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NOW READING Setting Realistic Skin Goals: How to Achieve Your Best Skin (Not Someone Else’s)
March 29, 2019

Setting Realistic Skin Goals: How to Achieve Your Best Skin (Not Someone Else’s)

We know it’s hard not to look in the mirror and wonder why our skin doesn’t look like that celeb/influencer/skincare guru. But you know what’s harder? Trying to meet some unattainable goal that was probably achieved by Photoshop, way too much money, or DNA. So don’t do that to yourself! Let’s be our best selves this year — from our skin to our self-esteem.


Glass skin. Milk skin. Mirror skin. All different ways to describe the type of skin we see on celebrities and supermodels. Skin so clear it’s nearly translucent (glass skin), skin so smooth it looks like milk (milk skin), skin so radiant and glowy you can see yourself in it (mirror skin).


But listen. As someone who has been coveting clear, glassy, milky skin nearly my entire life (I mean, don’t we all, tbh), I am here to tell you that sometimes these skin goals are not realistic. The majority of people we see with extremely good skin have or are one or a combination of the following things:


1. excellent genetics

2. a celebrity

3. rich AF

4. scamming people by using deceiving filters or excessive Photoshop and Facetune



Of course, it is not bad to want “nice” skin (whatever that means for you, but we’ll get to that later). Just keep in mind that a lot of the time the people who might have #skingoals are either paid to have beautiful skin or spend a lot of money achieving it. It’s important to set realistic skin goals for yourself so you’re not chasing this possibly unattainable goal, spending countless dollars and time. It’s 2019, and we’re here to level up, OK! Let’s talk about how we can set these realistic skin goals into motion.


Identify specific goals


All too frequently I hear or read about people who say they want “good” skin. But what does this mean? I encourage you to get specific about what goals you want to achieve — that way you can put your plan into action. My current skincare goals are:


1. To balance my hormonal acne

2. Fade my PIH around my chin and jawline


And really, that’s it (for now). My skin is already pretty firm and plump, and I feel like I have a good glow going on. With these two goals in mind, I can take actionable steps. For example, I’ve learned that my hormonal acne is triggered by dairy. I found this out my eliminating it for three weeks, then trying to ease it back into my diet, and BOOM. The hormonal acne returned. So now I’ve sought out dairy-free alternatives for my coffee creamer, protein powder, and milk. I no longer eat cheese, and honestly, I don’t miss it AT ALL (thank god for living in Asia for five years).


realistic skin goals
Unsplash/Alice Donovan Rouse


Since I got the hormonal acne mostly under control, I’ve started to tackle my PIH, using tried-and-true ingredients like AHAs, which slough off dead skin cells from the surface, and the new AZN Labs Afterglow Ampoule, made with astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant that’s more powerful than vitamin C. I’ve already seen some pretty remarkable results, but PIH is a beast to fade and I know it will take at least three months, if not longer, for it to fade.


Buy products for your goals


Now that you’ve identified the goals you want to achieve, you can make a list of the products that target your concerns. I don’t know about you, but I am TOTALLY about buying products because they are the “new” thing or are hyped in the beauty community. But this isn’t the smartest thing to do because they may not be the most effective products to address my skincare concerns.


black friday realistic skin goals


On the Beautytap homepage, under “skincare,” you can actually shop by skin concern, which is pretty genius. There’s a section for everything — oily skin, acne, sensitive skin, etc. Take the guesswork out!


Don’t compare yourself


Former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and what a quote that is. I myself am guilty of scrolling through Instagram beauty posts wishing I had glossy, clear skin like XYZ. But one day I took a hard look at these people I admired with beautiful skin. One is the daughter of a literal billionaire. Another is a famous Victoria’s Secret supermodel. Another is a makeup artist famous for her skin. LIKE?! I am a freelancer and cannot afford the types of treatments and facials and products that they use. It is unrealistic of me to compare myself to them.


So I stopped. I unfollowed the people who lowered my self-esteem. Remember, social media should be used to inspire you, not make you feel bad.


Ready to tackle your realistic skin goals? Because we had such a positive response to our last AZN giveaway, we’re gonna give you one more chance to win a FULL-SIZE AZN Labs Afterglow Ampoule to help get you started on your skin goals journey.


All you have to do is comment below and let us know what your specific realistic skin goals are and what you’re doing to reach that goal. We’ll pick one random user, but hurry! This giveaway ends Monday, April 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST! Good luck!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I am actively trying to speed up my collagen production by using both full-strength tretinoin and an EGF/FGF serum from Abib (which has sadly been discontinued). I'm on my third bottle of serum, and I do feel like things are improving, but it's tough to be patient when your collagen production has dropped by 30% (I'm over 50). The rest of the products in my routine are either antioxidant rich or moisture dense. TBH, I also have my fair share of pretty bottles (mostly Sulwhasoo) because, well, you know.


We'd know if we'd won the ampoule ... right? ;)


I know my skin will never look pore less and blackheads free. I don’t want to be harsh on my sensitive skin anymore. Just take it easy and take care it from not only the outside but the inside too.
Drink lots of water, teas and take care of my gut more.


My forever nr. 1 skin goal is to achieve a healthy glow whilst avoiding breakouts, but your article has made me think things over, and I'll try to work in baby steps, instead. Step by step until my ideal skin checklist has ticked off every bullet point.

First achievable step: calming my skin down again after accidentally freaking it out with the new and not patch tested product. Most calming and non irritating minimal daily routine, do your thing!


The desire to wham my skin with things instead of focusing on gentle ... is so relatable. :D


I want to get rid of my PIH, mostly on my forehead and some around my mouth. I'm currently using vitamin C, niacinimide, and AHAs to address it. I just wish it still didn't take so long!

I think that my goal from now is to achieve the best version of my skin, which means glowy and plumpy skin as much as possible ^.^ (I wanted unified too but I gave up on that since I don't have a natural perfect skin lol) :
First, I will drink water. A lot.
Secondly, I am trying to get better eating habits because taling care of your skin starts with taking care of your stomach right !
Then I will use more sheetmasks to plump up my dehydrated skin (I am a lazy girl that put this lilttle ones... Read more


I’m focusing on plumping up my skin. I’m not only increasing my hydraulic acid and collagen based products but also addressing my diet and upping my daily water in take!


A great article Sheryll. For myself, a realistic goal is to improve my skin texture, I have small bumps (not acne) that are showing, and get rid of my hyperpigmentation from the chin area and the small scars that I have. Last year I had chickenpox, so i'm left with a few scars and darker spots. I got into Kbeauty only 3-4 months ago, and it was a really game changer for me. Beautytap was the first site that I ordered from, and the reviews were so helpful for a newbie like me :)


Sorry to butt in here, but have you found anything great for addressing textural issues that aren't acne?


Hi Jane :), I'm using at the moment a toner with Mandelic acid in the morning and Klairs Vita C drop serum, in the evening and I do see a slight improvement, however i'm still searching and testing different products. As I am pretty new in this, I'm still researching which are the ingredients that would benefit my skin condition :)


My realistic skin goal is to control my eczema breakouts and just take the time to pay attention to what my skin needs! I have a bad habit of getting too excited about chemical dxfoliants and then having to deal with weeks of peeling and sensitivity afterwards.


A realistic goal that I’ve set for myself this season is finally get rid of my hyperpigmentation scars - all the years of picking at my skin and not wearing sunscreen really took a toll on not only my appearance but my self esteem! I’ve been incorporating more vitamin C and vitamin E products to combat this! Hopefully I reach my goal by summer ☺️🌹