Choose Your Own (Skincare) Adventure

by Vanessa Santos March 29, 2014

I’ve recently been getting asked a lot about “what skincare product is really the best?” Remember those books that ask questions and lead you to either a happy ending or your own demise? Choosing what skincare products to use is a similar undertaking.

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Here is the honest-to-goodness truth: THERE IS NO ONE PERFECT SKINCARE PRODUCT OUT THERE. No matter what marketing companies, beauty bloggers, beauty experts, dermatologists, etc. will tell you. This is one of the reasons why #thevainmama idea was born. I wanted to give an honest consumer’s perspective on my personal skincare finds. I do not claim to be an expert, just someone who is passionate about this industry and believes that skincare is important.

Since there are so many brands & products to choose from (including here on the site!) – I’m sure it can get rather confusing. Here is my simple guide to help you choose your own skincare adventure:


-       This is the important first step. Figure out what you need before you even start looking around. Some questions to ask yourself:

a)    How old are you? Are you pregnant or planning to get pregnant?

b)    What is your skin type? Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination or Stressed?

c)    What kind of lifestyle do you have? Are you overworked & stressed? Are you relaxed and carefree?

d)    How many hours of sleep do you get at night?

e)    Do you have specific concerns? Lines, spots, wrinkles, or dullness?

-       Generally speaking, in your 20’s then main concern should be cleansing & hydration; in your 30’s it is fighting the first signs of aging; in your 40s it its firming & sculpting; and in your 50’s up it is firming and hormonal concerns. Remember, lack of sleep hastens the aging process.

 Vitacreme B12 has fast anti aging results.  


-       Determine how much time & money you are willing to invest in your skin. I personally appreciate the pleasure of luxury skincare – from the scent to the packaging to the exquisite ingredients. That being said, a good drugstore or organic brand can just be as equally effective. Some brands also require a complicated multi-step protocol – are you willing to take time to do 3-4 steps every day? Or are you a no-fuss kind of girl? 

Naruko is a great Taiwanese organic line that is both effective and budget friendly.  


-       Another skincare myth debunkedno product works the same for everyone. Skincare is extremely subjective. What works for you may not work the same way for your mother, sister, or best friend. Even what worked for YOU last year, might not be the best option for you now.


-       Find out the main ingredients of the brand or product you are considering. Read the label and check reviews online. The older I get, the more I am leaning towards natural, organic brands. I then rotate with a high-performance brand as a booster every few months. Also, using 2-3 items of the same brand is ideal in order to get the maximum effect. “Mixing & Matching” is great for make-up but needs to be done carefully for skincare.

Skincare using natural remedies like honey, rose water and truffles.


-       Once you’ve found a brand that works for you, it is normal to want to stick to it forever. Unfortunately, your skin needs change over time and even brand formulations of products change constantly. Skincare is also like “food” – you cannot keep ingesting the same thing everyday without hitting a threshold. Rotating brands over time (especially given climate changes within a year) is something to consider. My recommendation is to rotate or switch brands about 2-3 times a year to get the best benefits from the products.


- At the end of the day, you should look forward to your morning & evening skincare ritual and not see them as a chore. If you find the right products that work, using them should also make you happy! Make it your 5-minute “pocket of calm” to prepare and unwind from a busy day.

I hope these pointers help you figure out and select the right product for you now. Should you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email at .


Your Purveyor of Beauty,


PS - We all make mistakes. If you find yourself with a tube or jar of cream that just does not work for you, go ahead and share it with a friend. Who knows, it might just be what they were looking for.

Vanessa Santos
Vanessa Santos


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