We have been advised on multani mitti application and aloe vera gel — ever since we were teens, maybe — along with the continuous use of collagen and retinol-based products well until we reach our 30s. When it comes to skincare, it is almost like it runs parallel with self-care. And when we say that, we mean besides having a physical effect, it has some calming emotional effects, too.
Take for instance, the fact that following 30 minutes of basic CTM routine is like unwinding after a long and a hard day of work. Or when the day has been a tad rough, applying your favourite serum is almost therapeutic. In conversation with indianexpress.com, three young women in their 20s talk about skincare, as they juggle deadlines, household chores and other professional commitments, and tell us why they think it is more than just applying their favourite eye cream.
Sharmishtha Singh (21)
A masters student at the Paris School of International Affair, Singh says that while she hasn’t even taken a proper bath for a while now, because of her assignment deadlines, her skincare routine has helped her sail through tough times at the end of semesters. “I think that is because taking time to just focus on caring for my skin or my hair, allows me to really centre myself. Even during exams, the time I would spend in the morning and at night pampering my skin, would almost be meditative for me,” she says. During her time in lockdown, Singh started her own Instagram account sharing her skincare concoctions, which garnered much appreciation from her friends. “It’s something I really enjoy. I have so much fun that it almost energises me and pumps me up to face the day!” she shares.
To her, skincare comes handy on days when she is not feeling her best. “If I’m feeling sick or low, I just have to get myself to pick out the raw ingredients or bottled items and once I start the process, I automatically start feeling a lot better,” she says, adding that she swears by the Instagram skincare hacks that she frequently comes across. Recently, when she shifted to Paris, Singh said it was the first time she had zits due to stress, and the change in environment. “It almost had a domino effect that still comes back to haunt me. I saw an Instagram post by self-care queen Farah Dhukai, who used an intense baby diaper rash cream on her acne to get rid of it completely, and that’s the hack I tried and fell in love with,” Singh shared.
Sanjana Chawla (20)
With assignment deadlines and back-to-back lectures, Chawla, an undergraduate student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, says she follows a proper routine to take care of her skin. “To ensure that all the stress doesn’t take a toll on my skin, I fix a certain day and shower my skin with all the love and care! I cleanse my face thoroughly, steam it, put freshly-made packs, use sheet masks and give it a good gentle massage,” she shares.
Chawla’s affinity for skincare started when she was in her mid-teens, but she says she has always been mindful of her hair and skin. Sharing her routine, she explains that this lockdown has given her the chance to explore the skincare arena further, and that she continues to read about different products and organic ingredients. “This period has given me a lot of time to focus on my skin and its texture. I love using a tea tree oil. It has been a game-changer; just adding a drop or two to your face wash works wonders and makes your face clean.” Chawla likes to follow her basic CTM routine which includes cleaning her face with a mild face wash and then using a gentle scrub once in three days, and following it up with a rosewater toner and a lightweight moisturiser or a face serum.
Srishti Arora (23)
For Arora, her skincare journey started when she began to work as an assistant fashion stylist two years ago. Fairly new to the skincare game, she says: “Mostly that job entails running around all day in all kinds of weather, so it just became necessary to take care of my skin”. She admits that she does not have a rigorous skincare routine. “My skin just needs bare minimum to stay in check, surprisingly.” Arora’s only splurge is a sheet mask (Here’s how you can make a DIY face sheet mask at home, click here) that she uses once in a week. But, her routine has changed in this period of lockdown. “Going out is restricted, so my use of sunscreen has decreased; as has the use of homemade eye packs to calm my eyes after spending long hours out in the sun.”
One of the main reasons for her skincare routine being minimal is that her mother herself always followed a simple one. “I have been taught to keep it simple; my mother has always asked me to avoid using too many products on my skin.” And what is the one skincare tip that she wants to pass on to her younger sister? “I would tell to her to drink water religiously, something which I didn’t do. It is essential for your skin,” Arora advises.