With so many myths of beauty and skincare revolving around, it's hard to know what is good for you and what is not, and we often end up questioning our skin. “Why am I still getting acne? When will these dark circles go away?” Truth is, skincare does not mean naively applying a bunch of expensive products. It's more than that. It's about understanding what your skin desires and whether the products you are using can provide it. And no, it does not only depend on your skincare routine but also on a bunch of other factors. It's time you finally figure out what are you doing right and wrong with your skin. So, lay down, grab some snacks and read on because Beauty guru Kailin Chase is here with the perfect guide to skincare which covers topics from ingredients, product recommendations, and routines to B.S of skincare.
Who is Kailin Chase?
Kailin Chase is an Instagram influencer and beauty guru who is also known for posting makeup and skincare videos on YouTube and TikTok. Kailin took part in James Charles Instant Influencer. According to popbuzz.com, despite thinking she had messed up, Kailin Chase was the winner of the first episode of Instant Influencer. She made it to the finale of the Instant Influencer along with the other two participants Benny and Ashley. Though she was not able to win the show, she was the first runner-up. Kailin lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband. She has an impressive 356k followers on Instagram (@kailinchase), 409K subscribers on YouTube, and 218.2K followers on TikTok. Her most famous video until now is “Beauty Gurus Pick my Makeup+ Instant Influencer Ep.3 recap + BTS” which has over 1M views.
Kailin’s start in skincare came from her own personal issues and curiosity. “When I was a teenager I had horrible acne, my skin was wildly sensitive, dry than oily, sensitive to any materials — it was bad. One day, my skin was so dry and cracked I couldn’t open my mouth!” And for her, that was “normal.” Makeup and beauty as a whole have such a sweet spot in her heart, and so she started makeup artistry, trying to learn how to cover her face and feel confident “Since my skin was so difficult I couldn’t find anything in makeup that wouldn’t hurt my skin either.” She remembers. As a teenager, she wanted to fix her skin so badly that she would go out and get super harsh products, and needless to say, it made her skin issues so much worse. “After all my uneducated trial and error I stopped and decided to start really learning.”
(BEFORE: Skin was making progress at this point)
Kailin started with learning different ingredients, talking with dermatologists longer in her appointments, emailing with them far too much to ask questions and learn more. “I gained more knowledge from estheticians and medical estheticians.” She fell in love with the founders of skincare brands like Dr. Dennis Gross, Kate Somerville, Pai, and a few others. “I learned about their journeys in skincare, how they create their products, their philosophies and from there I began formulating a wealth of skincare and beauty knowledge.” Kailin has studied skincare pretty intensely for almost seven years and the base of her opinions comes from what she has learned from dermatologists she really respects.
“I always say skincare first, makeup second — not a lot of other beauty gurus share how to take care of your skin as a makeup wearer and that’s what I’d consider my niche. Beauty as a whole is my passion.”
Kailin is more widely known as a makeup artist and a beauty guru but to her, skincare and makeup go hand in hand. “If you’re putting on makeup to cover your skin, like I was, you are not confident in your skin and what a disservice it would be for me to go out and tell people how to cover their skin with makeup,” she explained, “when I have the knowledge to also help with skin.” Helping people gain more self-confidence while having fun is Kailin’s vibe. “I never want someone to think “I can’t do this because of my skin” when I know I can help with that.”
DIY and Natural Skincare
Q. What do you think about “natural and DIY skincare?” Do you think buying products would be better than DIY routines?
Turns out, Kailin is not the biggest fan of DIY skincare, masks, or anything that has you turning into a chemist in your kitchen. “Why?” you may ask. Well, food like avocado, eggs, lemon, and coconut oil for the face aren’t formulated to penetrate deep into your skin, the molecule size is far too large to gain any benefit you hear of. Avocado can clog your pores and cause a breakout, eggs can strip your pores, lemon can cause a burn or serious reaction on the skin and coconut oil can cause a massive breakout. Using coconut oil on your legs as a shaving cream (best shaving cream by the way) or on your body skin after a shower can help lock in your skin's natural moisture but anyone with sensitive, acne-prone, or oily skin should steer clear of trying the mad skincare scientist movement in your kitchen.
“Natural skincare is a bit different from DIY” Kailin tells us. Natural skincare can be just as effective and beneficial as non-natural skincare can be, it can also be just as ineffective or even worse. You don’t have the same issues as you might with cooking up an avocado egg mask in your kitchen because chemists are involved in the creation of natural products, but it does come with its own problems that can cause irritation or issues with the skin. Generally, natural products have more essential oils, which can be very strong and irritating to the skin so be aware. Just because it says “natural” or “organic” on the label doesn’t mean it’s more effective than synthetic products, better for your skin, or a guarantee that you won’t have some sort of reaction to the product. “The association that natural means safer is what I’d call a good marketing to ploy to pull on the heartstrings of consumers. If you’re into natural skincare, I don’t mean to sound harsh on this one — just be as careful as you would with any other products.”
Having a Skincare Routine
Q. Is there a particular age a person should start following a regime? What products should an ideal routine consist of? Is it necessary to have a long routine or will we be fine with cleanser and moisturizer?
I think when it comes to age it truthfully starts as a baby getting lotion after every bath, hydrocortisone for every little rash, and SPF to protect your skin — it’s a matter of evolving your routine over time. From childhood, you should be using a moisturizing lotion all over your body, a super gentle cleanser, and an SPF to get in the habit of taking care of your skin and protecting it. Then as teenagers when you encounter hormonal changes, acne, dryness, oil production, etc. that’s when you begin to build on the routine based on your skin concerns.
It’s most definitely not necessary to have a 20 step skincare routine. Those products are sometimes not even penetrating or doing anything. The best skincare routine is simple and straight forward. “Your skin does not need the dew drops from a baby unicorn. That’s about as bad as putting an avocado egg mask on your skin. Think SIMPLE!” Kailin advised. Below are some recommendations given by her.
- Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cream Cleanser, Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, Derma-E Sensitive Skin Cleanser
- Moisturizer: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Belif Aqua Bomb, Vanicream Moisturizer
- SPF: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Face & Body Melt, Vi Derm SPF 50, Elta MD Tinted SPF 41
As you grow in your skincare game, bump it up too! Here are four simple steps you can include in your routine.
- Active Ingredient/Hydrating Serum
Additions/changes based on skin concern: assuming you’re sleeping, eating well, and taking care of your mental health already!
1. Concern (environmental damage, uneven skin tone, want the skin to be more radiant): Ole Henricksen’s Vitamin C in the morning.
2. Concern (oil production, acne):
- Ole Henricksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner — After cleansing when needed
- Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant — Every other night
3. Concern (getting rid of acne scars, discoloration)
- Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant — every other night OR
- Ole Henricksen’s Vitamin C — in the morning OR
- CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum — 2x a week for 3 weeks work up usage overtime
4. Concern (Dry Skin — also all approved for sensitive skin!)
(B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum)
Q. In a routine, what step would you say is the most important?
“I don’t know if I can decide between hydration or SPF. Unless you have the genetics of J-Lo or some mythical god you have got to hydrate your skin.”
A ton of the issues in our skin comes from lack of hydration (acne, dark spots, irritation, etc) because our skin needs hydration to be able to repair itself and have a strong barrier. Without hydration your skin may overproduce oils, cause breakouts, then you may strip it with a clay mask or cleanser thinking your skin is just wildly oily when in reality — SHE IS THIRSTYYY.
“SPF is my #1 above hydration because the sun is a Karen,” Kailin explains. “The sun causes premature aging, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, congestion, thinning of the skin and it can cause skin cancer — skin cancer is very much real and it’s important for all skin types, not just the super pale complexions to be protecting against it! Sun damage is the absolute worst — once you have sun damage there is very little you can do to help it. It’s not just important for days on the beach in the sun, it’s important for those times you're driving, going with your friends to grab food, walking the dog — those moments add up and can cause more damage than a vacation. SPF is hands down the most important step and the best thing you can do to protect your skin from an early age.”
How Important is SPF?
Q. Winter is coming and the sun might be calming down too, is SPF still necessary? How to find a good SPF?
“OMG, please don’t think for one second that winter means you should stop wearing SPF!”
Kailin told us she is originally from Seattle, Washington (the gloomiest city in the world and states in the country) and it has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the U.S. because people think they’re fine since it’s cloudy all the time! In some areas, winter can be far worse than summer because the light reflects off the snow, in other areas the weather may be cloudy, but as I’ve learned from living in Washington that means nothing to sun damage. If you’re in a home with lots of natural light, you should be using SPF. Consider SPF as important as taking your makeup off before you go to bed — it’s a must and you cannot skip it. Practice wearing it every day. And don’t forget about your lips!
Oh, I also don’t know who needs to hear this but the SPF in your foundation isn’t enough and it never will be.
AHA, BHA and Retinol
Q. What do you think about including chemicals such as retinol, AHA, and BHA?
“OMG — love em. If you had asked me this in high school I would have said they were the devil because I had no idea what I was doing, but now - oh ya these products are incredible.”
Both AHAs and BHAs (alpha and beta hydroxy acids) help gently exfoliate dead skin cells, improve texture, and hydrate. Retinol is derived from vitamin A, it’s an antioxidant that speeds up the rate at which cells turnover, increases collagen production to help maintain the elasticity of the skin, slow the inflammatory response that leads to breakouts, and strengthens the skin barrier.
AHAs are best for people with dry skin since they help increase moisture in the skin while BHAs are best for people who have deeper breakouts. Retinols fix all problems! "I’ve never in my life heard a dermatologist say they don’t like or agree with retinol." It’s a gold standard favorite cult ingredient and product that we should all pick up in our 20s or earlier if you suffer from acne. Just talk with your dermatologist before jumping into them to find which is right for you!
"I think the first reaction when you hear of a new acne or skin concern fighting product is to go in head first using it every night but that’s a quick way to end up hating AHA/BHAs and any skin care product really." She advised. "Start by using it 2-3 times a week with your nighttime skincare routine. If you’re going to go for any of the three, I’d start with AHAs, see how you like it. Then go to BHAs, then retinol later on. If you want to start retinol I’d recommend starting with Biossance’s Phyto Retinol Alternative!”
Water and Exercise for Skincare
Q. Let’s talk about water — Is it really as necessary as emphasized?
Water has an impact on the health of your skin. A study was published in Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology that showed drinking water does benefit the skin but for you to really be seeing those benefits you have to be drinking nearly a gallon of water a day. “It’s definitely not a bad idea to be drinking lots of water but it’s also not an end-all, be-all kind of thing,” Kailin says. Dehydration will show itself in your skin so yes you should be drinking loads of water. “If all of our skin’s health was up solely to water I’d turn into a mermaid.”
Q. What about exercise?
As far as the benefits go, exercising helps with blood circulation, it helps you manage stress, depression, and anxiety, helps you get into a good sleep cycle, and stay in tune with your body so it’s very important. If you’re lacking in sleep, dealing with anxiety or stress it’ll show on your skin so it’s super important!
“If you’re worried about body acne due to exercising let me tell you — been there done that and here’s what you need to do: shower immediately after working out, wash your hair first, wash your body last, use a Benzoyl Peroxide wash ONLY for areas prone to breakouts, change your sheets weekly, use a simple laundry detergent, and moisturize with CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion if your skin gets too dry.” If you’re doing everything you can to get rid of body acne and you still can’t figure it out, go to the dermatologist! Sometimes products and lifestyle aren’t enough and that’s totally okay. Kailin told us that she didn’t get hers figured out until she was put on Spironolactone and a sulfur body wash that her dermatologist created.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Q. When buying a product, on which content should we focus more? Apart from sulfates and parabens, which ingredients should we look out for?
This is where we start to get into the B.S. of skincare. Before we come to the conclusion that sulfates and parabens are going to kill us, we need to see where that information is coming from. Does it come from a shampoo brand trying to differentiate themselves? Does it come from someone who is just getting interested in skincare and has heard these ingredients will kill you from someone on social media? Has anyone who hates these ingredients really actually looked into them?
Sulfates and parabens are terrifying because cosmetic brands needed to differentiate their product from the educated consumer. They needed to establish that they care deeply about the consumers by making themselves or their brand an authority figure in the science, chemical, and ingredient space so that you would trust that their product is better, safer, and that they were a transparent brand.
So, sulfates are fine in our product?
Sulfates are a cleansing agent, it helps your products create bubbles. That’s what sulfates are. There is absolutely no research showing that sulfate-free products are better for your skin or hair and sulfates do not function any differently than the substitutes added to sulfate-free cleansing products. So not to sh*t on a fun ingredient to attack but you won’t die from using sulfates.
Both sulfate-free and products using sulfates can cause dryness and sensitizing depending on how it’s formulated. But regardless you’re not somehow dodging those problems by using sulfate-free. Sulfate is a less expensive option to add into skincare products but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or going to ruin your skin. There’s also water (free of charge) in a lot of skincare products as well and it’s a very important, but extremely cheap product.
Whoa, wow. What about parabens now?
Parabens are gentle plant-derived preservative that allows you to keep your serums on the shelf for a year rather than turning into a molding expired mess. One research on Parabens shows that they are safe and a preferred choice to keep products stable while another research said otherwise. Let’s talk about that research — the study was conducted with extremely high levels of parabens and with repeated use at extremely high levels on skin samples while in the other they loaded poor helpless rats with extremely high amounts of parabens and watched their progression. The normal, low levels showed no harm. There is no concrete evidence that proves that the levels used in skincare are harmful or will cause any cancer or infertility related issues.
I want to point this out because I think it’s very important to note what reliable and trusted sources to dermatologists have to say — every year the American Contact Dermatitis Society highlights an allergen of the year and to prove the point that taking out parabens before enough confirmatory evidence has been conducted they made parabens the “non-allergen” of 2019, stating that using alternatives with far less research after a poorly conducted study is a bad call and I can’t say I disagree there. Some brands have already started replacing parabens with far more sensitizing products — My opinion on parabens and sulfates may change if studies down the road are conducted properly and can show evidence of their harm or proof of the new alternative’s benefits and lack of harm, but until then I’m sticking with the current research.
Q. A controversial topic revolving around skincare is fragrance. Is it a yay or a nay?
Fragrance in skincare can be natural or synthetic and are sometimes even added to “unscented” products to mask the scent — which is a definite deceitful loophole. One of the scariest parts about fragrance is that companies can hide potentially harmful ingredients under the label “fragrance” without listing the ingredients that make up the fragrance. A few responsible brands adhere to global fragrance restrictions and/or list the ingredients that make up their scent. As a consumer you unfortunately have a lot of research you need to do and a couple questions to ask yourself.
- Does the product cause irritation? If so, stop using it.
- Am I okay with the possibility of gaining a sensitivity to fragrance overtime? If yes, keep using it. If no, then stop.
- Are you uncomfortable? With anything, very simply if you aren’t comfortable or you second guess the product every time you apply it, then ditch it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to go one way or the other with ingredients or products.
I, personally, don’t mind some fragrances in my products and really enjoy fragrance in some however there are some that I absolutely hate and will get hives from. I can use Ole Henricksen products with no issue but I can’t use Glow Recipe products due to their fragrance. You may find that some are okay for you as well and others are a big no. If you want to avoid that risk altogether, go ahead and drop fragrance! The only wrong decision you can make is to not listen to your skin when you have a negative reaction or to listen to someone trying to shame you into changing your routine.
Is Skincare a hoax?
Q. It might help us for a while, but in the long term, everyone’s bound to have wrinkles. Acne always pops out from time to time. So, is it worth investing our money in?
There are myths, total B.S. statements, and ridiculous marketing ploys spread in skincare but properly taking care of your skin and body is absolutely no myth or scam and it’s SO much simpler than everyone makes it out to be. It’s a matter of sifting through the B.S. to get to what actually matters.
It seems like people in the skincare community forget that genetics play a large role in our skin, how we’ll age or what issues we may have along the way, and also how factors in our lifestyles impact our skin health. It seems like everyone brings it down to “well what’s in your skincare routine?” The products you use are NOT the beacon for why your skin is amazing or the reason as to why you're having some skin issues.
The real question should be “are you drinking enough water? Are you getting enough sleep? Eating in a way that promotes your skin health (less sugar, dairy, carbs, red meat)? Are managing stress and taking care of your mental health? Protecting your skin from the sun? And also what’s your skin concerns and your skincare routine?”
Everything I just listed above should be on the same level as the products you use because truthfully skincare isn’t just the products on your shelf and you cannot buy a fix for every skin concern you have at Sephora. Your skin WILL show that you are tired, stressed, eating improperly, that certain hormones are too high or too low — taking care of everything above is a part of skincare. You can’t leave everything up to products and I think that’s a myth that people buy into.
Skincare as a whole is a proven and ongoing science and not some made-up B.S. If skincare were a scam we wouldn’t be able to get rid of acne, cure and treat diseases and skin conditions, slow oil production down, lessen redness in the skin, prevent sun damage, aid in the moisture of the skin barrier, the list of things science in skincare has done for people is nearly endless — skincare science is absolutely not a scam but people can scam and create narratives so you need to be on the lookout.
Trust real sources with real knowledge. Yes, there’s a natural aging process throughout our whole bodies but I don’t think I’ve heard any skincare products claim that they will stop the aging process entirely - what you’ll often hear is “lessen fine lines and wrinkles” because it is lessening and slowing the process, not stopping it. Those working on the science behind the scenes in skincare don’t have the hands of god or the clock to turn back time. We have to be realistic with what we should expect from what skincare can do - it’s not a magical potion but keeping up with a routine for years can considerably slow the aging process, help with skin issues, lessen or even completely get rid of acne, stop/slow sun damage, this list like the other could go on! Be realistic and honest with yourself - not every breakout is going to come solely from your moisturizer. It can literally come from not washing your pillowcase enough or using a new detergent. Not every amazing result will come solely from your serum, you may be getting enough sleep and taking care of your anxiety and your serum can do its job because you’re properly taking care of your body.
I’m not saying products aren’t effective by any means, there is proven science to support ingredients and their place - my point to all of this is that everything above should be held to the same standard as the products you use so it can all work together. If you’re taking care of your body you will notice your products working better, you will be able to pinpoint what causes a reaction better than before, you can pinpoint genuine skin concerns when the scales are balanced. A well-rounded skincare routine is most definitely not a scam.
Kailin Chase's Choices
Q. What skin care products you yourself used as a young adult?
I’ve used so many products and I’ve found a couple of different routines that I really love! I’ll share my top holy grail, never fails down below!
Makeup Removing Balms: Farmacy Green Clean is my one and only, but I do use the clinique balm as well to remove makeup. I like Farmacy’s because most makeup removing balms or oils don’t want to come off your skin, so then you have the issue of not only trying to remove your makeup but also trying to remove the makeup removing product (it makes no sense!) luckily this one comes off so nicely!
Cleansers: Derma-E’s sensitive skin cleanser is my #1 in this category. It’s great for all skin types, anyone who reacts easily to products, anyone with acne, and it does a pretty great job of getting off any remaining product without stripping your skin at all - it’s amazing! Other favorites of mine are:
- CeraVe’s hydrating cream cleanser: Not the best at getting makeup off but it’s really soothing and great for dry skin.
- Pai’s Middlemist Seven: A little more pricey but amazing for sensitive skin or anyone with skin concerns like rosacea, doesn’t strip your skin, effectively gets makeup and product off, it also leaves your skin baby soft.
Toners: I don’t actually use toners too often and most dermatologists wouldn’t consider them 100% necessary. Most people go a bit overboard with them and some are loaded with harsh ingredients but if I am having a really oily day then I like the Ole Henricksen Balancing Force Oil Control toner - if you have super oily skin check out that entire line, the hydrator is amazing!
Serums: I really wanted to hate Drunk Elephant because they’re so overhyped but I really like their B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum. I firmly believe everyone (oily, acne-prone, dry, combo) needs to have a simple product that’s sole purpose is to deliver hydration because so many issues come from lack of hydration and your skin cannot repair itself without being hydrated. This one is a little more expensive but it weirdly is difficult to find a hydration product that actually hydrates without clogging pores. I’d say an effective dupe to this product would be the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion.
- Ole Henricksen’s Banana Bright Vitamin C: I love this one because it’s got 15% vitamin C, 5% PHAs (polyhydroxy acids, super gentle exfoliant), and Hyaluronic Acid for hydration. It’s a great multitasker so if you do just one serum in your routine, make it this one. VC is one of the most researched and proven ingredients in skincare and it’s one most derm’s would consider a must in your skincare routine - my personal derm said it’s the only serum she thinks is 100% necessary. Why? VC blocks free radicals from entering your pores and causing damage, it can even skin tone and texture which makes your skin more radiant. Not to overly geek out here but VC is also very difficult for chemists to stabilize when creating it so be picky about the VC that you go for.
- Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil: I noticed a massive difference in my skin when I started using this. My skin was more supple, predictable, soothed, and radiant. It’s incredible for helping your skin repair itself.
- Lord Jones Royal 1000mg Pure CBD Oil: I was a little thrown off when CBD was getting thrown into products, I thought it was another marketing ploy but hear me out - if you have sensitive, easily irritated skin please try products with CBD in them. It’s one of, if not the most nourishing and soothing product ever.
- Hydrocolloid Patches: My fave for quickly getting rid of breakouts overnight! Here’s a video of Kailin sharing more on getting rid of acne.
Moisturizer: I have a couple of holy grail moisturizers I’ll share:
- CeraVe Moisturizing lotion
- Acid Mantle Rapair Moisturizer with 250mg CBD & Ceramides
- Derma-E Sensitive Skin Moisturizer
- Kate Somerville Goats Milk Moisturizing Cream
- Belif Aquabomb
- Innisfree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Cream
- Clarins Hydra-Essential Silky Cream
- Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream
Know More About Kailin!
Kailin gave some Halloween advice and answered some more questions (including how much she loves Alexa) in our October Issue. Check it out right now for skincare advice, makeup hacks, amazing recipes, recommendations, and gossip! Available for a limited time period only. Click here.
Kailin's Top Advice
Q. Is there anything else you would like to talk about or say to the audience?
As a consumer, you need to listen to a board-certified dermatologist before anyone else. There really is no ingredient on the back of products that doesn’t sound somewhat strange but you need to listen to those who are certified to understand those ingredients and how they work together in the skin. I listen to dermatologists I respect, the resources they trust, and share with me and that’s where my knowledge comes from and I’m still learning constantly. I don’t make up some B.S. to have some authoritarian voice in skincare and beauty - everything I know comes from those who are certified and that’s how it should be for all of us. I understand that getting in to see a dermatologist to ask these questions is difficult for people so that’s why I share some content that I do. You’ll find that some dermatologists are okay and see no problem with some ingredients, while some may recommend continuing dodging them until more research is conducted. Some are totally fine with fragrance as long as you have no reactions while others say it’s best to avoid it altogether.
One thing I think everyone needs to understand in skincare is that it’s not black and white and what you see all over social media is a lot of people trying to make skincare that way - it’s just not. Not every dermatologist agrees, not everyone hates sulfates, parabens, and fragrance, and for good reason. There are organizations, skincare enthusiasts, natural and clean beauty consumers that can’t interpret ingredient lists and formulas properly trying to control the future of skincare through fear because they’re scared out of lack of understanding - I get that, I’d be scared and confused too. If there’s one thing I can share with you guys, it’s that you need to trust the information dermatologists and sources they approve of. I will always only share information from that side of the skincare community, I’m not interested in creating shame around anyone’s current routine, or hopping on a trend because people are newly nervous of a new ingredient. I just hope I can help share the knowledge I have in skincare and help people understand it so people make the right decisions on their skin and beauty based on their needs rather than out of fear. Skincare is actually so simple when you get through all the nonsense and can identify it.
Always, always, and always be kind to your skin and be kind to yourself and others. I hope I can help you guys become more confident in your skin so makeup and beauty is fun for you guys. It’s never meant to cover insecurities and it makes me sad that someone might be insecure in their skin so it’s so important for me to share my knowledge in skincare alongside beauty. Hope to see you guys in my next video, ILY!