I Got Into Skincare Quite Late, But Whatever
For a tita like me who kept on playing patintero under the sun as the rest of the girls busily powdered their noses in elementary, I ventured into this wonderful world of skincare quite late. (I'm nearing my thirties, by the way) And what I have come to realize is that it comes with a true test of character, and below are all that I have learned so far.
STEP ONE: FIGURING OUT MY SKIN TYPE
WHAT I NEEDED: PERSEVERANCE
Unlike personality tests, there's no legit online quiz to help you identify the skin type you have. They say it's best to consult a dermatologist. I once confessed to a co-tita and told her that I thought my skin was dry as my humor, but was still unsure. In fact, in college, I've always thought I had oily skin. "But weren't we all oily in college?" she asked.
Well, she had a point. Yet I tried all the possible ways to determine my skin type and have since resigned to the conclusion that I have acne-prone, sensitive skin. The first skin type determination method I tried is where you're supposed to skip the night routine and the skin texture you wake up to is your true skin. Another technique is where you forgo the morning ritual and let your skin be, and then check back by midday to see your real skin condition.
I'll be honest: I took the online quizzes, too. None of them were helpful. What I did, though, was research on the signs that would lead to certain skin types and the factors that can affect it. I'd like to know, though, how did you find out what your skin type is?
STEP TWO: EXPLORING THE JUNGLE THAT IS ONLINE BEAUTY SHOPPING
WHAT I NEEDED: MONEY and A GOOD STRATEGY
You know very well that I am a #CalyxtaTita, and that if I'm not at the mall, Calyxta is where I do my beauty shopping. The first time I purchased beauty products online, it honestly felt like I was back in college, in a mad dash, pre-enlisting for classes.
I wanted certain products so badly, but was fearful they would quickly run out of stock. It was exactly like getting a bad random number (last batch!) and being stuck with bad P.E. class options or the so-called terror professors. But as with my college self, I wasn't one to quit. In my mind, I thought, I would do my best to get the classes—or in this case, the beauty products—I desired, but if in the end, I'm left with the next best thing, then so be it.
As with real-life shopping, the key is to get acquainted with all the products available on the market first. Keep browsing the site for new releases, the customer reviews, and product descriptions. That way, when the day of a major beauty sale arrives, you're armed and ready, clicking through your chosen product choices in a breeze.
I dare say online beauty shopping is not for the faint of heart. And the ones with slow internet.
STEP THREE: TRYING OUT THE PRODUCTS
WHAT I NEEDED: PRAYERS AND PEACE OF MIND
My friends have warned me, do not try all your new products at once. It's the only way to tell which ones are working, and which ones aren't. My heart sank when I heard this, because an overly excited, new-to-this-experience tita like me needed all the self-restraint to give at least a week or two in between testing products. And through it all, I've encountered a bazillion thoughts and questions.
When I tried a clay mask on for my pores, I was left extremely paranoid on whether or not I was able to rinse the product off my face completely. I couldn't sleep, haunted by the thought that there were super volcanic clay particles still left inside my pores. I consulted with friends who assured me that I was simply worrying myself silly, and with a little meditation, I managed to calm down a little. To all my beauty-inclined friends, how do you manage?
Meanwhile, in between applying products in a multi-step routine, I began wondering how I was supposed to keep my face and fingers sanitary. What I mean is, as I am putting the dropper back into my serum bottle and unscrewing the lid of my VCO, aren't I contaminating my finger tips in the process? Aren't there microscopic germs on the jars? Shall I wash my hands in between product applications, too, as often as the workers did as they were sewing Meghan Markle's flower-embroidered veil?
At the end of it, all, I thought, well, the entire world is filled with microscopic germs, anyway. It's all about taking the risks and being brave, doing everything in my power to apply the products as correctly as possible, and hoping for the best. I mind-over-mattered my way through my new routine, night after night, until I had successfully banished all my worries away.
Well, not all. There's probably still a minuscule percentage of worry that lingers in my mind, but I don't let it take over my journey to good skin.
FINAL STEP: MAINTENANCE
WHAT I NEEDED: GOOD HABITS
After all that's been said and done, I soon realized that I cannot follow any other beauty girl's routine and recommendations to the dot—the search is and will be forever. For life! As with personalities and people in general, skin types change, too, you know. And I guess the thrill of it all lies in this unknown, and the possibility of a brighter skin and future.
But as far as this new obsession is concerned, I am happy to announce that there have been positive results. As long as you keep making the right daily choices for your skin, you will reap the rewards. My ultimate tita tip then is for you to develop good skincare habits as you do in your life. Finally, I also realized the truth in the saying that inner happiness is key. And so is eating right. And drinking enough water. And sleeping at least six to eight hours.
Any of you arriving late to this so-called skincare game, too? I'd love to know your thoughts.
Cover photo by Jayson Soriano, shot at The Plaza Hotel in Balanga, Bataan.