Embracing your skin, even if it’s a little crusty

University student Trent Andersen has grown his skincare Instagram, @little_crusty, to more than 2,000 followers.

Illustration by Eva Berezovsky

Illustration by Eva Berezovsky

Ksenia Gorinshteyn

Trent Andersen can comfortably exclaim that his skin is “just a little crusty,” regardless of his audience.

Whether over the phone, in an interview, or to his more than 2,000 followers on Instagram, he wants people to embrace just that — their crustiness. 

Andersen, a senior at the University of Minnesota, runs the Instagram account @little_crusty, which he uses to “empower and inform” beauty consumers.

“Within the Venn diagram of beauty hobbyist and the professional, I try and take up the space in the middle and bridge the gap between the two,” he said. 

“Little Crusty” felt like a natural progression for Andersen after spending three and a half years working at makeup counters at Ulta and Clinique. 

“I really try and use my professional training and industry experience to facilitate dialogues about ethical beauty, marketing practices and ingredients,” Andersen said. “I want to help everyone be more critical of the businesses they’re supporting because people want to support brands that do good.”

The idea came to Andersen in the basement of the Wilson Library. He and a friend were planning on studying at the Dunn Brothers coffee shop, but as “studying” with a friend goes, they left with the idea of starting their skincare Instagram accounts together. 

“He puts his all into it and treats it like a business and sees success from it,” said Katelyn Osland, Andersen’s roommate and a University alumna. “Our mirror right now has a bunch of plans for his future posts and the brands he wants to collaborate with.”

While there’s a seemingly endless number of skincare and beauty brands out there, Andersen wants to work with the ones that align with his values. As a political science major, he seeks out brands like Lush and Paula’s Choice that are ethical and promote social justice initiatives.

“During my sophomore year I was really obsessed with researching ingredients, and I realized how many market claims were just that — market claims,” Andersen said. “They weren’t necessarily rooted in my best interest or my skin’s best interest.”

As a face in the skincare community, Andersen wants to keep it authentic. He’s the creator of #skintexturetuesday, which encourages others to post an unfiltered, unedited picture of their skin. Along with the photo, you write a reflection of how you’re feeling about your skin.

In one of Andersen’s own posts, he wrote, “It makes my face unique — with its own beautiful terrain that catches the light in a one of a [kind] way,” in regards to his acne scarring, skin texture and pores.

As @little_crusty grows, Andersen continues to engage his audience with live videos on Instagram of his daily skincare routine, encouraging posts about loving yourself and skincare tips that are easy to digest and include affordable options.

“He’s really passionate about learning, and I think this is the field that really doesn’t cap him,” said Amy Zhou, a junior studying political science. “There is no roof.”

And as Andersen continues to grow his knowledge and his account, he’s also just trying to be there for his community.

“I try and give people the holistic picture of [beauty and skincare],” Andersen said. “I want them to feel like they’re empowered and educated to make the best decisions for themselves and their skin.”

Little Crusty’s skincare recommendations

For sensitive and acne-prone skin:

Cleansers 

– CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($15)

– Paula’s Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser ($13)

Moisturizers

– CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($12)

– Good Molecules Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer ($14)

Sunscreen

– Paula’s Choice Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 ($33)

– Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 50 ($16)

One thing you should splurge on

Nécessaire The Body Serum ($45)

Reason to buy: “You don’t necessarily need it, but if you just broke up with your boyfriend or are graduating and want a present for yourself, this is definitely something that I would pick up,” Andersen said. 

Where can I learn more about skincare?

– Dr Dray’s YouTube channel and Instagram account, @drdrayzday

– Caroline Hirons’ YouTube channel and Instagram account, @carolinehirons

– Hannah English’s Instagram account, @ms_hannah_e

– Michelle Wong’s Instagram account, @labmuffinbeautyscience