We’ve asked world-renowned skin care expert and our CEO/Founder, Lydia Sarfati, to give you all the advice you’ve been clamoring for all these years. This is it…the answers to your most common skincare questions!
Why is a skin care routine important for your skin?
Like brushing your teeth, for general health, prevention is key for reducing visible signs of aging. A proper skin care routine should be started young—fixing the damage later in life will be more difficult. As we age, the skin’s natural regeneration process slows down. You begin losing elasticity and skin gets thinner, dehydration and lack of moisture increase, too much sun catches up to you, while collagen production slows down. Proper skincare maintenance improves skin texture and elasticity and helps skin look younger.
Why is it a problem to “over-cleanse” your skin?
I see so many women who think that they can never be too clean. It’s hard to re-consider our daily hygiene habits, but one of the first pieces of advice we give as estheticians is that over cleansing your skin can have the opposite effect---make your skin more oily! Over cleansing can trick your body into thinking you’re not producing enough oil, resulting in overproduction of sebum. Over cleansing can also result in skin irritation, redness and rashes. I often see clients who aren’t cleansing properly, so it is important to know that when kept to twice daily, and by working in a cleanser using small circular motions, the skin’s oil production will remain balanced. Over cleansing becomes more harmful when using a product that uses harsh detergents and soaps. With a gentle, soap-free cleanser, it is even advisable to cleanse the face for up to ten minutes to be sure all debris built up throughout the day is thoroughly removed from the skin’s surface. So, the key here is in the type of product, not necessarily the frequency.
Why should you use a special product around your eyes?
The skin of the eye contour area is very thin and delicate. If the moisturizer is too thick, it can cause milia---those horrible white bumps that can only be dealt with by a skin care professional. Also, if any product is applied too roughly, it will easily cause irritation. It is important to find a lightweight eye cream, eye gel, or eye serum which will not cause an occlusive layer that can lead to puffiness. Apply by tapping gently with the fingertips around the eye contour region.
Is it possible to over exfoliate your skin?
Over-exfoliation is like over-cleansing, but on steroids! Although exfoliation is an important part of a skincare routine, over exfoliation is an all too common problem. The purpose of exfoliation is to remove dead skin cells. This should be a gentle process. By over exfoliating, you are removing a natural skin barrier possibly leading to oxidation process and free radical damage. Another reason to avoid harsh exfoliating has to do with the fact that the actual granules that are used as the “scrub” can be jagged and create microscopic tears in the skin which will increase sensitivity, redness and the look of broken capillaries. Of course, over-exfoliation can go to a whole new level when you consider professional peels. Always err on the side of under-doing it rather than over doing it!
Can you use “too many” skin care products?
At a time when women are being advised to employ a trendy ten-step Korean skin care program, I must say yes, you can use too many skin care products BUT only if the skin care products are not in alignment with your skin type and if they aren’t formulated to work synergistically together. But you don’t need a Ph.D in chemistry and biology to do this. The best way to ensure that your skin care program is best for your skin is to first consult a professional skin care expert, and then use the recommended products all from one product line. That way, you know the formulas both work with your skin type and work well together to create the optimum results. It’s that easy.
What should a woman do differently in her skin care routine as she ages?
Women of every age need to implement a daily skincare routine. As we age, we need to “up the ante” so to speak and begin adding a retinol night cream to our basic cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides and seaweed are important components to look for in the products you use. Seaweed naturally contains a perfect balance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. All of these ingredients help to moisturize the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also important to remember to care for your body from the inside out at this stage in life. Our metabolism slows down, so a healthy diet plus a body toning cream can help to keep our skin looking young and help us maintain our energy all around.
Why is using an SPF important?
No one should be without a form of sun protection. While the effects of sun damage come mostly from early childhood exposure, free radical damage from the sun can cause skin concerns at any age. Melanoma, for example is one of the leading causes of death in women, with cases seen in younger and younger women. According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30-35. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 about 87,110 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed (about 52,170 in men and 34,940 in women).
In addition to health risks, sun damage dries out skin and can easily cause wrinkles on the face. For the mature woman seeking to keep skin supple looking through the years, protection against the damaging UV-rays emitted by the sun is essential. SPF also helps to prevent the appearance of hyperpigmentation, a common skin concern seen in women 50+.
Have any more questions for skin care questions for Lydia? Leave them in the comments below!