I diagnose skin conditions that can be caused by cosmetics, "acne cosmetica" (mild form of acne consisting of small bumps), or irritant and even allergic contact dermatitis (red, dry, itchy or burning skin), all the time in my dermatology practice. I see them mostly in younger women who follow influencers and keep buying and layering more and more products that are not clinically tested and don't match their skin type or work well together.
I ask them to bring their products and often they come with a huge bag of cleansers, serums, moisturizers and so on. Most people don’t need a 10-step process when just a cleanser, a single serum and moisturizer is often sufficient.
When introducing the idea of streamlining my patient’s skincare routine, I first go through every single product and discuss all the ingredients, so I gain their trust. Then I eliminate the junk and start with the basics. Sometimes, they need to just take a break completely.
It is so important to get professional advice about your skin and tailor it to your skin type and your lifestyle. Be sure you are creating a skincare regimen that is realistic and choose your products carefully.
As an example, sailors and people who are in the sun frequently should be careful with certain ingredients that make their skin sensitive to sun, such as retinoic acid, retinol and alpha hydroxy acids (AHA).
I purposefully created Harken Derm for athletes who spent great amounts of time in both the sun and water.
I always recommend two simple daily steps:
- Morning protection - all mineral, very water resistant SPF50 sunscreen with antioxidants.
- Evening repair - with rich lipid moisturizers and powerful antioxidants.
It's a jungle out there in the #skincare world. Less is more. Ingredients do matter, but just because an ingredient is listed on the bottle, it doesn't mean it is actually active and working. There are few formulation differences between eye creams vs neck creams vs facial creams, so when choosing your skincare products, go back to the basics with a simple routine and products that can multitask. Your skin will thank you.
For more about how following the trends can impact your skin, read this great article with important expert opinions by my friends Ellen and Heather: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/style/skin-self-care-the-end-of-the-10-step-beauty-routine.html?referringSource=articleShare