What are skincare products?
Skincare refers to routines that maintain skin functionality, relieve skin concerns, and improve the skin’s appearance. Nowadays, skincare products encompass an expansive range of ingredients, from synthetic materials of medical-grade quality to completely organic collections. Nevertheless, it is important for your patients to use only necessary skincare products suitable for their skin types and conditions for optimal results. In addition, using products in the correct order is vital to ensure efficiency.
Why use these products?
Appropriate skincare products are important to maintain the health and functionality of the skin. Despite being the largest organ in the body, skin is surprisingly sensitive and needs proper care to do its tasks efficiently. Advise your patients of the best skincare products for their skin concerns and skin type.
What are the types of skin care products?
The basic steps in a skincare routine include cleansing, exfoliating, toning, moisturizing, and sun protection. An optional step is targeted treatment.
- Cleansing: This first step involves removal of makeup, dirt, and excessive sebum. Patients are advised to cleanse at least twice daily using a suitable and gentle cleanser. Patients can even use soft-bristled cleansing brushes or gentle cleansing pads to do a thorough job of cleansing the face.
- Exfoliating: This step is usually done a few times every week to help unclog pores and increase new cell production. Exfoliants exist in 2 forms which are physical and chemical agents. Physical exfoliating agents physically slough off dead cells using use a fine brush or small grains (e.g. sugar grains, fruit seeds, ground coffee). Physical exfoliating products must be used with care as large grains to avoid micro tears in skin. Chemical exfoliants refer to chemicals like alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid that remove dead and keratinized cells. They are also very efficient in penetrating the skin to gently unclog the pores.
- Toning: Cleansing is followed by toning. This process helps to completely remove any remaining makeup, dirt, sebum, and even cleanser as well as to tighten the pores. Toner also reverts the skin pH back to normal in preparation of absorbing the upcoming products.
- Moisturizing: It is necessary to maintain the integrity and health of the protective barrier layer. Appropriate moisturizing products hydrate and nourish this barrier layer to ensure optimal health.
- Sun protection: This important step is, unfortunately, being skipped by many people. A good sunscreen reduces the amount of skin-damaging free radicals reaching the skin, which, in turn, reduces the risk of wrinkle and skin cancer formation. Sunscreen also exists in 2 forms: physical and chemical sunblock. While the former (e.g. titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) physically deflects UV rays, the latter (e.g. ethylhexyl triazone) absorbs and converts the UV rays into heat which are then released from skin.
- Targeted treatment: This optional step can be done based on patients’ personal preference and skin concerns. Products intended for targeted treatments generally have more potent bioactive ingredients for fast improvements, such as acne-control and brightening effects.
What are the side effects?
When patients use the right products, their skin appears healthy, radiant and flawless. Skin concerns, such as dryness and acne, can be resolved. Using an unsuitable skincare range can cause irritation and even allergic reactions. Patients should read the ingredients list carefully to ensure the absence of potential allergens. Most often than not, skin irritations happen due to 6 main factors which are:
- Poor quality: Some skincare products contain harmful ingredients like strong fragrance and alcohols that deteriorate the protective barrier of skin. When this happens, the skin tends to break out.
- Presence of an allergen: The ingredients list is there for a reason. Patients—especially those with a known hypersensitivity to certain ingredients—must read the list carefully to avoid a reaction.
- Unsuitable product for skin type: Incompatible products will only aggravate skin conditions. For example, applying thick moisturizers or balms on an oily skin might result in clogged pores and blemishes.
- Product overload: Sometimes, the patient may not need as many products as they or using, or they are using too much of a product. It is even worse when patients use different products but with the same potent ingredients. Instead of caring for the skin, these products might irritate the skin altogether.
- Abrasive products or methods: Abrasive items like cleansing brushes with stiff bristles can actually cause micro tears on the surface of the skin resulting in premature wrinkle formation. These micro tears also make the skin to be very sensitive and easily irritable.
- Overly sensitive skin: Some patients can still experience skin irritations despite using the gentlest products. They might just have sensitive skin.