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Are you using too many products?

05/01/2022

With the vast array of beauty products available to us now, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the simplest approach is the most effective – particularly when it comes to skincare.

If you’re concerned that product-layering might be causing your skin more harm than good, you might be right. However, “it’s not a matter of how many products you’re using, it’s a matter of what you’re using,” expresses Dr Hiba Injibar, consultant dermatologist and owner of Dermasurge Clinic.

As a rule of thumb, it’s vital to consider each of the active ingredients in your cosmetic routine, as they all do a different job – but might not be compatible. “It’s always good to have an expert examine your skin and then decide what would be the best for your specific needs,” she adds.

 

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How to know if you’re using too many products

When it comes to assessing how much is too much, Dr Injibar says there are various factors to consider. Think about who recommended those products, whether they are appropriate, and if you’re using them correctly. For example, “are they blocking your pores if your skin is already oily?” or, “do they contain abrasive acids, yet you suffer from rosacea?” These are all crucial factors to consider.

If your skin is breaking out or flaring-up, try stripping back your regime. Stick to a basic routine of cleansing and moisturising, plus SPF for daytime, to see if it recovers, then reintroduce products slowly. But, if your skin is generally happy, how many products does a skincare professional recommend?

While it is customary for a dermatologist to suggest products to patients only after evaluating their skin, she explains, “I might give them two-to-three active ingredients – from an acid like glycolic, to vitamin C and retinol – plus a sunscreen and moisturiser to use in different formulations.” Despite the fact that the number of active components appears to be high, Dr Injibar assures us that it is not excessive when used correctly.

 

What a recommended daily regime looks like

Firstly, cleanser is vital, and should be selected according to your skin type. “I prefer foaming cleansers since they clean well and can be washed with water, however cream cleansers can also be great.” Dr Injibar feels that adding toner isn’t necessary but can be used to balance the skin if needed.

“In the morning, I usually give my patients something containing an AHA or BHA,” she says. After the age of 30, she feels a minimum of 10 per cent vitamin C from a high-quality medical-grade product should also be used first thing. Next, “some patients choose a daytime cream with SPF”. If this is not the case, sunscreen is required at all times, regardless of the season.

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