What's your favorite skincare product and why?
This is a difficult question to answer since there are so many different categories of skincare products. However, when I think of skincare, one particular product comes to mind. My favorite moisturizer would definitely be the Be You Cosmetics Peptides Moisturizer. I love this moisturizer because it can be used by most skin types. It is not too heavy, so people with oily skin can use it, but it is not too light, so it can be used by those with dry skin. I have normal skin and I use this moisturizer every night as the final step in my skincare routine. The moisturizer also has blue light protection ingredients, so it even helps to protect your skin from the blue light from your screens. I love the mission of Be You Cosmetics. They donate a portion of their proceeds to help women in STEM fields. They are trying to even the playing field for women and women in these industries. I have yet to try the rest of their products yet, but I plan on emailing them and hope to work with them in the future!
What do you think of fragrance in skincare?
I believe fragrance in skincare really depends on your skin type and the sensitivity of your skin. I have normal and non-sensitive skin, so fragrance in skincare usually doesn't bother me. However, my Mom has extremely sensitive skin, and any fragrance will make her skin turn red and give it a burning sensation. In general, I try to avoid fragrance in skincare, however, I personally won't just not purchase a product because it contains fragrance, unless it is at the very top of the ingredient list. If you didn't know, the products listed at the top of an ingredients list on the packaging have a higher concentration in the product than those at the bottom. If fragrance is at the very end, it will most likely not cause any sensitivity. However, I have used face masks in the past with a high concentration of fragrance, so much that you can strongly smell it, and they don't create an enjoyable experience. Brands often add fragrance to create an enjoyable experience for the customer, however, I feel that fragrance more often creates an un-enjoyable experience. Personally I would rather avoid glitter and plastic in skin care rather than fragrance because this is terrible for the skin and pollutes the environment. Most products with these things in their ingredient list often are just for fun and don't provide any results anyway.
What is the most important part of a skincare routine?
This can be answered simply: sunscreen. Sunscreen is by far the most important part of any skincare routine. Sunscreen should be used by everyone. It is a common myth that people with darker skin tones do not have to use sunscreen. This is definitely not true. Everyone needs sunscreen! Even if it is not sunny out or you are staying inside, the sunlight is still reaching you, and you need to use sunscreen to protect your skin from the UV rays. This can cause early aging, worsen acne scars, but most importantly, can cause skin cancer. Starting sunscreen application at a younger age can really benefit you both now and in the future. Dermatologists recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours, however, most of us have busy lives and will most likely forget. The best way to start is by applying sunscreen every morning. I recently bought the Bliss Block Star sunscreen, and I am really enjoying it so far. It is a mineral sunscreen, so it does not have the chemical UV filter which pollutes the environment and harms coral reefs. It does not have a strong sunscreen smell and is lightweight. The summer is coming up, which makes using sunscreen even more important. So take my advice and start applying that sunscreen!
What kind of skincare products should you avoid?
I would one hundred percent avoid any skincare products that look very pretty (in a cheap sort of way) or include glitter. These products are made for an audience that isn't really interested in skincare, but are looking for a fun experience. These products are not healthy for the skin at all, and they can hurt badly. Glitter especially can irritate your skin and is also very bad for the environment, as it gets washed off your face and flushed into the water. I would also avoid peel off face masks, because these are usually very cheaply made and they don't actually do anything that they advertise. These masks can not pull out blackheads, they only pull out sebaceous filaments. Blackheads are under your skin and can be treated using serums, but can not be pulled off. There are even compilations of peel off mask fails, because they get stuck to the skin like tape and you have to rip it off, leaving the skin red and burning.
I would also avoid products that include ingredients that pollute the environment. It is better to purchase mineral sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens, because they do not include chemical UV filters such as oxybenzone, which pollute the coral reefs. By killing the coral reefs, you are killing off the habitat of thousands of sea creatures. You can also protect the oceans by purchasing cleansing balms which do not include plastic. By using cleansers with plastics or microbeads, you are washing the plastic down the sink and then it goes into the ocean, and even gets into our drinking water. This is not necessary to avoid completely, but I always try to get across both on my blog and in my articles the idea that great skincare can be affordable. It is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on creams in order to prevent wrinkles or brighten the skin. There are many great drugstore products which are just as effective. Surprisingly, the luxury brand La Mer has the same ingredients as many drugstore products. Many luxury products focus on the experience, as this is what their main audience wants, so they include a lot of fragrance, which not all skin types can handle.
I love to use perfume! Some perfumes I use daily include Sweet Like Candy, Moonlight, and Ari by Ariana Grande. Some other perfumes I would recommend include Daisy by Marc Jacobs, which is a popular fragrance for teen girls. The Pinrose Sampler Kit is another pricier option. A Thousand Wishes or Japanese Cherry Blossom from Bath and Body Works are popular teen picks.
Can you clarify the Niacinamide and Vitamin C debate? Can they be used together?
If this question is confusing, don't worry! It was submitted by a fellow skincare blogger, so don't sweat if you have no idea what it is referring to. Vitamin C and Niacinamide are both great ingredients and have amazing brightening effects. If you have not checked out niacinamide, I highly recommend it. Niacinamide is a can be used for all skin types, and it works well with other ingredients. It can help with scarring and acne, and it has brightening benefits. If you are looking for a niacinamide serum, I would recommend The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum for oily or combination skin, and The Inkey List Niacinamide Serum for dry or normal skin. Vitamin C is also a brightening agent. As for using the two together, after doing some research, I believe that you can use them together. I honestly don't why not, since I can't see what would go wrong if you mixed them. Studies have shown that it is okay to use them together. Those who claimed that you can't use them together base it off of studies where pure niacinamide and pure vitamin c, or ascorbic acid, were together in a non-practical form for skincare.
What would you recommend as a budget friendly Vitamin C serum?
When I first started getting into beauty, one of the first skin care products I purchased was the E.L.F. Beauty Shield Vitamin C Serum. I was so surprised by how much this product brightened my skin. I was a young teen when I bought this product and I saw results, so I can definitely recommend this for teens. E.L.F. is extremely affordable and can be found at Target and local drugstores. This isn't a Vitamin C serum, but I just started using the new Bliss Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid Day Serum. Niacinamide is an amazing ingredient, and I would recommend looking for products with it. This product also has brightening effects, and it is a bit pricier than the other serum, but it is super cute, and I would recommend checking it out.
What's your best remedy for red skin?
My Mom has very sensitive skin, so I have a lot of experience from helping her find skincare products. Whenever she uses a product that irritates her skin, it becomes inflamed and painful. I recommend using the Acure Beauty brand. Their products are very inclusive for sensitive skin. Both my Mom and I enjoy the Acure Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream and the Seriously Soothing Day Cream. These products are great for sensitive skin, and they won't hurt or burn on red or inflamed skin. This way, you will have most of the products needed for a basic skincare routine. You'll have a cleanser and moisturizer, so just add a sunscreen in the morning and you're all set!
Thank you to everyone who submitted a question! If you would like to submit a question next time and see more advice like this, feel free to follow my blog on Instagram, @howdoyouglowbysoph!