#6 Labels to Look For on Your Next Skincare Products

*This post is not sponsored.

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well.

Today I want to talk to you about a major (and for some even essential) skincare topic that you might want to consider. As most of you might know, I am obsessed with trying out new skincare products, from high-end moisturizers to Korean cleansers and “underdog” serums. However, do we really know what we’re putting on our face? Since I’ve had some more time on my hands these past few months, I’ve been doing some research into skincare ingredients (e.g., what they mean, what they do for your skin, what can and cannot be combined, etc.) and I realized that a lot of our favorite products are filled with ingredients that can either harm our skin (if not now, then in the long run) or are simply not doing anything good or effective and therefore, unnecessary.

In this post I will be talking about a number of labels and terms on skincare products that you might want to pay attention to. If you have an easy, non-sensitive and non-problematic skin, I can imagine you don’t see a reason to switch up your skincare routine. And, as long as you’re still aware of what you’re putting on your face, that’s okay! But if you find yourself struggling with acne, blackheads, oily skin, large pores, redness or simply cannot maintain a balanced skin (aside from hormonal issues)- you should consider looking for the following labels and terms on your next skincare products.


Oil-free.

If you’re dealing with oily-skin and nothing seems to work for you, try specifically looking for oil-free products. If the product isn’t meant for sebum regulation or mattifying purposes or if it doesn’t specifically mention “oil-free” on the packaging, chances are that the product contains some ingredients that will lead to an oily skin throughout the day. I personally have always dealt with oily skin. No matter whether it was warm and humid or freezing cold, my skin would always get shiny a few hours after my skincare / makeup routine. I would blot my T-zone several times a day and the oils would still come through. So, when I read about the difference switching to oil-free products could make, I did not hesitate for one second and started looking up suitable products. Now, all my skincare and makeup products are water-based instead of oil-based, and I switched my Teaology Rose Tea Micellar Cleansing Water to the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner. I can’t be too optimistic, applying this toner in the AM and PM does not guarantee that your skin won’t get oily throughout the day. But the times I need to blot my T-zone has drastically decreased and that’s something, isn’t it?


Alcohol-free.

Despite popular beliefs that alcohol is good for drying out acne and oily skin, it’s probably for the best if you try to avoid alcohol on your skin. It doesn’t even sound right, does it? Shortly put, alcohol is too harsh, too drying and too damaging to the skin’s protective barrier. This means that the skin won’t be able to lock in moisture and will therefore cause dryness, irritations and even breakouts. But…there are also “good” kinds of alcohol (no, not the mojito you’re planning to have this Saturday night!). These good kinds of alcohol (A.K.A fatty alcohols) are derived from vegetables. Fatty alcohols (often indicated as Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl in an ingredient list) help emulsifying purposes. This means that, for instance, they help keep the product together so that the oil and water don’t separate. Fatty alcohols do not dry or irritate the skin at all and are therefore safe to use. So, don’t shy away from all products that mention ‘alcohol’ in their ingredient list, make sure to check if it’s the good or bad kind first.


Fragrance-free.

Let’s be honest here, most of our favorite skincare products contain fragrances (sometimes also indicated as “perfume” in an ingredient list). Several studies have shown that fragrances in skincare products are the most common cause of sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. This goes for all skin types, not just if you’re dealing with sensitivity, redness- or acne-prone skin. If you’re not noticing any damage to your skin, that doesn’t mean your skin is not hurting. Our skin is very good at hiding when it’s being aggravated, and it will come back to haunt you in the long run. So if you can, opt for fragrance-free skincare products. Click here for an article by Paula’s Choice on why you should be choosing fragrance-free products. This was a hard one for me because I found out that the majority of my go-to skincare products contained fragrances. However, I did manage to switch my Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer to the CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion (which is even cheaper!).


Non-comedogenic products.

Non-comedogenic is a term used to describe skincare and make-up products that are formulated in a certain way that they are not likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts. When a product is labeled non-comedogenic, it means that the product does not contain any ingredients that are known to clog pores. Especially if you’re struggling with acne, you might want to consider purchasing non-comedogenic skincare products and make-up. Click here for more reasons to be using non-comedogenic products.


Paraben-free.

Parabens are ingredients that should be avoided altogether: in makeup, skincare and even in hair products! But why? Parabens disrupt the hormone functioning by mimicking oestrogen. Still don’t see the harm? Too much oestrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumors. Several studies have linked paraben use to breast cancer and reproductive issues. For more (detailed) information about this, check out this article by ELLE Magazine.


Silicone-free.

The main reason you should be avoiding silicones in your skincare is because it clogs your pores. Silicones trap everything like bacteria, impurities, dirt and sebum in your skin by forming a barrier on the skin (this is why most make-up primers are silicone-based!). Silicones can cause large pores, acne and blackheads so try to avoid it as much as possible! Check out this article by Fitglow Beauty for 9 other reasons to avoid silicone (although this one should have been enough…).


I’m not going to sugarcoat it, finding average-priced skin care products with (most of) the above-mentioned labels is hard. That’s why it’s important to learn how to read ingredient lists, don’t you want to know what kind of acids, soaps, oils, etc., you’re applying to your precious skin every morning and evening? You can also consider to use products that are either developed by dermatologists, meaning that the ingredients are carefully selected and most likely to be non-comedogenic.

If you have problematic skin, I know it’s tempting to switch to another skincare product or routine when you don’t see any results right away. It’s frustrating, because why is the $40 vitamin E-serum that you’ve been using for a month not getting rid of your hyperpigmentation yet? It was expensive, so it must be good, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that (anymore). That’s why it’s important to be patient and learn to stick with one particular product routine that works for you. If it isn’t causing any breakouts or redness, it is definitely worth using the product for a few months and see what it does. Check out this article by Business Insider for 11 clean skincare brands!

What are some things you pay attention to before purchasing a new skincare product? Comment below!

Officially Moving to New York!

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all doing great, and my apologies for not posting anything for a while. I’ve been really busy in the past few months, and it all worked out:

This Fall I’m going to work as a marketing intern at Only Hearts, in New York. I’ll be moving to New York this August, until the end of January 2019 and I’m so excited!

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Only Hearts is a lingerie and clothing brand, based in New York. Their pieces are worn by Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kate Moss and Demi Lovato to name a few.  Only Hearts offers a full range of lifestyle lingerie, sleep- and loungewear and it’s all about being sexy yet glamorous. I’m really looking forward to joining their marketing team!

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Check out their Instagram here: @OnlyHearts1978

A must-have bucket list item: doing an internship in New York. Sometimes I don’t realize how blessed I am to get this opportunity and make this dream come true. It will be a period full of new experiences, meeting new people and living in an entirely new environment. Hopefully,  this opportunity will give me the chance to improve myself, not only in knowledge but also mentally.

Obviously, I’m a little nervous about moving to an entirely different and huge city like New York. I’ve always lived in a pretty small and quiet town in the Netherlands, and now I’m about to move to ‘the city that never sleeps’.

If any of you are living (or have lived) in the US, please let me know if you have any tips, or if you want to share any experiences just comment below!

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#5 Places to Successfully Promote Your Blog (Tips + Tricks)

Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, traffic is one of the most important things when you’re a blogger. There are so many ways to increase your blog traffic, but the simplest one is to promote your blog and yourself: it’s more sensible to let readers associate your name with your blog (unless you’d rather stay anonymous, obviously). Today I’ll tell you about a few ways to promote your blog and how to do this. You’re probably familiar with most of them, but are you really using them to the fullest?

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1. Social Media

This isn’t only the most obvious one,  but also the most important one. In the US only, an estimated 185 million people are active on social media. Also, 9 in 10 companies worldwide are using social media to interact with customers and promote themselves. Research shows that there were 2,46 billion social media users active in 2017, and people are expecting a total of 3 billion users in 2021. In short, why would you not promote your blog on social media? It’s the way to reach whoever you want to reach. (Source)

A lot of us are currently using Instagram to upload selfies, holiday pictures, party pictures or stalk our “friends”, but this exact same platform could be used for business purposes. If you’re ready to let people know you own a blog, consider putting the link in your Instagram bio. Believe me, it will attract dozens of viewers on a daily base which will make you realize how much people stalk your Instagram…

Another way is creating a Facebook page for your blog, this is also great if your blog has multiple writers. A Facebook page is the way to connect with your readers in a more personal way and keep them up-to-date.

If your blog is all about photographing or any other kind of art, you should definitely start promoting on Tumblr. This might also be your place to be for inspiration!

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2. StumbleUpon

I used StumbleUpon a lot when I started getting more serious with my blog, it’s the easiest way to discover new and interesting websites, photos and videos across the web. It’s also your chance to put your website/blog posts on there and get noticed!

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3. Tell people about it (Word-of-Mouth)

One of the most effective ways to create awareness under your target-audience is to talk to them. Tell your friends, family or acquaintances about your blog and ask them to check it out. For example, you can ask an uncle who’s great in English to check out your grammar. This way the people around you will know about your blog and there’s a big chance they’ll tell other people about it too and that is exactly what you want!

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4. Pinterest

I have written an entire article about how to get the most out of Pinterest, which you can find here. Pinterest is full of possibilities to design your life. Discover recipes, healthcare, skincare and self-care ideas, style inspiration, blog post ideas, projects for your home, DIYs and tips and tricks you should definitely try. Find everyday ideas you love, what to make for dinner, what to put on your walls, what to wear and more ideas for every part of your life.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to find and make business connections, expand your business community and share your business-related experiences. If you want to promote yourself or get your blog to a higher and more professional level, this is exactly what you need.


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#8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

I started blogging when I was 13, that’s nearly 5 years ago, and I knew practically nothing about blogging in general. All I knew was that I wanted to write stuff for people to read, and WordPress made it easy for me to create a free online blog. I had never heard of SEO’s, affiliate marketing, hyperlinks or HTML codes, and my grammar wasn’t the best either.

During these 5 years I learned a lot and made some real progress, which all paid off. I’m proud of myself for the progress I made but there are still a few things I wish I knew before I actually started blogging. I’ve listed them below and I hope it helps you out too!

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1. Treat your blog as a business (from the beginning)

I started my blog during summer break, because I had so much free time and simply didn’t know what to do. I spent weeks to get my blog up and going and it all went well until I had to go back to school. To be honest, I neglected my blog for a year, if not longer, and it took me really long to get motivated again. Not posting regularly from the beginning is also the reason you’re probably not getting the amount of traffic you hoped for. That’s why it’s better to treat your blog like a business from the beginning, even when you don’t plan on making money. This will keep you motivated and inspired, and it will definitely pay off.

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2. Do your research

This one probably speaks for itself, but doing good research is important. You don’t have to spend an entire day researching a topic you want to post about, just make sure you know what you’re saying and that it’s all valid (just imagine writing a DIY- face mask -tutorial and you’re telling your readers to put lemon juice on their face…Hell no! ).

3. It’s okay to  compare yourself to other bloggers

I’ve searched the web, and a lot of people were discouraging new bloggers to compare themselves with other bloggers. I have to disagree on this though, because what’s wrong with comparing yourself to bloggers and influencers you look up to?  I mean, that’s why they’re called influencers right? Yes, it’s wrong to compare yourself too much or take over original ideas from others. But as a blogger, you have to know your position in the blogging community. You have to compare yourself with others to find out what your blog is lacking, this is the only way to really improve your blog in order to get more traffic and become successful.

4. It takes time to grow

This might be the most important one yet. When you’re in the start-up phase of your blog, it’s easy to get demotivated because you’re not getting any traffic. But get this: there are over 1 billion websites online. Nearly 75 million of them are WordPress blogs, and yours just came on top of that. It takes time to grow your blog, create awareness and stand out. Finding out how you want to position yourself online takes time, but it is one of the most important steps to walk through when you’re starting a blog.

Melyssa Griffin has taught me everything needed to know about blogging with her free online workbooks, templates and sheets. If you’re new to blogging, I recommend checking out her website. You’ll find loads of useful tips and tricks to get started!

Check out: How to Grow Your Blog (Like a Boss) – Melissa Gryffin

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5. Connect with readers

Seeking contact and staying in touch with (frequent) readers is so important. Your readers choose to read your blog so you have to keep them satisfied. It’s pretty similar to customer-relationships. Seeking contact with your readers can be as easy as ending your blog post with a relevant question, this will invite your readers to place a comment. Also important: staying in touch. Don’t forget to reply to the comments you receive, and take the time to check out other blog posts (and comment!).

6. SEO

As your blog is growing, you’ll have to deal with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is all about getting your blog posts on the 1st page of Google Search results. To end up there, you have to use certain keywords in your posts to show Google your content is actually relevant and helpful for the searcher. There are a million guides out there that will teach you every single thing you need to know about SEO, so it’s definitely worth it to take the time and do some research.

7. Content calendar

This is probably the simplest but most useful tip ever: make a content calendar. This way you’ll know exactly when to post what, and you can plan ahead. It’s not even necessary to use a real calendar, just write down the days of the week on paper and fill it in! It’s as simple as that and will save you lots of time and stress.

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8. And finally, blog because you love it! 

Many people think that blogging is the way to become successful, make money online and become an influencer. That all seems really great and it’s not entirely false, but it’s not the spirit you should have when you start blogging. The only way a blog can become successful is when you actually put an effort in it. And the only way you can keep up the effort is to write about what you love.

If your only intention is to make money fast, you’re not gonna get there and might as well give up already.


All in all, having a blog is fun but it does take time and effort. Make sure that you love what you’re doing and you’re actually still enjoying it, that’s the key to making your blog successful!

P.s. here are a few tips to help you create great content:

  1. Before you publish anything, ask yourself: Am I so proud of this post that I’m ready to show it even to my enemy?
  2. Subscribe to Neil Patel’s email-list and learn everything you need to know about online marketing.
  3. If you’re not already active on Pinterest, get on there! Pinterest is full of ideas for blog posts, improvements and motivational quotes. You might even find free worksheets that’ll help you out! 
  4. New to SEO or never heard of it at all? Read this beginner’s guide to SEO and become a pro!

 

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