Choosing skincare is like being let into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. Knowing where the hell to start can sometimes be PARALYSING! I mean it’s hard to believe chocolate could ever do that to you ‘eh *winks* too much choice means we just don’t have a clue where to start. There are even psychology experiments that prove this and prove that we are happier when we don’t have to choose based on ‘like’ but based on ‘fact & necessity’. #TheyToldMeToDoIt
so… how do you choose the best skincare products for you?
You know you want to get your oily skin something that will pacify it, but also not dry it out. You know you want to get your sensitive skin some love that also has something active about it. You know you want to work on those fine lines and wrinkles, but you’re not sure what really works.
If you are constantly paralysed by choice when it comes to selecting out the best skincare for your skin then this post will forever free you… in just 4 easy-peasy steps #LetsDoThis
1. KNOW YOUR ‘KEY’ ACTIVE SKINCARE INGREDIENT
Question [tell me what you think about this *winks*] If you were on a healthy eating kick, you wondered into your supermarket and were looking for a healthy treat, what would you look for?
Imagine this… you first went to the health food aisle [check] then you looked for something that had some key healthy foods in it [check]. Ooo you found one that said ‘blueberry yogurt coated almond and hazelnut crunch’ on the packaging, there’s even a fresh, yummy, natural looking picture that says to your brain this is good for you, pick me! Ok… lets grab me some of that!
The bit we did great at there was knowing to look for KEY healthy ingredients that are well proven to give us good health. Blueberry, Almond, Hazelnut, check, check, check.
This is exactly the first step to choosing the best skincare products for your special skin. You gotta know which ingredients are healthy for your skin.
Step 1. “Know a couple of key skincare actives that are well researched, trusted and proven for what you want your skin to do”
There is also a whole candy shop full of active skincare ingredients, but there are only a handful which are tried, tested and proven to work. It’s like having an A-list of known to be great all the time stars followed by a B-list of new and could work ingredients.
So how do you know which ingredients work for your skin type? A couple of months back I made this quick reference guide which crib sheets for you ‘3 awesome skincare actives for each skin type’, if you aren’t sure which key actives are tried and tested then this guide will blitz step 1 on your easy peasy journey to choosing the best skincare.
Got your 3 key known to work active skincare ingredients in mind? Great, awesome, let’s get onto easy-peasy step no.2…
2. FIND SKINCARE WITH YOUR ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
We know what we are looking for now, how do we find it? Sometimes those key actives aren’t going to be hero’d’ on the front of packaging for you, simply because they are just not sexy enough. They will absolutely be on the ingredients list, but I mean sheesh how TINY is that writing, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack… and I’m, bored half way down.
Step 2. “Find skincare with your key active ingredients in”
So how can we make finding your key skincare actives super easy peasy?
You knew I had a #simples win for you already ‘eh! I have 2 hacks for ya…
- Use the good ol’ search tool. Not google, but a search tool in a site like FeelUnique, Skinstore, CultBeauty or even Boots. That needle in a haystack ingredients list is already written out for you, just hit that search function and it’ll return a load of products with your hero ingredient already in! It’s not full proof as some products don’t have the ingredients list written out [which I personally hate – it’s like asking you to buy food that doesn’t have an ingredients list ‘eh] but it absolutely is a winner for finding products that shout about having your hero ingredient in them.
- Use a review site… that always states the ingredients list. 2 of my favourite are Beautypedia and MakeupAlley. These guys ALWAYS list the ingredients, just use their search function and it’ll return a load of products with your yummy actives in them.
PRO-TIP: Ingredient lists on skincare are pretty much the same as on food. That means the more of something that’s in there, the higher on the list it’ll be. Some ingredients you don’t need a lot of, but it’s good to know if you find 2 products that say they’ll do the same thing both with your key active. Check out how high it features and your choice is made. Boom. Give them extra brownie points if they actually tell you, 0.5% allantoin, 2% salicylic acid, 4% niacinamide…
3. CHECK THE OVERALL INGREDIENT SAFTEY
Let’s go back to our wonderings down that health food aisle. In our trolleys right now we have that ”blueberry yogurt coated almond and hazelnut crunch’ we napped from the health food aisle. Thing is we suddenly got to the checkout and there was a MASSIVE queue #ThankyouInternetShopping! Anyways being the multi-tasking pro you are you’re not going to let this be ‘dead time’ so you pick up that ‘blueberry yogurt coated almond and hazelnut crunch’ and take a peek at the ingredients list. huh? What? Sugar!! Salt, Maltodextrin! It doesn’t stop there you find those ‘health rings’ that rate sodium, fat and sugar content and they are all RED. Shocking ‘eh!
Just because your skincare has that key hero active in it, doesn’t mean it’s ‘overall’ going to be great for your skin. There’s other stuff like how safe the ingredients are and the amount that they might block your pores (comedogenic) or irritate your skin. So how do we make it super easy peasy to make sure the whole thing is good for our skin… and without retraining as a skincare scientist?
Step 3. “Get a wiz search tool to check all the other ingredients for safety, irritancy and comedogenicity”
Simples, use CosDNA, all you have to do is search for the skincare product, or even copy and paste the ingredient list into their search function. The quickest skincare scientist retraining EVER *winks*. You then get a rating for each ingredient that tells you how likely it would be to give you spots or irritate your skin. Bingo! Oh and remember, the more of it there, the more effect it has on your skin.
4. CHECK WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY…
Yay, you are just one more step away from making a really great skincare investment. One that you actually know can do things for your skin. Your final step is ‘what does everyone else actually think of it?’. Make sure you leave this step till last because there are SO many product reviews out there you can start to get back your frozen in the Willy Wonka chocolate factory paralysis.
Step 4. “What is the ‘word on the street’ about your chosen skincare treat?”
So where do we get some trusty reviews ‘in your life’ from?
1. A TRUSTY SKINCARE REVIEW SITE
Review sites are like your best pal that’s tried every darn skincare treat [and nightmare] down that skincare aisle of candy.
- Beautypedia is founded by Paula Begoun the cosmetics cop and this site has over 45,000 product reviews. Sheesh that’s more skincare than we could get through in 1 lifetime! I love this site because it is all about the ingredients + the feel + the usability. A winning combination. The Beautypedia team will rate and review the product and then there is a second rating from all the reviews people like me and you have made.
- MakeupAlley is like Tripadvisor for skincare. What I love about this site is you can filter reviews by skin type and age. Great ‘eh, you’re not going to go on a family holiday if you’re after a romantic getaway for 2.
- TruthInAging is a great review site if you’re looking for effective skincare that is all about keeping your skin youthful. Every product is tested for at least 30 days by a TIA community member and you get their ‘real deal’ on that sizzle.
2. YOUR GO TO SMART BEAUTY BLOGGERS
What you don’t get from a review site is the nitty-gritty product pictures, cream rub-in snaps and a deep-dive home use review. Get yourself some beauty blogger in your life… Here are 2 of my favourites…
- FutureDerm is great for a good ol’ review backed by some trusty science. The best of both worlds. Just use the search box in her blog to look for the brand name or product name…
- BeautifulWithBrains, [Gio also has a search function YAY!] Gio does some great comparisons of products that are pretty much dupes of each other but with a whopping £20+ price difference, yes please get me some of that!
- If you still haven’t found a review, just google your wanted skincare treat + blog review and take your blog pick!
4 easy peasy steps to choosing the best skincare for your special skin. In other words knowing what you want and how to get it… how have you chosen skincare in the past?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.