What Is Self-Care?
We hear everyone talk about it, but what is self-care? There’s a medical definition, there’s a GOOP definition. However, to put it simply, self-care can refer to any activity you do for your physical and mental well-being. It could really be any activity, like meditating, dancing or even reading a book. Thanks to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kourtney Kardashian, self-care may only seem unattainable or even ridiculously expensive, like a trip to Bora Bora. It doesn’t have to be like that though. In fact, you can incorporate it into things you can do everyday, like skincare.
What Is Skincare?
A skincare routine comprises different products, tools and rituals supposed to help you get good skin. It’s unique to your skin type. Everything you do and use should be tailored to what your skin needs. For instance, if you have oily skin, your routine is likely to have products that absorb quickly and with ingredients like niacinamide. If you’re on the drier side, your routine would probably have more hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. If you have sensitive skin, you probably wouldn’t be using many active ingredients and exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs that could potentially irritate your skin. To know more, check out our article on acids in skincare!
Of course, all that could seem a little intimidating if you’re new to creating your own skincare routine. You could look up different ingredients and acids to know which is best suited for you. It might also be helpful to watch skincare gurus like James Welsh and Susan Yara, who try different things and give you their honest opinions. Your routine could have any other number of steps. It could be a minimal, three-step routine or even an expansive ten-step routine. This is a trial-and-error process for you to know what works best for you.
Why Is Skincare Important?
To understand why skincare is important, think about it this way: your skin is the largest organ of your body. It will protect you for as long as you live. Be it pollution, dust or harmful rays of the sun, your skin will act as a shield against it all. It also reflects your age, and most of us strive to retain a youthful glow. There’s a cliché that goes like, “If you look good, you’ll feel good.” Therefore, shouldn’t you take care of it?
Guide To Turn Your Skincare Routine Into Self-Care
From the selfcare aspect of it, it’s not just about making your skin look good to feel good. Experts agree that taking a few minutes out of your day to be by yourself as you stand in front of your mirror and do skincare could prove to be therapeutic. Incorporating skincare into selfcare shouldn’t be a tedious and complicated process. In fact, it should be far from it. If you feel like this is too much to process at a time, you can follow the guide including self-care tips below to help you get started. You can obviously add or remove any part of the whole routine. This is more of a night-time routine that focuses on unwinding and getting ready for bed. The key here is taking the time to do this for your skin.
Before you get started, consider incorporating aromatherapy into your routine. Light a scented candle or take a bath to get the maximum benefits from the following self-care tips.
Step 1: Stand in front of your mirror in your bathroom or wherever you plan on doing your skincare routine to be mindful.
You could take a minute to say some positive affirmations aloud. For example:
“I am confident.”
“I am capable of achieving everything I set my mind to.”
“I love myself and I am grateful for my glowing skin.”
Step 2: Start by cleansing your face.
After a long day, it’s important to clean your skin and get rid of all dirt and impurities. Some prefer an oil-based cleanser; some prefer gel-based or milk cleansers; some even prefer to use both as double cleansing. Whichever you choose to do, take your time with it. Massage your face in gentle, circular motions. Make sure you don’t take more than a minute for this step as having cleansers on your face for a long time could dry out your skin. Check out this guide by Rachael Yeung below to figure out what type of cleanser is suitable for your skin type!
Step 3: Indulge with a face mask.
There are several types of masks to choose from – clay, gel, peel-off or leave-on. Several dermatologists believe that masks do not necessarily do anything for your skin. However, they feel good on the skin and so, it helps in unwinding. You should be mindful of how long you have it on because otherwise, it could be drying as well, especially if you’re using clay or peel-off masks. As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t allow it to dry completely. To pass the time, try listening to wellness podcasts.
Step 4: Use a toner.
After rinsing off your mask, while your skin is damp, follow it up with a toner. While you could skip it, this step is supposed to prep your skin before you apply your serums and moisturizers and could either be an exfoliating step or a hydrating step. Remember to be gentle as you apply the toner, if you do. Watch this video by James Welsh below to get recommendations for your skin type and to have a better idea of what toners are!
Step 5: Apply a serum.
These are concentrated products containing active ingredients that target various skin problems. Think of this step to be a gradual solution towards fixing any temporary skin concern. Serums typically come in bottles with a dropper but if you’re feeling a bit extra, use a sheet mask. As its name suggests, these are face-shaped sheets that are soaked in a mixed concoction of ingredients, that is essentially a serum. You should have these on for no more than 10-15 minutes. To really kick it up a notch, you could use tools like facial rollers or a Gua Sha tool all over your face. These come in a variety of stones like jade, amethyst and rose quartz. Additionally, massaging your face like this will promote lymphatic drainage and improve blood circulation. After taking the mask off, allow your skin to absorb it instead of rinsing it off.
Step 6: Lastly, seal it with a moisturizer.
This could have a lightweight, gel-like texture or have a thick, creamy texture. Throughout this entire process, you would have spent a lot of time and energy on this for yourself and your skin. So, to make sure all your products stay put and get absorbed into your skin, lock it in with a moisturizer that is best suited for your skin type. Throw on a lip balm too.
What’s Next In Your Self-Care Routine?
As you finish this routine, you should find yourself in a state of calmness. Next, you could drink herbal tea, take your supplements, write in your journal or directly go to bed. You could switch things up depending on when you do this. Skip the masks and add SPF at the end of your routine for the daytime.
The way I like to do it is by taking a few deep breaths before starting my skincare routine. For the next step, I use the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cleanser to cleanse my face. Sometimes, I like using the Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask by The Body Shop because it smells good and feels refreshing! After washing the mask off, I usually use the IUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner, followed by the 2% Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum by Revolution Skincare. Finally, I use the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer by The Body Shop to lock everything in. Once I’m done with my skincare routine, I pour some drops of lavender essential oil on my pillow, put on a sleeping eye mask and go to bed.
Regardless of how you do it, you know by now that it really isn’t that difficult to turn your skincare routine into a self-care routine. In the long run, it can reduce stress levels, promote good sleep and improve your overall mental health.The only tricky part would be to get yourself to do it regularly. Then again, it takes about 21 days to form a habit, so start today! For more self-care tips, check out our self-care starter pack!
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