If you are like me when it comes to habits and hygiene, then maybe you too live a life with a spread of products just one small upgrade above “all-in-one”. Congrats, you are not a complete disappointment. One of the best decisions I made a few years back was making hydration a huge priority and I have made it my mission to preach the goodness of staying thirsty. The first and most convenient benefit in this case is that drinking water does wonders for your skin, however it has enabled me to get away with a minimal (nonexistent) skin care routine. I had a pretty rough relationship with acne and blackheads through my teenage years, most of which was taken care of with a little bit of time to use a basic astringent wipe and spot treatments. Bribed with a mimosa, I tried out this skin routine for the first time and I think I might actually try and keep up with it.
Being the son of a hairdresser, you would have thought I would pick up on some of these good habits at a much earlier age. My mom helped me with the tragedy of giant pimples and introduced me to the simplest of pimple hiding techniques before piano recitals and awkward school photos, but I didn’t start to learn much about skin care until I started using tanning products after college (irony!). My aspiration to become the West Coast Guido equivalent taught me to value lotion, exfoliants, and sun exposure in a whole new way. This month, a friend of mine mapped out what could be described as the bare minimum for a psuedo-influencer like me. Today, I’m sharing it with you!
1 * 2 * 3 and you’re done! I keep all of these products right next to my toothbrush so each night I can guilt myself into spending just two more minutes into taking care of my body. Keep in mind that flossing is still one of my favorite things to skip and that I still, even at twenty something years old, must guilt myself into brushing my teeth two or three times a day, so keeping up with this habit is a big accomplishment. This routine can be completed with three or four daily products and can be expanded and specialized in whichever way you like. Keep it simple to start and make sure you’ll stick with it before you make any big investments. Samples and donations from your friends are a great way to start!
Cleanse! This first step is to wake up your face, wipe away the surface layer of dirt from your pillow or from the world, and prepare your pores to get pampered. I decided to purchase the Men’s Age Defender by Kiehl’s, but there are quite a few daily cleansers for different types of skin at different price points. This one in particular is great for normal skin and can be used up to twice a day. Scrub, rinse, and use a little face towel to dry off a bit. If you choose, this is where it can be fun to use a mask or some of those other fun self-care rituals.
Tone! Toning your face is a step that I always thought was worth skipping. Depending on your skin, a toner could be some kind of astringent or something far more gentle. I use the basic Kiehl’s daily toner because I am a simple creature and Gretchen said I have nice skin. This step works well after your cleanse and exfoliate, and the toner works to soak up everything that the scrub has brought to the surface. Use a little cotton ball or pad to apply and dispose of when you’re finished. If you cannot afford a little pad or cotton ball, one will be provided for you (humor!).
Moisturize! My favorite part is moisturizing, and this is an excellent part for you to choose to increase the complexity of your routine or keep it simple. Without enough water or sleep, it’s easy to get bags under your eyes, so I choose to add one moisturizer specifically for the area around my eyes (also because it came in a bundle and I got a great deal), and I use a lighter moisturizing for the rest of my face. You do not need very much of this at all–remember to listen to your body and make note of which days feel like you’ve used too much or too little. Some people choose to use a serum at this point, and sometimes I even add a little bit for my beard scruff. Serums can get pricey, but experiment if you choose. Again, take full advantage of samples. As far as moisturizers go, it is worth trying a few and seeing how you feel before you buy the biggest bottle. Go big or go home is not necessarily the right thing if you don’t already have the habit in place
As I mentioned before, looking good is important to how I carry myself every day. Within the first few days, I was literally getting comments from coworkers and strangers about how my face was glowing! Cleansing and exfoliating my face was bringing out some of the natural color in my skin which gave me the perfect California glow I always aspire to have. It is possible that I may have been applying too much moisturizer which made me very shiny and would explain some of it. Not to mention that the few days following all those comments led to quite a few bigger blackheads arriving on my cheeks. Now that my face has adjusted, I love knowing that my skin is happy and hydrated.
Most of all, the habit of taking a few minutes to give my skin some love is great for reflecting on the day to come or the best parts about the day. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a mentor about how annoyed I get about flossing. He asked me if I think I deserve to have all of my teeth, if I deserve to live free of pain, and if I value myself enough to care for my body enough to make sure I get to live with those simple pleasures. It feels so good to start the day feeling squeaky clean, and getting into bed after letting go of the day is a great way to earn some restful sleep. Seriously, ask yourself! Aren’t you worth the few minutes it takes to wake up feeling great? Don’t you deserve to do something nice for yourself?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read through all of this. If you don’t take any inspiration away from this, I hope that at the very least you got to spend a moment away from something busy going on in your world. Maybe a new skin care ritual will be a better solution in the future, but until then, stay thirsty my friends.