Skincare can be a struggle. With new products coming out all the time, it is tempting to reach for every BHA filled bottle that we see on sale. Yet, when we look at our biology a different story emerges that doesn’t match up with consumerism.
Our skin is made up of layers, like a cake. And those renew constantly; on average, every 28 days. Things such as your age, genetics, and lifestyle habits can speed that up or slow that down. But in general it takes about a month for your skin cells to be created at the base of the epidermidis, get pushed up, slough off into the world (which actually becomes the dust that coats our furniture lol) and be renewed.
This means that if we try a new product on day one, we might need to go through an entire month of use to see the REAL results. What happens if we start a new product, and two days later start a stressful project at work? What happens if we decompress from a nice weekend vacation, or, if you are a human with a uterus, what if you PMS and start your period?
These things can all impact our skin — and if we use a product for only three days, how do we know that it is the product breaking us out or saving our skin, instead of the ice cream we ate or the new moisturizer we applied?
I have struggled on my own with skin care. I was so insecure about my acne that I used to tape my mirror up with sheets of paper so I didn’t have to look at myself. That way I wouldn’t pick at my skin.
Eventually, I started writing things on those pieces of paper. Positive affirmations, quotes, or just compliments to myself. I also wrote a skin care chart that I would check off every day to keep myself accountable.
When I became a medical aesthetician and started helping others with skin care, it became very clear that patient adherence is a huge problem —if we don’t use the product, it won’t have a chance to work!!
Still, if we are constantly bombarded by new products and switching up our routine, how can we ever figure out what truly is helping or hurting?
Because of this constant struggle that my clients, subscribers, and I have gone through, I’ve decided to create a 28 Day Skincare Challenge to keep us accountable and inspired to treat our skin right.
It’s about creating a plan, finding a skincare buddy in this community and committing to trying a new product diligently for at least 28 days!
Here’s how to get started:
Write down your current skincare routine. There are lots of options here — if you don’t do every step in your current routine, put a line through it. I hope you’re not doing every step because that is a lot to commit to every day!
Put a checkmark next to the products and steps that you like and feel are working for you.
Put an X next to the ones that you don’t like, that don’t seem to work, or that you want to switch out.
Next, put your “approved products” (the ones with checkmarks) from your current routine, and replace your x’s with products that you have been meaning to try.
Bonus points: switch only one product at a time! The more we can isolate our variables, the more we can figure out which products do and don’t work for us. I know that I stray from this guideline myself when trying new products as a part of my job, but do keep in mind that one at a time would be the ideal situation!
Now that you’ve got your new routine built, before slapping it on your face let’s write out a plan!
What is the time, location, and circumstance you will be applying your products?
Just the way you would set an appointment with a doctor or for lunch with a friend, write down a skin care appointment for yourself here!
Just the way a friend might text you to ask if you are early or running late to that lunch, find a skincare accountability buddy in this community. Use the hashtag #28dayskincarechallenge to share your interest and find somebody who is open to partnering up!! Reach out to someone under the comments of my Instagram post or Youtube video who has skin or goals like yours and embark on this journey together!!
But before we grab the bottle, grab the camera!! We start with photos! When we look at ourselves every single day it is difficult to see progress. We stare in the mirror and it’s hard to see changes. After all, you looked very different as a child than you do now, but it’s very difficult to think back and pinpoint exactly how things have changed day by day!
Take a photo on day one, and preferably every Monday for the next 4, 8, and 12 weeks!! If you compare your week 1 to week 2 you might notice minor differences. But start comparing your week 1 to your week 6 and look at how much progress you make!!
Don’t forget to complement yourself! Throughout this journey, things can go wrong. Some products just won’t work and might break us out even more! Or, our routine might be perfect but we might get hit with a stressful situation or go on vacation to a new climate. Remember that the goal is not perfect skin — the goal is to understand our routine, create one that works for us, and learn to love ourselves, cosmetic chemistry, and the biology of our beauty along the way!!
Write down not what success from this challenge physically looks like, but what success feels like. Do you know more about skin care? Is your skin care routine and SPF application second nature? Did you make a friend from this process? Write down that feeling. Now, let’s begin!
Make sure to post with the hashtag #28dayskincarechallenge and feel free to share your updates as posts or as stories! If you tag @CassandraBankson, I just might see— and maybe even share— your progress!!
We’ve got an amazing Patreon and Discord community and I will personally be starting my challenge on October 1st. Feel free to set up or jump in — start whenever you’ve got a friend, a routine, and feel ready!!
Let’s check in along the way and remember that the end goal is not perfection, but exploration, discovery, enjoyment, progress and community along the way!!
Here’s to letting the journey begin!!