My name is Ioana Dumitrache and I started writing on this blog in 2011. Since I was a child, I liked coquettishness, so for those who have known me for a long time, opening a beauty blog was no surprise.
At the beginning I recounted my experiences with the makeup and care products I used, which brought me more opportunities that I took full advantage of. And to understand what kind of opportunities I mean, I will detail a little.
Because I was writing beautifully, correctly and in an organized way, I started to gain the sympathy of an audience and to form a community. Then came another stage: the brands I was talking about in my articles began to notice the impact I had on my readers, and they started looking for me and offering / sending me their news for testing. The dream of any student who spent her scholarship and pocket money received from her parents on cosmetics was to receive them for free. And this is happening to me!
After this stage, the brands started to involve me in their projects, and because I had to deliver certain materials that met a clearly established list of requirements, I started to be paid for my work. Which seems right to me. If you put me to work under your conditions, isn't it normal to pay me for it? Who goes to work just for the love of art?
By the time I finished my master's degree, my blog had already gained enough notoriety and a loyal audience that constantly provided me with projects.
I made this review of my evolution to tell you that in all these good things there was a less good part. The enthusiasm generated by the access to the latest launches on the market determined me to test a lot of products in a short time. Or maybe not necessarily short, but limited and totally disorganized. Practically, almost everything I received was on my face.
This triggered a rash on my skin that I struggled with for several years. At first I didn't even realize what was causing those bumps on my face. Then I started looking for miraculous solutions in the products I used, and in the end I also visited two dermatologists with prestige, but who failed to solve my problem.
I leave here a picture taken in 2012 to see what my skin looked like and what was the problem I wanted to solve.
Lesson 1: Don't go to the praised tree with the sack
As the Romanian proverb says, if it is something very praised, it does not mean that you have to go with your eyes closed and your heart open, but rather with your eyes open and your heart bent.
So, if it is a famous doctor or a brand / product praised, this does not automatically mean that it will solve your problem.
Because of (or due to I could say now) that I had started to have skin problems, problems that neither the products I was using nor the doctors I had been to had solved, I started looking for alternative solutions.
These alternative solutions have translated into education in my case. I mean, I started educating myself. I started learning about the structure of the skin and its care.
On this occasion I discovered Corina Allan who has the blog pasagera.ro. She was the first person in Romania to talk online about sunscreen, acids, active ingredients and proper care routines. In Chapter #skincare Passenger is the ultimate influencer and we all learned how to take care of our skin from it. Also, her blog is an extraordinarily valuable source of information about care, and if you want to document yourself from there you have to start. It explains so clearly and well structured that it made me fall in love with the field of skin care. If the articles she had written hadn't convinced me to use FPS cream every day, I would have been full of freckles on my face now. The thing I found out at the end of last year when I did my skin analysis with the Visia Skin analyzer device at Yiara Clinic. Dermatologist Alexandra Trifu exclaimed looking at the images made in the depths of the skin Look, you're freckled!.
Lesson 2: Document yourself only from the correct sources
If you document yourself from Dorian Popa, Adelina Pestrițu, Bianca Drăgușanu or I don't know what other influencer when you want to cure your acne, then from the start it's your mistake. Not that I would have anything against them, only that they are not specialists in this field and they have not faced this problem either. It's like coming to my blog to find out about drills.
So, either choose a public person who has admitted that they are or have been facing your problem, or choose a specialist (many dermatologists have their own channels of communication and information on social networks), or choose an influencer specialized in skin care (ie one who really has an idea about the structure of the skin, routines, assets, etc.).
I will leave you with many sources of information that I trust because I want to make sure that people who have come to my blog will get their information from the right sources:
blog Pasagera.ro - must be read
The group created by Cristina Tacaciu The Ordinary / Romanian fan group (skin care is a priority) and the related blog Evidence Based Skin Care
Youtube channel of Dr. Dana Bratu and Instagram account
Instagram account al Dr. David Lim
Instagram account joanna.skinnerd
Yiara Clinic (I recommend all three dermatologists of the clinic)
If you go through at least 3 of the above recommendations you will definitely have a new perspective and you will approach the issue of skin care differently. Also, Youtube is full of educational videos with all kinds of colorful animations that explain very simply what is the structure of the skin, how pimples are formed, how certain active substances act. All this information is free and just a click away!
My pleasure on Saturday morning is to drink my coffee in front of the TV watching educational videos about skin care. It is a continuous learning adapted to the times we live in. Besides, how could I educate you if I didn't educate myself first?
Lesson 3: Less is more
Less actually means more is a principle that has suited me in many situations. When it comes to building a skin care routine it is always advisable to start from the simple.
What does a proper skin care routine actually look like? Simple. Then after you build a routine that contains the right products to follow the mandatory steps, you can add serums with actives and acids.
I will leave you below the structure I follow.
In the evening
If you put on make-up, it's good to do it in the evening double cleaning (double cleansing), ie the use of a make-up remover to remove makeup and the use of a cleansing gel / foam to remove make-up remover and any remaining traces of makeup.
Here's what my routine looks like and what products I'm using right now.
- Bioderma Sensibio wash gel
- Hello Body Aloe Tonic Toner with AHA (which I don't use daily, but only on some days) + Feel Good Beauty Feel Good Beauty serum or moisturizer
- Bioderma Perfecteur Cream SPF 30
In the evening
- Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water (the only micellar water that does not require rinsing, I explained it to you here why; and the only micellar water from which my eyes do not sting) or the Hello Body Cara Clean cleanser (I taught you here how to remove make-up properly, especially when using cleansing milk)
- Bioderma Sensibio cleansing gel
- Feel Good Beauty Night Cream.
In addition to these products, I also introduced other serums with active ingredients that I apply on the skin taking into account some very strict rules. You can't apply more exfoliants and possibly combine them with a vitamin because:
- some substances come into conflict and you can do more harm than good.
- The skin does not tolerate sudden changes well. In addition, if you give him several active substances at the same time he does not know what to react to (you create a kind of confusion that can manifest itself in the form of an eruption).
The introduction of a product with active ingredients is done slowly and gradually, and only after you have discovered the right products for you: first apply the product with active ingredients once a week, then twice a week, and if things go well you can increase the frequency until you reach the desired goal.
Lesson 4: Determine what type of skin you currently have
I have news for you: you are not born and you do not die with the same type of skin. You can have a certain type of skin in adolescence, have a different type of skin all your adult life, and change your menopause again. In summer you have one type of skin and in winter another.
Skin type varies depending on a multitude of internal and external factors: hormonal or dietary changes, age, climate and temperature, products used and so on
How do you know what type of skin you have? It is best to go to the dermatologist for a consultation. It is the safest way. But, if you can't go to a consultation, I recommend you to watch the video below in which Dr. Dana Bratu explains very clearly.
Lesson 5: How to choose the right products
When it comes to choosing care products you need to consider these two most important criteria:
- Product formula and ingredients used
- Skin type and specific needs
What does skin type and specific needs mean?
That is, after finding out what type of skin you have (eg oily) you certainly have some specific needs (eg you want to treat acne and regulate excess sebum).
I have a combination complexion (slightly oily in the T-zone and normal or dry on the cheeks), but I prefer creams with fuller, fatter textures because my skin does not feel comfortable with gel textures or mattifying products. I need extra hydration, even if I have excess sebum in the T-zone.
For example, before I had oily skin, but I regulated the secretion of sebum through a proper routine and by applying a serum with Vitamin B and using mild chemical scrubs. But this change happened over the years, not overnight.
What does a product with the right formula mean?
Not every product is good. It can cost a fortune and be the most famous and luxurious brand in the world, but if it does not have the right formula it means that it will either not do you any good (the happiest case), or it will hurt you.
Lesson 6: Learn to read product labels
… Or at least what tools to use when buying a new product. Do not buy cosmetics because I or X-ulescu recommend them, but because you have documented yourself a little before and the product meets certain criteria.
In my case, Here are the criteria that guide me when I study the label of a product and think about whether to buy it or not:
- Do I really need this product or not?
- Does it have a clean formula? If it does not have a clean formula, do not pass this stage. For me, a clean formula means that it does not contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, ie denatured alcohol. (there are also fatty alcohols that are beneficial), do not contain perfume (or if it has to be at the bottom of the list of ingredients) and do not contain essential oils (be careful, there is a big difference between essential oils and natural / cold pressed oils) . Essential oils are also perfumes that in the presence of UV rays (ie the sun) become photosensitive / phototoxic (ie can cause redness, burning, itching, contact dermatitis, premature aging of the skin, etc.).
- CHECK INCI ingredient list, which means that the ingredients are listed in descending order of concentration in the formula. That is, the first ingredient listed has the highest concentration, and the last the lowest.
- Is this product intended or not for my skin? Although here we can debate. In general, the products that fit the glove to your skin will only be discovered by testing it on your skin. And I will give you a concrete example: I have a combination complexion (slightly oily in the T-zone and normal / dry on the cheeks), but the cream that suits me 100% from all points of view (texture, efficiency, absorption, hydration, perfect base for makeup etc) is a cream for normal and dry skin. Is about Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion which I bought because it had a clean formula and contained 3 ingredients that I wanted in my routine: ceramides, niacinamides and hyaluronic acid. I took it, I tested it and for several years it has been THE CREAM for me.
- And if we keep talking about ingredients, don't buy a cream because Cutărescu uses it or because it's new and fashionable. Buy a cream because it has some ingredients you need to prevent or treat certain problems. (for example: zinc for acne, vitamin B for regulating excess sebum, peptides to prevent aging and restore firmness, etc.).
Can't read product labels? Okay, these are hard-to-remember chemical names, I see. But I'm sure you can read and use Paula's dictionary of cosmetic ingredientsS Choice which not only explains the role of that ingredient, but also gives it a rating (very good, good, mediocre, bad). So all the information is a click away.
And if you're too lazy to look for each ingredient (although that's how you educate yourself and learn how to choose the right products), you can use phone apps where you enter the product name or take a picture of the ingredient list and it tells you right away if it is well formulated or not. They are not as effective and well documented as the ingredient dictionary, but it is a start. Also, the site COSDNA.com it's pretty good.
Lesson 7: Sunscreens are the only anti-aging products that really work
Sunscreen and Vitamin A creams (which we will not discuss at all today because it is not at all playful with this asset) they are the only ones products which helps prevent skin aging. Sunscreen should be used every day of the year. Not just in the summer and not just when we go to the beach.
UV rays are responsible for skin degradation, and sunscreens are the only ones that can protect you against them.
The filters in SPF creams are of two types: chemical (which absorb UV rays and neutralize their effect) and physical / mineral (which reflect and repel UV rays - people with sensitive skin get along better with these filters).
What is tanning, what are free radicals and why should we use sunscreen? I wrote in detail in This article which I invite you to read.
I know it's a long article, but this is just the ABC and maybe the D of what proper skin care means. If you want remarkable results, your effort must be commensurate. Giving copy paste to a routine of an influencer on the internet seems to me a big mistake no matter who that man is. My skin can't have the same needs that your skin has.
I hope you find all the information we have compressed in this material useful. Please share it on your social networks so that we can help as many people as possible together. Also, in 2019 I held a series of skin workshops with the Skin Expert Bioderma, but also with Alexandra Trifu from the Yiara Clinic, who has been the dermatologist I have been going to for several years. If you want to participate in such a workshop (when we will be allowed to resume the events) please fill in this form, and I will give you an email announcing the schedule of the make-up and skin care courses.
And in the next article I will tell you how I got rid of that skin irritation.