I’m sure this lockdown period is bringing out the Marie Kondo in all of us – reorganising your skincare shelf is probably one of the first things you sorted through to pass the time. Today’s post will touch on reorganising but in a more practical way, which is going to benefit you in the long term as opposed to just wavering some minutes by. Hopefully, this will further encourage you to keep-up such habits once this time has surpassed.
Check the dates on your sheet masks
I assume that by now, everyone is aware of the little ‘opened lid’ symbol with a number inside it on cosmetics, indicates the shelf-life of a make-up or skincare item once it has been opened. However, some people aren’t aware that sheet masks expire within such varied time frames (anywhere between 1~3 years when sealed), and this may be due to that fact that the dates aren’t displayed as obviously as other skincare packaging.
On a tub of moisturiser, for example, the expiration date is usually quite visible in a white or black bold font. Whereas on the majority of sheet masks the date is typically displayed at the very bottom at the back of the packaging with an embossing stamp. Even if a sheet mask is not by a Korean brand, most sheet masks are produced within South Korea – therefore the date will read as ‘YYYY/MM/DD’.
Use up your free samples
Typically, when we receive free samples they either get thrown into a draw or saved aside for taking with us when travelling. Well unfortunately, some of us who were planning to go on holiday abroad this year won’t be getting that opportunity, which could mean your luxury brand samples you were collecting will go out of date by the end of this year or by the time you actually take your next trip. I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting anything that comes for free!
With all this in mind, why not use this isolation period to use up your soon to expire samples and miniature sized skincare products? For the past week, I’ve created an entire 5 step skincare routine complied of only samples – doing so hasn’t just stopped contributing to landfill, it has additionally given me the chance to discover new skincare which suits & doesn’t match well with my skin type. Which brings me to my next topic…
Identify your skin type* (if you haven’t already)
If you regularly take a gander online, you have may come across numerous beauty articles which highlight that fact that many people don’t actually know their skin type. I want to share a simplified version of the method I used some years ago, to determine which skin type category I fall into.
Step 1. Wash your face with the products you usually use.
Step 2. Wait an hour – this means not applying any hydrating products, not even toner. During this interval try to avoid touching your face as this can encourage oil production or transferring, as well as make your skin turn red (basically you want to avoid false readings).
Step 3. After the 1 hour gently dab (do not use rubbing motions) your t-zone area with a clean tissue. If oil transfers onto the tissue then you either have oily or combination skin. If no sebum/oil can be seen on the tissue, then you with have normal or dry skin.
Step 4. Now you should be observing your pore size from two different distances: close up and then for a second time approximately half a metre away from a mirror.
- If your pores are fairly large and clearly visible all over your face, then you have oily skin.
- If the size of your pores varies depending on the area of your face, you most likely have combination skin.
- Those with normal skin will usually be able to see their pores, yet they are not large in size.
- If your pores aren’t visible, then your skin is dry.
Step 5. Pinch the skin of one of your cheeks. If it easily wrinkles under this pressure then you either have combination or dry skin. If your skin, however, remains relatively smooth when pinched, your skin is oily. Remember to take into account the characteristics of these skin types during the previous steps to conclude your findings.
*It’s important to keep in mind that the method shared here is based on averages and will not help everyone, but hopefully most. If you have conflicting results, you should, of course, have a consultation with a licensed Dermatologist.
It’s tempting to line-up your skincare products according to the height of the bottle/tube, or even to go as far as displaying them in colour coordination after getting inspired by Instagram and Pinterest posts. Alternatively, I strongly advise that you organise such items in the order you would apply them to save yourself time during your daily routines and to avoid forgetting crucial steps like SPF. Think practical organisation! I place my items left to right in this order:
1st – Oil-based cleansers: this includes your cleansing oils & cleaning balms. If you don’t use these then micellar water or other variants of cleansing water/makeup remover should go first.
2nd – Water-based cleansers: by this, I’m referring to the deep cleansers you would use in your second stage of double cleansing; e.g. foams cleansers, gel face washes, powder washes which are then mixed with water, cream cleansers, etc.
3rd – Exfoliants: think of everything from physical scrub exfoliators to water-soluble AHA/BHA peeling gels that have to be rinsed off.
4th – Masks: both rinse-off and peel-off varieties.
5th – Toner(s)
6th – Essence
7th – Ampoule
8th – Serum
9th – Eye cream
10th – Spot treatments or dark spot treatments
11th – Emulsion
12th – Moisturisers: subcategorised by day and night moisturisers.
13th – Sun protection
14th – Sheet masks
15th – Sleeping packs + overnight lip masks
Now, I’m not implying that all 15 products will be used at a time and of course, some steps will be skipped here or there, depending on the day or time of day. This arrangement will help you find your products more easily and makes following a rigorous, yet beneficial 6~10 step skincare regime more achievable, minus the bothersome clutter.