My skin woes have been well documented on this site: from hives to adult acne, not to mention the seemingly random allergic reactions. As little as two years ago, I truly did feel at a loss with my complexion, it seemed that no matter what I resolved be it small blemishes or not, a new issue would appear; spurred on by my G.P I began composing a skin care journal and although it may not be the answer to all my complexion problems, it certainly has helped map out what products I am best to avoid.
Much like anything form of journalling, how you approach creating and keeping a log of your skin problems and irritants is entirely up to you. Really your daily aims should be to write down what you have applied to your skin (more important for new products than tried and tested, well loved items), any existing skin problems, where they are located and if you believe your skin has acted adversely to a product.
I personally prefer to keep everything short and sweet, I rely on quick notes and tend to jot everything down in the morning; that way I don't have to guess what I have slapped on once I come home in the evening. I will admit that this is often easier said than done but well worth the effort if you have particularly problematic skin, and want to get to the bottom of the issue. Below is my basic daily outline, which may serve as inspiration for your own skin journal:
- I list any new products, I also briefly make a note of how they feel on my skin i.e any signs of tightness, redness, itchy/uncomfortable skin, and in the case of eye products do they sting or make my eyes water. If it happens to be a new foundation I do like to mention how it proformed and felt on the skin; more often than not I'll also make a note of the wear time later in the evening, this is more for reviewing purposes than anything else but something fellow bloggers may want to take on board?
- If I have a tried and trusted product I don't bother jotting down, more so if I use it almost daily. I do however make a note of any products that I have dusted off and revisited, just in case my skin can no longer tolerate such item.
- As someone with blemish prone skin, I don't map out where every blemish on my face resides - I'd be there all day! Rather I make a point of mentioning where any existing breakouts are located and over the following days if the situation has improved/deteriorated. This was apparently really helpful to my GP when diagnosing my adult acne - the more you know huh?
- My other tip would be to source a small, slim-line diary that offers a day-to-day page view - that way you can see at a glance the products that are not for you, and where your skin has reacted adversely with ease.
Personally I find having a skin journal to be a great reference point, especially when memory is not serving me all that well. It's great should I ever be in any doubt if I have ran into any problems with a long forgotten product in the past. Sure, I might need to flick through two old diaries to see if a now discontinued face mask is worth dusting off or not, but hey better a paper cut than a face full of itchy hives, am I right?
I hope this is somewhat helpful to anyone who suffers from seemingly random breakouts and allergic reactions to beauty products. Who knows by casting aside five minutes each morning you might just get to the bottom of your skin irritants?