Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Column: Win the skincare game

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Graphic by Nicolette Baker

Itís 10 p.m. on a weeknight. Do you know where your friendly neighborhood columnist is?

Am I binge watching my latest Netflix obsession? Itís playing in the background, but technically, no. Am I catching up on homework? Nope, itís already done for the night.

Instead, Iím actively falling into the skincare internet rabbithole, searching desperately for an answer to my Google search: What the heck is vitamin C serum?

In the past year, Iíve made a hobby of learning to take care of my skin. From skin types to formulas to fragrances, thereís a lot to know! While Iím definitely not an expert, I know lots of you have been asking about my skincare routine. Just kidding! No one asked for this.

Iíve listed my fave steps for glowy skin, even when battling the dreaded mask-ne (read: acne caused by masks).

The first step in any routine is cleansing. A recent convert from makeup wipes, I absolutely adore using micellar water to remove makeup. Why? It doesnít feel as harsh as makeup wipes, and the brand I use doesnít contain fragrances. Just soak a cotton pad in the water and wave byeeeee to that mascara!

If youíre looking to reduce your environmental impact, opt for a washcloth or washable makeup remover cloth with the micellar water. Name of the game is a new, clean cloth: reusing a washcloth can introduce bateria.

Next step is a gentle cleanser to clean up anything the micellar water missed. Teamwork makes the dream work! Stay away from products with those harsh scrubbing beads or any abrasive formulas.

One thing I canít recommend enough? Salicylic acid toner. I use the Up & Up brand from Target after washing my face, and it keeps my oily-to-normal skin in check. When wearing masks, it can be easy to notice more acne, too. This can help! Itís super drying, though, and can be a bit too harshó so keep it away from any irritated skin!

It also contains fragrances, which can sometimes be harmful. The more you know!

Personally, the next step depends on the time of day. In the mornings, itís super important to moisturize and use SPF. Youíll thank me later! At night, I prefer to use a retinol serum with collagen. Standard Skin serum (I got it from TJ Maxx!) and The Ordinary retinol are my faves.

Can any science majors out there explain exactly how retinol actually works?

An article from Harvardís website breaks it down: the chemicals in retinol stimulate skin cell production and replacement. So, basically, your skin looks glowy and new!

Retinol is very particular, though, and requires a strict schedule. It sometimes causes skin irritation and zero results for the first few weeks ó or at least it did for me! Iíve been on a regular nightly schedule of retinol for a few months now and have no more complaints.

These are my personal favorites for my own skin type, but everyoneís different. Whatís your skincare routine? Tweet me at @nbakerARROW!