Has your relationship to skincare changed in the last year?

Early last year, I started taking a new medication, and I didn’t realize it for months later, but it actually caused deep, cystic acne and lots of it in places I had never had it. I originally thought it was just from stress (I had a lot going on, plus the pandemic!), but two weeks off the medication, the cystic acne resolved.

It really did a number on me mentally and physically, though — I’d look at my skin and just cry because it was never like that and nothing was working to make it better. I still have post-acne marks and scarring from it all; I did two chemical peels to jumpstart some of the healing, which definitely helped–never did one before but very well-worth it in my case. I have become more thorough in cleansing, though — I was pretty good before, but now I’m A+ level good.

— Christine


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Jacqie Avatar

Actually it has changed a lot! I wrote a post about it recently.

But the big one for me is that I’ve been dealing with some hormonal breakouts (coming off The Pill and just every stressful event imaginable happening all at once.) And I have had to train my brain to realize that a few breakouts doesn’t mean my skin is unhealthy.

DVa Avatar

You hid the acne well!
I’m sorry to hear about the stress. From someone who has (now under control with medication) psoriasis, I understand the stress (and tears) of seeing your skin go from lovely to scary. 🙁

I read somewhere last week, wish I could find the article again, exactly much how the sales of skincare skyrocketed in 2020 and early 2021 because: people were at home more, analyzing their skin more, seeing themselves in zoom meetings, not really wearing makeup as much, and of course maskne.
I’m not special in that regard. Having turned 50 just a couple months before lockdown was also a turning point, and made reconsider my skin care even more.
So yes, I’ve got a far more comprehensive skin care regimen now. Luckily I’ve never had skin issues and for the most part mine’s “normal” but I have to watch for age-related dryness. By fall I’ll basically have a year of seeing what’s really happening and if all those steps work (are needed) before I fine tune it.
A year from now I might have a far less complicated regimen, who knows?

Mary B. Avatar

Yes. I realized most of what the skin care companies are pushing is unnecessary for me. I’ve gone back to a simpler, easier, quicker, and cheaper skin care routine and my skin is much better again. I don’t need 12 or 10 or 7 steps. Rolling my eyes at how gullible I was and how much money and time I wasted.

Ana Maria Avatar

My skincare routine and relationship remained the same during the last year, I didn’t made any major changes.
Luckily I never had any issues caused by wearing a mask, actually I found in the winter that it helped me getting less skin and lips dryness related to exposure to cold temperatures.

Lesley Avatar

I streamlined my routine about two years ago after wrecking the moisture barrier on my face so I did not change it in the past year, although I seemed to have less of a need for protective creams because between not going out much and wearing a mask, my face wasn’t exposed to cold weather as much as it would have been in a normal winter. I did change my body care routine, however. I started applying some of my face products to my legs and soon they were covered with red spots. I went to my dermatologist, who said the follicles were inflamed. She took me off my fancy products and told me to use Dove for Sensitive Skin, a Eucerin cream, and Gillette shaving gel for sensitive skin (all products I would never have bought because of animal testing but I obey my doctors.).

Ana Avatar

awww, i feel you. glad you are on top of your skincare game now. acne & the scars sure can cause some unnecessary stress. i’ve had the same thing too over the years.
i also had horrible acne last year due to mask wearing everywhere esp at work. nothing worked until i added some acids & niacinamide from paula’s choice. took about a month to calm the skin down but i’m thankful now it’s much better. i cant even tell when my period is coming coz there’s no more pre-menstrual acne coming.
all the best to you & take care!

Genevieve Avatar

I have always been fairly focused on good skincare (as much as what was available here in Aus) throughout my life and it really hasn’t changed much over the past year. I have found that I am willing to try different products, but I don’t go in for the expensive ones.
I have found that there are many really great brands out there (The Ordinary, A’kin, Skin Doctors, CeraVe etc) that deliver excellent skincare products at reasonable prices. I don’t go in for the hype either.

brendacr1 Avatar

I just added a retinol to my routine and my skin is glowing from that addition and for 61 yrs old I need to like what I see in the mirror. I haven’t been doing as many masks as I would usually do as my husband’s business has changed and he doesn’t travel any more so I don’t have the extra time to pamper myself. My time is spent doing things with my husband instead which I don’t mind at all.

Jill Avatar

Oh my gosh I’m so sorry you had that happen! It can be really traumatizing when something like that happens, I’m glad you’re in a better place now!

I’ve streamlined my skincare, it’s been a gradual process and not necessarily as a result of the pandemic or being at home. I got to the point where I had a ridiculous amount of products and I began to wonder if I truly needed them all. I always had good skin and managed to preserve it through my 40s with a routine of benign neglect and avoiding the sun, so I decided to simplify my routine into a happy-medium territory. I definitely do more now than I used to, but certainly not as much as before.

Sometimes I do go back and forth on whether I should try to start tretinoin while my skin is still in good shape. Honestly I’m afraid of it, and I think if I made it to 50 and I still don’t have wrinkles so I really need it? But then I remind myself that it’s kind of the point to start before that all sets in. But I’m just so afraid of the side effects, ugh!

cherie Avatar

It’s been back and forth for me. I was taking care of my skin and hair for a while, then I just stopped. My hair was greyer than usual and even though I bought skin care products, I wasn’t making the effort to care for it or myself for that matter. The only thing I really used was my SkinCeuticals 1% retinol a few times a week and maybe a serum during the day. Then my eyes developed styes and were both inflamed and I went back to a cleansing and caring routine. Needless to say, that little bit helped quite a bit and I’m back to wearing soft makeup and taking some time morning and night for some self care. I recently discovered Asutra products and have been applying magnesium cream to my leg and shoulders at night which has done wonders for me…. It’s been an interesting past year for sure.

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