In a candid unveiling of their skincare rituals, four influential creators open up about their personal journeys, providing a window into the relationship they share with skincare.
Personalise your routine
For Agou Sitlhou—Cosmo India’s emerging fashion influencer of ’22-’23—following trends isn’t just about staying in vogue. It is about finding valuable insights that streamline one’s routine and save time and effort. Talking about a surprising entry into his skincare routine, the high fashion content creator, model and stylist says, “Sunscreen is something I never thought I would try. In the past, I struggled to find the right one for my skin and would experience breakouts after application. I took a break for a while but decided to give it another try, changing the brand, and since then, I haven’t faced any issues.” Transforming his skincare routine into a self-care ritual has been a key source of joy, Agou tells Cosmo India. “I personalised my routine with products that not only cater to my skin’s needs but also have scents and textures that bring a sense of relaxation.”
Staying up-to-date with the latest skincare trends has proven to be of value to him. His 2023 finds are a lip tint that enhances his skin’s natural glow and pimple patches. Gushing about his latest finds, Agou says, “I highly recommend the Skeyndor Aquatherm Moisturiser. Since I started using it, I have fallen in love with it, and the container is nearly empty. This moisturiser leaves my face smooth, soft, and with a radiant glow. What’s remarkable is how the foundation and concealer effortlessly blend on top of it, making it a versatile choice. Interestingly, I have found that I often don’t need a primer when using it. Moreover, it suits both combination and oily skin types, truly standing out in my skincare routine.” One of the most joyful aspects for him is the deep cleansing process, whether it’s through exfoliating, using a charcoal mask or indulging in a face mask sheet. He says it is all about finding a balance between innovation and what works best for a personalised and effective skincare routine. Anticipating what’s in store, he concludes, “I am eager for advancements in scar removal products. Additionally, I hope for the development of pills or injections that can eliminate the suffering associated with various skin diseases.”
Consistency is key
“I never thought I’d try beauty content until lockdown hit us and I discovered my love for make-up,” says Ankush Bahuguna, the creator of ‘Wing it with Ankush’ (his Instagram make-up handle, obv). “I prefer sticking to what works for me but I am all for trying trends, only if they excite me. Most beauty trends and hacks you see online are mere gimmicks so I try everything but follow and promote only the ones that work.” His standout discovery for 2023 is the Acne Squad Breakout Terminator Spot Corrector. “It is this tube that helps calm down my acne, and I have never been less stressed about getting pimples,’’ the content creator and actor chuckles. “Snail mucin and Thymol T essence have also worked very well on my skin this year.”
Tips for a joyful skincare routine: Consistency is key! “No matter how expensive or good your products are, they can’t transform you overnight, it won’t show results if you are not regular,” advises the 2022 winner of the coveted Cosmo India Male Beauty Influencer of the Year award. For him, joy comes from locking in all the goodness with a thick moisturising gel as a final step before bedtime. “In my head, it makes up for all the water I didn’t drink through the day, the pointless overthinking I did, and the number of nights I have stayed up watching reels, getting dark circles. Obviously, it doesn’t work like that, but it feels good nonetheless. I’m taking care of myself and that is my favourite part.” He commends the Indian market for its strides in sunscreen formulations, with each year bringing newer, better, and lighter options—a positive trend that aligns with the evolving needs of consumers.
Keep it simple
“I thought I would never try getting a vampire facial. But I did! And the results were amazing,” says make-up artist Shantanu Dhope. He embraces intriguing trends, finding them interesting to observe. However, when it comes to his routine, it is the tried-and-tested practice that wins. When asked about his recent discoveries and what part of his routine gives him joy, Shantanu highlights, “For me, doing skincare is my time to relax and unwind, especially my nighttime routine. Double cleansing is a non-negotiable form. Also, as someone who wears make-up quite often, I didn’t realise the impact having a simple skincare routine can have. Taking my make-up off with a cleansing balm after a long day of work/events is the most satisfying part. I love it when the skin feels super clean before I go on with the rest of my routine.”
Two skincare gems have earned the enthusiast recommendation. The Cosrx Snail Mucin essence and, a permanent staple for years now, the Estee Lauder advanced night repair serum. A tip he shares, “I think everyone should take their time to massage their skin. I do feel the products work better when you spend time in the application.” Talking about exciting developments in skincare, Shantanu says, “I love that Korean and Japanese beauty brands are garnering attention in India now, and I’m always excited to try new products. Also, many Indian brands have been upping their game in creating some amazing yet simple skincare. I hope in 2024 we continue simplifying our skincare routine and stray away from complicated ones.”
Let acne be alone
“I like trying trends but eventually I go back to my tried-and-tested routines, which my skin loves,” discloses Suunny Pandey, a beauty and fashion content creator. Facing fears often leads to unexpected discoveries. In his case, the once-feared face razor is now a go-to tool. “I use it to shape my brows and beard very often. I think more men should embrace face razors.” The good ol’ toner is a 2023 discovery that, he mentions, has had a positive impact on his skincare routine. “I used to be ignorant toward toners until last year. I always knew the benefits but never tried it consistently to believe in it. My pores have minimised visibly since I started dedicatedly toning as a part of my routine.” The introduction to Japanese skincare products further had a favourable impact on his skin.
Sharing a few tips for people seeking joy in their beauty routine, he affirms, “Skincare journey is different for every individual, so you can only find joy if you enjoy and believe in what you are doing (much like most things in life). For me, trying a chemical exfoliant and applying a hydrating gel right after is very fulfilling. Joy isn’t derived from trends, do what your heart and skin desire.” Sunny is all about taking a holistic approach towards skincare—he applies a thick layer of moisturiser post-serum and rubs ice on the face before makeup, something he mentions is therapeutic. Products that he swears by are First Care Activating Serum, Ilem Japan’s Rejuvenating Night Gel, and a Cetaphil moisturiser. He concludes our chat by saying, “2023 was all about ceramide, peptide innovations, and acne patches from discreet transparent ones to quirky fun ones. We are collectively embracing the fact that we need to let acne be alone and not touch it. In 2024, I am expecting the skincare industry to be more targeted to skin ageing and lifting. Also, a spike in prebiotic skincare, which essentially retains the good bacteria on your skin so the natural cycle is not disturbed.”