How many skincare products do you use?
Plus an eye cream for targeting dark circles and crow's feet. Perhaps a retinol to keep things youthful, and a dose of vitamin C for brightness. It's always good to have a sheet mask for special occasions too.
And then the next thing you know your bathroom cabinet is overflowing with glass bottles and tubs...
So are we using too many skincare products?
While the concern is more toward using the incorrect products for your skin, Nurse Alice Jenkins, Dermatology & Celebrity Injector, says we do tend to over-moisturise.
"In fact, only 15 per cent of us actually need to use a daily moisturiser at all – those that do usually have genetically dry skin that doesn't function in the correct way."
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"It’s a common misconception that the more moisturiser you use, the more effective it will be. On average, our skin can only absorb up to 60 per cent of what is put on it – anything more than that will just sit on the surface, clogging up your pores, suffocating the skin and affecting its barrier and the way it works."
When it comes to cleansing, Alice says it's a-ok if you're doing this twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) - but if you have sensitive skin, 'double cleansing' could be doing more harm than help.
What negative effects can too many products have on our skin?
Overloading the skin with too many rich and heavy textures can make your skin lazy and complacent.
"It finds a dependence on external moisture and doesn’t work as hard to perform its natural function of protecting and hydrating itself. In fact, overusing products such as moisturiser will only worsen the majority of skin concerns," says Alice.
"Not only does it make your skin reliant on additional hydration, but it can also result in an overproduction of sebum; leading to inflammation, clogged pores, redness, flaking, pigmentation and acne."
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So should we just 'cleanse, tone and moisturise'?
'Skip-care' is being promoted as the latest skincare trend from Korea. But really, dermatologists have been preaching this simplistic approach to skincare for years.
There's a reason, 'cleanse, tone and moisturise' is such a well-known phrase. Many believe three steps is all you need to maintain healthy skin, and it just depends on your skin type as to which slight tweaks you may make. Eg. 'Cleanse, exfoliate, serum' might be better suited to you.
"The first step in any skincare routine is to start with a clean, blank canvas by removing any makeup, dirt, and impurities from the skin", says Alic. "If makeup isn’t taken off properly it can clog the pores meaning it may become congested and as a result that your skin will feel and look greasy, unhealthy, and dull."
Following from this, Alice recommends using a 'skin-specific' serum (preferably with active ingredients like retinol or vitamin C) and then SPF (mornings only). "Try to choose fewer products, but ones that are of the highest quality and hardworking."
"Instead of overloading your skin with products, help it to naturally work for itself. Start by gradually reducing the amount of skincare you use each day."
Less products mean a shorter routine and more time for Netflix, so we're in. How about you?