Free Press Journal

Skin care: Bin these products


Dermatologist Dr Kiran Lohia enlightens us on the products that should be discarded from our skin care routine

All of us have tons of excess products sitting in our bathroom cabinet. I mean they are just so tempting, aren’t they? When you go to the mall and see all of these exciting brands selling such amazing products like primers, pore minimizers, essences, toners, creams, anti-aging creams, masks, scrubs and more, you just have to buy them.

After all, the gorgeous models they are using have such great skin and the packaging is so nice. Well guess what, the majority of what you have stocked away can easily be thrown away. Yes, you heard right! You have probably wasted tens of thousands of rupees on un-needed products that are either useless or harmful for your skin. Read on to learn what to bin from your beauty routine.

What exactly does rosewater do for you? What benefit can it truly add? Simply put, rosewater is just water, with 1% rose extract and 0.1% fragrance. Its 99% water, and that’s it. That 1% of extract is doing literally nothing for you and has scientifically no real benefits. It’s just psychologically making you feel nice. After all, your skin got all the water it needed when you washed your face! So what’s the verdict? Bin it!

With Korean skincare all the rage, essences are the new must-have. But, are they really necessary, and what are they really? An essence is really just a lighter version of a serum, which is a highly concentrated solution with just a few important actives. Why have a lightweight version of a serum when you can simply have a more skin-active serum? God knows, but the marketing world has definitely gotten millions of women to jump on this bandwagon. As a dermatologist, I can definitely tell you, while that lotus essence may feel nice on your skin, its probably doing absolutely nothing for you. So yes, that expensive essence you bought should probably go in the trash too.

Now, the Western world has completely dominated the world with the concept of CTM – cleansing toner moisturiser. It seems like you just can’t live without it, right? Well guess what, I am here to disabuse you of this notion. The reality is that the majority of dermatologists do not believe in toners at all. Traditionally, docs recommended pH balanced toners when harsh soaps were used for the skin that could raise its pH. However, in the new world where gentle cleansers abound, the concept of skin-balancing with toners became extinct. Additionally, toners often contain alcohol which can help dry out acne prone skin and make the pores appear smaller. The problem is that that temporary benefit results in increased oil secretion, and you guessed it, increased pore size. So, while toners may be considered a must-have, in my world, I say throw it out today.

Designed to theoretically provide smoother coverage for when you are wearing makeup, they are also supposed to increase the length of time your coverage lasts. Well, what are primers actually made of? Typically the ingredients are silicones, which are simply moisturising and barrier agents. Why can’t your moisturiser do the exact same thing as your primer can? And why do you really need this extra layer on your skin anyway? The fact is that the more layers you add onto your skincare regime, the more likely you are to get zits. So adding a primer can in fact give you more blackheads and whiteheads. It has no real benefit for your makeup routine, and can only obstruct your skin. So what do you do with your primer? You guessed it – chuck it away!

Pore Minimizers
Nowadays, all my clients are coming in and saying that they bought pore minimizers from their favourite makeup brands. Their makeup routine goes as follows –pore minimizer, primer, concealer, foundation, compact, concealer again, highlighter, blush, and etcetera. You can imagine my horror as a dermatologist upon realizing how thick the layer of products must have formed onto the skin. The fact is that if you are already using a concealer and a foundation, there is no added benefit from using something that will make your pores appear slightly smaller. It’s completely useless and truly unnecessary. So please, simplify your lives and just bin it.

Overall, the simpler your routine, the better your skin. Stick to a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and sunblock, and you and your skin will thank me later. Stay beautiful everyone!