Notebook

Skincare...on trying to have it ALL!

Do you use beauty products for the experience? Here’s something for you to mull over this weekend.

Every week, I sit down with patients and create personalised skincare programmes to secure the best possible outcomes from medical treatment and make the process as tolerable as possible. This usually begins by simplifying an existing regime and removing items that are cluttering it up with no clear benefit or that may even be adding to the underlying skin concern. If you are someone who has 3 or more serums in your routine, this could be you!

We have been led to believe that we need ALL the ingredients and some of the unhappiest skin I see belongs to the proud owners of an 8 or 10 step skincare routine. But, despite this...I sometimes have a job convincing people to let go of the stacks of items they have accumulated. Or to convey the importance of sticking to a programme and not chopping and changing after 2 or 3 days without giving things a chance.

What’s more interesting, though, is that even when the simple skincare suggestions deliver results and patients come back with clear skin, there is a tendency to want to add in various lotions or potions all over again. And then there are those who really want to splurge on skincare. Basic products that do just as good a job as expensive ones can be met with bewilderment. Why is this?

I can only conclude that it is because there is a deep enjoyment in the process and experience of applying beauty products. Maybe because they smell delicious, feel luxurious or indulgent, or perhaps they also make our shelves look pretty. For some, there is a thrill in the promise of a new product, even when there is no real need for change. In fact, this pull can be so strong that we are prepared to give in to it despite the risk that it might compromise our results.

So what to do? My top tip to you this Friday is to separate the products you use into those that are necessary for reaching your healthy skin goals and those you enjoy for the experience. Make sure you use the former on a regular basis and be consistent. Dip into the latter on occasion if it makes you feel good, but don’t be tempted to use ALL of the the things ALL of the time.

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