I’ve never had problematic skin. In fact, I’ve always had that dewy and glowing complexion now known to the modern world as ‘Korean skin’. Oh, to be 14 again. However, that all changed when I bit the bullet with puberty. My blunder years compelled me to an Avril Lavigne-esque emo fringe. That, combined with my inane sloth for beauty upkeep and Singapore’s erratic heatwaves, resulted in a complexion which no adolescent girl should ever relive.
Luckily, the boom of the Internet generation had made it incredibly easy for young Tish to remedy this pimply situation. However, just as DIY hair-curling and celebrity miracle mask home treatments gone wrong have taught us, not everything you pinch off the Internet results in a happy ending. Embarrassed as I am to recount my adolescent stupidity, conversations had with friends and family over the holiday season revealed that I wasn’t the only pretty little idiot to suffer from the following beauty faux pas:
Uno: Having a single product complete my entire beauty regime
It is only as I recount this for the first time, am I realising just how idiotic this first point actually is. Come what may, young Tish really did use a single beauty product – The Body Shop’s Seaweed Oil-control Gel Cream to be exact – as the Adam and Eve of her beauty regime. The stupid-ness of this first point wasn’t just that I slathered on a fair amount of cream to ‘compensate’ for the nutrients I was lacking from the missing steps. Rather, it was that I was using a product that I neither needed nor benefited from. I have combination skin (oily T-zone, dry cheeks), which the gel-cream did nothing for, aside from keeping my T-zone as oily as ever and drying out my already-dehydrated cheeks.
Now: I use a toner, a pore-minimiser, moisturiser, and sunblock.
Dos: Using the wrong moisturiser
After young Tish had eventually figured out the need for a Toner and Moisturiser as the basis of any good skincare regime, she’d chosen a moisturiser which was way too oily for her skin. But you just said you have dry cheeks, Tish! Having difficulty following? Let me break it down for you:
Having combination skin means that the moisturiser you choose has to not only hydrate the dry areas of your face, but also not screw-up your oily T-zone by making it too oily. Which in a nutshell, meant that the moisturiser I’d chosen back in 2010 made my dry cheeks thrive, but killed my T-zone, which were the target of radical oil clogs and simultaneous breakout. Not pretty.
Now: Kiehls’ Ultra Facial Cream is serving me rather well.
This third point particularly grinds my gears, as I’d relatively good skin in my early-20s, having figured out most things as I left my teenage years behind. However, I’d read somewhere that exfoliating your skin once or twice a week was a great way of ridding dead skin cells and promoting new cell growth. The beauty zealot I was took this a step too far, and exfoliated. Every. Single. Day.
As a result, the over-exfoliation of my face led me to develop something called skin tags, harmless flesh-coloured growths, on the more sensitive parts of my skin. Unlike pimples or whiteheads, they’re unable to be extracted as, well, there’s nothing to extract – it’s skin!
Now: This is still one that I’m still trying to find a cure for. Recommendations, anyone?
The Internet is a great place for tips and an even better place for advice. But take it from young Tish: If in doubt, turn to a skincare professional, not an LCD screen. I mean, Marilyn Monroe stated that washing her face 15 times a day was the best way to keep pimples at bay; I mean, pragmatism, people.