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Here’s How Your Skincare Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good

In this day and age, it’s easy to feel bamboozled by what your skin actually needs. An influx of information and conflicting instructions can make choosing the right skincare products confusing.

One would assume that taking care of their skin with a range of highly rated products would be the best possible thing you can do – but have you ever considered that your skincare products might be doing more harm than good?

We chat to Lucy Macdougald, Biologi’s Dermal Specialist to understand how products – and what we do with them – could be having a negative effect on our skin.

Lucy Macdougald

STOP LAYERING TOO MANY PRODUCTS

A common trend in skincare lately is layering products à la K Beauty style, however if you’re not completely up to speed with how each ingredient can affect your skin, then it’s probably not advisable. Unless you work in the skincare industry, it’s likely you might not have a good understanding of which ingredients work together and which ingredients don’t ‘like’ each other.

Many people don’t realise that some ingredients when layered together can actually cancel each other out (meaning they don’t actually do anything) or worse – cause harmful skin reactions. But before you throw away the entire contents of your bathroom cabinet, consider understanding how ingredients interact with each other and potential risks that can be involved.

For example, Vitamin C serum and Retinol work optimally in different pH environments, so shouldn’t be layered on top of each other. Retinol also shouldn’t be layered with AHAs or BHAs because this combination can cause excessive skin sensitivity, redness and irritation.

Also consider the fact that reducing reliance on synthetics which your skin may not really need can help to restore natural hydrating processes, balance PH levels and strengthen the natural protective barrier. Beauty routines that overload the skin with synthetics are, according to Biologi’s research, unnecessary and can damage the protective barrier that protects the body. Traditional skincare products can be packed with toxic ingredients including chemical activators, irritating fragrance, occlusive emulsifiers and even water to dilute natural actives. 

BE CAREFUL OF OVERCLEANSING

Cleansing and double cleansing are important steps in your skincare routine, especially if you often wear makeup. It is important to thoroughly move any excessive dirt or irritants, however it’s equally important not to over cleanse (and it can be a fine line!). If your skin is feeling tight from cleansing, it’s a sign that you’ve over-cleansed and stripped the skin of the natural oils that encourage hydration. The tightness you might feel is essentially a warning sign that your skin needs external hydration to function in its natural state. To combat this, try to keep showers cool and use natural serums to promote the skin’s natural hydration processes. Also cleanse thoroughly at night to wash away makeup and build-up from the day but try just washing your face with water and a cloth in the morning, rather than excessively scrubbing.

CALM DOWN ON EXFOLIATION

Exfoliation is an essential part of a skincare routine because it encourages a healthy cellular turnover. However, what many people don’t realise is that the frequency and specific products used can often lead to irritation. Whilst grainy scrubs can be popular, overuse of these types of products can cause micro-tears that lead to dryness and irritation. Try to exfoliate just once a week or twice if absolutely necessary and consider enzyme exfoliation using natural fruit sources. 

AVOID SOME COMMON SKINCARE INGREDIENTS

Common ingredients found in skincare products such as parabens, sulphates and emulsifiers can strip the skin’s natural oils leading to dryness and irritation. Whilst most brands are doing their bit to avoid these ingredients, they still appear in many common skincare products.

Please bear in mind that all the skin needs is nutrients. Synthetic ingredients like parabens, sulphates and emulsifiers are used to improve the way a product feels, smells and applies, NOT the way it works, which means they aren’t essential.

Overall, it’s important to remember that using fewer artificial ingredients will reduce the toxic build-up in skin (which is often the culprit for skin irritation). Instead try to look for products with the highest concentration of natural actives and the least number of synthetic ingredients. 

Biologi’s Bd Luminosity Face Serum is an excellent single ingredient serum sourced from Australian Davidson Plum. It’s a storehouse of antioxidants that leaves skin looking refreshed, radiant and luminous. What’s more, it’s an excellent source of tartaric acid which works to dissolve the natural ‘glue’ that binds cells together (so can help with natural exfoliation too).

WATCH OUT FOR NICE SMELLING PRODUCTS

Most people will tend to opt for products that smell nice, however what many people don’t realise is fragrances can be the number one cause of skin sensitivities! Unfortunately, the term ‘fragrance’ can sometimes just be a code word for chemicals.

The unfortunate thing is that brands do not need to fully disclose all ingredients on a product label and fragranced products can often disguise toxic chemicals under the guise of ‘fragrance’. In fact, the European Union, USA and UK are now considering banning fragrance from beauty products; however not in Australia or New Zealand.

The rise in health problems and skin conditions associated with fragrances is alarming – one in three Australians recently reported adverse health effects from fragranced products. This includes breathing problems, migraines, asthma attacks and a host of skin irritations.

So, if you are suffering from skin issues, consider how fragrances in your products could be contributing to this. Try opting for fragrance-free products but be careful of another marketing trick – ‘unscented’ products may still contain fragrance. All that word means is that the scent is a neutral one designed to cover up the smell of the ingredients. Fragrance-free products can still have a scent, but it isn’t one that’s been added synthetically.

Australian skincare brand Biologi is renowned for its 100% active ingredients, delivering innovative single ingredient products that harness the power of Australian natives. They are revolutionising the industry with their unique range of serums, offering the only 100% active, water soluble plant extract range in the world. These active-ingredient serums have a profound effect on the skin, changing it on a cellular level and delivering on the promise that the product truly works. The Biologi plant serums were created by renowned skincare chemist Ross Macdougald, who was sick of the conventions of the industry and set out to prove that natural and organic can be more effective than synthetics.

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