When dermatologists talk, Costhetics listens.

(To maintain our standing as Australia’s leading resource for news and information about cosmetic enhancement, we also listen to what doctors, scientists, and even the occasional “little birdie” have to say.) Currently, everyone seems to be talking about skin care products that do more harm than good.

Colour Me Irritated

Negative effects from skin care products may be something you’ve experienced yourself. You decide to give your skin a little TLC and treat yourself to a new beauty product. The next thing you know, instead of the dewy complexion the packaging promised, you’ve got a face full of blackheads, red spots, and whiteheads.

Did you do something wrong? No. The fact of the matter is skin products formulated for a mass market are intended for someone with “average” skin…which doesn’t really exist. Your skin is uniquely your own and needs products formulated for your specific needs. It’s the main reason bespoke skin care is trending. Today’s consumers, particularly millennials, understand the value of using products that have been fine-tuned to their needs.

Stop in the Name of Love: Skincare Products to Toss

The pros we talked to pointed to several specific products they think are better suited to your waste basket than your medicine chest.

  • Cleansing Oils – They sound so soothing, but cleaning oils are known to cause a wide range of problems from skin irritation to clogged pores. Many people experience an allergic reaction and people with cystic acne, in particular, are at risk of a bad reaction. Talk to your skin therapist before selecting a cleansing oil.
    Once you’ve made your decision, do a small patch test on your face to determine whether or not the product is irritating.
  • Pore StripsThey’re fun and easy to use, but pore strips are notoriously ineffective. The treatment is superficial and doesn’t fully clear the pore. On top of that, the adhesive on the strips can irritate and damage your complexion.
    Worst of all, no matter how gently you remove the strips, they traumatise thin, delicate facial skin and can cause broken capillaries and spider veins.
  • Gel-Based Moisturisers & ScrubsGel-based products are gentle enough for acne-prone skin and effective on oily skin, too. If you have dry skin, however, dermatologists say stay away. The formulations in bar soaps are frequently too drying for people whose skin is already moisture-challenged.

Compounding the problem are products that contain elevated levels of retinol and AHA/BHA ingredients which can worsen skin health.

  • Elixir MistsThe word ‘elixir’ conjures up imagines of Cleopatra being anointed with exotic concoctions. Manufacturers say their ‘magic’ elixir sprays mists on the skin with butters, ceramides, plant extracts, and herbal infusions. Here’s the catch, though: dermatologists say many of the formulations offered for sale have minimal, if any, effect on skin health and beauty.
    Mists may be briefly refreshing, but they’re not especially hydrating.
  • Pure Coconut OilCoconut oil is a marvel, for some peeps. A 2013 study found that adding virgin coconut oil to an existing skin lotion resulted in an increase in both hydration and skin elasticity.
    On the flip side, dermatologists warn that coconut oil and other pure plant- and vegetable-based oils can cause problems for individuals who are acne-prone.
  • Nut-Based Exfoliating Scrubs – Nut scrubs are sneaky. They initially make your skin feel soft and soft. In the long run, however, the abrasive action of nut particles harms your skin.
    In addition to literally scratching the surface of your face, the particles can cause irritation and dryness because they damage the protective barrier.
  • Alcohol-Based Toners, Creams & Beverages No one should use alcohol-based products. They dry out skin, but in an unhealthy way. Alcohol depletes the body’s natural moisturisers, causing your skin to become itchy and irritated. Alcohol can be dehydrating whether you put it on your skin or in your stomach.

Vogue Magazine reports, “Alcohol inflames the tissue, and systemic inflammation to the skin caused by alcohol creates a histamine reaction—that creates the redness, the flushing of the skin. If you continue drinking, it can become a prominent facial redness you can’t get away from.” Dehydration damage also manifests itself in more skin wrinkles.

Costhetics doesn’t know you, although we’d like to. We’re not dermatologist either. For this reason, we can’t say “Don’t use this product or that product.” What we will say is talk to a skin care professional you trust to learn more about what you can do to keep the skin you’re in looking marvellous.

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