How My Skincare Routine Helps Me Manage My Mental Health || Graydon Skincare How My Skincare Routine Helps Me Manage My Mental Health || Graydon Skincare
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How My Skincare Routine Helps Me Manage My Mental Health

How My Skincare Routine Helps Me Manage My Mental Health

  * This article is written by Kat Nguyen one of our fav skincare, beauty and ingredient researchers!


I used to have a 30-minute nighttime skincare routine.
I would do the whole shebang

I’d begin with a thorough 'double cleanse' with an oil-based cleanser and following up with a water-based cleanser, meticulously covering every pore on my face with my fav charcoal sponge.

Then I’d layer on toner, oil serum, water serum, moisturizer and eye cream, targeting different parts of my face, eye area, neck, lips, decollete with a blend of different products. 
But that’s not all, I would massage, pat, press, sweep and smooth the skin on my face, while doing pressure point work on my jaw, chin and browline to maximize circulation and absorption.
I loved it. It made me feel so pampered, and I felt proud I was doing such a great job maintaining my skin. But it all came crashing down shortly after the lockdown started. I started having anxiety and depression episodes. And I completely stopped doing my routine.
And by “stopped”, I really meant I stopped.
Like cold turkey stopped.
I didn’t just reduce the number of products used, like maybe only using one cleanser and moisturizer.
I. did. not. use. anything. at. all. not. a. single. thing!
It was just becoming too much for me to handle, with the mental health of my mind then. What was once my pride and joy started to feel like a chore. It  just wasn't fun to spend 30 minutes morning and night in the bathroom anymore.
And it was a vicious cycle.
The more I’d avoid doing it, the worse my skin would look and feel. And the worse my mental state would get. And the worse my mental state was, the more I’d avoid skincare.
One day, a little while back, I decided that I'd had enough and that I needed to take back some control of my life.
So I figured that there was no better way to do this than to start with a very simple skin regimen.

I knew that things couldn’t be the same as before. I no longer had the patience to spend half an hour every night on an elaborate skincare routine. 
I came up with a plan by simplifying my routine as much as possible. And I wanted to be extremely intentional about each product. Each item would have to have multiple benefits.
After considerable thought, this is the 3-step routine I came up with...

Step 1: Foaming Cleanser

face foam cleanser

For me, cleansing is an essential part of my skincare routine. The reason why is because, throughout the day, your face is continually covered with bacteria, pollutants, grime, dirt, dead skin cells, sweat, and sebum. Not to mention makeup and sunscreen.
If you don’t remove all this goo properly, the above-mentioned offenders can easily clog your pores, leading to a dull, irritated complexion... and acne. 
I wanted to use one single cleanser, instead of the double cleansing I would do before.
And there were several 'must-haves' I had for a cleanser...
1. The cleanser needed to be gentle enough to not strip my skin of moisture and natural oils
2. It still had to be effective enough at deep cleansing my pores to get rid of built-up sebum
3. BONUS: If it had gentle exfoliating properties
4. DOUBLE BONUS: If it had benefits like brightening the skin and calming redness
4. TRIPLE BONUS: If it was unscented.

After doing some digging, I decided to go with the Face Foam. It’s a cleanser that satisfies every single criterion. 
First off, it’s a, well, foam cleanser.
And it does a great job at cleansing my skin, without giving my skin that “tight and dry” feeling that foam cleansers usually do. Face Foam has pH value of 5.0 – 5.3, which is ideal given that our skin’s natural pH is around 4.7 – 5.75.
And the best thing is that it also hits all my BONUS criteria: Slight exfoliation and skin brightening. And it does that by having a superstar ingredient called Azelaic Acid. And no scent! 

Step 2: Water-Based Serum 

Admittedly, this was the one step that I could have eliminated. But ultimately, I chose to include it. Here’s why: Just because I could strip down everything to the basics and only use the absolute necessities, this didn't mean I couldn't indulge a little. 

I came up with several criteria for it.
1. It must contain at least one great active ingredient that could give my skin multiple benefits, like retinol and vitamin C.
2. It needed to have excellent absorption in hot humid weather.
3. It needed to make me feel good!
4. Counter-top worthiness and a lux vibe would be a great bonus. 

I know this sounds a bit vague, but I just need something to add to the overall sensorial experience of my routine.

Right off the bat, there were several things about Fullmoon Serum that got my attention.
For one, the name is lovely. Fullmoon. It just creates such a surreal image of a beautiful moon in the dark night sky. And the packaging is great too. It’s a clear glass bottle with a dropper, and the serum itself can be seen through. The color of the serum is light blue (from semi-precious malachite). So minimalist, but effective and grounding for me.
Plus, it’s something I really enjoy seeing on my vanity.
But what takes the cake are the ingredients. Its superstar ingredient is bakuchiol, which many people have regarded as a plant-based retinol alternative. And it’s easy to see why it basically does EVERYTHING: anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant. And Fullmoon Serum has a long list of other actives like botanical Vitamin C and vegan hyaluronic acid. Wow!
Oh, it also has a faint but very light scent made from fruit extracts which add to the overall sensorial experience that makes me feel good... I figured a little luxury wouldn't hurt me ;)

Step 3: Extra Light Moisturizer + Eye Cream

Moisturizer is a must-have product in my routine.
The reason why it’s so important is that it prevents your skin from excessive Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). Basically, throughout the day, our skin goes through this TEWL process, where water in our skin evaporates, hence dehydrating it.
A good moisturizer replenishes water loss (hello sweaty summer skin) and seals that precious water in so your skin looks dewy, not drapy.

Here was my criteria for choosing a moisturizer.
1. Something that can support my combination skin... hydrating enough for the dry areas on my face, without making my oily areas oilier. (Not easy!)
2. Again, I wanted potent active ingredients that could multi-task like a boss
3. I also needed something I could easily apply and would absorb immediately without any residue or scent.

Skin Stuff came to the rescue. Its unscented formula, infused with a vegan ceramide has helped my skin feel and look revitalized by boosting my skin barrier function. I also like that instead of water as the first ingredient on label, it is infused with a rosehip extract which helps boost collagen production. I also find this moisturizer to be a perfect for pairing with the aforementioned Fullmoon Serum. 
The texture is light and creamy making it super easy to spread all over my face, and it's an eye cream to boot. It absorbs quickly and does not contribute to 'maskne' which is an extra plus as stores open up and the world responds to living life with COVID... which highlights the ongoing importance of wearing a mask which is especially hard on one's face  given the hot, humid summer weather most of us are experiencing.
But what I love most about Skin Stuff is that it does not leave my skin greasy. Rather, I get that dewy “glow” that looks super healthy. And it gives me peace of mind that my eye area is being nurtured as well. My skin feels so hydrated after putting it on.   


Final Words

If you’re someone like me, who’s having a hard time keeping up with your mental health but still wants to put in some effort towards self-care, then you may want to give this routine a try. 

I'm glad to say that my skincare routine has re-entered my life. It gives me the opportunity to chill and mentally destress from the craziness of life.
Of course, I can only speak for myself and say that this routine is working out well for me. And not everyone practices self-care the same but I do believe that in 10+ years, my skin will thank me.