Skin care myths and tips for healthy skin

Fiona Clark

Not sure where the truth lies when it comes to skin care? Our Skin-tellectuals sort the fact from fiction on some common questions.

Q. Do you need to change you skin care routine in Summer?

According Dr Bhavjit Kaur from the Health and Aesthetics Clinic in London there can be an argument for changing some of your regime as the weather warms up.

As temperatures rise some people may find their skin produces more oil and if this is an issue she suggests swapping your usual cleanser for a salicylic acid cleanser. Salicylic acid helps control oil production, fight the bacteria associated with acne and reduces inflammation.

Others may find that heavy creams are no longer necessary and may want to swap them for lighter serums of gels.

Dr Kaur also says that a light weight and non-comedogenic sunscreen can help. Mineral based sunscreens are often less irritating for sensitive skins.

But, there are some perennial skin care products that you shouldn’t park on a bathroom shelf until it cools down again.

These include your vitamin C serum and retinol or vitamin A. Dr Kaur says its best to use retinol at night and wash your face well in the morning. She adds you must use a sunscreen (minimum SPF30 and 5 star UVA) if you are using retinol or any other exfoliating products like glycolic acid as they increase photosensitivity and you’ll be damaging those nice new cells.

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Q. Does your skin get used to products so you have to change them regularly?

According to GP and founder of ZENii skincare Dr Johanna Ward this is a myth. She says good skin care with good active ingredients are like a healthy diet,  you may not see it’s benefits everyday, but you’ll notice the difference when you stop. Skin care is the same – it keeps on delivering the nutrients to your skin, so once you’ve found what works for you,  you don’t need to continuously chop and change products.

With some ingredients however, you may want to start with a lower concentration and build up. These include Vitamin C, glycolic acid and retinol.

Vitamin C is effective between 8-20%. Retinol has a range of types and strengths starting from retinol palmitate which is weaker and less likely to cause the redness, flakiness or dryness associated with a stronger retinol product. These range usually from .

Dr Kaur agrees. She say’s your actives – like retinol and vitamin C – keep working. By all means, you can mix and match peptide products or cleansers but keep these at hand


Q. You only need sunscreen in Summer? 

No. Every skin care expert agrees, sunscreen is a must all year round, irrespective of skin colour.

Sun damage is the primary cause of premature skin ageing. Not only is it a primary cause of skin cancer it can also cause pigmentation and make existing skin pigmentation from conditions like acne, worse.

UVA rays can come through glass, so even if you’re inside you need to wear your sunscreen, Dr Kaur warns. And, you need to reapply it regularly.


Q. The more steps in your skin care regime the better

Dr Paul Charlson, GP with a diploma in dermatology, isn’t so sure this is true.

If you’re chopping and changing and using a multitude of different products you don’t know which is working for you and, if you develop a rash or sensitivity, you don’t know which one product or ingredient in it that has caused it.

Better to stick to a simple regime of cleanse, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen.

In addition to the retinol and vitamin C he says there is good evidence for peptides, ceramides and niacinamide (vitamin B3) in skin care products.

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