Most people associate healthy skin with a clear and glowing complexion. We are increasingly spending more and more on skin care products to achieve that flawless look promoted by many celebrities and influencers on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. It is not surprising then that we want to see fast results from our skin care investment.
Being the voice of truth, we need to let you know that healthy skin can only be achieved slowly over time, with patience and dedication. Skin remodelling is not like house remodelling on those not-so-real reality TV shows.
Start by keeping it real and going beyond the marketing claims of skin care brands to understand what skin care products can do and what may require clinical interventions.
Also look at your systemic health and any underlying health issues, and consider the role that nutrition, gut microbiota, stress responses and exercise plays. in your life. All these factors influence one’s overall health and they may eventually affect the appearance of your skin, too.
It is always puzzling to read solicited reviews that say: “I used this serum and my pigmentation disappeared in a few days” or “I used this wrinkle cream and my crows feet were completely gone in two weeks” We really wish skin care products could be so amazing and instant!
Going hard and fast with aggressive products to achieve clear skin is counter-productive. We always need to create a healthy skin with a correctly functioning skin barrier before diving into correctives or other stimulating formulas. So next time you go to grab that bottle of Glycolic Acid peeling lotion, take a step back and assess your skin before proceeding … sometimes less really is better.
To find out more about skin health and its link to overall health and the gut microbiota, read our blog article Skin health: Take a deeper look.
The father of cosmeceuticals and co-inventor of Retin-A, dermatologist Dr Albert Kligman, and his partners identified that the topmost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, and the lipid barrier are integral to skin health. This layer needs to be better respected. Dr Kligman also discovered that the stratum corneum sends signals to the underlying epidermis and influences the regenerative process in the deeper layers.
A disrupted skin barrier is unable to protect the skin from environmental stressors and pollution. Surfactants, fragrance, essential oils, preservatives and other chemically and naturally derived ingredients in skin care products can compromise your skin and easily further exacerbate conditions you may be experiencing.
This topmost layer does not divide and multiply like the living tissue below, however based on the understanding provided by corneotherapy, it should be seen as more than just a collection of dead skin cells. According to Dr Kligman, inflamed skin is a reaction to danger in the environment and signals “a leaky and permeable” stratum corneum.
Achieving a clear and glowing complexion therefore starts with healthy skin and a correctly functioning the stratum corneum. Always ensure it is repaired and replenished before embarking on any more intensive skin care routines that seek to regenerate your skin. Read more about this on our page on the The Skin Barrier.