It happens over and over again. She's embarrassed, and almost apologetic over her condition. Her skin shows signs of breakouts and the redness of inflammation. As we talk it becomes very apparent that she's struggling to make sense of the recommendations that she's following from social media, online "experts' and beauty counters. Her home routine is overwhelming and encompasses too many products.
Coconut oil, granular facial scrub, charcoal exfoliating brush, dermarollers are just a few of the clues that come to the surface as we chat about her routine. It becomes very apparent that we have two separate issues. A damaged skin barrier and a routine that's congesting the skin.
When faced with a skin issue, people throw more and more product at the problem often making it worse, traumatizing their skin and creating a scenario where it is virtually impossible to treat the issue without some serious intervention. Unfortunately, it's difficult for someone to wade through what's fact and what is simply the latest flavour of the month (or paid endorsement) being promoted as a blanket solution for the masses.
By reducing this clients routine to a gentle cleanser, a 2-3 times per week gentle exfoliation, an active serum and lightweight moisturizer we were able to heal the blemishes, soothe the inflammation and create a more vibrant, healthy looking complexion. Happy skin looks so good!
Skin congestion...blackheads, whiteheads, pimples...
Hormonal issues aside, it's very common to hear that someone is using coconut oil, cocoa butter or another comedogenic ingredient that is leading to clogged pores from a build up of oils and debris. While our skin doesn't officially "breathe", it doesn't respond well to being smothered either. Comedogenic ingredients coat the skin interfering with our ability to shed skin cells, and the natural flow of sebaceous oils, not to mention it creates the perfect environment for pimple causing bacteria to throw a party. The result is a rough, bumpy, uneven skin complexion and plenty of pesky blemishes.
Breakouts, inflammation, sensitivity...
Granular scrubs, charcoal brushes, acids and retinol, used in combination, can lead to over exfoliating and the destruction of the skins protective barrier function. A damaged barrier function opens the skin to bacterial attack and sensitivity to environmental triggers. If you're experiencing sensitivity, dry itchiness, rash or reactive skin, it may be time to minimize the scrubbing and peeling. A gentle daily cleanse and an exfoliation 2-3 times a week is often ideal for most people. We want to repair and maintain the skin barrier.
A few keys points to consider...
- Always remove makeup prior to going to bed. (avoid makeup wipes/harsh chemical astringents)
- If you have to choose between day and night, an evening cleanse is a must to remove the daily buildup of grime and oils.
- Over exfoliating is bad, but not hard to do. Many creams, serums, masks, etc contain exfoliating acids so be sure to check you aren't over doing it.
- Avoid heavy products that create occlusive barriers as they clog pores which can lead to blackheads, milia, and congestion/breakouts.
Time to pull back, and take a look at what you are using. We strongly believe less is more, and if you're having a skin issue, there's a good chance your product isn't working for you.
We always welcome questions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org