In a $135 billion dollar global industry, skincare has never been more popular. Chemical peels, exfoliators, peptide moisturizers, and weirdly enough, vampire facials, the products go on and on. And so do the people who use them everyday; celebrities, bloggers, WWE fighters and the average Joe. If you haven’t guessed it by now, it’s time to discuss skincare.

My skincare regimen used to be quite extensive but rarely consistent, and now due to an energetic 7-month-old on my hands, its barely existent. Will I ever achieve that perfect skin, have a balance between mom life and self care? Probably not for a while but there are millions of people who are on the same boat, whether it’s being a parent or having a chaotic work life.

There are many that don’t even know what a toner is, yet alone where to start. I went to interview nurse practitioner Laura Atallah that works at a local dermatology center in Sebring, to get a little more of the whose’s and what’s on the naked side of beauty.

With hundreds upon hundreds of different products and influencers expressing what works for them and what they have in their 7- to 10-step skin care routine, consumers and DIYers should beware of what they decide to use on their skin. For instance, if you suffer from oily skin or prone to acne, you shouldn’t be using comedogenic products, which are pore-clogging.

A few of the ingredients (including natural) that can clog up your pores; Isopropyl palmitate, coconut oil, acetyl acetate, cocoa butter. If you are prone to acne, make sure you look for products that are non comedogenic, meaning they have ingredients like zinc oxide, jojoba oil, and cetyl acetate.

There are some people who even if they’re careful with which products they use, still suffer from acne. But that sometimes is not linked to the products they use or the food they eat but comes from this, “A big acne causer, one of the biggest acne causers is hormones, changes in hormones. So I know a lot of people say that it’s linked to food or chocolate or pizza or grease, but it’s not, it’s actually linked to your changes” Atallah said.

A good thing to also remember is, if you have a love of products and want to try all the trends, you may not be giving your skin the chance to acclimate to whatever your trying to fix or achieve that bare face look. It’s better to keep a simple skin regimen, than have an ever-changing or extensive, complicated one. Which is not saying it’s bad, but it leaves more room for error and possible skin irritations.

“I think it’s just sticking with those very same simple ingredients” said Atallah.

Research your products, stick to what you choose and give your skin time. Atallah recommends depending on what you’re using give it a month minimum to start seeing some results.

For those just starting to use skincare products here’s some advice, “I think really just starting with your basic moisturizer you know, like a CeraVe, Cetaphil, or Avene cream, I love those products that are simple, just kind of start from there. And I think that once you really start enjoying what you first start using, you can kind of start researching maybe more of what you could get into, you know, like a facial cleanser, and foundation” said Atallah.

Another good simple ingredient that Atallah loves is argan oil. It’s good for when you have those dry patches on your face and is filled with omega fatty acids. I asked what was her favorite brand and product that she currently enjoys and she replied “So my absolute hands down favorite and I have recommended this to some patients is called Origins. They have a collagen mask that I put on at night, and after I’ve used it for a little bit my husband said he noticed a difference. He probably just said that to just say that, but I love it.”

For those looking for a good transparent vegan brand, I’d personally recommend visiting a Lush store. On their website you can find they are 100% vegetarian, 80% of that is vegan. Their products are handmade, use fresh quality ingredients, and they practice ethical buying and naked packaging. They are verse in their creations and have been making great products since 1995.

Now beginners and even enthusiasts should be aware of what are advertised and sold as some sort of “miracle product” that can be used on anyone’s skin, it’s just not entirely accurate. It’s like the promise of a one-size-fits-all, it may fit many, but not everyone. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently to what’s being applied to it. And a lot of problematic skin problems can have multiple variables.

Take dark spots for example, “So if they are treating a dark spot, is it a dark spot related to the sun? Is that over the counter? Is topical cream going to treat it? Is that, you know Kim Kardashian saying that’s what she has and works for her. So you just really need to find out number one, what it is” said Atallah.

A few people on the online community were interested in talking about dark spots, has an article called “An Overview of Dark Spots” by Heather L. Brannon, M.D., that provides some good information. They report that dark spots can be caused by numerous things, such as exposure to UV light, skin conditions, medications, and even pregnancy, most will cause hypersensitivity to sun exposure.

Depending on what’s causing the dark spots, there are multiple treatments that can be effective. There’s topical creams and retinoids, laser treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and cryosurgery. There are some recommended precautions you can take, especially if you’re at risk for them. Make sure you avoid peak sun hours, cover up when you are in the sun, and most importantly use SPF.