Dedicating time and energy to self-care is a worthwhile investment. True for anything that boosts self-confidence or peace of mind, and that includes skincare.
If your results are disappointing, the problem may have more do with widespread misconceptions than your actual skincare or routine
#1 Not Cleaning Your Skincare Tools
You get extra credit for purchasing a skincare tool, Brava. When used properly, even the low-tech washcloth can work wonders.
How often do you clean your skincare tools?
These devices collect dirt, bacteria, mold, and microbes that can undermine your skin wellness. No matter the tool, remind yourself to sanitize in the laundry or with isopropyl alcohol.
- Weekly: Manual/ Mechanical Brushes, LED/Light Therapy Device, and Tweezers
- Prior to Use: Facial Rollers, Microdermabrasion Device, and Microneedle Roller
#2 Influenced by Promise or Price
Although it may bolster ego or sense of community, buying expensive skincare does not guarantee better skin. “People can get in this mindset of, ‘If it cost $200, it must work’, explains Kendra Bergstrom, M.D., a Dermatologist at University of Washington Medical Center, via Right as Rain Wellness Blog, “Just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”
The promise of better skin sells product, but your skin only responds to ingredients, formulation, and delivery. Unlike us, skin is impervious to marketing.
To improve the odds of loving your next skincare product, always shop the ingredients.
#3 Expecting One Ingredient to Do it All
Many ingredients possess practical and science-backed evidence supporting the active correction of many complexion woes.
The heroes of skincare, also known as actives - Vitamin C, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Peptides, Lactic Acid, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and others – do the heavy lifting. While each deliver amazing benefits, no single active can do it all – none. If so, every product of every beauty brand would be featuring that ingredient, including about-face essentials.
Like a balanced diet, our skin fares better with harmonized actives, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
#4 Undervaluing Sunscreen
Regular use of sunscreen reducing the risk of skin cancer by 73%. Unfazed? Not only does it keep your skin looking healthy longer, sunscreen is proven to reverse the signs of aging. Nothing will undermine healthy skin (and your selfie) faster than photodamage.
A dime size dollap of SPF 30 or higher on the daily is all it takes to protect your face.
#5 Following Bad or Biased Advice
I believe that most bad advice is well intended. Whether innocent, an attempt to sway your purchasing choice, or driven by attention seeking, much of the advice is unhelpful and some harmful. Be wary of any skincare advice that promotes a product, verify that advice using an unbiased resource and fact check freely. Yes, that includes yours truly.
Glow, radiant, smooth, plump, firm, all natural and non-toxic? Weigh the veracity of every statement by reviewing the evidence. Adopting a “show-me” response to the promise of skincare can help you to set realistic expectations and improve satisfaction. When influencers, celebrities, and marketing firms receive compensation for promoting a product, by definition, the advice is biased.
Give yourself the permission to ask questions and always seek references or citations.
As always, Cheers to Better Skin!
Kendra G. Bergstrom, M.D., Dermatologist at University of Washington Medical Center, September 21, 2018, The 3 Most Important Things to Do — and Not Do — for Your Skin, Right as Rain, https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/anti-aging-skin-care/selecting-anti-aging-products.
American Academy of Dermatology, 2019 Mar, How to select anti-aging skin care products, https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/anti-aging-skin-care/selecting-anti-aging-products.
Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012 Feb 1, 122(2): 473-477, Skin care in the aging female: myths and truths.
Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2011 Jan 20, 29(3): 257-263, Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use: randomized trial follow-up.
Dermatologic Surgery, 2016 Dec, 42(12): 1354-1361, Daily Use of a Facial Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Over One-Year Significantly Improves Clinical Evaluation of Photoaging.