In conversation with the superbly talented Pia Hazarika
Pia Alize Hazarika is an illustrator and designer whose works, from comics to children’s books, have been a pure delight to witness. ‘Spreading Your Wings’ – A Health Infocomic for Girls of All Ages, illustrated by Pia is even nominated for Children’s Book of The Year at Publishing Next 2019! Her illustrations make our Instagram feed so much more interesting, while also shedding light on important issues. Naturally, she’s one of our favourite creators to follow. So, it was quite exciting when we got the opportunity to do a quick Q&A with her, about our common love – skincare!
- What does skincare mean to you? Tell us about your relationship with your skin, in terms of skin concerns, struggles and your routine?
Skincare – for me is very subjective. It’s personal. Everyone has their own routines, products beliefs, cure-alls – and I don’t think there’s a one size fits all formula for everyone. At this point I’m just thankful for genetics and the fact that my grandmother told me to wash my face twice a day with ‘mild soap’. As for my relationship with my skin – it’s been pretty tenuous – it’s sensitive, I have rosacea, it’s oily and prone to breakouts, and used I to pick at it a lot. I breakout around once a month (Thanks PMS) – and for the most part I just leave it alone (now). I don’t eat a lot of sugar, I don’t eat dairy, I take biotin, I take probiotics – drink a lot of water (I know), and I’m a big believer in ‘if it’s good for my body it’s probably good for my skin’. So, you’ll probably find me in a kitchen home-made masking like a fiend.
- What thought goes into choosing your skincare products?
At this point I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible – Chemical/cruelty-free + ethically sourced has become a pretty big deal for me. I’m also 31, so I guess this means the fight against aging and gravity has begun(?). I look at ingredients a lot –
I use a Guasha. I’ve just started experimenting with serums. I’m definitely investing more in skincare vs. makeup which has unquestionably saved me a lot of time and mental breakdowns, because after a point it’s a bit redundant fighting your own face. I’m also realllllllly lazy so the fewer steps the better. I need it to work, I need it to stay put and I need it to be efficient.
- What were your early steps into skincare like?
My grandmother and aunts had great skin, and they all used pears, rosewater and Nivea – very lady-like. I used to watch them get ready all the time. Even now it’s soap, toner and not cream but face oil …and sunscreen when I remember. Cream is way too heavy for me and I’m pretty sure my eyeliner would slide straight off my face on a regular basis if I stuck with it. I also remember them putting a lot of Besan and dahi on my face, so I guess that’s where my love for facemasks comes from.
- Over the years, how has your approach to skincare shifted and evolved?
I’ve learned to be a lot gentler with it. There was a time where I would go ham with the cleansing because my baby brain though the more I stripped my skin, the cleaner it was (oops). THEN I discovered face oil, and while it might seem counter intuitive to add more oil to oil, it turns out the right one can actually help a lot in rebalancing any dryness a cleanser causes – and now I’m addicted. PLUS, I don’t need primer. I never had a lot of breakouts as a teenager (small mercies) AND THEN, this one time when I was 22/23 it hit me like a truck (shout out adult cystic acne and stress) – and then I went to a dermatologist who…made it worse? Go figure. That’s around the time I made the big move to more natural products and started looking at skincare very holistically – yeah, it’s your outsides, but it’s about your insides too, mental health included.
- What’s your go-to skincare hack?
I swear by cinnamon and honey face packs – It’s one of the main things that got me through acne-gate. It’s super purifying and moisturising, plus doubles up as an exfoliant, which, surprise – oily skin needs. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a bunch of BHA sheet masks in the fridge. I usually end up alternating between the two.
- What are your thoughts about VAUNT Skincare? What has your experience with VAUNT been like?
I LOVEit. I had been stalking it on IG for a while because at that point there weren’t a lot of companies focused primarily on natural skincare. And then pretty serendipitously they got in touch with me, and they were very helpful when it came to discussing my concerns and problem areas. I ended up getting the Tamanu and Cranberry Seed face oil. It’s been about 8 months now I’m kind of hooked and have been recommending and gifting it and Vaunt to a lot of my friends. Right now, I have a refill + the Vitamin C water and the Watermelon and Seaweed face mist sitting in my cart. It’s an added bonus that the packaging is super-cute and they come in travel friendly sizes!