I’ve always been fascinated with beauty products, wide-eyed as I stared at the glistening ruby lips of the actresses on the tele. Heck, the first time I miserably failed at my attempt to apply blue eyeliner, I was just about 12.

However, it wasn’t until I lost a lot of weight that the appearance of stretch marks began to bother me (as they marred my otherwise exuberantly youthful skin). By this point, I was 15. And like any other 15-year-old, the answers to all my questions could be traced back to my mother.

She handed me the moisturizer and some olive oil.

Skin Hydrators!
Oh, so sticky, I resentfully applied the lotion to my face and the oil to my new-found stretch marks, hating every bit of how they lay on thick over my skin. Why? Well, I had before me a woman who had had three kids without a collagen-deficient line in sight.

What’s more, I quickly learnt that I had combination skin, as the periphery of my face (cheeks, chin) took on a rosier hue (yes!) when I applied the moisturizer; on the flip side, there was an advent of blackheads on my nose and temples, which seemed to be emitting a light of their own.

The journey from mattifying cleansers (bad idea, your skin over-compensates for the oil loss) to lightweight moisturizers (finally, nailed it!) has been a long one.

Also, as I continue to lap up the olive oil every now and then, and I slap some on my face by extension, I have to say—never underestimate the power of skin hydrators.

The Sunblock Meltdown Of 2005
I admit I arrived late to the party, having bought my first designated sunblock at the age of 18. If you’re under the impression that moisturizers with SPF are quite enough, they’re NOT. You need a targeted solution that doesn’t do a half-ass job; especially when being reckless can leave you vulnerable to burns, tan lines, and skin cancer, too.

Yes, I’ve bought into the false SPF70 label (no thanks, Banana Boat), and yes I’ve often skipped the sunblock on a cloudy winter day (big mistake). That said, hand to heart, I stay committed to my sunscreen, 97 percent of the time.

My biggest grouse was that it would make me perspire more, feel really heavy, and make my makeup bleed. But all that’s changed since I’ve begun using a sheer formula with SPF 30. It needs to be reapplied every three hours, but that’s okay.

Alternately, I mix a nickel-sized dollop of sunscreen with a quarter-sized dollop of moisturizer and lap it up on a hot summer’s day.

I Spy With My Wrinkled Eye, Some Night Serum
This one’s a fairly new addition. Earlier this year (I’m 28), I basically went into panic mode as I began noticing some fine lines under my eye. To be fair, I was applying eyeliner using a magnified makeup mirror, and my sister gave my dramatic meltdown a full 60 seconds.

Fast-forward to the next day and she walked in on me with cucumbers on my eyelids (quite cooling, actually); a few days later, they were replaced by refrigerated tea bags; and then there were the ice capades—I basically gave myself an ice facial every night.

All quite effective in their own right, they prompted me to make note that your late 20s are indeed ideal for some preventive anti-aging solutions. The first place to start is to use under eye cream or night serum in order to soothe inflammations and irritated skin, and plump up the ridges that are beginning to surface.

As I set down the under eye serum by my bedside, formidably stacked up alongside it lie my moisturizer and sunblock, bringing full-circle the trifecta that has forever changed the way I care for my skin.

PS: For solutions to suit your specific skin type, head to our Skincare Section.
Also, here’s the latest on what’s trending in the world of Beauty.

Read More:
The Average Woman Uses 12 Beauty Products A Day (3 Times More Than Required)
How I Discovered That Cleanser (& Not Face Wash) Is Better Suited To My Sensitive Skin
“The Swap That Saved My Skin: I Now Use Baby Oil Instead Of Moisturizer”