I’ve had a love of skincare products for a long time. I think the origin story stems from an article I once read that said that French women invest their money in skincare over makeup. The idea was that with great skin, you wouldn’t really need as much makeup (or any at all), and that’s what the whole French aesthetic was about: looking amazing, but also like you haven’t tried. I’m a typical American girl, so obviously my dream in life is to be French.
When you struggle with acne, like I did for a solid seven-ish years, all you want is for your skin to be acne-free. Skincare is your life. It always feels like the possibility of curing your acne is hidden somewhere in your local Sephora. It’s just a matter of finding the right products.
Any time I walked in to a beauty store, desperate to find a solution to my plethora of skin problems, I would pick up the next promising product and ask myself the same question: will this make me pretty?
There’s a reason people call their favorite beauty products their “holy grails”. Trying an endless parade of creams and masks can start to feel like you’ve drank from a lot of different cups, only to look exactly the same. When you find something that actually works, it’s pretty damn exciting.
Over the past year or so, I’ve been able to get to the bottom of what was causing my acne. Part of it was my diet, and the other part of it was that many of the products I had been using, despite being marked “for sensitive skin”, still contained fragrance or other irritants.
Just a quick PSA on this topic: Beautypedia is an amazing source too look for skincare and makeup products that don’t contain common irritants and fragrance. That is all.
Once I started understanding the ingredients labels and avoiding the things I should be avoiding, my skin started to clear up. And as happy as that made me, I was still constantly looking at beauty products to potentially buy. The beauty industry had managed to give me an ever-present need to be looking for the next best thing.
Will this make me pretty?
Luckily, with my list of ingredients to avoid, and my well rounded arsenal of holy grail products, not many new things had made it home with me. That is until I caught wind of the new Korean beauty store called Glow Recipe and their Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask.
First of all, Glow Recipe is a start up founded by two women who were recently featured on Shark Tank. They killed it and so I was already fascinated by their in house brand. I’d love to own my own business one day, so I’m a sucker for a good entrepreneurship success story.
Second of all, this mask has been blowing up online lately. I mean feature after feature after feature raving about how good it is. I love my AHA mask, but it is a pretty potent formula. Maybe this could be a good mid-week touch up mask? Eh? I was intrigued.
Reading through the ingredients I liked what I saw. That is, until the last item on the list: fragrance. I justified the purchase by telling myself that that small of an amount in a wash off product couldn’t possibly do that much damage. There was one left in Sephora and I grabbed it on a whim. The packaging was so cute with it’s little watermelon painting… and look! Millenial pink! With a little spoon! And it smells like a jolly rancher! I bought right into the hype and the aesthetics of the packaging. Rookie mistake.
I tested the new mask out; applying a layer to my face before bed. When I woke up and went to go rinse it off, I expected to feel a layer of hydration from the mask, with silky, gently exfoliated skin underneath. Instead, it kind of just felt like I didn’t apply enough moisturizer the night before. My skin felt a little dry and in need of exfoliation to be honest. I also managed to get a set of three cystic pimples in different areas of my face, which I suspect is from the fragrance. Ahh, yes, the bumps that sent me on my skincare journey in the first place.
The mask itself is clearly doing wonders for some people, but if you have sensitive skin or already have a holy grail skincare routine like me, then stop buying shit you don’t need because the packaging is cute and it’s trending online. Why must I continue to make these mistakes? Don’t be like me.