I started my initial foray into skincare when I was 19 years old. Back then, I had just completed my “A” levels (which is equivalent to high school for the rest of the world besides the UK) and I was looking for a part-time job until my first university semester started in August. A friend told me that she had started working part-time for Cosmetics Brand “B” and asked me if I was interested to join. I immediately agreed as the thought of selling products at cosmetic counters meant that I could wear nice makeup and it certainly looked more glamorous than my previous part-time job of selling men’s shoes. I received brand training, product training as well as sales training while I was working with that brand. I did enjoy it a lot even though sometimes a sales job also meant that I had to deal with horrible nasty customers who thought that you were lowly-educated since you were “just a counter girl”.

Anyway, my point is that during that time (around 13 years ago) and even till now, people were mostly sold skincare products based on their skin types (dry, oily or combination) or their specific skin concerns such as anti-ageing, hydrating or whitening (which is NOT bleaching by the way.. it actually just means evening out of skin tone and minimising hyper-pigmentation). There wasn’t really this concept of skincare wardrobe which seems to be more prevalent these days. By “skincare wardrobe”, I mean that just like you wear clothes to either suit the weather on that day itself or your requirements (whether you need to go to work or go to the gym or the beach etc.), you could also customise your skincare based on how your skin feels that day.

For me personally, that means that even though I have combination skin, I use a variety of products meant for oily, dry and combination skin types. Just for cleansers alone, I use cleansing balms (usually meant for people with dry skin), cleansing gels or foams (usually for people with oily skin) and cleansing lotions. I rotate these products based on what my skin is feeling on that day itself or if I know that I’m going to face environments that are harsh to skin (like construction sites or air-plane cabins for example). I find that having an arsenal of products to combat various skin issues helps me to take care of my skin better in a more intuitive way.

My tip for building your own skincare wardrobe is to be very aware of the ingredients which your skin likes or dislikes. This is especially important in order to avoid over-loading your skin and inflaming it. For example, my skin TOTALLY HATES any products with meadowfoam seed oil. My face will have tiny red breakouts all over whenever I used any products with this ingredient in it. It doesn’t matter what product it is, whether it’s a cleanser, moisturiser or facial oils. That’s why I can use the Shu Uemura ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil (which is a thicker texture meant for drier skins) but can’t use the Shu Uemura blanc:chroma brightening & polishing gentle cleansing oil (which is meant for combination skins with a lighter texture) because the latter contains that dreaded ingredient. On its own, meadowfoam seed oil is actually a very good facial oil with strong anti-oxidant and skin softening properties. However, my skin just doesn’t like it. This is why I advocate reading the product ingredient list very thoroughly even before you buy the product so that you are fully aware if there are any potentially problematic ingredients for your own skin.

I hope that you’ll have fun exploring the different products as you build your very own skincare wardrobe. Afterall who would know your skin better than yourself? Stay beautiful and enjoy the journey!

Thank you for reading!

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