Monday, March 7, 2016

Skin Care, or How Apathy Became Obsession

I have never had much interest in beauty products. I like lip colors a lot, and I wear a minimal amount of makeup everyday, but otherwise, you could pretty much guarantee that I was Not Interested. I routinely skipped past advertisements and recommendations for new treatments in the Beauty section of the few magazines I subscribe to, and I was generally bored by discussions of omg wrinkles crow's feet laugh lines aaaaah.

But then … a couple of months ago, I came to a realization. My skin was looking rough. There's a picture from Christmas from when Matt and I visited Washington D.C., and I swear you can tell how dry my skin is just by looking at the picture. I'm 28. I never developed a skin care routine, unless you count routinely falling asleep without washing my face. I was starting to see some good-sized creases in my forehead that didn't go away when I stopped making faces, and my skin always felt super itchy and dry.

And I thought maybe I was worrying about nothing, so I asked some friends about their skincare routines, and that's when I learned that I have been doing my entire life wrong. I didn't even know what my correct skin type was, so I don't know what I expected to happen when I bought face products. The few products that I had used and liked are, apparently, The Worst for your skin, according to people who pay attention to that kind of thing, and all the good habits I never developed are, apparently, Super Important. Things like, remove your makeup before bed! and Wear sunscreen every day! and If your skin is already dry, stop using things that dry it out more!

I bought moisturizers for day time and moisturizers for nighttime, cleansers that don't have skin-destroying plastic scrubby things in them, sunscreen that doesn't feel slimy and look greasy. I finally pulled the trigger and used a gift card to buy one of those face-scrub brushes that I've been thinking about since before we got married (… almost five years ago). I've become a tiny bit obsessed with reading about Korean skin care products, and got a subscription to the Jini Beauty Box so I can try out some of the products suggested by people who know what they're doing.

For years I pooh-poohed the idea of skin care because there's nothing wrong with aging and I'm going to look the way I'm going to look whether I spend money on face cream or not and  it all seems so complicated and I have other things to think about. (At my sister's bachelorette party, I compared skin care "routines" with both the bride and my cousin, and discovered that NONE of us had ever removed our makeup before bedtime.)

But it makes a difference. In how my skin looks and how it feels. And how I feel about myself. I'm a convert.

I'm still early enough in the process that I'm hesitant to share my favorite items yet (plus, discovering new ones all the time!), but maybe I will over the next few months. My sister has asked for recommendations when I find things I like, so I'm excited that maybe my trial and error will be helpful to someone that is still as apathetic as I used to be about the whole thing.

What are your favorite beauty items? At what age did you start to get serious about your skin?

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