ingredient is sensitizing that means that it destroys your skin’s natural barrier and so it leaves it more vulnerable to the sun’s rays and causes moisture loss which can lead to aging and wrinkles.

Do you really need sunscreen as a part of your routine?

Ally: “Yes Yes Yes! It is the most important part of your skincare routine! If you don’t use sunscreen, then all the hard work you do with the rest of your routine goes down the drain. Make sure you find a sunscreen that isn’t used for the beach because you want to find one that doesn’t feel like the stickiness of the sunscreen, you want it to be comfortable for everyday use. I recommend the Alba botanica sunscreen for the cheaper option and it’s a physical sunscreen so it’s reminiscent of beach sunscreen. But if you want to spend some extra cash, I recommend EltaMD sunscreen which is a chemical sunscreen and isn’t as thick.”

Why is it important to do skincare both in the morning and evening? 

Ally: “Your skin has different needs depending on the time of day, so it’s important to attend to both. In the daytime, you need to use sunscreen because you will be outside and exposed to the sun, but at night, you want to focus on repairing your skin so you would skip the sunscreen step and instead take this time to use your exfoliant which can be harsher on the skin and safer to use when you won’t be in the sun which can also be harsh on your skin!”

Are there any products you need to ease into your routine? 

Ally: “Ease into your chemical exfoliants! Use them once a week at first then twice a week, and eventually, you work your way up to every other day. If you’ve used a chemical exfoliant before, you might be able to start twice a week or so. Another factor to consider is how harsh your exfoliant is. By slowly introducing this step into your routine, you can build up your skin’s tolerance and reduce your risk of damaging it!”

You mentioned some sunscreen brands you recommend earlier. Are there any other brands you recommend for the other skincare products? 

For cleansers- CeraVe, LaRoche Posay, or Krave Beauty

For moisturizers- CeraVe, Vanicream, or First Aid Beauty

For exfoliants- Paula’s Choice, The Ordinary, or The Inky List 

Skincare can be expensive. Do you have any hacks on how to make it cheaper?

Ally: “Try to find travel sizes of products. This is a great hack especially if you’re just trying out a product, or you want to save money. Not all brands have travel sizes but when you find it it can be a win! Also, just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s better, drug store stuff can still be really good! Make sure you read the ingredient list!”

Finally, what is your favorite thing about skincare? Do you have any additional advice for people just starting out with skincare?

Ally: “For me personally, I think it’s doing the research and figuring out what is best for skin and how the ingredients in the products work to help my skin. But I think a lot of people just like having a little downtime where they can do a routine to keep their skin healthy and make them feel good. For people starting out, I’d say don’t panic and take your time a good routine doesn’t happen overnight. Use your resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help! YouTube got me into skincare in the first place and there are a ton of YouTubers out there such as Hyram, or Dr. Dray who can help you get started! Lastly, do not use DIY skincare products. The ingredients in them aren’t meant for your skin!” 

I was truly hopeless before I started rooming with Ally. I only used a Cetaphil cleanser once a day. It was tragic. But she has made my skin so much healthier which has really improved my mood. Also, having a routine to start and end my day really grounds me. Now with this article, you too can start your very own skincare routine. Thank you Ally for blessing us all with your skincare knowledge.

Until next time 



Jillian Paccico

Endicott '24

Hi my name is Jillian Paccico and I am a nursing student at Endicott College! I love to hang out with my friends, win my dog's affection with treats and belly rubs, and eat anything that doesn't require utensils. (Nachos are my personal favorite.) You can find me on Instagram @jpaccico_4
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