It's 2021, and we're willing to fight anyone who says skincare isn't gender-neutral. Men indulging in some skincare isn't emasculating; in fact, it's about time we broke out of the binary beliefs that skincare is women-only. At the end of the day, skin is skin and gendered skincare, we now realise, is more or less an antiquated marketing ploy, not a genuine concern. It is refreshing to see that there are larger conversations happening around de-gendering beauty and challenging rigid societal constructs, especially in India — and skincare bloggers Raisa and Rehan from Letthatserumsinkin are breaking all stereotypes when it comes to de-gendering beauty.
Two medical students, who started off by sharing their skincare journeys with the world, the duo's aesthetically curated feed sends a very important message — skincare is gender-neutral. And no, they're not making a huge hue and cry about it! By nonchalantly incorporating skincare for all genders in their reviews and routines, Raisa and Rehan are here to make gender-neutral skincare a way of life. We spoke to them to find out more about their skincare journey and how one can build the perfect skincare routine devoid of gender stereotypes. Here's what they had to say…
How their journey started
Rehan: I have acne-prone, combination skin, so I had a lot of acne during my teens. I was made to feel like acne isn’t something “normal”. I turned to skincare for a solution, and started following a basic routine right from a very young age.
Raisa: As opposed to Rehan, I wasn't much into skincare as I had never faced many skin issues. It was actually Rehan who influenced me to start taking care of my skin. Now, I love pampering my skin and it has also helped me tremendously with my issues with dry skin.
How they figured out what worked for them when it came to skincare
Well, it did take us a lot of trial and error to know what exactly works for us. We genuinely feel that that phase had a huge impact on us, especially when it came to understanding the needs of our skin. It does take a little bit of time and energy, but now we just know if something is working for our skin or not, as we keep track of each and every detail of the product from the very first usage.
If we had to give a piece of advice to everyone reading this, it would be: Listen to your skin, always.
Why gender shouldn't impact skincare
Normally, there are a few minor differences in skin structures. For instance, men's skin is generally thicker. But what actually makes a difference is genetic and environmental factors, along with specific skin types and concerns — so that's what skincare should be based on, not gender!
Let's say that a guy and a girl have a similar skin concern of hyperpigmentation; both of them would need to look for products that help with hyperpigmentation and not something based on their gender, right? Skin concerns do not differentiate on the basis of gender, so why should we? We see it this way — if you have skin, you need skincare. Simple as that!
On building a gender neutral skincare routine
There's one routine that has worked well for both of us when it comes to keeping our skin healthy and glowing — cleansing, moisturising, and sun protection! This is a basic routine that everyone needs to follow, irrespective of their gender, and it can make a world of difference when it comes to having healthy skin.
We recommend cleansing with a gentle cleanser like the Simple Kind To Skin Refreshing Facial Wash, moisturising with the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser, and using sun protection, regardless of whether it rains or shines. This routine has worked well for both of us and helped us keep our skin healthy and glowing. And remember, you don't really need a 10 step routine to achieve healthy skin.
On their personal skincare routines
Rehan: I’d say that my routine is pretty simple these days. Monsoons make me quite lazy! I go in with a cleanser, of course. After that, I pat dry and use either an azelaic acid serum or one with niacinamide. Then, I moisturise, and of course, use sunscreen during the day.
Raisa: I keep my skincare routine very, very basic. I go for gentle cleansers as I have sensitive skin that reacts very easily. But I make sure I double cleanse whenever I wear makeup or reapply sunscreen quite a lot of times. Apart from that, I also use hydrating facial mists — I love face mists; they’re so refreshing — and then apply my serum. It’s usually hyaluronic acid or vitamin C in the morning. I finally top it up with a thick layer of moisturiser and SPF during the day, and I’m good to go!
On some skincare no-nos
There are many myths around skincare, but we have to start with our favourite — skipping sunscreen. Skipping SPF is a big no-no; you need to wear it every day, even if you're indoors. Trust us, it's the best anti-ageing cream. Secondly, playing around with kitchen ingredients and slathering them all over your face does more harm to your skin than good.
We're not saying that DIYs don't work, but most of them actually disrupt the skin's pH balance, and further irritate the skin barrier, causing more harm than good. And lastly, stop using apricot and walnut scrubs on your face! They're not meant for your face and will irritate your skin to no end — we're speaking from personal experience.
A few skincare tips, and expectations from the future of skincare
Keep it simple. Cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen are all you need. You have to always be patient when it comes to skincare. You won't see results overnight; it takes time! Just be consistent and please, please don't skip sunscreen. Your skin doesn't have to be perfect and flawless all the time; just aim for healthy skin, and you’ll be fine.
I think skincare would be more science-based in the future, and eventually, people will figure that science-based products are way better than those that claim to be chemical and preservatives-free. We see it happening already. But to be real, we can’t really predict the future. We never know what new skincare technologies and ingredients might come in future, but you can rest assured that no matter what it may be, we will always be ready to try it out!
All images courtesy: @letthatserumsinkin