The Intertwined Nature of Skincare & Makeup
Makeup and acne have been intertwined in my neural pathways since I was a kid. My first memory of getting a zit led to my mom taking me to the Mac counter to buy concealer, and my first trip to the mac counter began with that zit emerging on my cheek. The endless cycle of acne to makeup, to acne, to makeup, to more acne, plagued my teenage years; I felt insecure existing within my own skin.
My mom taught me the importance of working with skin professionals from that young age, when she started bringing me to her dermatologist. After a mixture of different oral medications and topicals, my dermatologist prescribed me accutane for the 1st time at age thirteen. However, with no guidance on maintaining my skin’s moisture while on the medication, the discomfort I felt from acne was quickly replaced with the discomfort of dry, flaking skin. After around 8 months on accutane I had clear, dry skin and was done with my treatment. About 2 years later I did another round of accutane with the same repercussions, then was off acne prescriptions for about 8 years.
During my journey with childhood acne I fell in love with makeup. There were times I used it to feel comfortable walking out the door in the morning, and other times it was a creative expression or artwork on my face. Throughout those years, makeup turned from more of a dependency to an outlet.
My focus when I turned 18 went from pursuing one of my passions, makeup, to graduating college. Doing my makeup early in the morning before school was replaced with getting up to read for class and rushing out the door. I stopped pursuing those outlets that made me feel connected to myself, and wasn’t taking care of my skin.
That ultimately led to my acne coming back and my stress habit of picking too. I spent those few years in college, so self conscious of my skin. When the COVID lockdowns began a few months into my freshman year, I was happy to wear a mask to hide my skin. Though, during that COVID era I did a lot of self healing, and mentally made peace with my acne, considering there were events so much worse going on. However, mentally making peace with my acne didn’t mean it would magically go away, and I’ve struggled with acne ever since.
Leading up to college graduation, I finally decided I needed to follow my passions and dreams, instead of pursuing a conventional 9 to 5 like most of my peers. I didn’t know it then, but that decision was the first wing flap in the butterfly effect that led me to Sapien Skin & Beauty. I started looking for entry level positions in any part of the beauty industry, and around the time it was starting to feel like I wouldn’t find anywhere that aligned with my values and was willing to work with me while I finished my classes then transfer to full time. When I was finally introduced to Sapien, Stephanie was immediately so supportive of my passions and allowed me to grow into my role here. I began soaking up all the skincare knowledge I could, and working with the estheticians to build a routine that is right for my skin.
I think an issue with skincare marketing and influencing is that it doesn’t emphasize the importance of having a relationship with a skincare professional who can help guide your journey. Because, even if your routine is only made up of medical grade skincare products, if they’re not the right products for you, you’re not going to get the results you wanted. Being that your skin is the largest organ in your body, changing your routine for clearer skin also means lifestyle changes to take care of all your organs. For me, this was forming habits to reduce the bacteria in my skin as much as possible. I began doing things like changing my pillowcase every night, regularly wiping down the outside of my skincare products, washing my beauty blended with each use, investing in a humidifier, and ditching so so many of the makeup products I’ve used for years.
Learning more about medical grade skincare and investing more into my own skin made me not want to sacrifice my hard work and halt my progress to apply makeup. Following my luxurious skincare routine with products that contain all the ingredients I was avoiding in my skincare, for a reason, felt like it would be so counterproductive. Working with the Sapien estheticians, asking questions, and staying curious got me to a place where I can comfortably search for makeup products I enjoy. The ability to have a consultation where you can chat about the ingredients that are contributing to the inflammation of your acne is so important to finding what works for each person. One of the ingredients I avoid is one that can be found in both medical grade skincare and makeup products, dimethicone. Brands promoting “clean” beauty products, or “skincare based makeup” often don’t emphasize how each person’s skin has different needs. Just because a makeup product is based on a skincare friendly formulation, doesn’t mean it’s good for my skin, like how not all medical grade skincare products would be good for my skin either.
Schedule a consultation, work with a professional, and search for a way you can heal the cycle of acne to makeup to more acne. As a team at Sapien, we have all struggled with acne at different points in our lives, and understand how vulnerable it can feel to have bare skin when you’re breaking out. Let us help you improve your relationship to your skin by working with our licensed master estheticians to get comprehensive lifestyle based skincare advice at Sapien.