I received some snark recently because I’m a scientist but I’m apparently not sciencey enough on this page. While I would love to tell you why finding retinol in liposomes is awesome for me as a formulator because it makes active delivery easier, or wax poetic about my love of niacinamide for fighting inflammation and tightening skin, I have noticed that many of you don’t have a clue about what your skin is doing or how to take care of it. I feel it’s pretty masturbatory on my part to go on and on about an anti-inflammatory ingredient, talking about mechanism and such, when many of you don’t know what inflammation is, or what it does to skin. In my mind, I am helping all of you more by explaining basic skincare facts rather than posting graphs showing enhanced retinol delivery from liposomal retinol vs regular retinol. I feel it’s important to provide folks with a non-judgemental space where they can ask questions without fear of being humiliated. Speaking over people’s heads doesn’t mean you’re real smart, it means you’re an asshole who is so insecure about their own knowledge that they have to tear other people down for not knowing things.
In the spirit of informing you about how to take care of your skin, rather than lording my knowledge over you to boost my ego, I’m reposting this from a couple of years ago.
Fun facts about your skin:
1) Everyone’s skin is different (thanks genetics!), and will age and respond to products differently. Despite the industry’s attempt to fit everyone into a small group of categories, like aging/dry, oily/combination, sensitive, etc., it is quite possible and not at all unusual for folks to have issues from multiple categories. That is why, even though my New 20 line is primarily for dry, aging skin, I also make anti-aging products that help with oil control. I am less interested in selling you bundled products than I am in selling you products that work for YOUR skin. Some folks can use a serum as a standalone moisturizer. Some people need to layer products. I encourage you to use what your skin wants, regardless of the industry’s marketing. I am always available to help you sort out what is happening with your skin and point you in the right direction.
2) If you get breakouts in the chin/jawline area that coincide with your period, that is most likely hormonal acne. You may not have oily skin per se, you may just be experiencing yet another joy of being a woman. Using harsh anti-acne products will do more harm than good. Try using a mask (my Dead Sea Mud Mask is great for this) on that area only, and try using an anti-inflammatory product on the deep cysts, since those are not blemishes, but inflammation. Stop once they begin to subside.
3) If you describe your skin as ‘oily and dry,’ you are using product that is too harsh, and it is stripping your skin of ALL the oil, rather than just the excess oil. If you notice that your skin is fine after you wash it, but by the afternoon, you are an oil slick, this is further evidence that you are using product that is too harsh. What is happening is that you are stripping oil from your skin, causing your oil glands to go into oil-producing overdrive. Add in folks’ natural reticence to moisturize if they have oily skin, and this is a recipe for some real serious damaged skin. If you are not a teenager, or on testosterone, you do not need benzoyl peroxide.
4) Your skin will need different things at different times of the year. In spring and summer, your skin may be fine, not too dry, not too oily. At those times of year, it’s better to use less heavy moisturizers in favor of antioxidants and sun protection. In fall and winter, your skin gets drier, so you may need to switch to a heavier moisturizer.
5) MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. Now, repeat after me: More is not always better. There is a mentality that if something works, you should use it incessantly. DO NOT DO THIS. No matter how much you love the Five Fruit exfoliating cleanser, you should not use it every day. Yes, AHAs can help strip dead skin cells and encourage skin cell turnover, but that does not mean you need every product in your regimen to contain them. Here is a great example: I make a SUPER strong Anti-Acne Serum, which, when I had the shop in Seattle, I would not allow people to purchase until I had spoken with them personally, and approved them to purchase it. When I sold it, I always told the person to use it only once a day, and to be super conscientious about sun protection. I sold some to this kid who had cystic acne. A couple of weeks later, his esthetician came in and we were talking about this kid and his skin, and the estho mentioned that his skin was so tight that he could barely do extractions. I knew at that moment that he was overusing the serum and exfoliating TF out of his face. He thought because it worked great once a day, it would work better several times a day. Nope. (I totally grounded him from the serum after that. I never sold it to him again.) So, ESPECIALLY with my products, as they are formulated for maximum effectiveness, do not overuse product because you think you’ll get additive levels of benefits. It doesn’t work that way.
Feel free to message me if you have questions about any of the points I’ve brought up here. This has been another episode of #themoreyouknow