Skin health is often ignored in favor of piling on products or using high tech treatments that could be doing more harm than good. Just because a product or treatment isn’t making things worse, it doesn’t mean they are making things better.
At first, your skin might tolerate these more aggressive treatments like lasers, lights, peels, and 10-step routines, but eventually, your skin will start to accumulate inflammation. One day, seemingly out of the blue, you could develop a rash or notice that your skin has become more reactive and sensitive. Your skin, which was once balanced, can become chronically dry or dehydrated no matter how you try to remedy it. It’s your skin’s way of saying, “I’m done!”
Many of us are so excited by new products or just the idea of adding more steps into our daily skincare routine that we don’t stop to think about the potential consequences. We are more focused on having that poreless, “porcelain skin”— an unrealistic ideal born from photoshop and IG filters—instead of having healthy skin. We need to think long term, asking ourselves questions like: “What’s happening to my skin if I exfoliate with AHAs every single day?” “How can I get my skin back on track when my acid mantle has been compromised?” or “What should I be doing if the accumulating inflammation on my skin is out of control?”
For people who feel the need to excessively exfoliate, you need to understand what you are doing to your skin in the long run. As you constantly use retinol or any combination of acidic and/or high alkaline ingredients, your skin is losing its ability to maintain those natural oils which act as a protectant. And due to the lack of healthy oils, your skin will no longer be able to protect you from bacteria, like when you're wearing a face mask that has already trapped in a lot of heat and sweat. So what do you end up with? Maskne - and the knee-jerk reaction is to reach for those exfoliators, not realizing that you are contributing to this vicious cycle.
The best thing you can do is begin to listen to your skin and not be so reactive to immediate problems. Instead focusing on the source of the problem. The solution to red bumps, acne, and irritation may seem like a high tech laser or a foaming cleanser, but often times, it’s your skin asking you to put the cotton-soaked pad down and give it a chance to repair itself with the help of a good anti-inflammatory serum. In maintaining the barrier, you’ll regain your skin’s trust, and in turn, your confidence.