If you’re on Instagram and haven’t heard of Chemist Confessions, you must be living under a rock.
Started by beauty myth busters Victoria and Gloria, the quirky Instagram account decodes the ingredient lists of your fave products, debunks common skincare misconceptions and marketing nonsense, and gives honest skincare reviews – all with the help of cute graphic that makes skincare science fun and easy to understand.
It all started when Victoria and Gloria were working as chemists for L’Oreal. As much as they loved creating products that fixed people’s skincare woes, they soon grew frustrated by the lack of transparency and hyped up marketing claims in the industry.
That’s when they decided to fly solo and create their own skincare brand, Chemist Confessions. Going back to basics, the line features 4 moisturisers in all kinds of textures – from oils to watery gels – to suit every skin type. Because retinol & co are important, but without a proper foundation, they won’t give you the results you crave.
In this interview, Victoria and Gloria share their own skincare secrets. Read on to find out more about their skincare routines and what products/habits are keeping their skin in top shape:
1. When did you become interested in skincare?
Victoria: I probably became interested once I started having acne. So probably around 12 years old. Nothing makes you more motivated to have a skincare routine then trying to fight pimples and my routine back then was awful. I did everything to to dry it out, cleansers, astringents, 10% BPO, and no moisturizer for fear of making the breaking out worse. I also tried all sorts of OTC products from antibiotics to retinoids. Actually struggling with acne for a decade and dealing with the growing pains that come with that, motivated me to do research in the field during college.
Gloria: My skin has always been on the dry side, which means I was mostly spared of acne issues in my teenage years. But college hit me hard. The long nights studying, the extreme cold weather, the not so great eating habits all took a toll on my skin. I was seeing fine lines popping up prematurely compared to my peers. That’s when I started a cycle of blindly buying a bunch of products and developed an avid interest in skincare.
2. What’s your skincare routine like?
Victoria: Currently with the colder weather my routine in the morning is Aquafix water gel and Mr. Reliable moisturizer plus an SPF 50. At night, I wash my face and then do the same routine of Aquafix and Mr. Reliable combo. Other things that get inserted are AHA/retinol treatments (twice a month) and sheet masks whenever I just want to take it easy.
Gloria: My skincare routine is:
Night: Cleanser (changes depending on what I’m testing) – Aquafix – AHA (product changes depends on what I’m testing out) – the Better oil – dab Balm Voyage on trouble spots ( mostly my ‘mustache zone’ which tends to be drier and more flake prone than other parts)
3. If you could only use three skincare products for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Victoria: Moisturizer, Sunscreen, Cleanser. I think with that trio, you’ve covered about 99% of the core skincare upkeep.
Gloria: Cleanse – moisturize – sun protection … though its cruel to limit to one per category, this is the holy trinity of skincare
4. What are your fave skincare brands and why?
Victoria: Ours! ( just a dash of bias haha!). But La Roche Posay and CeraVe would probably be my favorite. La Roche Posay has all sorts of sunscreen textures so it’s a great go to brand to find the right texture and SPF level that works for your skin. CeraVe’s hydrating cleanser and lotions are always a reliable starting point.
Gloria: Other than ourselves? I’m a fan of skinceuticals’ work in active skincare. Paula’s Choice also has some great reliable options. Texture wise I love my Japanese skincare like Hada Labo and Kose!
5. What are your top 3 skincare tips to take care of your skin?
Victoria: My top 3 skincare tips are:
- Cop out tip but wear sunscreen!
- Keep the routine manageable to stay consistent. A simple routine that you can stick to is better than trying to stack in 15 layer routine. You ultimately get a better understanding of your skin and develop good habits that fit your lifestyle.
- Patience! When skin has its bad days, it’s easy to want to nuke your face with all sorts of high powered actives. Instead, introduce one or two new actives to help your skin out and stick with it. It’s much easier for your skin to adapt to one or two than 20, especially since it’s already not doing too great.
Gloria: My top 3 skincare tips are:
- Solidify your core cleanse – moisturize – sun protection routine first. Finding reliable products that you can always fall back on in these 3 categories is key to long term skincare success. We get that trying new, sexy products that promises your the moon is tempting (guilty!), but knowing who your workhorses are pays off in the long run. With skincare, consistency in these 3 categories is key.
- Listen to your skin. There’s a lot of fear mongering out there. You might have a cream that’s served you great for years… then see an article on how the dimethicone in this cream is actually destroying your skin then be tempted to throw it out. If it works for you, stick to it!
- Know your active holy grail. There are a few tried-and-true ingredients in skincare: AHA, retinol, vitamin C, niacinamide, etc to name a few. You don’t necessarily need to cram all of them into your routine, but strategically incorporating one or 2 of them in your routine long term could be a game changer.
6. What skincare treatments do you regularly have done?
Victoria: None at the moment but we recently got to work with and learn from a master aesthetician. After the lesson, I really want to try a few micro needling sessions. Mainly because it’s relatively painless, the healing time is minimal, and the results look pretty enticing.
Gloria: I haven’t been able to get any regular treatments for a long time now with Chemist Confessions keeping our work schedule hectic. I used to love getting a dermabrasion + peel combo done once a month or so.
7. What lifestyle habits do you have that keep your skin in top shape?
Victoria: I don’t think I’m actually achieving these but my main goals are exercise and sleep. Work gets in the way sometimes, but just getting quality sleep and a little exercise definitely elevates my mood and attention span during the day so it’s something I aim for.
Gloria: Sleep! This could be really difficult when we’re traveling to all sorts of different time zones and climates for work. But I make sure I go everywhere with my eye mask + melatonin gummy. Good quality sleep is the difference maker.
8. What’s in your makeup bag?
Victoria: Balm voyage, eyeliner (Kiss Me Heroine), eyebrow pencil (Missha), liquid foundation (Giorgio Armani), and Bite Beauty’s Chai. Also a travel size roller ball of miumiu’s leau bleu! Love that scent!
Gloria: Liquid Eyeliner (Kiss Me Heroine), mascara (kiss me heroine long & curl), lash curler, Benefit Give Me Brow, a MUFE neutral eyeshadow palette, a few lipsticks (Bite and Hourglass are my favorite ATM!)
Thank you, Victoria and Gloria!
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