Introductory Guide to Skincare Fundamentals 101

Welcome to the Chemist Confessions Blog!

We started this blog back in 2018, planning one last hurrah to the industry (little did we know…)

The blog was started in hopes we could share our insider knowledge of skincare formulation with skincare users to find better skincare. We ourselves find the skincare world overwhelmingly saturated and confusing to navigate. Additionally, everyone has their own personal skin quirks that don’t just fall within the dry, oily, combo, normal categories. Thus shopping and trying new products can leave you quite a few pennies down, time wasted, and still confused about what’s right for your skin.

...The Skincare Landscape can be Less Confusing!

    We agree that the skincare world has way wayyyy too many products out there! There’s toners, essences, serums, ampoules, gel cleansers, cream cleansers, cleansing’s all very hard to keep up with! But at the end of the day, you can actually organize all of these products into the four categories below:

chemist confessions 2022 pyramid of skincare

Why is cleanse, moisturize, sunscreen the base of the pyramid?

    Good question! This is the foundation of your routine. Solving your base pyramid routine is essentially solving 80% of your daily skincare needs. It’s not the most interesting part of skincare but it’s the most crucial. Not only are these your core skin upkeep, establishing your skin routine foundation serves as your fallback plan if you ever hit a case of irritation, sensitivity, or general unhappiness.    

It’s also important to revisit this pyramid base when your routine gets a bit busy and ask yourself “are my bases covered?” Your fancy schmancy active ingredients would work that much better if you have a solid skincare foundation!

So what about treatments?

    The cherry on top! The glitz and glam of skincare that targets long term concerns like anti-aging, acne, dullness, and pigmentation. The tough part is that this area does come with a lot of fluff, some hefty price tags, and absurdly wild claims. But not to fear, with just a little education, we can learn to filter out the noise and pick products that can get results. More on this in the actives section.

A few skincare rules and guidelines as you start your journey!

    Let’s lay out a few ground rules before you start. These will help manage expectations and minimize troubleshooting your routine down the road.

    • Irritation is the enemy! So when trying anything new, patch test! 

          One major focus that drives our methodology is minimizing irritation. When skin is irritated, skin is headed down a troublesome road that can lead to chronic skin troubles. Plus, your routine has to be dialed back to the basics until skin can get healthy again. Thus, patch test anything new by placing a dab on skin (neck area under jawline, cheek area) for a few days before jumping in.

        • Try new products one at a time!

                  It’s too easy to have a “candy store” mentality when it comes to skincare, but trying several products at one time increases your probability of irritation potential and makes it more complicated to troubleshoot what’s the culprit. Introduce products into your routine one at a time leaving at least ~2 weeks of trial time before introducing the next new product.

              Any single product used consistently will always be more powerful than a routine with 10 steps that you can’t really stick with. This rule becomes really important for topics like sunscreen, pigmentation, wrinkles, etc. On average, skincare products are tested for at least 4 weeks of diligent use to see results for tackling hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, tone, texture, etc. So do give your skincare enough time to go to work for you skin and see visible improvements.

                • Price tag does not equal efficacy

                  One of the biggest reasons why we started this blog is because we saw so many venture into the dark abyss of paying a higher price tag as an insurance policy to better skincare. Hear it from us when we say, this behavior is not the way. We can understand some serums in the ~$150 price range, but anything higher than that and our suspicion exponentially grows. Price doesn’t equate to results but does correlate to a bomb jar for your vanity table. Trust us when we say your skin does not see price.

                    • At the end of the day, you are your skin’s expert. If your skin has been happy with what you’re using, ignore everyone. Including us!

                      No one knows your skin history like you do. It’s hard enough finding a product your skin likes, so just ignore the noise. If your routine is working for you, keep going!


                      the three skincare experts you should have in your life aesthetician chemist derm

                      Meet your skin experts

                      Probably a fat layer of complexity to shopping for skincare is also due to an exponentially growing category of “expert voices”. This is how we would view the expert space:

                      The Chemist: Not trying to toot our own horn but chemists know skincare ingredients, formulation, testing, and pretty much anything else that’s involved in creating a safe product that can live out its shelf life successfully and deliver that efficacy you’re looking for. So anything ingredient, product, formula wise, we have you covered.

                      The Dermatologist: Derms diagnose skin. These are your go-to people for skin conditions that may require prescription care (both topical and oral) such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, etc

                      The Esthetician: estheticians are your skin’s therapist. Teaming up with an esthetician long term is like having a big brother watching over your skin. They also can provide in-office treatments that take your skin to the next level and tackle especially stubborn/severe cases of pigmentation and wrinkles with deep peels, microneedling, and lasers (depending on the state that you live in). 

                      Navigating Our Content Multiverse

                      Our goal with this blog and our products is to help you make the best possible decision for your skin! We see a few ways to approach our content:

                      Navigating Our Content Channels

                      We actually share our content in multiple ways:

                      • The Instagram: Where it all started! A great place for shorter skin science factoids & brand announcements. Randomized, short, & digestible.
                      • The Podcast & Youtube: A human conversation on the skincare science. While the science creates logic and order to this maddening category, we're all humans at the end of the day, we have some fun talking about the practicality of skin science over some cocktails.
                      • The Book: We had the opportunity to organize all our content into a guide book. If you love print & want your skincare knowledge served with more order, this is the mode for you.

                      Still lost or not finding what you’re looking for? Write to us at and we’ll point you in the right direction.


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