5 Tips for Keeping a Skincare Diary

Keeping a skincare diary was one of the best tools in my fight against fungal acne this summer (I'm still working on that article by the way - it's a long one!), but after my skin began to clear up and heal I kinda fell off the wagon with it. My skin has descended back into hell (non-fungal this time, thankfully!) over the last few days, and I've decided that it'd be in my best interest to bust my skincare diary back out. I put up an instastory about it and had a friend request a little guidance on how to start her own. I decided to turn that advice into a longer, more detailed post in hopes of helping out anyone else curious about skincare journaling. This is hardly a revolutionary idea, I'm sure there are other similar posts out there, but these are my five tips on how to effectively keep a skincare diary. Click through to read more.
[an example page: please excuse my hell writing]
1. Make it Easy.
Get a dedicated notebook or create a specific Google doc and keep it handy. You're more likely to be consistent with your skincare diary if it's right at your finger tips. I keep mine on my desk and jot down my routines immediately after I do them. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day here or there - just try your best. Set a reminder on your phone if you need to. 

2. List Your Products
I make sure to write down every single product I use, whether I think it'll affect my general skin condition or not. If you're a blogger or skincare addict and you cycle through a lot of products, listing each product you use can help you identify 'problem products' that are causing your skin to react. I recommend developing a system that helps indicate 'safe products' that you know serve you well (a ♥, maybe) and 'suspicious products' you're on the fence about (I use an *). Keeping these notes can help you identify patterns like breaking out every time you use a certain product. Listing your products can also help prevent overexfoliation or masking too often - if you have a hard time keeping track of the last time you used a powerful peel or strong clay mask, you can always flip back through your diary and check. 

3. Consider Your Triggers.
Keep a yes/no section of your known skin triggers and go over it each time you fill out your diary. These triggers can range from lifestyle to ingredients to biological. Ask yourself questions like "did I sleep well?" "Did I drink enough water?" "Did I sweat heavily?" "Did I consume dairy/alcohol/greasy food?" "Am I ovulating or menstruating?" Whatever your skin triggers are, be sure to put thought into them every day. Mine are dairy consumption, significant sweating, and hormonal changes throughout my cycle - three factors I cross reference daily. 

4. Count Your Spots.
This may not be helpful for everyone, but the best way for me to track my skin's progress is to count my active pimples. Seeing that number go up, down, or stay the same is my personal best indication of how my skin is doing. If acne is not a concern for you, or if you'd find this step upsetting, you're of course free to skip this step - your skin diary should reflect your own personal needs. 

5. Note Your Skin Condition. 
This is probably the most important part of keeping a skincare diary - actually writing about your skin's condition. Everyone's skin and skin concerns are different, so what you write about in your Skin Condition section is entirely up to you and what you feel is pertinent. I make notes on how my skin looks/feels, if I'm experiencing symptoms like itching, redness, or flaking, and if I've been picking at my skin, as well as one off factors like getting sunburn. It's entirely up to you how detailed you are - I try to write 2-4 lines about my skin every day. I only update my Skin Condition section once a day in the evening, but I used to do it morning and night - do what works for you. 

I hope you found this post helpful! If you feel inspired to keep a skincare diary, please tag me in any posts you make about it - I'd love to see how you format yours, and if you find it beneficial to your skin. If you already keep a skincare diary, tell me more about it in the comments! 

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