Beauty

The Essential Guide To Skincare, Especially If You're Outdoors Often

What's the diff between cleansing, toning, and moisturizing?
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/GARRENJERSEY, INSTAGRAM/ARRAHPAMINTUAN

In case you don't know yet: Skincare is not just about vanity. With all the pollution, and stress you put you have to go through every single day, your skin deserves every bit of love it can get to do its job. And yes, skincare is for everyoneeven guys. If you’ve finally decided to at least try committing to skincare routineyay you! Worry not, we’ve got you covered.

Skincare, put simply, is built on three major steps: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. If you’ve been paying extra attention on the beauty side of the Internet, you’ve probably heard of routines that come with four steps, seven steps, or even more. It’s up to you, really, and adding more steps or products to your regimen can come later on. If you’re new to it, it’s best to keep everything at a minimum so your skin can adjust, too. Here, we break down the basics of skincare so you can get started:

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Cleansing

Cleansing is the first step to the routine. We dare say it’s the most important part, toobecause it’s essentially your gateway to great skin. Every good skincare routine should start with a trusty cleanser with mild but effective ingredients. As the term “cleansing” already suggests in itself, this is done to take out any dirt, both deep-seated and on the surface to free your skin from any impurities. Depending on the product you choose, it’s usually best to soak up your face in warm water and use a nickel-sized amount of product, (not pea-sized!). Never forget to stroke your face upwards too, to avoid wrinkles or sagging. 

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Toning

Even for the more advanced skincare enthusiasts, toning is an often overlooked step. Unbeknownst to many, this second step is important to keep your skin at a balanced PH level. It leaves your skin clear and further cleansed from all the residues that cleansing alone can’t take away. It’ll help you achieve clear skin as it prepares the skin for rehydration and absorption of nutrients from the rest of the skincare products you're about to put on. 

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Moisturizing

The two most common skin problems are dryness and oiliness. Another essential step of skincare, moisturizing helps you reduce these problems. In a nutshell, moisturizing prevents and heals dry skin. It also helps protect it and mask imperfections on the surface. Those who have oily skin often think there’s no need for moisturizers anymore. This is a huge misconception as oily skin produces even more oil when it’s not moisturized. Just make sure to choose a product that suits your skin. 

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We all deserve to have clear and ~glowing~ skin. Don’t be afraid to ask your skincare-savvy bestie or an expert to help you find the routine that works for you. 

SPF

No matter what, don't forget sunscreen. Even if you ride a car to school that day or it's a cloudy outside and you don't feel ~exposed~ to the sun. Try to use one that's at least SPF 30. According to a feature on Allure, "To get really specific about what SPF means, the percent breakdown is this:SPF 15 protects against 93 percent of UVB rays; SPF 30 guards against 97 percent, and SPF 50 is about 98 percent."

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Maddie Cruz
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?

I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.

I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.

I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.

No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.

Anne Luna A day ago
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