When we look back at our skincare regime from five years ago, we can’t believe how much it’s changed. For starters, we’d never heard of double cleansing, and now we couldn’t imagine going to do bed without conducting the K-beauty ritual (gasp). We’ve also discovered tons of other insane nuggets of skincare wisdom and facts that will transform your skincare regime and leave you with happier, healthier skin. Here are five facts your skin will thank you for…
1. Over-cleansing can cause breakouts
Overwashing your face or using harsh cleansers can majorly throw your skin off balance. Yup, there is such a thing as too clean when it comes to skincare – who’d have thought? By using cleansers that are too harsh (or maybe it’s just your skin), you can upset the skin’s water lipid-protein balance, weakening the defensive layer of your skin, which means bacteria is more easily able to penetrate, thereby increasing the likelihood of a breakout. You could also be stripping your skin of its natural oils, and potentially dehydrating your skin. As a result, your skin will try to compensate for the lack of moisture and produce even more oil, upping your risk of blocked pores that can lead to breakouts. Check out our definitive guide to cleansing to ensure you don’t over-cleanse!
2. How your skin ages in 90% within your control
If you’ve ever seen someone and thought “wow, they’ve aged well,” well, it’s not necessarily down to chance or genetics. We were kinda taken aback when Dr. Friedmann from the London Dermatology Clinic, told us that 90% of how our skin ages is within our control and is directly linked to sun exposure, which basically makes SPF the most effective anti-aging product on the planet. And if you ask any derm, they’ll all tell you that SPF is the absolute essential everyone should have in their routine.
This image published in the New England Journal of Medicine includes a portrait of a 69-year-old truck driver. The side of his face (unprotected by sunscreen) next to the truck window was consistently exposed to the sun, which just goes to prove that with a little SPF, this man might have aged very differently.
But not all SPF is made equal, and an SPF15 in your foundation isn’t going to cut it. Look for a formula that is SPF 30 (or higher) with 5-star UVA protection. Dr. Friedmann recommends the “SunSense Daily Face SPF50+ Invisible Tint Finish Sunscreen, $15, or any of the Nivea sunscreen line that’s targetted for children,” as they provide powerful, long-lasting protection. Find out more about sunscreen and the common myths associated with SPF here.
3. Skincare applied in the wrong order is almost useless!
In fact, at times it would be more effective to abandon the product altogether rather than apply it incorrectly. For example, if you apply a new serum after your moisturizer, the serum will not be able to penetrate the moisture, because moisturizer creates a barrier on the skin, which would prevent the active (and expensive) ingredients in your serum from reaching the deeper layers of the skin. Most oils, unless they specify otherwise, also create a barrier on the skin, and that’s why they’re so amazing a locking in moisture – it also means you should apply them as the last step in your routine!
4. Your skin is slightly acidic
Did you know that your skin is slightly acidic? And, to remain happy and healthy, and more importantly, glowy, it needs to remain within the acidic bracket at roughly 4.7. it needs to remain within the acidic bracket at roughly 4.7. Naturally, we have an acidic film on the outer layer of our skin (the acid mantle), which helps protect the skin from bacteria, pollution, and allergens. However, using too many acidic products (like AHAs and BHAs) can irritate your skin while using products that are too alkaline (any soapy products) can cause redness, and even speed up aging. We know, shocking!
This is why it’s so important to look for pH-balanced products – like the HoliFrog cleansers. Equally, you need to examine your skincare regime and check that you’re not applying too many acidic or alkaline products that would tip your skin’s pH level off-balance. For example, if your cleanser contains salicylic acid and you’re using a vitamin C product you may not need to use an exfoliating toner as well, to avoid acid overload.
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5. Less is more (sometimes)
The more moisturizer you slap on your face the more moisturized it will become? While this seems kinda logical, it’s actually not true, and you’ll most likely only end up wasting product. Applying too much product can cause it to pill (when the product gathers into little balls), which makes it ineffective and you could end up clogging your pores. Check out our sizing guide to know how much formula you should use.
Similarly, if you’ve read about a new miracle skincare ingredient, incorporating it into every product of your skincare regime won’t necessarily enhance the promised benefits. Take salicylic acid as the prime example, if used in moderation, it’ll cleanse deep into your pores, unbinding the glue the holds dead skin cells together. However, if your face wash, toner, and serum all contain salicylic acid, you could end up over-exfoliating your skin, leaving it feeling dry, tight, and itchy. The same goes for other potent ingredients like retinol and AHAs, which should be used alternatively to avoid overdrying your skin.
This is why it’s important to take a look at your skincare regime as a whole and make sure you’re not doing too much. The same goes for when you introduce a new product. We recommend writing down a weekly routine, so you can cross-reference your products and outline a skincare schedule! The general rule we follow is the more potent the ingredient, the more cautious (sometimes less often) you need to be using it. For more deets on refining your skincare regime, check out this post on how you could be overwhelming your skin.
For more helpful skincare tips, check out five daily habits that will improve your skincare regime.