Stop Skimping on Skin Care

Isabel Hulkower, Columnist

Aging is an extremely daunting idea from almost any angle, and just one scoop of the inevitable sundae of adulthood is the prospect of fading skin. Though it seems trifling, treating your skin right is extremely important for maintaining a healthy complexion. Many Oberlin students take part in basically all of the activities that prematurely deteriorate your face: stress, sun exposure, lack of sleep, smoking and alcohol use. That, coupled with tender nonchalance, is a recipe for unhealthy skin.

But none of this is novel. The beauty industry has done an incredible job of instilling a pervasive fear of aging while simultaneously hawking hundreds of expensive products claiming to halt or even reverse that process. Skin care can be conflated with subscribing to the ideals of youth and flawlessness. Though those ideals are marketed through beauty products, you shouldn’t let the capitalist pigs in the beauty industry scare you off of skin care altogether. You can take care of your skin without playing into mainstream constructs of attractiveness or the collective fear of aging and maturity. Your skin is just another organ that requires love, care and maintenance, so don’t overthink it.

In reality, expensive products are unnecessary. You can pull out the big guns if you really think it’s worth it, but for most people in their 20s, a few middle-range products are more than enough. However, while adequate skin care is of vital importance and generally inexpensive, the actual process is a little cloudier. Skin care is like piercing care — everyone has their own specific routine that they hail as the be-all and end-all, while in reality, different things work for different people. Because this can be such a fragile process, it’s important to start slowly and introduce products one by one. That way, if you have an adverse reaction, you can stop using it STAT. That being said, a basic routine to start with includes sunscreen, cleanser and moisturizer.

Sunscreen is where it’s at. It’s cheap, easy to use and incredibly effective. It will protect your skin from the sun damage you get every single day. Even when it’s winter and gloomy, the sun can still have adverse effects on your skin’s health. Eighty percent of skin aging comes from UV rays, so it is important to protect yourself from the sun whenever possible. Wear at least 30 SPF or above every day and use at least one-fourth of a teaspoon for just your face.

And to get the rest of the world off of your face, get a cleanser! CeraVe or Neutrogena Gentle are two no-fail brands. Last but not least, don’t forget about moisturizer: It will keep all that dope natural moisture in your face! Preferably use something without too many chemicals. It’s also helpful to find something with a pump, because every time you dip your fingers in a tub you are filling your precious moisturizer with microbes.

A chill routine might go as follows:

Morning: Wash your face with water. Moisturize. Wait until the moisturizer dries, then don’t forget to apply some sunscreen.

Night: Remove your makeup, if you use any. Clean your face thoroughly with water. And always be sure to moisturize before you hit the hay.

If this has piqued your interest or you just want to hear a lot of people really duke it out about the subtleties, then head to the SkincareAddiction subreddit on There is a whole crazy world of skincare out there, and it is yours for the taking. While it can be extremely tedious to parse through the vast collections of facts and medical opinions, it is a great non-commercialized resource overflowing with useful information. Proper skin care may be burdensome, but it’s an easy way to take better care of yourself. The results are obvious, and healthy, happy skin is like a little gift you can give older you, who is totally swamped with taxes and kids or whatever.