So what does your skin need?

The first question we are normally asked when purchasing a cosmetic product is “what is your skin type”. For some of us the answer is clear, but mostly there is a more complex answer. It is related to the weather, the climate, if you are indoor or mostly outdoor, if you sweat often, in which phase of the menstrual cycle you are, how is your nutrition, and many more.

Because of that, many of us feel that they need to have many different cosmetic products to serve any skin need they might have. But there are a few problems with this attitude.

A tiny box of processed cosmetic product travels around the world

The first problem is the preservatives. Since those pre-mixed, processed products need to appear “fresh” when you buy them, there is a long list of ingredients to do just that. Keeping the material from going bad, from smelling bad, and enhancing its texture in a way that will allow it to be shipped overseas, sit in containers, then on shelves, until it finally reaches its destination in your bathroom.

Now, some of those preservatives are plain bad materials. Others simply work against the main goal of the product. Think of buying a moisturizing cream that is filled with different types of alcohols that serve as preservatives. Alcohols dry your skin, so in the long run you are worsening your condition.

Who took my active ingredient away?

The second problem is the length of the ingredients list on most of those products. It is long. And since it’s hard to understand what was added for what function, and in what amount, it is also impossible to know which products can work together without contradicting each other’s benefits. It also makes it very hard to self-judge a product just by reading its label, if you’re not a chemist. The labeling is confusing.

More often than not, the ingredients that you pay for when you buy a product, the active ingredients, are in very small amounts in the formula. It is also impossible to understand from the list which kind of that material was used (think of different types of Vitamin E that can be used, each with a different efficiency rate and a very different price).

So how to give my skin what it really needs?

By mixing cosmetic formulas by yourself, you will give your skin the gift of a truly fresh product, and something that you prepare on a per-need basis. You will mix a fresh exfoliating scrub on the spot, or a moisturizing serum that is clear of preservatives. You might have to keep some of your mixes in the fridge, you might have to make a new serum every three months, but you avoid polluting your skin with harmful preservatives. Your skin will get a more active, focused solution that is right for the time and place.

There are so many advantages to mixing your own cosmetic products, and the only down side to some is that you have to do it by yourself. But with all the benefits, that’s a tiny price to pay. And when you have clear instructions and exact amounts of ingredients ready to be mixed, there are no excuses left.

Remember to focus on your need when searching for skin solution, instead of promises or exotic ingredients. Understand first what you want to change in your skin (say, breakouts) and then understand the cause (too less exfoliation), then the way to the solution is shorter.