What was the best advice you've received on skincare?

What was the best advice you’ve received on skincare? Share!

Apply sunscreen and do so generously–do not purchase something really, really expensive and then use a tiny amount; get something you can afford and apply it all over and thoroughly.

Thanks to reader Aneta for today’s question idea Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.


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kellly Avatar

I think there are ingredients in sunscreen that can hurt your eyes. I can’t use sunscreen too close to my eyes. It makes them burn. But I figure concealer under and shadow on the lids probably block the sun somewhat and I wear sunniew when I’ outside

Jessica Avatar

I just started using this – M Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 21 Daily Hydration + Protection – from Clinique a week ago. I rub it all over my eyes, and so far, I haven’t had any burning. I know their city block is safe to be used on the eyes also. It even says on the label. 🙂

artemis Avatar

True, but we do need 10 to 30 or more mins of sun a day to get vit D, depending on the season and skintone(and more, like an hour in the summer and 1 and a half in the winter for those with flaky skin conditions…like me and more serious….it really does improve psoriasis, for example, but once it clears up you shouldn’t exagerate with the sun, just maintain) and chemical sunscreens cause cancer….so yeah, mineral sunscreens are ok as long as you don’t avoid the sun all day everyday.

I never ever want to tan again, though, I only stay as long as it’s good for my body, before the tanning process would start. I’ve only had a noticeable tan 5 or 6 times in my 20 years(not orange, but you could tell), other than that just went half a shade of foundation darker, inevitably, and never had a sunburn, only a bit of pink skin on my chest once when i didn’t have sunscreen with me. I don’t spend that much time out in the sun anyway, sunscreen or not 🙂

Eileen Avatar

Yes, you certainly do. Sunscreen does not block all UV. Going about your daily business–wearing sunscreen–gives the average person enough sun exposure to maintain vitamin D levels. You also get vitamin D via the foods you eat and via supplements if you take them.

As for chemical sunscreens causing cancer, I agree with MYBMD. There are no scientific studies that indicate that the normal use of chemical sunscreens cause cancer. Making that kind of statement is irresponsible fear-mongering.

MyBMD Avatar

The last time I’d read a serious magazine (he-he) it was concluded that 10 min of the sun on your hands a day is enough to get a daily dose of vit D. Not an hour.
Also it’s rather an extreme statement about chemical sunscreens causing cancer… List your sources, please… Although I already know it’s a bs…

Sylirael Avatar

Don’t overexfoliate! It’s kind of easy to get into a ‘I must polish my face MOAR’ kind of spiral, but ultimately, unless you have a very specific problem in that respect, your skin does a pretty decent job of shedding its own baggage. You probably need to help it less than you think, and when you do, more gently than you think. Broken capillaries, anyone? I thought not 😉

artemis Avatar

Oh, I wish I didn’t have to manually exfoliate mine that often anymore….:))) but I have to cause once I put make up on, all the lil flakes are very visible and it makes my make up look cakey and dry. I also use urea, but you still have to physically remove the flakes that detached thanks to it, but they come off with less pressure this way, yay.

You’re right, though, people with skin that sheds dead cells mostly normally shouldn’t manually exfoliate much, rather use chemical exfoliants at night sometimes and just massage the skin in the morning after cleansing(better than while cleansing cause it could take a good few minutes and detergent based cleansers dry the skin up if they aren’t removed imediately) to remove the detached flakes (there shouldn’t be many of them on most people, anyway).

Alla Avatar

The best advice I got is that if you’re choosing whether to spend money on skincare or makeup, skincare should always come first. And I can say from my experience of ignoring this advice that it’s true: no amount of makeup made me feel good about the way I looked while my skin was badly dehydrated.

Crystal Avatar

Avoid overly perfumed face skincare… it was hard in the beginning for me as i enjoy the ‘smells’… but now i have switched to an almost non-smelly skincare, when i apply ones that smells overly strong, i tend to breakout and the smell irritates me! I have also learned to read through labels… alcohol denat. etc? seriously bad!

Crystal Avatar

i know! i had to throw away a mask that ‘tingles’ a few months ago, only to find that the tingling doesn’t come from anything else but menthol!!! organic doesn’t always mean free of harmful things… (*cough*TBS*cough*) :)))

WondersReviews Avatar

Same as you for sunscreen.
The prettiest colors may just be pretty in the pan, it may not suite everyone.
Always ask samples and try it before purchase, or if it’s not possible to try, check reviews before to decide.

Ryou Avatar

Use true broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply liberally. Don’t hoard skincare, they go bad quickly. Don’t bother with anything packaged in jars. Stay the hell away from anything fragranced, especially around the eye area.

Mariella Avatar

Same here – wear sunscreen and wear it all the time! I truly believe it’s the only real “anti-aging” product out there. In addition to using one that you can afford to use liberally, use one that you can apply liberally without feeling like a grease-ball (there are so many good ones in this regard in all price points).

Emmy Avatar

Something that really changed the condition of my skin was the advice that products for oily skin and acne are actually often much to harsh and drying thus causing the skin to produce even more oil after being stripped of it and causing more break outs. I then stopped using such products and avoided anything containing alcohol, switched to mild cleansers for sensitive skin and suddenly my acne got better after years of struggling and my skin turned into low maintenance combination skin with only an occasional pimple that I treat with an on-the-spot gel or cream.

artemis Avatar

Me too, I’ve been doing it since 12 or 13, especially in the day-time, but you should know that there’s no difference betwheen most eye creams and face creams beside the price and that some eye creams are greasier, lol. You just gotta look for a face cream with a lot of antioxidants(vitamins, for example), no perfume or a tiny amount and ideally, a bit of mineral sunscreen, too, so it doens’t sting your eyes.

Wednesday Avatar

Oh gosh.. I received some very basic advice many years ago in my early 20’s from a European makeup artist working with me on a shoot. She commented that I had really good density in my skin and suggested it was never too early to begin a preventative skincare regimen. This is waaay back in the early 80’s when the term ‘anti-aging’ didn’t exist and people were still slathering themselves with freaking baby oil to baste like a turkey in the sun. I took her advice seriously and began taking better care of my skin. My aunt who is only 7 years older than me–people assumed we were sisters–didn’t bother with skincare and was a complete sun goddess..super tanned and gorgeous every summer while I look like a washed out pale fish. Fast forward to our 50’s and the results are really really remarkable. I’m glad I listened.

Oh, and I will second a comment I read earlier this week or late last week–not sure who said it… Wipes are not good enough for cleansing. Okay, maybe once in awhile for convenience..aka..late night *wink*, but not on a regular basis. Very good advice.

artemis Avatar

That’s true, they aren’t because they don’t contain any tensides.

You were very smart to do that, I hope you didn’t feel that bad cause you were pale while others were fried, you were prettier 😉 I love my pale skin, it’s just the acne marks that I don’t, but I try to accept them.

Nicole Avatar

A couple of years ago, you featured a series of guest posts, and the one by your reader John had a big impact on me. He talked about the skincare that helped improve his skin. He mentioned beautypedia, which I had not previously heard of (but now consult all the time), and Paula’s Choice products, which I now use daily. Since putting together a skincare routine with Paula’s advice and products, my skin has improved dramatically, and I end up spending less on skincare becuase I’m using products with thoroughly researched beneficial ingredients and not just being sucked in by good marketing.

Ashley Avatar

A pure, decent skincare oil is amazing (think: Argan oil, Nude Skincare oil, etc.). I used the Nude skincare oil for a long time, but couldn’t justify spending another $95 CDN on another vial. Instead, I’ve been buying argan oil (either Josie Maran’s or a cheaper brand from well.ca), and it’s wonderful.

When applying, I spray my toner on my face after washing, then dab the oil into my skin while it’s still moist. Works well 🙂

Andrea Avatar

Was introduced to Vitamin C. From that point in my life, I haven’t stopped using any form of Vitamin C, a practice that has totally changed my skin. As for sunscreen, I got awfully sun burned being an early teen. Had to be taken the hospital and all. Was pretty awful, and from that moment got so terrified about the possible effects of the sun that have been wearing sunscreen consistently throughout my entire life.

Andrea Avatar

Yes, I love it. Im using Timeless 20% vitamin C+ E+ Ferulic acid. Buy it at Amazon, and since is far cheaper than the Skinceuticals, I use it on my face, neck and chest liberally. Totally recommend it. They make it freshly for you, and guarantee you 3 months of fresh vitamin C, or else they send you a new bottle free of charges. I dont work for them or anything….lol… Sounds like I do, but no. Im just a grateful user. Recommend it to everybody. I keep it in the fridge to keep it as stable as possible.

Michelle Avatar

I’d have to say that was from my dermatologist many years ago. I have Irish translucent skin which is prone to rosacea, redness, sensitivity and is hyper reactive. (yay me lol). A dermatologist once told me to look at ingredient lists on products, and the less the better – the less ingredients, the less chance I’ll react to something. And use the minimal amount of products on my face at one time. So when I go into MAC of Sephora and they start talking about serum+primer+moisturirzer+foundation+powder I totally zone out. And no exfoliators of any kind, ever. Although I do love my Clarisonic twice a week, but that’s it.

Christine Avatar

Sunscreen for me, too + *prescription* retinol, which is much more effective for me than any OTC anti-aging product, high end or not, and is virtually free. (I pay $5 co-pay for a three-month supply.)

Marsina Avatar

1. Sunscreen every day, Broad Spectrum SPF 30 or higher on all exposed skin.
2. Your face stops at your bra line, not your jaw line. Bring that skin care done the neck and chest.
3. Always wash your face before bedtime, even if you don’t wear makeup.

LU Avatar

In general, it was to develop a skincare routine (cleanse, tone, treat, moisturize, mask, etc.) and my cousin who was younger than me gave me this advice when I was 17. Later on, wear sunscreen, oily skin needs moisture (which helped clear my acne), exfoliate regularly (love my clarisonic), read the ingredient list. Most recently, I learned that retinol is not just for anti-aging, so I started using it a few months ago and I’m really impressed (it lightened my dark circles, which was an unexpected bonus, LOL).

Eileen Avatar

Christine, I couldn’t agree with you more. I cringe every time I read or hear someone say, “And you only have to use the tiniest amount.” To get the product’s advertised level of SPF, you need to use 1/4 teaspoon for your face alone and another 1/2 teaspoon for neck and chest. But why stop there? Most women are so focused on their face and neck that they forget the back of their neck, their ears, their shoulders, their arms, hands, and feet. Sunscreen is the single best beauty product anyone can buy.

I do use a fairly expensive micronized zinc oxide and micronized titanium dioxide sunscreen (TIZO2) on my face and neck where I cannot tolerated chemical screening agents. Since I certainly don’t want the Casper syndrome associated with most physical sunscreens, I am willing to pay extra for a cosmetically elegant micronized formulation. I am able to tolerate a bit of chemical elsewhere and so on the rest of my body I use Coppertone’s Sun Babies which is primarily physical with a bit of chemical 🙂

Lulle Avatar

Best advice I ever got was from the aesthetician who was doing my facials before I moved (I miss her, and so does my skin!): don’t use aggressive treatments on your skin, never use scrubs on your face, instead use grain-free exfoliators. My skin got so much better after I switched to gentleness!

fancie Avatar

All of this sunscreen talk is making me want to shop for some sunscreen lol. I have no idea why I don’t have one in my routine yet. I think the best skincare advice I got was to start young. I didn’t really think I needed serums and creams in my 20s but it’s better to prevent now than try to correct later

Amara Avatar

this advice was never really given to me, but just things i’ve tried. i’ve been using sunscreen everyday for a while now so my future self will thank me for that! lately i’ve only been using cleanser on my face once a day instead of twice. only using twice if i had a long gross day or had heavy makeup on. i think i was over washing my face and it was kicking my oil production up and irritating my skin! i love reading others’ advice also!

Victoria Avatar

Honestly, everything in the sidebar on reddit’s skincareaddiction (http://www.reddit.com/r/skincareaddiction)

It’s all science and evidence based, they cite their sources, and they cut through all of the marketing and myths that are constantly propagated. Now that I have learned how important product pH and sunscreen are, as well as that vaseline is non comedogenic…my skin looks amazing!

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