Over the last two years, my skin has been the worst it’s ever been – to put it bluntly. Somewhere between new jobs and Covid, my skin and I had parted ways: her spiteful and elusive, me dazed and desperate. But like every rekindled love, time and good communication were the healers.
As someone who has finally found what works, trust me it’s worth getting to know your skin. Here's how to keep track of your acne journey and spot the signs that your current skincare routine isn’t working for you.
This is a game-changer. When you’re looking at your skin every day it’s hard to spot more gradual changes. Having a visual record of your breakouts can help you create a timeline of any flare-ups which might help you figure out triggers too.
Tip: I put all my photos in a ‘My Eyes Only’ album on Snapchat.
Keep note of your triggers
Everything affects people differently so knowing what sets off a breakout for you can help you be mindful of your choices. For me, stress and sleep were two big ones, but the range of triggers can be huge: from lifestyle, to diet, to active ingredients in your regime that are just too harsh.
Check-in with yourself
Skin can have a huge impact on how you're feeling. A journal or a notes page on your phone can help you keep an eye on how your skincare journey is impacting your mental health – and serve as an indicator for when it’s time to reach out for help.
Signs your routine isn’t working for you
There are bound to be products your skin likes more than others – and sadly, it probably won’t be the ones that smell like sweet perfume or a spa day. Keep note of what your skin responds to and stay consistent with a routine if you want to see results.
There are some differing opinions on how long you should test a product for, but I’d aim to trial a new product for a few weeks and see how it goes. In the meantime, wash any makeup brushes, keep your face towel and pillowcases clean.
Tip: Get baseline control over your breakouts with simple products that don’t aggravate your skin, then add in more potent formulas form there. Remember to stop using any products that are causing redness, inflammation, dryness, stinging or itching.
For me, finding a great dermatologist felt like a landing couple’s counsellor. And when the time came, I was armed with a gallery of photos, an understanding of my triggers and an account of what I’d tried and tested in the past. Now, my skin and I are learning to trust for each other again and we know what it takes to make a love like ours last a lifetime.