Start simple continued…
As I had previously stated, the most important aspect when starting a skin care routine, is to have a solid, dependable one. From there, you can begin to explore other possible options as you attempt to reach the ideal. One of the best tools available at your disposal is the Beautypedia website ran by Paula Begoun. This website will arguably be your most potent weapon as you embark on this crusade for the holy grail (routine). It contains concise and easily understood, ingredient-based reviews on virtually every skin care product from most major brands, and a few niche ones. It has a robust search engine that allows you to look for products based on a variety of factors such as skin type, price, and category. However, there’s really no need to use that function because the site has a separate section for the “Best Products” according to Paula’s hierarchy. Now granted, I don’t agree with every prerequisite or condition that Paula uses to rank the products. However, 90% of the time, her reviews are pretty much spot on. There are times when she ranks a product as a 4 (on a 1-4 scale), when I think it should only garner a 2. Conversely, there are times when I think a product should be given a 4, but she only gives it a 3. But I have yet to encounter a product given a 1, which I would bestow a score of 4, or vice versa.
- Go to the “Best Products” section, and pick a category of skin care to begin with. Let’s attempt to pick a nighttime moisturizer for dry skin, just as an example that you can use for the various other categories. Now, there are two potential categories that we can select. One is titled “Moisturizers Without Sunscreen” while the other is titled “Serums.” A serum typically employs a blend of silicones as its vehicular base, and therefore, is not very moisturizing. So we’re going to click the former link.
- Make sure to read the header box, because it quickly summarizes the various qualifications necessary for a product to be included on this list. Begin clicking the various moisturizers listed and reading the short descriptions under “Review.” Here, Paula typically will tell you what skin type a particular moisturizer will be appropriate for. Instead of relying on the claims attached with a product, she evaluates the blend of ingredients before making suggestions. For example, moisturizers with heavier emollients like shea butter and olive oil will most likely be placed in the “normal to dry” or “dry to very dry” skin type groups.
- Do this for each moisturizer listed, and make a note for which ones are for dry skin. After going through all the moisturizers (which in our case take up about two pages) and eliminating the ones that are not designed for dry skin, you should be left with a drastically reduced list of products. Now you can begin to consider price and accessibility. For example, if you don’t like shopping online, you might want to look for brands that are available for purchase at your local drugstore or department store. I’d suggest limiting your options to about 3-5 items, just so you’re not too overwhelmed.
- Head over to your local department store and/or drugstore, and attempt to get samples or purchase travel-size versions of products on your consideration list.
- After trying them out for at least two weeks, give or take, you can then make your final decision based on whatever is important to you when it comes to a nighttime moisturizer. Perhaps it’s the texture; how quickly it absorbs into your skin and becomes dry to the touch; or how it makes your skin look or feel when you wake up in the morning. Whatever you decide, I can guarantee that you will be using a solid product. It may not be the best of the bunch, but remember, baby steps.
Please note that you can take the additional step of checking the “3-5 options” that we mentioned above on sites such as MakeupAlley or TotalBeauty. However, please note that these websites contain mostly user-submitted reviews. I’m not saying that there aren’t excellent reviews on those sites, I’m just saying that if you rely heavily on the numerical ratings alone, you may not get a well-formulated product because the majority of people on there aren’t experienced with ingredients and product formulation. For example, one of the highest-rated moisturizers on MakeupAlley is Vaseline, whose primary ingredient is petrolatum and a tiny bit of vitamin E. Don’t get me wrong, petrolatum is an excellent occlusive agent, but you can do so much better than that. But by all means, like I said in the Disclaimer, if you want to take the additional time to “seek a second opinion,” please do so. But remember that not all second opinions or sources are created equally. Personally, I only use those two sites when looking for reviews on makeup items since those are judged more on texture, pigmentation, longevity, finish, etc. rather than what ingredients are present.