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8 facts you must know about skincare

By Dr DINESH JAIN
November 17, 2020 09:00 IST
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'One size fits all' approach doesn't work when it comes to skincare routines.
You need to be patient, and understand what works best for your skin, warns Dr Dinesh Jain.

Kindly note the image has only been posted for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Lakme Fashion Week

For most people having the perfect skin is a dream.

People often rely on cosmetic products to cover-up their spots and breakouts, and that's perfectly normal.

On the journey to accomplishing that dream glow, you frequently tend to search the internet for skincare routines.

Having said that, this exposes you to a lot of inaccurate information and could lead you to develop skincare routines that seem to be the perfect solution for your skin, but may end up not having any effect at all, or a negative side effect.

Similarly, when it's the matter of the face sometimes the damage may be too impactful.

Here are a few common skin care myths that you should definitely not believe:

1. Expensive products are the most effective

Do you frequently hear people say expensive products are the best for your skin?

People believe things like 'If it is so cheap, how can it be effective?'

Therefore, they equate high cost to high quality, but that isn’t necessarily true.

The reality of the matter is that all of it depends on your skin type. And even within skin type what is that the dermatologist or cosmetologist recommends you based on current condition, age, climate etc. parameters.

Many times what is suitable for a particular skin type in a warm country may be a completely different recommendation in a cooler nation.

While expensive products are very well branded and packaged, some affordable, natural products can be more effective.

It does not matter how expensive the product is, rather, the trick is knowing and understanding your skin type and working with products that are best for you.

The cost of the product does not play any factor in its effectiveness but the clinical knowledge of an expert does.

2. Acne is caused due to infrequent face washing

One of the common myths is that you get acne from not washing your face. While this is not entirely untrue, infrequent face washing is not a primary cause of acne.

It's more like a way to help deal with acne.

Acne can occur due to a variety of causes.

It can be triggered when women are closer to their menstrual cycle or could occur as a reaction to particular foods or skin-care products, pregnancy, hormonal changes, bacterial or fungal infections.

3. Ageing faster by applying make-up

There is no proof that wearing make-up, no matter how often, will make anyone age faster.

There are many makeup products that nourish and protect your skin.

If you do not wash off make-up properly before going to bed, you don't just leave the makeup, but the dirt, oil, and toxins your skin has collected over throughout the day.

Stress, hormonal influences, lack of exercise and sleep coupled with bad hygiene habits are more of a reason for ageing rather than make up.

4. Moisturiser is a 'No-No' for oily skin

A skin type prone to blemishes needs hydration too.

In reality, drying out oily skin sends a signal to your body to produce even more oil.

This is definitely a nightmare for those who already suffer from oily skin problems.

Now there are moisturisers that serve the dual purpose of protecting your skin as well as prevent additional oil build up on your skin.

5. Scrubbing harder will exfoliate the skin better

While the 'no pain, no gain' is certainly relevant to exercise, it doesn't quite apply in the context of exfoliating your skin.

You do not have to hurt your skin or be in pain to have perfect skin.

Doing so would only cause a lot of damage to your skin.

Be kind to your skin and exfoliate once or twice a week.

Exfoliating too often robs your skin of its natural nutrients and makes your skin more susceptible to infections.

6. The higher the SPF of your sunscreen, the better

After a certain level, the higher the sun protection factor (SPF) the higher its added benefit as compared to a lower SPF.

Experts usually recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, that blocks out 97% of UVB radiation.

It may be worth purchasing a higher SPF if you are planning to be outside for more than two to three hours, especially during hours of peak sun exposure (10 am to 2 pm).

Though in most circumstances, a higher SPF might not be worth the extra cost.

Furthermore higher the SPF more amount of chemicals added to the sunscreen so it's important to choose it wisely.

7. If it burns, it's working

A burning sensation is simply a warning notice, a sign of your skin crying for help.

If your skin begins to burn, it does not mean that the product is doing its work and magically repairing your skin.

Learn to pay attention to your skin and wash any product off your face with warm water as soon as you notice a burning sensation.

Keeping that in mind, skin irritations could be a result of a variety of factors, ranging from cosmetics to food, and even medication.

When you notice such issues, it's best you speak with a doctor immediately, and receive professional advice before making any decisions, instead of looking for answers online.

8. The right skin cream can keep your skin looking young

There are a ton of skincare treatments that claim to help you look younger or slow the aging process.

In order to reduce wrinkles, the topical treatment with the best evidence behind it is retinoic acid (as in Retino-A).

A ton of over-the-counter products contain retinoic acid, but it's difficult to say if one is better than another.

You should often leave your decision to the dermatologist who will recommend you what to use, how much to use and how long to use.

Though using sunscreen and not smoking are the best ways to keep wrinkles at bay, you must try your best not to believe everything you come across on the internet so that you do not fall prey to fabricated facts that are not entirely true.

A 'one size fits all' approach doesn't work when it comes to skincare routines.

You need to be patient, and understand what works best for your skin.

The best part is a single visit to an efficient skin expert.

Doctors will establish your skin care routines for decades and can always be tweaked as and when required.

Dr Dinesh Jain is a cosmetologist at Sparsh Clinic, Mumbai.

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