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Why it’s important not overload your skin with heavy skincare!

There seems to be a trend to over-use rich, deeply hydrating skincare, including the ever so popular facial oils. As a cosmetic dermatologist, I’m against overloading the skin with heavy and occlusive textures, because for one they will clog up your pores. However, did you know that this habit will also slow down the skin’s vital, natural surface renewal?

There are of course exceptions such as eczema prone skin with impaired barrier function, which will benefit greatly from lipid rich emollients, as they stop the vicious circle of barrier disruption -> water loss -> dry skin -> inflammation -> more water loss etc. However, this is a small minority of people.

Generally, the current trend for heavy creams, balms and facial oils isn’t a good one, in my opinion. People often overload their skin and ‘suffocate’ it with too heavy products. A trend I don’t endorse, as it’s doing your skin more harm than good. We end up seeing many of these people at Eudelo, with skin issues such as dull, lifeless skin and /or breakouts.

My recommendation is to always use the lightest formulation you can get away with!

I’m also sceptical of the current trend of applying layer upon layer of skincare (sometimes more than 10 layers!). You’ll almost certainly compromise optimal absorption of active ingredients and could even risk the interaction of some products. So stick to a sensible number of layers, let’s say three as a rule of thumb – even more so if your skin is oily – and use the lightest formulations you can without your skin feeling dry.

What feels like ‘dry, sensitive skin’, is not always true dry skin anyway. A dry, tight feeling can be a sign of micro-inflammation, as we often see in rosacea prone skin. In these cases slathering on rich moisturisers is even more contraindicated, as they might make your rosacea worse. The solution is treating the micro-inflammation with effective prescription creams, not ‘numbing’ the sensation with heavy skincare!

Oils and rich creams are also 100% contraindicated for acne prone skin. I sometimes hear advice to apply coconut oil or other oils on acne skin, which makes me shiver! That’s the worst thing you can do, as it will just clog your pores and aggravate the acne.

So anybody with any type of breakouts, whether rosacea or acne, should strictly avoid heavy creams and oils. The only skin type can may benefit from it, is eczema prone, dry, sensitive skin (as long as there are zero breakouts!).

Apart from breakout prone skin – if you have ‘normal’ skin, but have used too rich skincare, ending up with dull, lacklustre skin (because of stifled skin renewal), the best way out is to use a topical regime that boosts epidermal renewal such as vitamin A derivatives (eg retinol or retinaldehyde), AHAs (eg glycolic or lactic acid) or for more sensitive skin Polyhydroxyacids PHAs (eg gluconolactone or lactobionic acid). Also highly beneficial to rectify this (both for dull skin, but also breakouts) are of course dermatology grade facials that include mild chemical peels, advanced microdermabrasion and extractions of blocked pores (the EUDELO ‘Fit Skin Forever’ Facial is the most amazing treatment for this!).

So next time you are tempted to slather on rich moisturizers, think again and don’t jump onto that band wagon.