Thursday, 9 June 2011

I use products from a whole lot of different brands. Does that make me a skin care slut?

Dear Dolly Doctor I mean Science of Beauty Doctor,

I use products from heaps of different companies. Is this bad? My best friend said that makes me a skin care slut. Is she right? Please help me. I have no one else I can ask. My parents would kill me if they knew how many beauty companies I had been with.


Clear Skinned Skank*

Dear Clear Skinned Skank,

Thank you for your letter. You will be pleased to know that your problem is much more common than you think and you are perfectly normal and, more importantly, you are NOT a slut.

Firstly, your skin is completely unique. No one in the world has exactly the same skin as you. Therefore, no beauty company is going to be able to offer a solution exactly tailored to all of your skin care needs. For example, you might have oily skin with pigmentation issues that you wish to correct while the person next to you, who also has pigmentation issues, has dry flaky skin. You might both use the same serum to treat the pigmentation but there is no way that the matching moisturiser would work for both of you. Therefore, you are better off identifying exactly what you want to achieve from your skin care, and then hunt down the brands that can help you meet these aims.

Skin care companies will often have you lead to believe that their products will only work if you use the entire range. Perhaps a serum will be more effective if you use the matching moisturiser as there will be double application of the active ingredients; however, as I mentioned above, if you have other issues that also need addressing, then it is likely that these additional issues will be neglected. In terms of your cleanser and toner, these products are on your skin for such a short amount of time that any 'active' ingredients are not going to get a chance to work.

One area of concern people often have about mixing brands is whether the ingredients in the products can react with one and other and cause a nuclear explosion on your face. With over the counter skin care, this is unlikely. If you have overly sensitive skin, or are concerned for whatever reason, then do a patch test. Choose an area on your body that you don't care if it does become horribly mutated and apply the products as you normally would on your face. Do this however many times you would normally use the products in 48 hours (ie in the evenings two nights in a row or in the morning and evening if it is a twice a day product). If you haven't reacted after 48 hours, it is unlikely that you will react. The exception to this is if you are using any prescription skin care, such as medicated acne treatments or Retinol wrinkle treatments. In these cases, discuss with your Doctor what skin care you can use in addition to your prescribed skin care. The concern is not so much ingredients reacting with each other but the fact that prescription skin care is likely to be making significant changes to your skin - for example, Retinol thins your skin so you do not want to be using abrasive exfoliants with it.

Finally, always remember, if you are going to get involved with a lot of beauty companies then you MUST always use protection for your own health and safety. Never leave the house without applying SPF 30+ sunscreen. Beauty companies may tell you that they have their own protection, but never trust them. They are only saying that to get onto your face. Take your skin health into your own hands and always apply a layer of sunscreen - you can never have too much protection.

I hope this answered your question

Science of Beauty Doctor  

*names have been changed to protect identity