As I discuss in my upcoming eBook, The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare, it’s important to keep a record of your skincare routine and skin condition. It’s a fantastic way to help you figure out what’s actually working for your skin, and track the products and ingredients that your skin reacts to. One really useful tool that you can use for this is Instagram.
There are a lot of ways you can utilise Instagram as a skin diary – here are some suggestions.
This is the most public and straightforward way, if you want to share your routine with other skincare addicts! There’s a huge community of skincare addicts out there who share their routines daily, and skincare product reviews too.
You can use hashtags to find other people’s skincare routines, and help them find yours. Some hashtags you can use are #365inskincare, #skincareroutine, #skincarecommunity, and #skincareaddict. Just stick these in the caption, and your post will show up when people search for that hashtag.
You can also set up a private Instagram account – Instagram supports switching between multiple accounts, which is convenient if you already have a personal Instagram profile and want a separate skincare diary so you don’t freak out your friends.
Getting line breaks in Instagram captions is a little hit-and-miss – I use one of these spaces [⠀] in the “empty lines” which usually works.
Instagram Stories are an increasingly popular way to share routines. They’re more flexible than posts, with lots of inbuilt tools to customise them within the app.
If you’re a stickler for having a certain “look” in the photos in your Instagram profile, stories also let you post less-than-perfect shots without worrying about styling and lighting.
I’ve recently discovered that templates are a brilliant way to track my skincare routine. They’re much more versatile than regular Instagram posts – there are text editing and drawing tools within Instagram’s stories feature, and you can choose to share the final product in a few different ways:
If I had to work out how much time I spent on things each week, it’d be something like:
10 hours actively researching (this is higher than most bloggers since I read journal articles and textbooks for my style of content)
15 hours passively researching (beauty forums, other people’s blog posts and feeds)
5 hours actually writing and formatting
2 hours for photography and photo editing
3 hours answering emails
1 hour replying to blog comments
7 hours making content for social media and replying to comments
This seems like an overestimation, but I assure you it isn’t – I had to track this for my accountant recently! Of course, a lot of this is enjoyable and doesn’t actually feel like work, and the vast majority fits in around other things. This is partly why I spend so much time on it even though it doesn’t make financial sense, as my accountant often points out. I’m working on making myself more efficient and more accountable for my time. With the addition of my YouTube channel, I’ve stolen some time from each of these for writing scripts, and filming and editing. I’ve also been writing an eBook guide to Basic Skincare Guide as well. It’s full-on!
How do I fit all this in? A massive amount of organisation (and not having much of a life). I’ve managed to take the whole thing more seriously over the past year and have developed a bunch of systems that work well for me.
My Organisational Style
I’m more of an aspirational organiser than someone who’s actually a natural. When I start any system I’m meticulous and everything looks gorgeous, but after a few weeks things start to slip up. I am not one of those people with a beautiful planner with washi tape and stamps and perfect handwriting and appointments that never change. I burn through organisational methods unless they’re foolproof! I also tend to forget things unless they’re right in front of me, and I’m easily demotivated and turn into a procrastination puddle.
So my criteria are:
Reminds me of current tasks
Make me feel like I’m getting shit done so I stay motivated
I have a physical notebook that I use to organise my life. I carry it around everywhere. It’s like a bullet journal but more focused on tasks and getting stuff done, rather than a keepsake.
It has my to-do lists, blog post ideas, video workflow, and meeting notes, which I index using plastic sticky flags. I’ve also been using it for random things like food shopping lists, eBook formatting notes, and planning big tasks like Christmas lunch.
I’m currently using a spiral-bound notebook with a grid format, similar to this one. I’ve found that spiral notebooks are the best for me.
Ticking things off makes me feel achievement-y (Criterion 4)
I can rip out pages once they’re done so I feel a sense of accomplishment with the physical act of ripping stuff out (Criterion 4)
This also stops old things distracting me from current things (Criterion 2)
If I’m almost done with a page of tasks I’ll copy the last few tasks onto a new page, which refreshes them in my mind (Criterion 2 again).
It isn’t all that aesthetically pleasing, but that also makes it pretty low effort (Criterion 1) because I don’t worry about making it look pretty.
Here’s a photo of an actual page from my notebook – I considered writing a new page for it and making it look neat, but that would defeat the purpose of this post…
I’ve tried digital lists and apps like Google Keep but I lost track of things easily, and I’d ignore stuff for months.
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