In this article, you will learn how to have the right mindset when diving headfirst into skincare. It will also provide some tips for mental strength in the face of failures, and actionable pointers for you to practice.
The Product Testing Mindset
Other Peoples’ Experiences May Not Be Your Experience
When a person describes their experience with a skincare product, it should always considered with a large pinch of salt. This is because their reactions to the products will not be identical to how you will react to them, due to the many factors that are in play when using products. These factors include age, skin type, environment, lifestyle, diet, and many more.
This mentality is echoed with the popular phrase Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV), which refers to how different people have different experiences due to their unique circumstances.
That is not to say that reading reviews are entirely useless. There are benefits of analyzing reviews, which we will get to later. However, keeping this in mind will help keep your expectations of products in check.
Be Wary of Marketing Gimmicks
There are no silver bullets in skincare. A “silver bullet” is like a magical pill that will give an immediate solution to your problem. Unfortunately, as we have mentioned above, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Be wary of companies that offer “miracle” products and other similarly rubbish claims. Not all companies engage in ethical marketing, and many companies like to push the boundaries of word definitions and create their own buzzwords. As a consumer, always remember that anything being presented to you always has a self-interest motive, which in this case is usually to entice you to buy the product.
The Social Mindset
You Are Not Alone
I do not assume to have lived your life and understand your pains and challenges, but rest assured that you are not alone. For every imaginable condition, there are thousands of people just like you that go through it. When frustrated, seek out others who are also going through or have gone through the same thing. Community support is important no matter your background. No one can go through everything alone, so do not fear to seek out support, opinions, and kind words from others.
When frustrated, whether it is about a failed product that you had high hopes for, or about your umpteenth time trying a product for an elusive skin goal, seek out communities that will hear your thoughts. I think that the most ideal situation would be to have a skincare buddy, who can commiserate with your frustrations. However, not everyone will be able to find friends in their social circle that can relate to the skincare struggle. Online communities do provide an avenue for you to find likeminded individuals, so seeking them out is now many times easier than before. Finding that source of moral support is crucial to keeping positive throughout your skincare journey.
Social Media vs Forums
I am of the opinion that large social media sites tend to result in community members being unrecognizable due to sheer user volume. Small forums, though offering less “fresh” content, are still the best way to have long form conversation and discussions. The short attention span nature of social media also means that discussions are easily lost or become off-topic. I do understand that many younger internet users are only familiar with social media platforms, but learning the ins-and-outs of old-school forum discussions oftentimes leads to longer lasting communities and strongest interpersonal relationships, in contrast with the ephemeral nature of social media contacts and platform fads.
Block The Influencers
Although social media has its pros and its cons, one of the greatest scourges of our time is the unrealistic expectations of perfection that audiences place upon themselves. It is hardly a secret that camera filters and photo editing software allows influencers to achieve airbushed skin perfection. Often, camera angles and clever editing plays a part to keep up the illusion of perfection. When something loses its level of authenticity and puts forth an image of over-perfection, block it. Just block it. You don't need to keep up with the *insert influencer name* as much as your self-confidence would like to stop being assulted with unconscious comparisons.
Thickening Your Skin
Hearing your skin problems being pointed out to you – whether by loved ones or even strangers – is never easy to bear. I am sure that you have felt it before. A lingering stare, or perhaps that unsolicited skincare suggestion (“Do you even wash your face? You use a cleanser, right?"). It is best to completely ignore such comments. They are, after all, attacks on your mental walls of self-confidence. Like any wall, the thicker they are, the easier deflecting attacks become. So grow that thick skin, and try your best not to care about such remarks. Instead, reframe the situation positively and be happy that that person is concerned for your well-being and health. Thank them for their concern, give a warm smile, and fight negativity that you cannot control with positivity that you can control.
Be Indifferent. Be You.
Being indifferent to the world at large is a tough thing to do, and I definitely do not expect you to achieve it through a single reading of an online. Moreover, it is about sheer willpower and determination.
Don't just passively read this article and move on to the next. Stop to incorporate all that you have learnt in this article into your everyday behaviour and habits. As the wise Morpheus once said in The Matrix, “There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Begin by taking action. Practice standing your ground and getting the right mindset, and you will go very far in your skincare journey.
Here are a few actionable pointers that you can begin working on:
- Find a forum/Facebook group/meetup that will help provide support for your journey. Get to know people, make friends, learn from their experiences.
- Narrow down the people who you want to get beauty inspiration from. You don't have to remove everyone, but definitely remove those that are not authentic, those that use excessive filters, and those that exude a straight-up unrealistic lifestyle.
With these mindset shields in your defence arsenal, you should be able to go far in your skincare journey.