I’ve been a beauty junkie for as long as I can remember. From the moment I cracked open my first Allure magazine when I was 10 or 11, I was hooked. Thanks to my devoted magazine consumption throughout my adolescent years, I amassed an incredible amount of information about skin care, products, and hair tips. At 13, I knew to slather myself in sunscreen to delay wrinkles and had gleaned enough insight from the pros to know that there isn’t a product that will reverse aging — just temporarily lessen its appearance.
This has informed so much of my approach to beauty and aging, in addition to my own mother’s “less is more” approach. As I’ve gotten older and busier and become a mother myself, I’ve noticed drastic changes in my skin, but NOT due to aging, which is where my ah-ha moment comes in.
After I started working for myself and working from home more, I found myself wearing less and less makeup and my skin actually started to look better. I’ve always had combination/oily skin but suddenly, I was drier and the acne flare ups weren’t happening.
I’ve always loved skin care but found it tedious to prioritize after an exhausting day of work and childcare. I never went to bed without washing my face, but I didn’t stick with my usual six-step: toner, essence, serum, moisturizer, etc parade of products. I removed my makeup then slathered on whatever acne-fighting product my face flair up required, and dabbed on some eye cream and hopped into bed later than I should have.
Then I read a book about French beauty that put everything into perspective. French women don’t slather themselves in foundation — they just take meticulous care of their skin. (And on a side note, the French as a whole also make a point to dress beautifully even while lounging around their homes and don’t feel guilty utilizing “la creche” — the national day care system. There is far more value placed on mom’s mental health and managing stress than we see here in the US where the more frazzled and run down the mother, the bigger the imagined “Good Mom” badge when we’re all silently competing with one another.)
Anyways, my point is that since really adopting this less is more makeup approach AND prioritizing not only my skincare routine, but my own wellness, which encompasses how much sleep I’m getting, what I’m eating, how much I’m exercising and what I’m doing to de-stress, my skin has improved dramatically.
It’s not easy with a two-year old, but my nightly routine now consists of cleansing and makeup removal regardless of whether I’ve got more than mascara on, a quick swipe of a toner to remove any makeup or soap or daily grime residue, a press-in of SK-II Facial Essence, some eye cream and then a moisturizer that I seal in with some sort of light facial oil. I’ve been a Rodin devotee since it came out but recently ran out, so Josie Maran light Argan oil has been my go-to. The difference in my skin is noticeable. Now, if only I had had this insight into what my skin (and self!) needed back in my early 20s!