Whether you’re a firm believer in the 10-step Korean beauty routine or cleanse and moisturise kind of person, there’s always more to learn about skincare.
Young or old, you might be starting on your skincare journey and don’t know where to begin or you could simply be curious about the latest trending skincare ingredient or skincare routine.
Most people turn to the internet for answers and while Google can be your friend, there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there that can often leave you more confused than when you started your search.
From the basics to the more complicated, Dr Judey Pretorius, a biomedical scientist and founder of the skincare brand Biomedical Emporium, looks at five of the most Googled skincare questions and offers her expert opinion.
At what age should I start using skincare?
You should start using skincare products as a teenager, but the age that you should start looking at anti-ageing skincare is 25.
Does washing your face in the shower cause dry skin?
No, not at all, as long as you ensure that the temperature of your shower water is not too hot, because if the water is too hot it can strip skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and sensitive.
It can also compromise the skin’s moisture barrier, which is essential for protecting the skin against environmental stressors, bacteria, pollutants, and other irritants.
What are the basic skincare products we all need?
The very basics of what we need are a facial cleanser, a serum and a moisturiser (one for the evening and one for the day that contains an SPF).
What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?
Dry skin occurs when the epithelial layer of the skin (the outermost layer of the skin) does not have a moisture level or lipids within it.
Dehydrated skin appears when you don’t have any form of moisture retention or hyaluronic in the dermis (middle layer) of the skin.
While dry skin lacks oil (sebum), dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin may experience eczema, sensitivity, flaking and even cracking, while dehydrated skin is prone to breakouts (due to the skin producing too much extra sebum in an attempt to counteract the dehydration), irritation and dry patches.
Dry skin requires oil or cream-based skincare to replenish lost lipids, while dehydrated skin requires water-rich products, an increased water intake and possibly lifestyle changes.
What is niacinamide and what does it do?
Niacinamide is vitamin B3. Firstly it is a vitamin. Secondly, it is a powerful antioxidant, but it’s one of the ingredients that are necessary to boost overall cellular energy.
Our cells contain energy levels, which are essential in order for skin cells to go through cell division (when cells divide from 2 to 4, to 8, to 16 to replenish dying cells).
Cells cannot divide without energy levels, and when this occurs, the skin may appear more dull and more fatigued.
When you expose your skin to niacinamide, it will boost the overall energy levels of skin cells, which will lead to faster cellular differentiation.