I’m turning 35 in May, and as I think about my skincare journey over the past 20 years, what comes first to mind are all the things I used to do that I would never do today! We all have skincare regrets - and I’m not talking about picking at my skin or popping zits (which is simply, human), but I’m talking about things I used to do in the name of “good skin” that I’m still trying to reverse today. In sharing this, I hope you learn from my mistakes or at the least, know that you are not alone!
So here they are, my biggest skincare regrets:
- Tanning to “hide” my acne scars. Anyone else do this? Ahead of any vacations or big events, I would visit the tanning salon to hide my acne on my face, chest, back, etc. Pics or it didn’t happen? See below for evidence. Tanning temporarily covers up acne scars and other marks, but once the tan fades away, you’re left with even worse pigmentation! Not to mention, you’re actually damaging your skin cells. Even over a decade later, I’m still battling the deep scarring and pigmentation from tanning with vitamin C, turmeric, alpha arbutin, and more ingredients. I feel so passionate that if you want a glow, do a spray tan! Don’t sacrifice the actual health of your skin like I did.
- Spending on designer bag brands’ skincare products. I’ll never forget saving up to buy a $60 cleanser from a designer purse brand (lol). I cherished this cleanser and thought that it would be the key to cleansing away my acne. In reality, it cleansed my face just as well as the $18 alternative. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - great skincare exists at every price point.
- Thinking that my skincare needed to sting in order to work. When I was at the height of my acne struggles, I thought that the products I used needed to sting in order to be working, which is antithetical to what I believe today and why cocokind exists! I now believe that you can have your best skin using gentle, sensitive-skin friendly ingredients…NOT having to use ingredients that burn your skin barrier off. It took me years to rebuild my skin barrier (thank you ceramide barrier serum!) and not have sensitized skin anymore. Unless I’m doing something like microneedling at the hands of professionals, I don’t believe in using a high percentage of actives or skincare techniques at home that risk the skin barrier.
- Wearing makeup every day before leaving the house. From my teen years through my mid twenties, I never felt comfortable showing my real skin. I always applied layers of makeup to cover up my acne, texture, hyperpigmentation, and more. When I look back, I wish that I put in effort earlier to be more comfortable without makeup. In my late twenties, I intentionally worked on this by choosing specific days or times where I would NOT wear concealer and foundation, and these little moments later helped me reduce my dependency on makeup. This ultimately increased my self confidence, allowing me to feel more like myself no matter if I was having a good or bad skin day.
- Not using SPF in general. For years, I never used SPF as I believed that the sun would “dry out” my acne. While the sun may temporarily dry out sebum, it could actually lead to an overproduction of oil later…which could make acne worse (not to mention hyperpigmentation and premature aging). I know that excessive sun exposure in my early 20s definitely led to more fine lines and a loss of collagen earlier than would have happened naturally. These days, I’m super focused on adding back collagen-encouraging ingredients (like polypeptides), hydration and antioxidants, and SPF no matter what!
I hope these help you avoid my biggest regrets and can’t wait to share the things that have worked the most for me next!
-P, Founder and CEO