Now, we have all been there - we’ve seen some flawless instagrammer or youtuber sporting some new fancy looking facial product and we immediately presume that our skin can be that glowing if we use it too? There is forever new products or beauty trends on the market claiming to ‘Cure your acne overnight’, ‘Remove all of your blackheads’, or “remove stubborn wrinkles without Botox’. It can be very easy to fall victim to this never-ending stream of cosmetic trends born on social media. I've created this blog post in response to the inboxes I receive daily about what is just a fad and what is actually ok to use on the skin.
Let's start with on of my favourite (well, least favourite) beauty trends of 2017,
FAD #1 The Black 'Charcoal' face mask:
You by now would have come across a viral video or two of an influencer applying a black face mask, letting it set and then creating a hilarious response when trying to pull it off, as it is extremely painful. They then show all of the ‘blackheads’ its remove, all the while they will be throwing in some “ooohs” and “wows” whilst feeling their raw skin and claiming how smooth and glowing it is.When removed, the mask is removing cells from the outer layer of skin and any hair and sebaceous filaments along with it. This is why these influencers are in excruciating pain when removing the mask.
Yes deep cleansing and exfoliating is good for the skin, however I compare using a ‘glue’ like mask on the skin, to using a chainsaw to trim back a tree, when some garden shears could have done the job more precisely and safely. You are essential stripping your skin of its natural oils, risking a chemical burn and damaging your skin's barrier function. The sebaceous filaments that have been removed, can replenish themselves up to 30 days post, however continual use can cause major skin sensitivities, welts and even long term effects of chemical burns.
Now dont get these cheap and nasty Black face masks confused with real activated, certified organic face masks. There is certainly a place in skin care for activated charcoal, however please read labels! If there is a long list of chemicals, chances are you're applying the equivalent to PVA glue to your face.
Alternatives: Still feel intrigued and amazed at the videos of the blackhead removals and desperate to try anything to get rid of yours? Try the following alternatives:
- La Mav Organics skin care: DNA Phyto-Guard Pink Clay Mask: Pink Clay absorbs and removes surface impurities, withdraws toxins and cleanses pores. Apply once per week to skin.
Purchase online: https://lamav.com/products/dna-phyto-guard-pink-clay-mask
- Revision Skin: Black Mask: This intensive mask with a moist after-feel deep cleans the skin, ridding it of impurities and excess sebum. Apply once per week.
Purchase through my link: https://www.ageingsolutions.com.au/?ref=madilyne
FAD #2 COCONUT OIL USED FOR EVERYTHING
No! Now I am sorry for all of the die hard hippies who will not like me saying this, but please take your jar of coconut oil out of your bathroom and place firmly back into your kitchen pantry. Yes, I am all about natural solutions and reducing chemicals and toxicity, so I understand how appealing coconut oil can be to slather on morning and night, but IT IS OCCLUSIVE!
What does that mean exactly for you skin? Well occlusive skin care products means it creates a barrier that traps moisture, dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells and sebum in your pores! You are literally applying a layer of glad wrap to your skin and creating a breading field for bacteria and acne to thrive. This even applies if you are using it as your makeup remover, which I notice during consultations that a lot of you are, the reminisce of the oil can still be occlusive. If you haven't heard of the occlusivity scale, then please take a read of the following link. Coconut oil receives a 4 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale!
Yes there are some people who swear by its use for all things beauty, but typically these are the genetically blessed few who arent overly sebaceous and poress and therefore dont have much trouble with the comedogenic factor. However, if you have skin concerns, please invest in products suitable to your skin. There are still natural chemical alternatives you can use that aren't as occlusive like the following:
- Grapeseed oil: This is an ultra-moisturizing oil, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, is anti-inflammatory, and can soothe and calm aggravated skin. Grapeseed oil can often be great for acne-prone skin because it naturally regulates the skin’s oil production functions to help stop your body from producing excess oil that could trigger a breakout.
- Skinsitut Multiactive oil: Multi-Active Oil is specially designed for dry, dehydrated, ageing and sensitive skins. Enriched with a blend of botanical oils, the skin is helped in its defenses against free radical damage, while it is deeply moisturised and nourished with Coenzyme Q10, Macadamia, Rosehip and Avocado oil.
SKIN FAD #3 - BAKING SODA FACE MASKS
Baking Soda is a common household ingredient. It is an alkaline substance helpful in managing pH levels. It helps neutralize acidic substances in and outside of the body and has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, which is why people often use it as part of their DIY home care rescheme, however there is little research on baking soda’s effects on the skin specifically and therefore I urge you to use with caution. Baking Soda can interfere with the skins pH level. The pH scale is from 0 to 14. Anything above 7 is alkaline, and anything below 7 is acidic. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Our skin is a naturally acidic organ with pH of 4.5 to 5.5. This range is healthy to ensure thriving skin health. With over use of baking soda , you have the potential to cause negative, long term side effects such as;
- An impaired barrier function leading to secondary concerns such as welts and dermatitis.
- over drying of the skin which can alter the sebum production and cause premature ageing.
- Worsening of acne breakouts with the potential for scaring
- Skin irritations and inflammation.
Baking soda when used correctly, can help assists in skin clarity, however DIY use is not recommended. Instead see a licensed Dermal technician to assist you with Skin peels and products that will help balance your pH without leaving your skin stripped and impaired.