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The 5 most Googled skincare questions answered by an expert



Here’s what people want to know about skincare…

While there is a wealth of skincare information available online, you should never believe everything you read on the Internet. We asked an expert in the skincare field to answer five of the most Googled skincare questions from last year to help you get the glowing skin you deserve.

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Karen Bester, a medical trainer at Lamelle Research laboratories answers the most searched for skincare questions:

What does retinol serum do?

Retinol is used to increase the exfoliation of your skin and will improve the structure of the epidermis (or top layer of the skin) as this results in increased turnover of cells in the lower layers of the skin. Retinol is used to improve fines lines and texture in ageing skin. It is also used in acne for its effects in improving congestion and in conditions where there is mottled pigment, or areas of hyperpigmentation, retinol will assist in removing cells that contain more melanin or pigment.

The challenge with using retinol, is that it is irritating to the skin, especially when used in high concentrations. This has necessitated the development of forms of Vitamin A that are non-irritating. The advantage is that these forms of Vitamin A are as potent as prescription strength versions, but have no irritating or sun sensitising effects.

When to use a cleanser?

Bester suggests cleansing your skin in the morning before your day starts and, in the evening, before you retire to bed. In sensitive or dry skin, this might be changed to using the cleanser once a day, generally at night, and doing a water-only cleanse in the morning. Your skin care professional therapist will suggest this.

Is rose oil good for the skin?

The effects of rose oil are not very well researched, but it does apparently have humectant, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial effects.

When using an essential oil, Bester says she always caution about using it in its pure form. This can be irritating when applied to the skin. Essential oils are wonderful when used in diffusers, but need to be diluted in base oils when using them directly onto skin.

How to minimise pores?

The short answer is to keep skin hydrated and if need be, increase your turnover of your skin.

Pores are a challenge as the skin of the pore is actually part of the epidermis or top of the skin. This means that the skin of the pore exfoliates just like the surface of your skin does. The structure of the pore lies deep into the skin though. I have read many an article that talks about exfoliation as the best tool to keep pores clean. Unless your exfoliation product contains lipid soluble ingredients, like salicylic acid or Azelaic acid, it will not be effective into the pore, though.

The structure of the dermis is also important when considering the pore size. As we age, and are sun exposed, the lower layers of the skin start to lose their strength and ability to bind water. Using Growth Factors, Retinoids, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid-containing products will assist with this structure.

In summary:

  • We cannot remove your pores – they are essential for life.
  • Increase your skin turnover using a retinoid daily or using an exfoliating product that contains lipid soluble chemical exfoliators like salicylic acid or Azelaic acid.
  • If you are over 50 and live in a sun-exposed environment, use products containing Growth Factors, Vitamin C, Retinoids and Hyaluronic acid to improve the structure at the base of the pore.

What should I use for eczema on my face?

Use a product containing Ceramides – preferably ones that have proof that they replace the lipid-bi-layer structure of the skin. When changing product, move from what you are using to the new product by phasing it in to your routine. Add a little of the new product to what you are using. Increase the amount of new product slowly in the next few weeks to assist your skin in getting used to new ingredients.

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