“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” ~ Confucius
And the same can be said for skincare.
Seeing as today is National Simplicity Day, what better time than now for me to tell you about four skincare products that most of us can use as a complete skincare regime.
Often clients come to us wanting advice on their skincare routine and are unsure what products to use. Lots of people comment that they thought they’d come out with a complicated, seven or eight product regime and I’ve lost count of the shocked reactions when we only recommend four or so core products and that they’re not all from the same line or brand.
Of course, you can add into these core products if necessary. For example, you may want to boost your results further with an anti-ageing serum or an exfoliating product that you use once or twice a week. You may even decide to have a skin treatment in-clinic to further boost your efforts but, in the main, the products/ingredients below are an ideal core skincare regime, because we’re talking about simplicity today.
Those of us with a particular skin condition, such as melasma, rosacea or acne, will probably need to augment this slightly to help manage our symptoms (do seek advice).
Do this morning and night. Something simple and gentle can work well, especially if you’re just starting your regime.
There are SO many cleansers out there, once you’ve got your regime established you can always try using a different cleanser in the night-time to the one you use in the morning. You can even try one that offers a low-grade exfoliation, such as a cleanser that contains AHAs, to help keep on top of that dead skin-cell build up without always having to do a stronger exfoliation every week.
Myth: Those of use with acne need to cleanse more often than those who don’t. Acne is not caused by being ‘unclean’. There are a number of factors that contribute to acne and we often see clients who have tried to manage their symptoms by washing multiple times a day and using products which strip their skin of their natural oils; this can actually stimulate your skin to make even more oil to compensate.
Skin hydration is super important. Hydrated skin cells respond better to any other product you use and when your skins hydrated it looks plumper, firmer and smoother; I always use the slightly crude analogy of how a nice, juicy plum looks vs how a dehydrated prune looks.
It’s amazing what hydration can do, so we suggest you drink the recommended amount of water, but it’s worth knowing that often the body will prioritise other organs first when it comes to hydration and the skin last, so using a topical skin product that contains hyaluronic acid will quickly and effectively hydrate your skin.
Fact: Hyaluronic acid can hold a thousand times its own weight in water.
The sun is the main contributor to many of the skin concerns we see at our St. Albans skin clinic. Age spots, freckles, skin crepiness, poor skin texture can all be triggered by sun exposure.
Most of us will wear sun cream when it’s hot or we’re on holiday, but it’s the accidental exposure to UV rays that really builds up.
By ‘accidental’ exposure I mean the UV rays we get exposed to every single day (even when it’s cloudy and raining, even in winter, even when we’re in the car); the exposure that we don’t really think about because our skin isn’t getting sore or burnt. It all counts as UV exposure and it’s all having an impact.
If you’ve skipped ahead down the list, you’ll have noticed that I haven’t suggested using a moisturiser. This is because you daily SPF can double up as a moisturiser. Essentially, a moisturiser is a product that sits on the surface of your skin and stops water escaping which your daily SPF will do for you.
Of course, there are moisturisers that contain ingredients that have an impact on your skin, such as anti-ageing peptides, so if you need whatever the additional ingredient(s) is in your moisturiser, by all means use one (apply before your sun cream), but you don’t strictly need one if you’re using a daily SPF.
You can get daily sun creams that are that little bit more ‘extra’ and contain additional ingredients such as antioxidants; or that help to control your oil production, which is great for those of us who are acne-prone because some SPFs, especially those not designed specifically for the face, can leave us looking and feeling greasy.
Fact: Nobody is born with freckles. Although they can look cute, it’s actually a form of sun damage.
This is frequently seen as ‘retinol’ or ‘retin A’. This ingredient essentially reprograms your skin cells to behave better, helping a number of common skin concerns; pigmentation, ageing skin and acne to name the concerns we most frequently help at Skin to Love.
Vitamin A adjusts how your skin cells are behaving and instructs them to act like a young, healthy cell by regulating the cell turn over; stimulating the dermis (the living part of your skin) where collagen is created; and it helps to regulate the oil production.
Along with a daily SPF (which you should especially use when you use vitamin A), this ingredient is a great ‘preventative’ to help protect and prevent your skin from showing signs of ageing.
Fact: As we age, your skin cell turn-over slows down. In those of us who have acne, the cell turn-over can be faster than that of the average skin.
Bonus myth: The stronger the product, the better.
This is 100% not the case when it comes to vitamin A. In fact, if you use a version of this product that has too high a strength for you and/or you overload your skin with it by putting an excessive amount on, you can experience flaking or sore skin (from where the skin cells are turning over).
Start at a low strength and minimum use then, if necessary, build up. If you’re getting results you don’t need to increase the strength, I’ve been on the same strength retinol for seven years and I still don’t use it every single night.
As you can see, skin care does not need to be complex or take too much of your time. Keep things simple by having a solid foundation of ‘essential’ products and you can always build on this if and when you need to.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic or instructional purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment/product will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns; or to discuss treatments and products specifically for you.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.
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