How to be a more conscious (skincare) consumer in 2020.

Skincare is a lot of fun. Buying new products, testing them, learning about new ingredients and their combinations, getting to know your skin better and better each day – what’s there not to like? But as with all good things in life, love for skincare comes with a price.  

From the impact on the planet to personal finance issues, this fun little hobby can quickly spiral out of control if not approached responsibly. Sure, it’s fun to giggle at a “my bank account vs. me” skincare memes until you’ve spent half of your paycheck on skincare and have to eat instant noodles until the end of the month just to make it through. Yes, this comes from personal experience, and no, it wasn’t as fun.

So today, we’ve compiled a list of actions that you can start taking right now that will hopefully help you to develop a healthier and more responsible relationship with skincare in the upcoming year. Read along!

Setting a budget (and sticking to it)

Whether you’re an aspiring skincare blogger or just an enthusiast who lives and breathes for new releases, it’s essential to know your boundaries. There are so many great products out there, but it’s impossible to buy and try all. After all, you’ve got only once face. Plus, with all the buzz happening on YouTube or IG, it’s easy to lose track of what it is YOU really want/need to try vs. what social media makes you believe you want. Budgeting is an excellent way to cut out the noise and hone on to your inner (skin) cravings. Since you can’t go over a certain amount per month, your brain will start prioritizing and hopefully save you from many an impulse purchase.

Track skincare spending

Even with a budget, it’s a good idea to record every skincare purchase you make. By doing this, you’ll be able to go back and review your buying patterns and might get some interesting (and eye-opening) insights like routinely buying lipsticks when all you wear is a tinted lip balm. If you want to take it one step further, when you do a monthly review, write a quick note next to each purchase. Did you enjoy it? Did you use it as much as you thought you would? Did you have something similar already, and how did this new item compare? These quick notes will help to understand why you make certain choices and to avoid buying mistakes in the future.

Make a wish list

This is an oldie, but goodie and works like magic every time. When a product is not a necessity, don’t rush into buying. Put it on a wish list first and leave it for a couple of weeks. If, after all this time, you’re still thinking about this product – get it. But most likely, you’ll have already forgotten all about it and moved on.

Use it up

This is self-explanatory, but you’ve got to use the stuff up. If a product wasn’t the greatest fit for your skin, see if there any friends or family who might enjoy it. If not, repurpose! Face cleansers can be used as body washes or for cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges. You’ll be surprised to learn that old creams can be used to remove makeup. Just google it, and you’ll find plenty of articles and videos showing you exactly how to do that.  

Try shopping fast

There’s a growing number of people going on various shopping fasts from no-buy months to no-buy years or replacement-only purchases. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of needing (or thinking that you need) more and more, which often leads to anxieties and stress. These kinds of exercises help to stop chasing elusive trends and just enjoy what you have since you’re not constantly thinking of what to buy next.

Bottom line. Ultimately, conscious consumption isn’t about numbers or excessive restrictions. If ten different serums make you happy and serve a purpose in your skincare routine – so be it. If you’re happy spending more money on skincare/makeup because it’s how you care for yourself – by all means, do it. The purpose of conscious consumption is not to not buy or consume, but to buy with meaning and purpose.

5 tips on how to get your partner into skincare

The age-old perception that skincare is something feminine and that only women do has finally started to fade, and we have male skincare bloggers to thank for it. But the skincare landscape is still very gender-biased, and a significant percentage of the male population doesn’t take adequate care of their skin. 

If your husband, boyfriend, or even brother is refusing to give his skin real TLC, it deserves, you came to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll go over some tips that will help you to help your man to start taking care of his complexion and never stop. 

Tip 1. Start slow. 

Sure, you might be doing all ten steps religiously and want him to try it all immediately and fall in love with skincare just like you did. But, hold your horses and try putting yourself in his shoes.  For someone whose skincare hitherto has been consisting of splashing water on his (severely dehydrated) face and calling it a skincare routine, this might be a little too overwhelming. Remember how you started? It took you a while to learn, understand, and appreciate each product. He should be allowed to do the same. So, chill out and start from the beginning. 

Tip 2. Go basic. 

A basic skincare routine that is absolutely non-negotiable for anyone is a cleanser, moisturizer, and a sunscreen — nothing more, nothing less. Choose a gentle (low or neutral pH is the best) quality cleanser, lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that can be used day and night, and a 50+ broad-spectrum SPF. 

There’re tons of great moisturizers on the market for every budget, some even come with SPF, but we don’t recommend them. Why? Because a) he’ll need another night time moisturizer, which will complicate things unnecessarily, b) to get adequate sun protection, he’ll need to put on A LOT of said moisturizer and things can get very greasy very quickly. So, it’s best to start with 3 separate products – two to use at night and all three for the morning. 

Tip 3. Solve the problem. 

Most men are rational, plus they love challenge, so start with highlighting a problem.  Do you notice that he wakes up with a papery flaky skin? Does he have super-enlarged pores? Acne? A deep wrinkle on his forehead? Tell him that, explain why this is a problem and show how to fix it (remember, it should be super easy!).  After you bring attention to something he might not have noticed before, he will be more willing to listen to you talk about skincare since now it’s the topic he’s interested in. And while you have his attention, feel free to explain the science behind a product(s) you’re recommending. Point out one or two main ingredients in the products and tell why they’re an excellent solution for his skin concerns.

Framing “the skincare talk” in the “problem-solution” discourse will also help him to become more aware of his skin issues and will be more motivated to continue once he notices an improvement. 

Tip 4. Throw on a sheet mask.

Ok, let’s say you’ve succeeded, and he now washes his face regularly and doesn’t need a reminder to apply sunscreen. Great news! Now it’s time to take things beyond basics and to the next level. But proceed with caution.  Introduce too many new things at once, and it can backfire. One extra step you can easily add to spice up his regimen is sheet masks. They’re beneficial to the skin, and received social approval as a genderless skincare item thanks to Instagram that is pollinated with selfies of couples boasting their sheet masking experiences. 

When you’re about to curl on a couch to watch some Netflix in the evening, tell him you’re going to put on a sheet mask and casually ask if he’d like to try one too. Choose a mask that isn’t messy and will stay put on his face. Explain how to use it or better so, apply it for him. He’ll feel loved, and his skin will glow – it’s a win-win in our books! And who knows, maybe it will become your new weekly ritual that he’ll look forward to. 

Tip 5. Share products .

Sometimes, it’s easier to start building the skincare habit by getting one of those “for men” lines. They usually come in handy sets and feature very slick, minimal design. Another plus – he will most likely have no qualms about using a cleanser, toner, and lotion since it’s a set. However, we all know by now that there’s no such thing as “skincare for men.” For the most part, this is a simple marketing trick to sell guys mediocre, highly fragranced, and overpriced products. 

As time goes and he starts being more and more comfortable with having skincare as a part of his everyday life, try bringing up the idea of using the same products. If your proposal is met with resistance, appeal to the money factor – buying separate skin care can add up quickly, not even mentioning the extra clutter in the bathroom. No guy will say no to the prospect of saving up. But it’s not just about the money. Heavy fragrance in men’s skincare can easily irritate the skin, not even mentioning the fact that the ingredient list isn’t always the cleanest. 

Going for “gender-neutral” well-formulated products is the best for both, your man’s skin and your wallets. If you have similar skin types, you can comfortably share the majority of your routine, introducing only some small tricks where necessary. But even if not, you can still share some of the products, like a cleanser, toner, or exfoliator, since they’re less skin-type specific. 

And there you have it! Five tips to help your man get healthy, hydrated skin. 

Do you have anything to add? Or personal experiences to share building a skincare regimen for your better half? 

Drop us a comment or DM us on IF (@mothermade_global). We’d love to hear from you!  

Choosing skincare according to your skin type is likely damaging your skin. Here’s why

If you’re religiously following a routine designed to treat your dry/oily/combo skin, please, stop. Wait; what? Isn’t that the opposite of what beauty bloggers, self-professed skincare experts, dermatologists, and aestheticians have been telling us to do? Figure out your skin type and choose products accordingly. 

Well, in an ideal world – a world without stress, pollution, sun-damage, makeup, birth control pills, monthly hormonal rollercoaster, and god knows what else – sure, that would be sound advice. 

But here’s the truth. While our skin might be genetically predisposed to have less or more oil, larger or smaller pores, more even or rough texture, everything that comes after is a result of our own making. 

So, what does it mean? Skin types don’t exist? 

They do, in theory. Skin types are sort of like color types named after seasons or geometrical body shape types (an Hourglass-shaped Inverted Triangle, anyone?) – constructs that are way too simplistic to describe real, living and breathing people. They are a vast generalization that serves as a guide to understanding our skin and bodies a bit better, but it isn’t meant to be the be-all and end-all. 

In real life, things are rarely as black and white as having just dry skin or oily skin. The “type” we have is a combination of many many factors where genetics certainly plays a role, but not the leading one. Season changes, weather changes, hormones, hydration levels, sleep hours, and a number of drinks you had last night – these are all things that guarantee your skin condition will fluctuate. For instance, you might have been born with a skin type that tends to have more oil, but years of harsh cleansers, mattifying toners, and excessive tanning can and will eventually take its tall, bringing you closer to the dry type. And even if you’ve always moisturized diligently, applied your SPF, and never ever went to bed with makeup on, the skin will inevitably lose its youthful vigor, a.k.a. being able to hold on to moisture, as the years go by.

Skin types are sort of like color types named after seasons or geometrical body shape types – constructs that are way too simplistic to describe real, living and breathing people.

So, you see now how skin type-specific regimen might be problematic. You might be sure you are quote-unquote oily when really all the excess oil is a result of an inadequate beauty regimen that made you severely dehydrated. Swap a mattifying toner with an ultra-hydrating one, and your skin will transform. 

Let’s take another example. Imagine a young woman named Julie. Julie’s always been confident her skin is dry as a desert. She’s been diligently applying heavy, oil-based emollient creams because, as we all know, dry skin lacks oils. But to no avail. No matter how much cream she’d put on at night, her skin would feel uncomfortably tight and even itchy the next day. She’d assume that that’s just how her skin is and kept going. What she should have done, however, is to realize that tightness and itchiness are also signs of dehydration (a problem any type can face at one point) and that her skin is in desperate need of water. 

Do you see a pattern? There’re so many external factors that contribute to what is happening to your skin, and it’s very easy to get it wrong. You might be sure you’re oily when your skin is just perpetually dehydrated. You might be drying out your acne with bacteria-killing toners and masks when what you should be doing is to lay off sugar and stress less. 

The bottom line. Skin types should be treated for what they are – rough guidelines. Remember, your skin is too unique to be boxed into just one category. The best way to build a solid routine is to focus on current skin problems and work from there. Take the time to get to know your skin. Learn how it reacts to external stress factors. Apply products you think might be right for your skin and observe. How does your skin feel? Does it like the product? Does it want more? Less? None at all? You’ll be surprised to learn that what you though your skin needs, might be far away from what your skin actually needs.