Beauty Bull*@$t!

There always seems to be a lot of misinformation about good skincare from magazines, bloggers, retail outlets and even salons. I recently came across a blog post from a beauticians promoting an anti-ageing skincare range that had no SPF and contained known skin irritants such as Rose Flower Oil.

A product that contains a minimum SPF of 15 is essential to avoid skin damage such as wrinkles, discolouration, dull skin and more obviously skin cancer. Without some basic sun protection the rest of your skincare will not make on bit of difference. UVB rays are the cause of sunburn whereas UVA rays are the cause of skin damage, and if that is what you are trying to remedy then no amount of fancy smelling creams packaged in luxurious looking pots are going to help! (Speaking of which, any product once opened and exposed to the air will start to degrade and any perishable ingredients, such as antioxidants, can deteriorate very quickly. An air tight tube or container with a pump dispenser will be much better at preserving the longevity of these ingredients)

Fragrance in skincare is another bad thing and a lot of companies seem to promote products that contain known skin irritants, such as citrus and lavender. Funnily enough I actually like the smell of pink grapefruit and lavender but I wouldn’t want to either on my skin.

Another thing that I find incredulous is the hard sell that you will get from both salons and retail outlets. Occasionally I like to treat myself, like anyone would, to a lash tint or a massage but what I do not need, nor appreciate, is to have someone dictate what I am doing wrong with my skincare and how important their products will be in remedying this. Nobody knows your skin better than yourself and if you are happy with the way a skincare product works for you then there is no need to change this. I am a firm believer in the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

I do not have the best skin in the world and it has been very problematic over the years, but I have learnt to accept what I can not change and that I need to periodically change what I do as the seasons change and as I age. I thoroughly research the products that I use both personally and professionally, and try to cut through all of the hype and marketing to simply ask myself is it any good? I have tried to learn to distinguish between good and bad ingredients, and I also research the ethics of the companies that I buy from.

I have also tried to develop an understanding of skin types that are different to my own. When applying make up to someone you need to have a feel for what their skin is like, an understanding of what their concerns are and then use the right type skincare so that the make up looks good on them. The easiest way to get a feel for a person’s skin is to quite literally feel it, that way it’s easier to assess what needs to be done because good make up starts with good skincare.

One brand that I will sing the praises of is Paula’s Choice because there is a sense of honesty about their products. Product ingredients are easy to find as are explanations of what a particular ingredient is used for in a product. Any claims are either backed up by research or a reference to relevant research provided. They also review products from other brands and I find this brutal honesty far more refreshing than what has become a staple of beauty bloggers singing the praises of a product that they were sent for free. There is an up to date list of which brands test on animals and it is shocking to see that so many still feel that this is a necessity in the 21st Century. The most beneficial part of their website is the ingredient dictionary which I have bookmarked on my phone so that I can double check things that I’m not sure about when I am out and about.

So the next time you read or hear some outrageous claims about an alleged miracle skincare product ask how, why and please can you point me in the direction of the independent clinical research?


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