IN THIS ARTICLE
- Keep it simple
- Take baby steps
- Be realistic with your skin goals
- Check in with yourself
- Remember to celebrate
My Skincare Perfectionism Story
I’m going to share with you a personal story of mine.
As you may already know, my entrepreneurial journey into the world of skincare isn’t exactly a conventional one.
If you haven't heard this before, let me briefly get you up to speed: my background is rooted in the yoga and vegan culinary spaces. Through some strokes of coincidence and a very lengthy process of recovering from an eating disorder, I had managed to create the prototype for Putty, which marked the beginning of my foray into the skincare space.
Now, that might sound simple and easy, but what followed was anything but.
The biggest challenge that I ran into? There was just so much to learn!!!
While I was always the girl that enjoyed using face masks, I found the skincare world to be like a foreign land. Everything was just so overwhelming. What’s a skin “micro-bye-ohm”? What’s double cleansing? And what’s with all the cleansers, toners, essences, serums, ampoules, creams, etc???
Yeah, that was all a lot to take in.
But hey, I never back down from a challenge. And so, I set a goal for myself: to learn all that I could about the skincare world.
How Skincare Perfectionism Affected Me
Knowledge is power.
And having this kind of power is important when you’re venturing into an unknown land.
I was incredibly fortunate to have befriended Ingrid, a Holistic Skin Coach and sought-after aesthetician, who taught me everything I know about human skin and skincare products. She taught me which is which, what they do, and what’s appropriate to use according to each skin type.
I learned so much in such a short amount of time. And it was a rabbit hole. Once you start learning, there’s really no stopping.
Whenever I learned about a new concept, I’d immediately have multiple questions. And whenever a question was answered and I was satisfied, my satisfaction would immediately be followed by more questions.
That’s just how it was.
This thirst for knowledge turned me into a perfectionist. And once you're a perfectionist, everything has to be perfect. The burning need to be flawless, at some point, just ends up burning you.
I kept thinking to myself that I need to perfect my skincare routine. Whenever I’d reach a small goal, I’d immediately launch myself into a new standard. It was just exhausting. My brain was exhausted. My budget was also exhausted because I kept finding myself thinking “Well, I need this other product to fix this one small ‘flaw’ that I have.”
And let me tell you, once you start thinking like that, it becomes a losing game.
5 Tips to Overcome Skincare Perfectionism
If you're like my past self and you demand nothing short of perfection out of your skin, I might be able to help.
While I may not be able to help you achieve that flawless, airbrushed look (which, let’s be real, is not what real skin actually looks like), I can offer some tips to leverage your perfectionism in a way that actually benefits your skin in the long run.
1. Keep it simple
Here’s something that you need to know: simple is better.
It may be tempting to craft a 15-step skincare routine, but often it brings more harm than good. The more products you have, the more likely you are to mess up your skin. And you’re also way more likely to run into that one ingredient that our skin just doesn’t agree with. The result? Terrible allergic contact dermatitis reactions, at the very least.
I’m a huge fan of a simple 3-5 step routine. And just because it’s simple doesn’t mean that it’s any less effective. The secret? Using products formulated with ingredients that can address multiple skin concerns at once.
This is why I’ve made sure that all Graydon Skincare products are formulated in a way that gets you the most bang for your bucks.
Let’s use our superstar product, Fullmoon Serum, as an example.
This ultra-lightweight, water-based natural retinol alternative face serum is formulated with a plethora of superfood ingredients, such as moth bean extract, moringa, hibiscus extract, blue tansy and more. Thanks to this phyto complex, the serum addresses a multitude of skin concerns: fine lines and wrinkles, skin redness, dehydration, weakened skin barrier and dull complexion (just to name a few).
You see? With a multipurpose product like this, you’ve just eliminated about 3-4 other serums in your regimen.
2. Take baby steps
The thing about perfection is it paralyzes you from making a decision.
Have you ever tried to take the perfect selfie for Instagram? You know what I’m talking about. You spend about 2 hours taking hundreds of pictures and when it’s time to pick one, you’re stuck between about 5 final choices. In this one pic, your jawline is popping. But wait, your nose is slightly better in this other picture. And hold on, in this other pic, the sunlight is hitting you just right.
The crazy part? Ultimately, they all look the same.
That was me when it came to picking my skincare products.
I can’t even begin to remember the hours upon hours I spent trying to find the perfect product—that one product that would solve all of my skin woes. Uh oh...all of my skincare knowledge was working against me.
I constantly found myself being stuck between products that should do the same job, but not being able to make a decision. After all, this one product seems to have an additional ingredient that sounds very interesting. And this other product smells slightly better. It went on and on.
You know what? Just forget all that.
When you’re trying to create a skincare routine, just take it one step at a time. First, find one cleanser. Then find one serum. Finally, find one moisturizer. And this is where tip #1 comes in: Search for multipurpose products to keep you from overanalyzing.
Need a foolproof skincare routine that eliminates all the guesswork? Try our Clean Beauty Starter Kit.
3. Be realistic with your skin goals
You know all those celebrities on TV or influencers on social media with perfectly flawless skin, not a single crease or pore in sight?
Well...They’re. Not. Real.
I mean, yes, they are real people. But also, there is lots of work being done behind the scenes to help them to achieve those looks.
They have a team of professional stylists and makeup artists to make sure that all their flaws are covered. Lighting is also important, as a good lighting system can subtract about 10 years off their faces, making them appear more youthful. Not to mention, they can easily spend thousands of dollars on cosmetic procedures and visits to dermatologists to ensure that their skin is always in tip top condition. And the final touch? Photoshop and filters.
While I’m an advocate for doing what makes you happy, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with these practices, it doesn’t paint a realistic picture of what real skin looks like.
Real skin has textures, pores, fine lines and creases. And that’s completely normal!
So when you’re on your quest to buy skincare products, just remember that perfection doesn’t exist. Your goal should always be to have healthy skin. Once you’ve come to terms with this, trust me, you’ll be much happier!
4. Check in with yourself
Here’s another thing that I’ve learned: It’s hard to recognize your own progress because you’re always upping the ante.
Most of the decisions we make are emotional. That’s just human nature. We like to second guess ourselves, or ponder over our options hundreds of times. Should I do this? Should I do that? And even when we’ve begun doing something, we may still find ourselves wondering whether that was the correct decision.
It’s exhausting. I should know. I’ve been there.
If you’re also like this, then you’re probably exerting your energy needlessly. It's one of the reasons why most people tend to give up halfway.
Next time you find yourself in this situation, try this tactic: Set out your new skin care steps as a commitment. Once you’ve made this mental switch, the game shifts from “Should I do this?” to “I must do this.” There’s no place for negotiation (hopefully).
Once that’s done, schedule a check-in with yourself regularly to see where you’re at.
These small check-ins will be the chance for you to examine what you’ve done and see whether you’ve been able to achieve what you’ve set out to accomplish. These check-ins serve as data that you'll take action on. When your perfectionist brain knows that you have set review dates, it’ll stop taking on the “all or nothing” approach and begin to recognize that skincare is a dynamic journey, and that you don’t need to have everything figured out.
I’d recommend scheduling these check-ins every month or month and a half, as that’s roughly the amount of time it takes for the skin cells in your epidermis to turn over.
Remember that incremental changes matter. So, as long as your skin looks better today than it did last month, that’s a win!
5. Remember to celebrate
We all need something to look forward to.
To keep yourself motivated along your skincare journey, I recommend finding ways to celebrate and reward yourself. This is especially important when you're committing to something new. When you reward yourself with something nice, your brain will release a substance called serotonin to make you feel good. And this gratification may make you want to repeat the actions.
Personally, whenever I find myself doing well during my monthly self check-in, I like to reward myself with a free evening to catch up on the movies I’m interested in. Being a workaholic, these rewards work perfectly for me!
Saying Bye to Skincare Perfectionism
Skincare is not just for vanity.
Rather, it’s a form of self-care and an investment that we make so that our future selves can reap the benefits. The Graydon that I am today owes many thanks to Graydon from the past for all the commitment she made. And I’m always so grateful for that.
Does perfectionism paralyze you? Consider trying these tips. They may help you just as they’ve helped me.
I wish you good skin days, every day! ❤️
Shop this article:
We love supporting small businesses, so we're highlighting 3 of our local retailers in Ontario. Click here to find out what makes these small businesses special.