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Why I Stopped Buying Skincare Products (And Why You Should Too)

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

Ever since I was probably 10-years-old watching my favorite YouTubers, I started thinking about my skin. The internet made me feel like if I did not have a 10-step skincare routine, then I was doing something wrong. From face washes to toners, I have tried it all. When I first started asking my mom to go shopping for skincare products, her initial reaction was that I did not need them. I had some acne here and there, but I thought that it was because my skin was dirty, and the only solution would be to start washing my face twice a day. Long story short, I found out that my mom was right. Not everything we are told about skincare is necessarily true, and while everyone’s skin is different, here is what I have learned.

less is more

When it comes to skincare, less is more. Our skin is designed to self-cleanse and self-moisturize, so when you apply multiple products a day, you end up stripping the skin of its natural moisture and throwing it off balance. I used to use a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and spot treatment at least once a day, and since stopping, my skin has never been clearer. If you do choose to use skincare products, try to find ones with simple ingredients and use as few products as possible to prevent irritation.

be mindful of your moisturizer

Your skin produces natural oils and retains moisture on its own. When you apply moisturizer, over time your skin loses the ability to self-regulate, which can do more harm than good. Dermatologist Zein Obagi, M.D., says, “When you use moisturizer every day, you run the risk of making your skin older, not younger.” He explained that “If you apply a lot of moisture, skin will become sensitive, dry, dull, and interfere with natural hydration”(Becker, 2018). While we are constantly marketed anti-aging products, using them can actually cause aging, not reverse it. By skipping the traditional moisturizer, you are allowing your skin to regulate on its own, naturally.

Diet is the true skincare

In my experience, it’s not having ‘dirty skin’ that causes acne, a lot of the time it is directly correlated to diet. For example, eating processed foods high in sugar and inflammatory oils can worsen acne. This is not to say never treat yourself, it is all about balance and having a healthy relationship with food. The best thing I did for my skin was focus on eating whole foods and balanced meals. Getting vitamins and minerals from good food is what cleared my skin, not my cleanser. Instead of focusing on what you can put on your skin, focus on the quality of your food.

What I found that works

Along with eating a balanced diet, there are times, especially in the winter, when my skin gets dry. While hydration is very important, sometimes I need something that will reduce that dry feeling. In place of traditional moisturizer, I use Allafia unrefined shea butter. While it is a little more oily than moisturizer, it really works, and a little goes a long way. One container is $14.95, and I have had it for over a year now, so it lasts forever and is cheaper than a lot of trendy skincare brands. While I acknowledge that everyone’s skin is different, I do recommend giving shea butter a try. In place of a cleanser, I just use Dove bar soap, and I know some may cringe at this, but it’s a simple soap that does not irritate my skin, and if you can get the unscented kind it’s even better.

Dial up

I am sure you have seen the joke that guys wash their faces with Dial soap and have clear skin, while girls have a 10-step regimen and still struggle with acne. I am not recommending you start using Dial soap, but there may be something to learn from this. While not everyone’s situation is the same, I believe that the majority of people could benefit from cutting back on chemical skincare and dialing up on nutrient-dense foods. While some acne is hormonal, a lot of times acne appears because our bodies are trying to tell us something, meaning it is a reflection of what is going on inside, not what you are applying to the outside.

Becker, K. (2018). This Dermatologist Thinks You Should Give Up Moisturizer Forever. Www.refinery29.com. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/is-moisturizer-bad-for-you

Hannah is a Business Administration major, with a marketing concentration. She loves staying active, baking, and Gilmore Girls.