Introductory Guide to Skincare Fundamentals 101

First Posted on February 9, 2022 in:routine buildskincare fundamentals

Welcome to the Chemist Confessions Blog!

We started this blog back in 2018, what was supposed to be our final hurrah to the industry. (Little did we know…)

The blog was started with the hope that we could share our insider knowledge of skincare formulation, helping consumers find better products. As skincare users ourselves, we found the skincare world was overwhelmingly saturated and confusing to navigate. Additionally, everyone has their personal skin quirks that don’t fall within the dry/oily/combo/normal categories. Buying and trying new products can leave you quite a few pennies down, having wasted a lot of time, yet still confused about what is right for your skin.

The Skincare Landscape can be Less Confusing

We agree that the skincare world has wayyy too many products to choose from. With toners, essences, serums, ampoules, gel cleansers, cream cleansers and cleansing balms, it can all be very hard to keep up with! 

To make it more manageable, we can actually organize all 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. Establishing your base routine of this pyramid is essentially solving 80% of your daily skincare needs. While it isn’t the most interesting part of skincare, it’s the most crucial. Not only is this your core skin upkeep, but establishing your foundational skin routine serves as a fallback plan if you ever end up experiencing irritation, sensitivity, or general skin-unhappiness. 

It’s also important to revisit this pyramid case when your routine gets a bit busy. Ask yourself, “are my bases covered?” Your fancy-schmancy active ingredients will work much better if you have a solid skincare foundation.

So what about treatments?

Treatments are the cherry on top, the glitz and glam of skincare, targeting long term concerns like anti-aging, dullness, and pigmentation. This area is tricky - it comes with a lot of fluff, hefty price tags, and some absurdly wild claims. Not to fear. With a little education, we can learn to filter out the noise and pick products that produce 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 the amount of troubleshooting you’ll need to do in your routine. 

  1. Irritation is the enemy! When trying anything new, patch test. 

One major focus behind our methodology is minimizing irritation. When your skin is irritated, it’s headed down a troublesome road that can lead to chronic skin issues. On top of that, you’ll need to dial back down to the basics until your skin recovers. Save yourself the trouble by patch testing anything new. Place a dab on your skin (on your neck area under the jawline, or your cheek area) and wait a few days before jumping in. 

  1. Try new products one at a time. 

It’s easy to have a “candy store” mentality when it comes to skincare. Trying several products at the same time increases your probability of experiencing irritation and makes it harder to pinpoint the culprit. Introduce products into your routine one at a time, waiting at least two weeks before introducing the next new product. 

  1. Patience and diligence are both required for success. 

A single product used consistently will always be more powerful than a routine with 10 steps used inconsistently. This is especially important with things like sunscreen, pigmentation, wrinkles etc. On average, skincare products for tackling those types of issues are tested for a period of at least four weeks with diligent use, before results are checked. So give your skincare enough time to go to work for your skin, and be patient while waiting for visible improvements. 

  1. A high price tag doesn’t equal efficacy. 

One of the major reasons why we started this blog is because we saw so many consumers venture into the dark abyss of expensive skincare, hoping the high price would guarantee better results. Believe us when we say that this is not the case, at all. The cost of clinical studies, intense research and development, and costly, unique packaging can understandably push a serum into the $100-150 range. However, not every product with that price tag deserves it. (That’s why you have us!) Price doesn’t equate results, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee it will work for you. 

  1. At the end of the day, you are your skin’s expert. If your skin is happy with what you’re using, ignore everyone else, including us! 

No one knows your skin history like you do. It’s hard enough to find a product your skin likes, without all the extra noise. If your routine is working, keep going! 

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

Meet your skin experts

An extra layer of complexity is added to shopping for skincare when you consider the exponentially growing category of “expert voices”. This is how to view the expert space: 

  • The Chemist: Not to toot our own horns, but chemists know skincare ingredients, formulation, testing, and pretty much anything else involved in creating a safe product. Not to mention a product that can live out its shelf life successfully, and deliver with the efficiency you’re looking for. For anything that involves products and formulation, we’ve got 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), like 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 can also provide in-office treatments that take your skin to the next level, tackling stubborn or severe cases of pigmentation and wrinkles with deep peels, microneedling, and lasers (depending on the state 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! Here are a few ways to approach our content: 

Navigation our Content Channels 

We share our content in multiple ways: 

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