Here’s your most commonly asked questions answered by Dr Toni!
- I have oily skin so I shouldn’t use ANY oil on my skin, right?
TRUE – for most products that are ‘facial oils’ or ‘body oils’ the quality of the actual therapeutic active oil is poor. These low quality oils are cheaper to use to manufacture in mass and contain additives that disrupt the skin barrier. This leads to a reduction in the ability of the skin to hydrate itself correctly which actually makes the skin feel more dry, and additionally producing more sebum or oil.
In the long-term, it down-regulates the skin cell function and can lead to premature skin ageing.
However, there are some very good quality oil products which can be used to add a moisture layer to facial and body skin. However, I think these are ultimately better suited to dry skin types. Those with combination or oily skin types would benefit much more by using products containing humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerine and ceramides.
- Skincare products marketed as ‘natural’ are always better?
FALSE – there are a few very lucky people who are blessed with well-balanced skin types. These are the people who can benefit from ‘natural’ or ‘non-active’ skin care products. For everyone else, and that is the majority of us, common skin imbalances occur causing oily skin, spots, acne, pigmentation, redness, dryness, flaking and generally not the lovely, glowing skin we all want. In order to restore the skin balance, a good skin care plan using the right products with active ingredients such as anti-oxidants, AHAs and BHAs (acids) and retinol, will be the only thing that makes a difference.
- Anti-aging products are for the….well, old, right?
FALSE – the term ‘anti-ageing’ is a bit outdated and refers to a desire to maintain the youthful qualities of healthy skin. A good skin care program to prevent skin ageing can be for anyone at any time. The products and ingredients used will be different for younger people, say under 40 compared with the types of products that will have more effect in more mature skins.
- I can use the same products in the morning and at night, can’t I?
TRUE and FALSE – a good skin care program is based on key steps beginning with thorough cleansing, skin protection and active correction of any skin problems such as acne or redness. During the day, an SPF should always be worn which obviously is not required in the dark of night.
In some cases, the skin routine steps are the same for the morning and evening (without the SPF) but in other cases, specific night-time products such as retinol are added which work best while the skin regenerates during sleep.
- Dry skin, dehydrated skin, they’re all the same thing, right?
FALSE – Dry skin is caused by an imbalance of the skin barrier function causing low hydration (water) levels on the skin surface. The only way to fix this is to repair the barrier function, which involves getting the skin back into shape with a skin care plan to support the daily skin cycle.
Dehydrated skin occurs when the overall body hydration levels are low, for example in extreme heat, after exercise, during illness or simply if you don’t drink enough water in the day. Improving the body hydration will lead to better skin hydration making the skin look fresh and glowy.
- Expensive skincare is always better than cheaper skincare
FALSE – there are many non-luxury commercial brands that have excellent products with decent actives such as cleansers with glycolic acid; Vit C and other antioxidants and retinols. However, the only variable is the unknown percentage of ingredients and how effective these will be in your skin care plan.
After an expert skin consultation, it is always a good idea to use the recommended products to ensure the end result is achieved. A bit like following a recipe with the exact amounts of ingredients. I would however, ask the therapist for alternative, less-expensive recommendations if your budget requires it.
The aim is to get you to your skin care goal and your expert therapist will always want to help you with the right products to get there.
A good rule is to invest more in products according to your skin concern. If you are battling acne or redness, stick to quality products recommended by the clinic. If you have fairly non-problematic skin, with the odd flare up you may be able to shop around for less expensive products that will keep you and your skin happy.