I am sure there are many people that look back to their younger selves and wish they would have looked after their skin a little more. For me there are a few things I would say to myself and others now I have learnt my lessons and I could only hope that they would listen but would I have done in the same position? Who knows. I can say that I had one of the best head starts I could have wished for. I did my work experience in a spa surrounded by beauty products and took this interest with me years after; My mum used great products and looked after her skin well and encouraged me to do the same. And there are STILL things I would go back and tell myself. I can only suppose that some lessons can only be learned from our own mistakes.
What goes in, glows out. It doesn’t take much explaining but what I put into my body shows on my skin. If I ate nothing but junk food, fizzy pop and coffee for a month, wow, would my skin hate me for it. Whereas if I ate fresh vegetables, drank balanced smoothies and stayed hydrated with water as the national guidelines suggested I would be completely glowing from the inside out. Of course I have only ever tried this out for short periods of time – a week, a month maybe – and the struggle is keeping the routine (we are chocolate mad in this house). But the knowledge is there and if I had started taking care of my skin sooner I would definitely tell my younger self that a good diet is very important. I will one day keep a food diary, like I keep saying I will, and hopefully be able to track the results to see what impact that a healthy diet makes on my skin.
Have confidence. Ok, so not in the usual phrasing of it. I had almost too much confidence growing up. But I would tell my younger self that I didn’t need to get my eyebrows waxed twice a week or however many times it was. I do remember the lady I used to go to started to charge me £2 per time because I went so often and looking back, I probably didn’t need to and I have relaxed this attitude a lot (apologies to anyone that has ever witnessed me having a bad brow day month). But in my younger days I wanted the confidence that having a neat brow game bought me, now I guess that as importance as confidence is, it’s not just my brows that define that for me. I would like to point out that it was also the time where skinny brows were all the rage. So I might add a side note here and say that following some beauty trends just isn’t worth it. Note to ‘Young Loren’ it’s ok to not be pristine all of the time.
I’m going to make mistakes. But they will *hopefully* be a learning curve. My natural hair colour is brown and this includes the hair on my face. I came to terms with the fact I can rival Will Ferrell in Anchorman if I let it get out of hand but I can’t leave it for too long (that’s my own decision) and have lightened, waxed, threaded and used removal cream on my top lip. There was one occasion during my school years where I used a removal cream for what I can only assume as too long. And you know what assuming does don’t you? Well, of course I still had to go to school the next day and pretend like I hadn’t been stupid enough to chemical burn my moustache. I can’t decide what was more embarrassing. Having to go in to school at all with a painful face or having my teacher inform me that she knew what I had done and she had also done the same once. (In reality of course I know she was only trying to help but it took 12 year old me a minute to notice this).
Looking back I guess I have learnt a lot in the time I have been dabbling in beauty and I do have a lot more that I could learn. How to successfully do winged liner EVERY. SINGLE. TIME for example is still at the top of my list. Or maybe how to create a beautiful smokey eye without looking like I’m trying to be a member of KISS. We all have to start somewhere and if I have to make some small misjudgments on the way so be it, we’re not born perfect. Although I will go get a glass of water now, you know, to counteract that coffee I just drank.
For the past three years I have been buying beauty and skincare products from more high street, pharmacy brands and while this is all well and good more often than not I have ended up out of pocket. Either the product has not provided the results as expected, sometimes not at all and it ends up as wasted money. Even if it was £10 for a face cream, its £10 down the drain.
I realised a couple of months ago too that my skin isn’t getting any younger. Coming into my 30th year I am noticing the fine lines when I don’t use a saturating moisturiser and have also started to see a big difference in the texture; not smooth as I have been lucky to have this far but uneven. I decided that I couldn’t go on as I was doing and purchasing skincare that was not doing the job and started returning instead to the products that kept my skin glowing, clear and even in the run up to my wedding day which is coming up to three years ago now. I am looking back at that time and thinking “why did I not just stick with that routine?” Well the answer is I don’t know. I guess that after the big day it doesn’t seem so important, (it very much still is) and it wasn’t as accessible as other brands (the closest Elemis counter – a brand I used pretty much exclusively- was an hour away). No excuse I know but now it is even more convenient arriving straight at my door.
I am also able now to see skincare purchases as an investment. This may mean I spend a little more money upfront, say on average £40 – £50, but in the long term I will not be throwing away money on products that didn’t work for me, even if these are half the price or less. I see it as this, if I spend £5 on a product that had no effect I may as well have not made the purchase at all and saved myself £5. I completely understand and agree that there are a lot of products out there that do a good job but I have also tried a lot of different skincare brands and very rarely find a face product that I would buy repeatedly. I have constant dry and dehydrated skin that can be quite tight, sore and unreliable at times and this has made the search a little more difficult. Even products that are soothing or hydrating tend to lose this capability within 10 minutes of wearing the moisturiser or ringing away a cleanser.
Of course not everything works for everyone and not everyone can afford the more expensive ranges. I get that, I have been there, I am still there. I am lucky that I am able to purchase the skincare that works best for me and that I have recently also been gifted some from a family member who wasn’t using them. I will soon be ready to make some further purchases and will look at the best value for money available and be considerate in my shopping. Do I need it? Will I use it? Am I sure it will improve my skin?To make this change sustainable I will also have to ensure that I am using a small amount of product and that I am only purchasing what I know I will use. I would rather have 2 great products in my arsenal than 10 that don’t work as well.
There are a couple more things I will be looking out for when I make my future purchases. Does the brand, where I am spending my hard earned money, have similar values to mine? Are they inclusive, do they offer various shades and the space for other creators? This can be found with a bit of research either by looking at their marketing or asking them directly if they are an inclusive company. Also, what is their animal testing policy? After recent research into a brand I found that it wasn’t one where I wanted to to put my money into and the brands that I previously loved tested on animals. In this day and age I see zero point in testing cosmetic products on animals. I do have an issue with the parent company still testing on animals and it makes me feel very uneasy thinking that money has gone into funding this, even by proxy. I have decided that I will be doing what I can to prevent money being spent in this way in the future and by educating myself and others into what can be done to stop this going forward. Many other countries have made the change so I do not see why it can’t be done by all cosmetic companies. What are your views on this?
Have you made any changes to your skincare purchasing or routines? And have you got any product or brand recommendations? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or over on Instagram @lorenjessica_