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I couldn’t agree more about the ‘skincare regiment sucks’. The same way it bothers me that someone remarks that you have to use a certain product or spend a certain amount on things or you’ve done something wrong. Finding skincare that works for you is a tough job! When you find it, use it! One person’s miracle product may be wretched on your skin.

Good question! I’m really interested to read other answers. Hm… well, it’s a myth that skin becomes immune to beneficial ingredients. Skin will adapt to ingredients – like when you start using retinol your skin needs some time before it can tolerate it regularly. But the ingredients don’t get less effective. Also, I guess this goes for more the skincare industry in general, but the idea that you have to pay more for high quality skincare. In reality, brands all have access to the same research, same ingredients… it’s all a matter of packaging and marketing that determines price point. Oh and the myth that being tired causes dark circles. It can make them appear sunken in, but actual dark circles are not affected by sleep. I don’t know if this is a commonly held idea or if most people already know this by now, but it’s a myth that exfoliants and scrubs will help acne. It just irritates skin.

I’m not convinced that the more products you put on your face the better it is for your skin. I’ve heard of people who have routines like: Cleansing oil, cleanser, exfoliator, mask, toner, serum, facial moisturizer, eye cream, and I just…I wonder how necessary all of those steps are and whether all the products are doing anything. My routine is cleanser (I do use an oil cleanser as makeup remover if I’m wearing a lot), twice a week I exfoliate, toner if I’m feeling especially oily or want to make sure I’ve gotten all the makeup off, moisturizer. And I have decent skin, I mean I get a pimple once in a while but mostly my skin’s clear and soft.

For me, I have a single toner, and I have a heating mask and a cooling mask, and those are all just for pampering myself.

Regularly, I use cleanser and then I use moisturizer.

Ahh, yes… when people say things like “Oh, it tingles, so it must work!” even when the tingling is because of a separate ingredient put into some skincare. It reminds me of how some antiseptic company that made a non-burning version of the stuff you put on cuts, and it actually tested poorly because people associated the sting with effectiveness. Haha, sorry for this tl;dr answer, I just find the psychology behind it interesting!

Pending on the ingredients in the product and if they are OTC or professional, the tingling is a normal thing and just means that your skin is becoming acclamated to it. Like if you’re using a cleanser with 10% glycolic, then yes. It’s going to tingle, but that glycolic is going to help other products penetrate the skin for better results.

Number one pet peeve is when people still claim that mineral oil is comedongenic. It is not comedogenic at all and one of the best occlusive agents to keep moisture in the skin. I’m glad I stopped listening to those who parrot the idea that mineral oil causes acne because now I don’t have to be afraid of it and my acne-prone skin is doing better than ever.

Sorry but Mineral Oli = Paraffinum Liquidum.
And OIL stands for the petroleum-kin-of-oil, not Olive Oil which is good for your skin.

Melody is right about cosmetic grade mineral oil. It is non-comedongenic. Because it is occlusive; however, if the skin has not been properly cleaned and prepped, it can trap pollutants and irritants on the surface of the skin which is what causes some women to experience breakouts. The same holds true for petrolatum. These are cosmetic grade products; not what you’d find at Jiffy Lube.

Many women do have other legitimate reasons for not using mineral oil and petrolatum and so they avoid them. They know their skin and what works for them. But, that doesn’t mean that mineral oil and petrolatum are inherently bad.

I agree with Melody and Eileen. Likening mineral oil to the stuff you put in your car is just plain ignorant. I was also on the mineral oil-hate bandwagon because that’s what so many of the bloggers were saying. So I tried my hardest to avoid all products containing mineral oil. Then I get a chemical burn from using Nads on my upper lip and no amount of “olive oil” type ingredients that you may think is good for the skin helped. Finally, I put some aquafor on it. Immediate relief precisely because of its occlusive properties. Call me converted. Besides, the so-called bloggers and online commenters have absolutely no real data to prove conclusively that mineral oil is akin to putting gasoline on your face.

There are definitely a few myths I want to set right!

Baking soda shouldn’t be used as a face scrub. It’s too alkaline and the pH shift increases acne bacteria breeding.

Oxygen in face creams is counter-intuitive as oxygen enables aging and decay (That’s why we try so hard to securely close our food packages). Your skin doesn’t have lungs. I’ve seen people use one cream that’s ‘oxygenated’, then follow it with an anti-oxidant, whose function is to negate oxygen-related damage!

On a related note, anti-oxidant face creams in an open-mouth jar lose their effectiveness the instant you open them because of introducing a room full of oxygen to all the product on top.

You do NOT need a $200 spinny-brush to scrub your face! It looks cool and feels fancy but a wash cloth removes EXACTLY the same amount of dead skin because your skin is designed to only shed so much at a time.

If acne is a concern of yours, know that scrubbing harder or more often will not affect your acne. Acne isn’t a matter of ‘dirt’ and nothing cleans better than anything else, it’s a matter of preventing bacterial growth with leave-on medication. No medicated cleanser will help as well as you think, solely because the object is to wash it off, taking the medicine with it! There is no magic bullet replacement or easy way out of gentle cleansing and diligent, consistent application of medicines that stay on and keep working.

You do NOT need a minty or tingly cleanser. You may like the feeling but that tingle is your skin’s way of saying, “Hey, dude, that’s irritating me.”

You do not need green or purple or yellow face goo. Your concealer should match your foundation should match the skin on your neck because that’s where you stop applying it. You’re just trading one unnatural hue for another.

And most important of all, no matter what anyone says about fleeting looks or hairstyles or fashion, every woman is beautiful, darn it. <3

I don’t know, color theory makes green concealer a helpful tool in the arsenal sometimes. I’m the world’s biggest klutz and managed to cut my nose with a razor while shaving, and my green concealer was the only way I got through the next couple days of healing without people going, “Oh my god, what did you do to your nose?!” It just looked like a spot. 😉

Hey Quinctia…I am your long lost klutzy sister. Don’t know how, but I cut my upper lip with a razor an hour before a date and it was still bleeding when he picked me up. Try to explain that one. Years later, it is still a scar where lip gloss and lipstick skip over making the white line in my lip color super obvious. If I try to fill it in, it looks like a hunk of color stuck in a wrinkle. Duh, don’t know how I did that one.

I love my Smashbox green tinted primer, it neutralizes my rosacea & broken capillaries quite well. I frequently use it even if I’m not wearing any other makeup. I also like it OR my green tinted corrector to neutralize red when I am wearing foundation but don’t have time or inclination to use concealer. I am NOT a color theory expert by any means – it just works for me.

Yep, you CAN use colors to cancel out certain unwanted tones in your face! Swirling them all together and putting them everywhere isn’t going to do a thing (I like my PF translucent powder, but its swirly colors are hilariously pointless for a couple reasons). Green’s great for red spots, I know folks have had luck with pinkish or yellow for undereye circles depending on the type.

Interesting to hear about the Smashbox primer. I never really thought anything subtle enough to go over my whole face could do much for my bits of everyday redness, but I have found that going slightly more yellow with my foundation color does help do correction.

Another one of those things that aren’t going to universally work for everybody.

(…and I am so clumsy. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve bashed myself in the face with something I was carrying, and I am banging my arms and hands into things when I walk on at least a weekly basis.)

I love my Clarisonic. I’m not trying to get rid of extra dead skin – I’m using it because it helps me remove my makeup a lot more effectively, quickly, and softly than a washcloth ever could.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with people using green or purple concealers. Its called color theory.

I frequently hear skincare advice – once you find something that works, stick with it. There are so many factors that affect our skin: age, health issues, medications, stress, diet, season, on & on. I agree it is important to find a system that works for you, but I think it is equally important to avoid becoming stuck in a rut and not noticing when it is time to change things up – even if temporarily. I’ve probably just stated the obvious, hopefully it will get buried under the better advice that is sure to come 🙂

I hate the idea that you need to get everything from the same line to have any results. I find that I don’t need twenty steps to my skin care regime and that sometimes another line has an eye cream or cleanser that works better for me

That chemical exfoliants are less stripping than physical exfoliants to use on a daily basis. I can use the Clarisonic twice a day without any trouble and only good results, but Cetaphil’s Acne wash even ONCE strips my skin like CRAZY, AND overexfoliates it, chemically. Exfoliating actives that you can’t detect (that don’t have a rough texture, etc) can actually be more exfoliating than the physical ones.

That pots are less sanitary than pumps. Unless the pump is airless, lightless and guaranteed sterile, your stuff is proliferating germs – but there are ingredients in your skin care to control this. Clean hands in a face cream really shouldn’t be an issue.

That oil-based products and oily skin don’t mix – I use oil cleanser, and oil-based moisturisers and they’re my best, most effective products.

That rinsing your skin with cold water will do anything other than refresh you and make your skin contract, a little, temporarily. It won’t close your pores, it won’t prevent grime getting in or make you less oily.

And what Temptalia said!

Exfoliating. I did it for years until my dermatologist told me it’s the worst thing you can do to your skin because it strips it from everything and makes it produce more oil which leads to blemishes. He said people can really destroy their skin’s natural regeneration.
I don’t know if that applies for everyone, but it sounded pretty general when he talked about it… I know it’s not for me!

It’s true that a lot of women over-exfoliate and actually harm their skin. They use chemical and physical methods of exfoliation with wild abandon and end up with irritated, sensitized skin. The problem, though, is usually with the way those women approach exfoliation rather than with exfoliation itself. The proper use of an exfoliant will actually help the skin eliminate dead cells and debris. When my son was a teenager, he used Retin A and it did a wonderful job of clearing and controlling his severe acne. He’s an adult now with beautiful, even-toned skin and still uses a moisturizing cream with retinol (much, much milder than Retin A)) at night.

Bottom line: A good thing used incorrectly can cause more harm than good.

When I was a teen-ager, conventional wisdom held that “the only way to really get your skin *clean* is to *scrub* it.”
It’s a wonder that my skin looks as good as it does now, because when I was young, I scrubbed i with everything I could get my hands on, and used the most powerful astringents and “spot treatments” I could find. I even went to a dermatologist, who prescribed a benzoyl peroxide ointment that probably could have been used to get oil stains off a driveway.
I continued to have problems with my skin throughout late adolescence. One day, when I was about 21, out of sheer desperation, I went to the local health food store. A woman who worked there advised me to try a pure aloe vera gel. Within just a few weeks, my skin had calmed down and was looking better. Before too long, I was actually getting compliments on my “pretty skin.”
I’m 48 now, and while I still have the occasional hormonal break-out, my skin actually looks healthier than most of my peers’complexions. My skin is still super-oily, but instead of trying to dry it out, I treat it gently.

I think it really depends on the person and their sense of moderation. Personally, I have good skin, so I waited for quite awhile before I tried exfoliating…and I’m still shocked at the difference. There’s a freshness to my skin that wasn’t there before, and I’ve gotten loads of compliments in the past six months since I started doing it regularly. I recently suggested to my roommate that she try it after she spent years dealing with rough skin, and a few days later, she came up to me and made me touch her face just to show off how smooth it was. 😛

This being said, if I did it every day, I would be destroying my skin. I made that mistake the first few weeks I started, and after I noticed the redness and irritation, I calmed it down. So…I guess it’s the traditional maxim of “moderation is key?”

I hate all the fuss about so-called ‘anti-ageing’ products. I tried one such moisturiser for a whole month, and it didn’t make a jot of difference to my skin whatsoever. Luckily it was on special offer, so I didn’t waste too much money.

I’m saying this to help you: in order to see a good difference on your skin (because of how we see our skin, obviously we don’t have a laboratory to analyze deeply our skin), you’ll need to use the same cream for 3 months OR the entire bottle/jar/tube. Before that, it is possible that you see a slight difference, but better results are showing in the 3 months period 🙂
(Source: I’ve been working as a cosmetician and makeup artist for 6 years)

You bring up a good point, Anne-Sophie, and that is that any skin care routine requires time and consistency to see results. It takes, on average, four weeks for a new set of cells to reach the surface and that is when subtle change will begin to show itself. It takes even longer before more pronounced effects are evident. I’m always amused when someone says, “I used this cream last night and today I look 10 years younger.” All I can think is that their skin must have been incredibly dry or irritated and is just responding to the increased hydration and soothing properties of the cream (as a cosmetician, you probably see that a lot). The converse amuses me, too. “I’ve used this cream for a week now and it doesn’t work. Waste of money!” Sheesh! Give it time to work!

So glad I saw your comments Eileen and Anne-Sophie…I am waiting to receive new skincare products and was debating on how long to give them (aka return within 30 days if did not notice results as advertised). I agree with your point and will adjust to return only if allergic and have a bit of patience!
One thing I don’t get – I always try to buy when I can maximize Sephora samples (especially deluxe size) to try out things for allergic reactions. It sounds like I should not judge effectiveness even on deluxe samples. Must admit I’ve been guilty of that when products are pricey, even though I knew I was judging quickly. Thanks for clearer timelines!!!!

The best “anti-aging” product you can have is SPF. And moisturizing after you wash your face. It doesn’t need to be fancy at all. Your eye cream can even be your moisturizer if it doesn’t irritate your eyes.

i all ways wondered about the claims that skin releases “toxins” at night while you sleep, and you must wash your face in the Morning or premature aging could result.
also some people will tell you to “pop a pimple” to make it go away faster,
when this will only cause potential scarring and can make it worse! most are aware
that popping is a huge no no due to scarring.

Your skin doesn’t release toxins! What a bunch of hooey. 🙂

Night washing = taking off dead skin and stuff that have accumulated during the day.

Day washing = taking off dead skin and oil shed during the night/sleep, since your body does it 24/7.

“Just drink water” or “eat healthy/clean” for having clearer skin. If only it were that easy. Apparently getting a pimple once in blue moon makes some people suddenly an “expert.” Lol. :/

I think that the hype around natural skincare is crap. I have sensitive skin, eczema, and am also acne prone – it’s very frustrating! Very often if I mention my issues, people will recommend natural skincare. I find it does not work for me, and moreover, I do NOT believe that natural is inherently better.

My skin sounds exactly the same as yours, and I agree completely.
Plenty of natural oils and products can be very irritating to skin! The best thing is to have few irritants and no perfume. And hope for the best.

Since I won’t buy from companies known to test their products on animals, I end up doing business with the “natural” companies quite a bit, because many of them are non-testing.
That said, while I’m pleased with the performance of the “natural” products I buy (otherwise, I wouldn’t continue to buy them!), I don’t believe in the “natural = safe” premise. Some natural things are VERY lethal.I mean, my goodness, there’s nothing more natural than bacteria, and some of them produce extremely potent toxins. Certain mushrooms are very deadly, too.
Unfortunately, I think the best way to find what works best for the individual is plain old trial and error, which can get expensive and frustrating.

I currently use natural skin care and the pill to help with acne.And while I’m really happy it works, the natural aspect is only a bonus. Plenty of natural ingredients (sulfur, tea tree,balsam)irritate my skin. Whatever works best is way more important than being natural.

Sulfur and Tea tree are irritating to many folks. They help kill the P. acnes bacteria but the tradeoff is potential skin irritation in some.

So true! Not only is the word “natural” completely meaningless, but I get all kinds of allergic reactions to “natural” oils. Plus, all the “natural” products seem to want to pack in a million different essential oils and ~botanicals~ (Poison ivy is a botanical too, people!) that cause allergic reactions in many people.

I trully believe we only need a moisturiser and a good sunscrean period.
Expensive anti aging serums and creams are not better but just a gimmick for cosmetic companies to rob us of our money !
Seriously the best anti aging cream is sunscrean !
If you have extra money to spend then go for botox and not useless expensive creams.

You hit the nail on the head in one sense; SPF is the ultimate anti-aging cream. However, there are some great moisturizers with a few extras that certainly don’t hurt. 🙂

The “you need to exfoliate more in winter” thing confuses me. I’ve read that a couple of times by now and each time I just want to hold on to my face and run! I use a chemical peel regularly, and I don’t see the need to step up my game in winter. Your skin is already not producing as much sebum!

Your skin becomes more dry in the winter…hence the need to exfoliate a bit more. Get a microderm or ultrasound done.

I can see how this might work for some, but my skin is on the more sensitive side so I can never exfoliate or use a chemical peel as often in any case.

You can still exfoliate with an enzyme based product versus a acid based one. Image Skincare has a great vitamin C hydrating enzyme mask that I used on my sensitive clients. Pumpkin enzyme masks are also widely available.

Hi Teresa & Sunny,
I have crazy sensitive skin and am interested in learning about/using chemical peels to exfoliate.
I’ll look into the Image Skincare mask…do you have a recommendation for a specific brand/type of pumpkin enzyme mask?
Sunny…do you have a particular chemical peel that you have found works with your more sensitive skin? Thank you for any ideas!

Hi again Megan…I’m going nuts commenting on this topic trying to learn!!! There is zero chance I can afford on of the procedures you suggested…do you have a recommendation for an at home product for very sensitive skin? Thank you!

Hey Kelly, first off both the Microdermabrasion and Ultrasound do two separate things. The Microdermabrasion is a great exfoliation while the Ultrasound is an exfoliation and then the esthetician penetrates product into your skin. So if you’re looking for an exfoliation I would suggest the Vital C Enzyme mask by Image that Theresa suggested above. It has both Pineapple and Papaya enzymes that will exfoliate the dead skin cells off. It’s really gently and again as Theresa said, it’s not acid based. You can also look into Image’s Ormedic line. It’s made from organic ingredients. It truly just depends on what your skin care goal is.

Hi Megan, oops…just reading one comment section at a time so replied above on other topic. These types of peels & masks are intimidating sounding when you are ignorant about how they work, especially with hyper sensitive skin so this helps direct me. I’ll check them out for home use (due to cost).

Goal – eternal youth 🙂 and exfoliate dry flaking skin, also help with dull lifeless look that gives away illnesses. For some reason strangers feel free to comment when they see you. Outside of this learning forum, I’m VERY private about health status. Thanks for ideas!!!

Hey Kelly. The easiest way I explain to clients about how an enzyme mask works is like this. The enzymes in the mask work like a pacman (yes the old school video game) that eat away all the dead skin on your face. And because you have such sensitive skin I would only recommend you using it for about 5 min 3-4 times per week and slowly move your way up to the 30 minutes.

And about the cost. Just keep in mind that Image Skincare is a professional product so you don’t need to use a ton so the bottle should last you roughly 6-9 months.

I’d take the enzyme mask thing with a grain of salt. You so, so don’t want to eat away “all of the dead skin” on your anywhere.

Your skin is your body’s main defense against environmental hazards, and the part that’s got the toughest job is the stratum corneum, which is a literal layer of dead skin cells. As skin cells rise to the surface of your skin, they become cornified–filled with protein, and they provide the most important job of keeping your body safe from outside contaminants. You never want to get rid of all of that layer.

It’s why skin care can be a delicate balance. You want to look your best, keep from looking flaky, without irritating your skin by removing too much of that outer layer. That layer helps you retain moisture and helps keep your skin elastic!

I’m so confused. Quinctia are you saying exfoliation is a good thing just don’t go overboard?
I happened to speak with a NYC Harvard educated derm this week for almost 40 minutes. Sunscreen is her #1 & chemical exfoliation #2 in treating patients, she is supposed to be well respected (TV appearances, book that I haven’t read, etc.) so not a poor source.

Companies still try to sell us the myth about how any of their products will only work best if used with other products from their line so if you’re using a cleanser from Company A and a moisturizer from Company B, you’re not going to get optimum results from the moisturizer so you really must use Company B’s cleanser and toner and serum and eye cream….it’s absolute nonsense! And I agree with you about pores. The only thing that will permanently close an open pore is if the pore is blocked by something (sebum, a blackhead, etc.) and that blockage is removed.

For me, I really believe in that whole “you are what you eat” thing. Not in terms of weight, but in terms of skincare. From what I’ve seen, people with healthier diets really do have better skin. And my brother always comes to me with his breakouts after he’s eaten too much candy haha.

you may believe that, but there’s no scientific basis to it – honestly. If you think about it, even if you eat a lot of junk, this food gets broken down by your stomach enzymes just the same as anything else. And no, fats consumed don’t end up on your skin.

BUT it’s true that people who eat a lot of junk food are less likely to look after their skin. And THAT may cause acne. Although obviously if your diet is so poor than you’re malnourished, then I guess that could have an effect.

Is there proof that people who eat junk food aren’t as likely to look after their skin? I’ve never seen information supporting this.

I eat junk food and I am verrrry thorough when it comes to my skin care.

However, what you eat does affect your hormones, which can have an effect on your skin. So diet does play into it, but not in the very literal “if you eat pizza you’ll have a pizza face” sense.

Don’t buy into the hype that one company’s skincare “system” will solve all your problems. We all have individual needs, and those needs may have to be met by using a cleanser from one brand, a toner from another, a moisturizer from yet another, and so on. People get tricked into things like Proactiv and Clinique 3-Step expecting optimal results just because the packaging matches. It takes a lot of trial and error to find the right skincare regimen.
Also if you have very greasy skin like me please don’t let any sales associate convince you to toss your money down the drain on a luxury moisturizer!

I use Proactiv and I don’t feel I was ‘tricked’ into using it. Not every regimen is full of stand-out, well-formulated, or even necessary products… but that doesn’t mean that none of them are. I certainly see your point, though, because you can easily find a mix and match of items that your skin likes better. I just personally liked the set I had. I used my own moisturizers and such afterward, though, because the base 3 products are solely medication and not meant to be considered a beauty product.

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