Sometimes, a client will walk into the clinic with a bright red complexion and complain about their skin playing up despite them being ‘really good with skincare’. And before we’ve even had them in for an in-depth skin analysis, we know what the problem is, which brands they’ve been using and what they need to do to get back to optimal health.
As you may be aware, we have a Skin Philosophy Training school, getting people qualified in facials, facial electrics, laser and beyond. Graduates have the opportunity to work with us under an ‘internship scheme’, and we’ve enjoyed working with Sophie Organ and Rebecca Pearson over the last year. We thought we’d ask them what ‘skincare no-nos’ they were doing when they came to the training centre.
I was over-exfoliating, smothering my skin in thick moisturiser because I thought that’s what I needed as I have super dry skin. I wasn’t using the right cleanser for my skin type (I was favouring oil cleansers). And all I used was the wrong cleanser, an exfoliator with beads and the moisturisers.
Why is this all wrong?
Sophie is 22 and was enjoying the standard skin routine of a 70-year-old! When your skin is this young, we should avoid doing ‘too much’, especially when there are no particular issues.
Firstly: the thick moisturiser. Though Sophie complained of dry skin, she was actually drying out her skin further by using unctuous creams. The feeling of moisturiser ‘sitting on’ the skin is really satisfying, but sends signals to the skin that it doesn’t need to produce its own moisturiser. Long-term, this will impair the skin’s own function, leading to worsen that dry, tight feeling.
Next up, over-exfoliating can damage the skin’s acid mantle, which helps keep in moisture and keep out infection. This can lead to sensitised skin, moisture loss and more prone to breakouts due to barrier function impairment.
Because Sophie can get breakouts, probably due to her skin over-compensating for all those stripping products by over-producing sebum, using oil-based cleansers were duther clogging her pores and not cleansing effectively.
What Sophie Does Now
Since working at Skin Philosophy, Sophie enjoys regular Pumpkin Peels by Alumier. Helping speed up the skin’s regeneration process, cleanse the pores and oxygenate the skin, thus targeting dry skin, spots and helping the skin maintain a healthy function. She also now uses the correct products for her skin type: our Gentle Cleanser, followed by a ZO serum at night and an Alumier SPF in the daytime. She’s even using an EMS device every day, which is like investing in some insurance against ageing when that becomes a concern in the distant future!
Though she can still get hormonal breakouts from time to time, her skin is far more healthy and it’s health is set for many years to come.
When I came to the Skin Philosophy Training Centre, I thought that I was a real whizz at skincare. I had suffered with acne as a teen, and also blogged for many years, being sent on fun press trips and learning lots about the power of plants, oils, essential oils and more.
I had been using a toner with glycolic acid daily for about 8 years rather than exfoliating, double cleansing religiously, layering up serums and eye creams and loved nothing more than a thick night cream over a really big squeeze of an oily serum. I have been complaining about pigmentation, congestion on my nose and a dehydrated forehead for years.
What was Rebecca doing wrong?
There is a lot of fuss about acids at the moment, and rightly so. Different acids can help with a variety of skin complaints, such as kojic acid for pigmentation (in our Purifying Face Mask) or salicylic for blemishes. Whilst we do really rate glycolic acid for sloughing off dead skin cells and helping to give a glow, we see a lot of irritated skin due to daily use of glycolic. Whilst Rebecca has quite tolerant, oily skin, the telltale sign was that dehydrated forehead. It was time to stop the daily glycolic.
Next up, Rebecca has oil skin, so the use of thick moisturisers and oils was only adding to the congestion on her nose. It was also drying out her skin, which is a shame because her skin was producing a good amount of oil by itself. The fact that she had this congestion but wasn’t using a mechanical exfoliator twice a week meant that there was a lot of dead skin build up, giving her a dull complexion.
Lastly, Rebecca had a continuous rash around her mouth that flared up when she was tired and stressed. This was a sign that her constant changing around of products due to getting sent freebies through blogging had damaged her skin’s natural barrier, and the essential oils that many of these contained were worsening this, alongside the glycolic. It was time to simplify.
What Rebecca Does Now
Rebecca is a big fan of IPL, which helps get rid of her pigmentation above her upper lip. She has ditched the glycolic toner and uses far gentler products now.
Rebecca is very enthusiastic about the power of facial massage and now gives herself a ten-minute lymphatic drainage massage with her Skin Philosophy Gentle Cleanser at night, followed only by Naissance pure Aloe Vera. Twice a week she uses our ‘Brighten’ exfoliator and Purifying Masque.
In the daytime, she uses our anti-oxidant serum layered under an SPF. Twice a week she uses the dermaroller paired with hyaluronic acid, which she finds far more hydrating than the thick night creams. Finally she is a fan of the LED mask to get the collagen production boosted.
The DMK Foamy Lift Masque has reduced the congestion on her nose by about 70%, so this is really worth looking into for anyone with similar skin issues.