I’m not a skincare guru—and that’s okay.

by Olivia Paladino

On the scale of 1 to skincare guru, I would rate myself a solid 3: one point for the esthetics unit in cosmetology school, the other two for my trial-and-error, half-assed skincare routine.

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@drunkelephant

I suspect that many of you reading are totally and completely skincare-obsessed, and have an arsenal of products at the ready should a breakout rear its ugly head. I also suspect that the rest of you are like me, and probably stumbled upon this blog through a dire Google search about how to resolve some skincare woe—and that more often than not, you forget to remove your makeup before bed.

This might strike you as strange, since I’m a writer for a beauty blog, but skincare has never ranked very high on my list of priorities—largely because it’s been very difficult for me to find a routine that works for my hormonal acne. Over the past few years, I have pretty much given up on skincare altogether, because nothing ever seems to help.

When I was younger, and I discovered the wonders of YouTube, I spent hours watching beauty gurus with skincare routines full of high-end products. They spent hours and exorbitant amounts of money caring for their skin, and I felt discouraged when I didn’t have the time or money to follow their lead. I started to believe I could never have clear skin, and I blamed the cleansers that promised a flawless complexion for being too expensive, and the drugstore face masks because they couldn’t unclog my pores. But the products weren’t the problem.

The real issue was that I desperately wanted to be like the beauty gurus I watched online—who had perfect skin, but also had access to (free) luxurious products that I could never afford (and still can’t afford). But what I failed to realize was that this was their job. They were paid to be gurus—to try and review the best products.

So I’ll let you in on a secret I wish I had realized earlier in my journey: you don’t have to be a beauty guru in order to take good care of your skin.

You don’t have to know it all, or use the most expensive products—finding a skincare routine that works for you starts with a little bit of honesty. You have to get real about how much you can dedicate to your routine—which means evaluating your lifestyle and budget.

Can you afford to spend 100 dollars (or more) on new products? Are you financially able to have separate daytime and nighttime regimens? Maybe you’d rather spend your money on a new pair of shoes instead. Being honest about your finances and priorities will eliminate the shelfie shame and enable you to use your time to find products that work within your price range.

It’s equally important to assess how much time you’re willing to spend on cleansing each day. Think honestly about the number of steps you’ll actually get out of bed to complete. For me, that number is three—any more than that, and I won’t even bother with a makeup wipe. Understanding this part of your skincare psychology is crucial to creating a routine you’ll actually stick to. (If you’re particularly lazy, be sure to look out for products that work double-duty, like an acne-fighting toner or moisturizer with anti-aging properties.)

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the do’s and don’ts of skincare, and even easier to give up if you can’t maintain a consistent routine. There are easy and inexpensive ways to work toward achieving the skin of your dreams—and they don’t require 10 different products. All you need is a regimen that’s tailored to your lifestyle.

So let’s start by remembering to take off our makeup before bed. Deal? Deal.

Photo credit all from Drunk Elephant Instagram 
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