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Beauty

Trying New Skincare Products? Check Out These Resources.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about skincare is the significance of good, high-quality ingredients. However, if you’re not a dermatologist, aesthetician or skincare specialist, it can be pretty difficult to pick up a new product, look at its ingredient list and determine whether or not the purchase is worthwhile. Or, sometimes, when evaluating a range of similar products, it can also be difficult to decide which formulation is best suited for your skin type.

For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of my go-to resources for when I run into similar situations. Whether that’s when I’m thinking about trying out a new moisturizer or when I want to integrate a Vitamin C serum into my routine, these are the first resources I turn to:

EWG’s Skin Deep

When I’m thinking about changing up or trying out a new product, this is the very first place I look.

Skin Deep is an initiative launched by the Environmental Working Group that aims to “use the power of information to protect human health and the environment.” On their website, they’ve essentially created a vast database full of cosmetic products and ingredients that are either EWG certified (the highest possible rating) or rated on a scale of one to 10 (one being the best, 10 being the worst). 

These ratings derive primarily from the basis of product formulations. After evaluating all available research and data, they take into account each ingredient in the product and any possible risks associated with immunotoxicity, allergies, cancer or use restrictions. If the product uses predominantly good, healthy and nontoxic ingredients, it’s granted a lower rating. If the product is formulated with fragrances and ingredients that have been linked to harmful side effects, it’s granted a higher rating.

Like I said before, this database is huge. It houses information on all kinds of skincare products from brands big and small. And even if the product you have in mind hasn’t been listed or reviewed, the website offers a feature that allows you to build your own product report. That, or you can submit a request directly to Skin Deep if you would like to see a product fully evaluated and integrated into their database. 

Overall, it’s an amazing, easy-to-use and high-quality resource if you’re ever interested in either looking for new products to try or if you want to evaluate the quality of a product you already have in mind.

Hyram

I’m not being dramatic when I say that Hyram and his YouTube channel have changed my life.

While Hyram isn’t an aesthetician or dermatologist, his experience working in the skincare and beauty industry definitely makes him a skincare specialist. Almost all of the content on his channel is related to skincare, but it still boasts a wide variety of comprehensive and informative videos about curating a skincare routine, brand reviews and product recommendations. He also makes reaction videos to celebrity beauty routines, and watching him drag Bella Thorne for her DIY sugar and lemon face scrub or stan AOC for using a good moisturizer and sunscreen is genuinely so entertaining.

If you’re trying to treat any specific problem like maskne, texture, undereye circles or scarring and dark spots, Hyram is an amazing resource that not only recommends (generally) affordable products, but also breaks down the value and benefits of specific ingredients that target and treat the problem you’re dealing with. Even if you don’t end up using any of the products he recommends, you’re still left with a pretty substantial bank of knowledge and information about specific formulations and ingredients you should look for.

But be warned: his sass, sarcasm and dramatics also make him so lovable and entertaining that once you start watching his videos, you won’t be able to stop.

Cassandra Bankson

Both Cassandra and Hyram use YouTube to make similar content, but because Cassandra is a licensed and practicing aesthetician, her product recommendations and reviews integrate a bit more detail on the nitty-gritty science of ingredient benefits and skin health. Her recommendations also take brand practices and ethics into account and are typically vegan and cruelty-free. She also films reactions to celebrity beauty routines and does a really nice job of demystifying the allure of luxury skincare and debunking myths surrounding “natural” and DIY skincare. 

What really distinguishes Cassandra, however, are her comprehensive reviews and tutorials that offer cleanser, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen recommendations based specifically on your skin type (normal, oily, acne-prone, dry, combination, etc.) as well as the best ways to mix or layer those products to ensure maximum efficacy. In addition, she studies and reviews experimental beauty treatments like probiotics, radiofrequency and laser hair removal if you’re interested in learning about or trying out those procedures, devices or tools.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, as there are so many other resources, creators and influencers out there that bring their knowledge, research and unique experiences to their recommendations. No single person has all the answers, so I encourage you to continue exploring and considering a wide variety of advice and perspectives.

Also, keep in mind that skincare is a wellness practice. It’s not supposed to be stressful! While there are ingredients and formulations that are great for preventative care and treating problems and concerns, don’t get caught up in the facade of perfection. It doesn’t exist.

Enjoy the journey, be kind to yourself and your body and honor your existence with the love and respect you deserve! Happy holidays!

Niki is a third-year student at UMKC pursuing double majors in history and English along with a minor in film studies. Outside of writing and re-watching her favorite Tom Cruise movies, you can find her listening to audiobooks while on strolls through the park or walks around her neighborhood. She enjoys talking about travel, literature, health, wellness, and skincare and can never turn down a good cup of tea.
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