This has become my new skincare motto as I challenge the ways things have been done for years to the point that the majority of us rely on the miracle cream while the oily skin types cleanse too harshly and avoid moisturisers!
The two schools of thought are that you can cleanse your skin with whatever you like, a foaming facial wash, a liquid exfoliant, micellar water and even a baby wipe! Moisturisers are where you should spend your money, on exquisite textures, loaded with 20 ingredients claiming to hydrate, plump, tone, smooth leaving a radiant complexion. On the other side its about a squeaky clean skin – cleansing, toning, exfoliating, toning again, mattifying product and no moisturiser or one so water based you may as well finish the routine with water!
I am totally result-driven, passionate about getting the right outcome for each and every person who wants my advice and on this subject I feel there is some re-educating needed on the theory side and a whole new approach on the product side so here is my theory based on 21 years so far working with skin in a clinic environment and in retail. I’ve had the advantage of working with some very interesting brands where ingredient quality and efficacy were high on the agenda.
Re-educating the theory of skin
So, the skin itself is an organ which prides itself on its ability to protect and excrete, it’s so good at doing this, here let me give you the quickest example I was ever taught…’When you get in a bath you don’t absorb all the water, right..?’ Skin has a line of defense on the surface of the skin, an immune system on the outside if you like yet we wear it down, weaken it and end up with problematic skin from Eczema to Acne. We try to take over from what the skin does naturally, it already cleanses itself – it’s called sweating! It already exfoliates itself – it’s called cell renewal! It already moisturises itself – it’s called sebum! It’s already clever, we need to respect it and nurture it.
Dry vs Dehydrated Skin
Just to tuck into skin types a little further on the subject of skin theory. let’s look at a dry skin. So many people I have talked to and treated have described their skin as dry yet I would term it as dehydrated. The difference is a dry skin is a result of lipid loss and causes flakiness and a rough thick texture, while dehydration is water loss and leaves the skin taut, tight and lacking resilience and bounce.
If you have an oilier skin you’d be forgiven for thinking if I astringently remove the oil that will mattify it when in actual fact as you strip away the sebum the brain is confused, it thinks it’s dry and sends more oil!
Bespoke Skincare Routines
With that new theory in mind lets look at how to approach your skincare routine. My bespoke approach is about acknowledging that our skin does not fall into a type category it’s not one set way, it can change daily and so your products need to be bespoke in order to meet the multiple needs and daily changes your skin endures.
Let’s start with cleansing – cleaning your skin is not just about removing make-up and dirt, it’s about balance, preparing the skin to have the best chance of absorption. The textures should not be water-based they should be oil-based to soften, condition and in the case of oily skin balance (treat oil with oil and eventually the brain realises it doesn’t need to send too much oil!). I created a kit containing 4 treatment cleansing oils, a cleansing base, konjac sponge and bamboo cloths. I often recommend a double cleanse. Spend your money here on the preparation phase so that you don’t have to spend your money on the miracle cream to make up for what you took away from the skin!
Moisturising should be seen as conditioning, it should leave your skin comfortable and supple and should absorb without leaving residue. You should be using 1/2 a garden pea size and patting into your skin to boost elasticity and to settle the skin before make-up or to rest overnight. During the day consider an SPF I like to use a tinted moisturiser SPF15 for daily use as it’s light. If you overload your skin with lashings of moisturiser or heavy thick formulas you’ll cause it to sag and cause congestion.
There’s one other criteria to seek out – there is no need to exceed 6 ingredients in one product, you’ll end up with a weak, under-performing product.
Try this new theory, apply it and ultimately enjoy better skin!