My Caribbean Mom Taught Me a Skincare Secret That's More Important Now Than Ever

As a Trinidadian-Canadian woman, my relationship with beauty is a complicated one, to say the least. Growing up, my Caribbean mother imparted to me the advice that when it comes to skincare, less is more. Few products earned my mother’s loyalty enough to reappear in our medicine cabinet. (Among them were Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and Nivea’s Nourishing Day Care, and she always kept a bare face.) But, rebel that I was, I vividly remember walking into the drugstore as a teenager, armed with a few dollars and finally ready to make my own purchases. I’d always loved beauty products and finally had the freedom to try new things and make my own beauty mistakes, desperate to experiment, to stray from my mother's routine.

Fast-forward half a decade later, and my love for beauty products has only expanded. Today, I’m a beauty writer, so I spend a lot of time reviewing and testing out new products. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the beauty industry is experiencing a moment of excess. As South Korea’s 10-step skincare regimens have become more popular in the West, brands have expanded to accommodate. Mask after mask, serum after serum, and eye creams targeting wrinkles my 19-year-old skin doesn’t yet have. As a product junkie, I love getting my hands on the latest and greatest, but it recently dawned on me that I might be doing more harm than good.