Nope – I don’t Naturally Have Good Skin
Like most teenagers, I struggled with cystic hormonal acne through most of my adolescents. Unfortunately, I didn’t grow out of this pubescent skin stage like most of my friends, and my skin persisted in being pockmarked throughout my early adult years. I was so self-conscious of my skin that I seldom left the house without heavy makeup. I was so camera shy that the only pictures I have of my time abroad while in high school were taken by friends who sniped a picture (I’m still upset with myself for that).
I poured an embarrassing amount of money into skincare products and treatments that promised to heal my acne. I put my body through the emotional and physical roller coaster that was hormonal birth control. I worked out regularly, eat healthily, and drank lots of water. I even went plant-based, hoping that would help clear my skin.
After years of failed attempts to clear my skin, my self-confidence was hanging on by a thread. I was so frustrated I decided that I needed to change my approach to my skincare drastically.
So I set out to unleash my inner nerd on my skincare journey and took on clearing my skin as my latest research project.
This is what happened when an engineer committed to optimizing the ideal skincare routine.
A Study In Skincare
One of my personal mantras in work and life is …
“You’re smart – Figure it Out”
I took ownership of my education and my career. I had amazing mentors and teachers who helped me grow into the person I am today. Yet, where my skin was concerned, but I ceded responsibility for my skin health to friends, online influencers, and the loudest advertisers for most of my life. It wasn’t until that I gave my skincare the same respect as my overall health that the tide began to turn. I had solved far more complex problems; surely, I could manage to engineer a skincare routine.
I first accepted how woefully ignorant I was regarding the biology of my skin.
Learning and growing in any field requires first admitting what you don’t know. Personal accountability requires us to show up to do the work, but no-one can be an expert in every area. A key component of my success on my skincare journey was my tendency to defer to experts whenever possible. I tried for years to cobble together skincare routines with varying degrees of success, but I never got the results I really wanted. Even at my best as an informed skincare shopper, I was still a rookie compared to someone who decided to dedicate their professional lives to dermatology.
If you can afford it or your dermatologist covers it – I highly suggest visiting a dermatologist to get an expert’s opinion. If you want amazing results at the gym – you’d hire a personal trainer. If you want to save money on your taxes – you’d hire a CPA. If you want to find your dream home – you hire a realtor. If you want the best results, you need to enlist an expert. Going to the dermatologist in the United States can be very expensive, and it can take a while to find a doctor who suits your needs.
As a college student, regular dermatology appointments and visits to the MedSpa were not in my budget. So, I started my self-education journey with dermatologists on YouTube, who helped me finally clear my skin and saved a lot of money.
My self-education into the chemistry and biology of skincare was fascinating. I became hyperaware of the “experts (i.e., influencers)” I encountered and found transformative resources in the process. I came across some amazing dermatologist on youtube and used their knowledge as the basis for my skincare education.
With their help, I understood better what products would actually make an objective difference in my skin’s health. Most products on the market don’t do all that much, and all of the filler ingredients and fragrances have a higher probability of hurting than helping your skin.
These Doctors helped me sort out the clutter in my skincare routine and incorporate products that were scientifically proven to heal my skin. I hope you find this helpful! I plan to continue this skincare series to expand upon how I decluttered my skincare, how I found my all-time favorite products and the habits that leveled-up my skincare game.
There’s no quick fix to solve problems biological in nature. If you want to lose weight, develop better sleep habits, or clear your skin it take time to see real results. Don’t be so quick to believe advertisements that claim they will heal your skin in a day. The rate of cellular turnover in your skin is, on average, 28-40 days. What you see in your skin today results from the work you did last month, and the habits that you developed in your skincare routine this month will help your glow next month. So, be patient. Good skin days are ahead.
Leave a comment below on how your skincare journey has affected your self-esteem and confidence. I believe that skincare is one of the most important investments you can make in yourself. The face we show to the world says a lot about how we love and care for ourselves, and it is a game-changer for your confidence when you have a natural glow without layers of makeup.