What does conscious skincare mean?
For Kambiio, conscious skincare is one that is created with intention; awareness of our skin; the sourcing and type of ingredients; packaging process and what we do and why it matters.
For the longest time, we tend to look at our skincare needs via a singular lens. Chasing the most hyped ingredients, thinking that one size fits all, concentrating so much on layering our face or body with multitudes of products that may not be serving any purpose for our skin needs. Taking care of your skin can be complex and complicated. In addition, the skin itself is complex! It is the largest organ of the body and offers the first line of defense against external assailants, so there are no surprises here.
The skin is an extension of our overall health. Therefore, there are other factors that come into play when addressing your skin concerns. Asides from protecting the skin from UV exposure or using broad-spectrum sunscreens, consider factors like your skin type, age, lifestyle, hormonal fluctuations, environmental/ climate changes and skin conditions that may be unique to you when you review your skincare routine . Certain medications may also aggravate the skin.
Good skin care plays a huge role in creating your best skin. Bottom line is that we all want a healthy-looking and radiant skin. Conscious skincare is a mindset, an attitude, and a call to action to only feed our skin with what it truly needs.
How to be conscious about your skincare
- Have a routine: Establishing a daily skincare routine is a vital process. Have your own magic number and aim for balance. Think about how you achieve a capsule wardrobe or even a balanced diet and sort of apply the same methodology to your skincare. Do consider a "less is more" approach. A simple routine of: Cleanse, Tone, Serum, Moisturize and Sunscreen for morning routine and Cleanse, Tone, Serum, Moisturize for evening routine is all you really need. Once or twice a week, you may add facemask and exfoliating treatments. Aim to protect and nourish the skin at daytime and repair and replenish at nighttime. A good skincare routine is not measured by the number of products or the number of steps. Conscious skincare advocates for mindful consumption of products.
- Learn now: Now is the best time to start decoding your skincare label and learning about your skincare ingredients. The more we know about the ingredients that go into the products that we consume, the better we can make choices when purchasing. If you have a sensitive skin, know that dyes, colorants, and fragrances are common sources of irritation that could trigger inflammation of your skin. Even essential oils can be problematic for sensitive skin types. It is also possible that ingredients considered non-irritants can still trigger irritation or allergies due to the type of cosmetic formulation or the layering of other products in your routine. Stay clear of ingredients on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the EU hotlist of prohibited ingredients for use in cosmetics. I must warn you that there are ingredients banned in the EU but not banned in the United States and Canada. The EU seems to take a more precautionary approach for safety evaluation. This list of banned ingredients cannot be used in cosmetics, and honestly should never be. A patch test is always recommended when trying products or adding any new skincare products to your current routine. Conscious skincare means paying attention to the ingredients that are inside the product you buy. Ideally, we want to stay clear of ingredients reported to be carcinogenic, teratogenic, endocrine disruptors, and ones that manifest severe allergic reactions.
- Say goodbye: Goodbye to excessive buying of skincare products that do not suit your skin. Before you buy a skincare product, take time to read the information provided with the product and see if the product is right for your skin needs and optimal skin vitality. For example, if you use aggressive cleaners that dry out your skin and stripe it from its natural oils, you should ideally have a hydrating face mist and face oil serum in your routine to counteract the dryness, bringing your skin to balance. When you hear of a trending skincare ingredient, follow such ingredient consciously with adequate research. Choose products based on what they can do for your skin health. I must admit that sometimes knowing that a product is good for your skin and meets your skin needs may come only from experience using the product. Still, there is no harm to familiarize yourself with the information provided on the product packaging. Ensure to swap or gift products that are not suitable for your skin so that they do not go to waste. Conscious skincare is choosing your skincare products with ingredients that do good for your skin.
- Beyond skincare: Many skincare brands rely on expensive packaging and style over quality and substance. I see the need for a beautiful branding - who would not want a nice-looking bottle or jar on their beauty shelf? I think we all do! However, it is important to look beyond the packaging. Continue to support brands that have more to offer. Support brands on the cutting edge of sustainability initiatives; recycling, waste management. Also support brands that use environmentally friendly formulations/green chemistry (not green washing!) as well as those that support the community through charitable initiatives; engage in ethical sourcing of ingredients or materials; use organic and fair-trade ingredients. Businesses that are certified B Corporations embody the aforementioned and should also be considered. Support brands that do not test their product on animals! Cruelty-free skincare should be a given at this stage. Conscious skincare is exploring and supporting those brands that have conscious ethos - a philosophy that aligns with your own values.
- Skincare requires consistency: Accept that the skin has a natural ability to renew itself, which can take up to 28days. Make your skincare work for you by being consistent and giving it time to stimulate the renewal cycle. Look out for the period after opening (PAO) date on your skincare product and desist from consuming products past the PAO date once opened and also past their expiration date. This is to ensure that you are consuming products that are stable, effective and safe. The PAO date is different from the shelf life or expiry date and lays emphasis on when the primary container or packaging has been opened and maintained under the specified storage condition. Do not be stressed trying to keep up with unrealistic beauty norms or the idealized standard of beauty. Nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, stress, lack of sleep, diet, prolonged sun exposure, genetics, among others are contributing factors that influence the way your skin looks or feel. Continue to take care of factors that you can control to achieve that healthy, radiant skin. Conscious skincare is embracing your uniqueness and glowing inside-out.
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