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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.
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:
- In your Stories, where it’ll disappear from public view automatically after 24 hours, but is still accessible to you
- After it disappears from your Stories, you can also save the story to your Highlights to build a chronological archive
- Save it to your phone without publishing it, if you’d rather keep it private
If you’re not familiar with Instagram’s story features yet, I’ve made a more detailed step-by-step guide here for how to edit and post stories, and the settings I use (it should download immediately once you click the link).
I’ve been messing around with template designs lately, and I’ve tweaked it to the point where it works pretty well for me.
Here are a couple that I’ve filled out:
I made a few versions to try to cater for a range of people’s needs – feel free to save them to your phone, or you can screenshot them from the “Templates” collection in my Instagram Highlights. If you use them, I’d love to see how you do it – tag me with @labmuffinbeautyscience!
Direct links to download the individual templates (the download should start once you click the link):
If you find filling in these templates too time consuming, you can also take a photo of your products and add notes to that:
You can also use selfies to track your skin progress.
I’ve personally found a combination of these methods works best for me. For tracking skin condition, I’ve found the Skin Notes part of the templates more useful than photos. It’s hard to really see issues like dehydration and sensitivity in selfies, but it’s useful for recording more visible things like acne and pigmentation.
I tend to change my routine only once a week or so. Depending on how lazy I’m feeling, I either use the AM/PM routine template to sketch out that week’s routine, or take a photo of the products. I fill in the Skin and Lifestyle Notes template every day or two, and put any day-to-day variations to the routine in there.