Happy New Year all! I know I’ve been absent for a wee while, but I had a pretty big deadline in December, which meant forgoing all hobbies. I don’t normally sit and think of New Year’s Resolutions. Rather something usually comes to me, and it’s usually something I need to work on or something that I’ve been mulling over. This year it’s Mindful Skincare.

Bear with me before you grab the barf bag.

The Backstory

A few months ago, my husband and I decided it was time to tackle the mountain of re-decorating our house needs. I decided to start clearing out. In the process, all my unopened skincare and cosmetic items went into a 60L transparent storage box… AND FILLED IT!!!! Because other items (like shampoo, non cosmetic toiletries) went into the box, it was more like “only” 40-50L of skincare… but still. Who needs a stash that big?

The second thing I realised was that many items were duplicates, triplicates, quadruplicates…. and more! Enter the concept of the back up. You who are skincare afficionados are nodding along with me. You who are not, let me explain.

A back up is a duplicate (or more) item of the same one you just purchased and fell in love with. There are a few reasons for a back up. First is the most sensible. The item is a staple that you always use, and if you were without, quelle horreur!

The next reason has to do with perceived limited supply. I think this stems from my difficulty with finding things to suit my skin tone or my skin type when I was younger. This is much better with increased diversity in the beauty industry. But when I was younger, often the limited edition colours were the ones that suited me, so I would often buy an extra.

The other thing that the beauty industry loves to do is discontinue products! My teenage acne was quelled with this honey cream from L’Occitane. But they discontinued it after a year, and they haven’t released anything quite like it. Recently, Dermalogica discontinued their Gentle Cream Exfoliant, and I am not sure if they’ve come out with anything similar. My favourite blusher for years was one from the Liberty x MAC collection (if you remember this, you know just how old this collection is). It was a pinky purple, but with just enough purple so that it didn’t pull orange on me. I realise that my colouring is not common, hence sadly the industry does not cater to me. If only I could be like my sister and match the “vaguely light-to-mid-tone foundation shade all brands have”, as she describes herself.

Part of the problem was I miscalculated during the 2019 The Ordinary Black Friday sale. I use their squalane & Buffet serum every day. But back in 2019, I was using them both twice a day, and the Buffet was being used extra with my Foreo UFO (see a previous blog post for a UFO hack). Around the same time, I started using a new sunscreen which was oil based, and I started skipping the squalane step in the morning, as the sunscreen kind of did that for me. Anyway suffice to say, I still have 3 unopened bottles of squalane and one just opened.

I also have 2 of the 60 mL Buffet’s left because I learned around the same time that The Ordinary had updated their instructions saying that their peptides should not be used with the form of vitamin C they have, which meant my use went down by half. All this to say that, skin needs change with time also. I had only bought things I used regularly in that sale, but I’m still working through them because my needs have changed and that slowed down the rate at which these items were used up. So what works now may not be what you need in a year. I thought that I was saving so much money by doing one big bulk buy, and sure in the end I will save… so long as I do actually use up everything I’ve bought! But when you like to dabble in new things, it’s either ignoring the guilt of not using the back ups in the stash or the pain of not being able to try the new item.

I have recently come to the realisation that I like to change things up. When I told my friend of my Mindful Skincare New Year’s Resolutions, she told me she absolutely agreed because “you’re adventurous, therefore back ups are unnecessary”. It’s funny how you can view yourself so differently from reality. She’s right of course. I’m always looking out for new products, and I have a whole list of them on a sticky note on my laptop.

The Penny Drops

Thus, 2020 came to a close for me with the realisation that:

  1. Backups are not necessary.
  2. My skincare stash is too big.

The New Year’s Resolutions

Hence, we arrive at the Mindful Skincare New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. No back-up buying this year. The exception is if I love the item 10/10, and it’s limited edition.
  2. No purchasing of an item in a category that I already own in my stash, until it is used up. Now, there are quite a few items I have to exclude right now because I’m somewhat limited with ingredients for the next year or so. But everything else is included. Cosmetics are excluded because I believe cosmetics are like clothes. You have to change them up with the seasons and fashions, otherwise you’ll end up at 50 wearing the same makeup you wore when you were a teenager (frosted lip anyone?!)

For a closer look at the stash…


So 2021 is going to be the clear out year. Hopefully I will manage to stick to this, as there are categories of things I don’t have back ups for, so I should be able to satisfy the retail therapy urge at some point in the not-to-distant future!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve got any New Year’s Resolutions! And do say hello on Instagram.

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