Basic facial skin care: The new trend: fewer products for more beautiful skin

Basic facial skin care: The new trend: fewer products for more beautiful skin

Taking care of our skin has become a fundamental task. That of the body and that of the face. But the truth is that while with the first we allow ourselves to slip up and forget, with the second we live in a time of certain obsession. It’s no longer just about wanting to shave years off with the help of cream, it goes beyond that. What if the Korean routine of 10 products, what if the serum with the latest fashionable ingredient, what if the X lotion and the Greek tonic, what if the ‘ice-roller’ and the ‘Gua-Sha’ stone…

Do you need all that to take care of yourself? “What I see is an excess of steps in routines that I didn’t see five years ago,” determines dermatologist Cristina Eguren. Steps that, furthermore, are not usually guided by any professional, but rather by advertising or social networks. Now, as a reaction to this, a new phenomenon called ‘skin dieting’ or cosmetic fasting is becoming fashionable.

What this technique prescribes is precisely the opposite of what is common: putting our skin on a diet by restricting products. It is about not applying any treatment for one day out of every seven. And yes, it is very similar to another trend from months ago, ‘skin cycling’, which was to reduce the number of products over the course of a week. Dermatologist Paloma Borregón raises her eyebrows when she hears both concepts; “I don’t really know what these techniques are based on, it’s something unscientific,” she responds skeptically. “Our skin doesn’t need breaks if the routine we do is appropriate for our needs,” she says.

Another thing, he admits, is that you have to “adapt” it: “You have to listen to the skin. At times it may be drier and need one more step or it may be fattier and the opposite,” he details. In any case, none of this follows the philosophy of cosmetic fasting. Both dermatologists consider that believing that more is more when it comes to skin is a mistake. “The most important thing is not the number of steps you follow, but that a professional indicates them to you,” says Borregón.

“The basic thing is cleaning morning and night,” Eguren lists. And then, “an antioxidant if it is in the morning and retinol or alpha hydroxy acid if it is at night,” he points out. With this we would be covering all the needs of healthy adult skin, without alterations or conditions.

– And the sunscreen?

– Yes, but with common sense. We have to give it to ourselves if we are going to go out. If not, why? And you also have to take into account where you live and the time of year…

Because as he indicates, we are also becoming obsessed with reapplying the protector unnecessarily: “In February in Bilbao it is absurd.” Another thing is on the beach, the pool, the mountains or when the sun is very strong. Always, of course, based on healthy skin and no problems with sun allergies.

«You don’t need a ten-step routine to have good skin. More is not always better. And adherence to treatment is also important,” warns Borregón. The latter means whether we follow it or not. «I prefer a more minimalist routine in a patient who I know that if I give him more steps he will not complete them. Then, we will see how it goes and if we have to include other things.

– And what are your basics?

– Cleaning and if I can’t use any other product, sunscreen. The 365 days of the year. If I can add two more: retinol at night, in different concentrations and with different formulas adapted for each skin; and vitamin C in the morning.

With this on the table it is time to look around. We start with the windows of pharmacies and perfumeries: with dozens of little bottles of different colors and shapes. All very tempting. We continue with the toiletry bag: bursting with open products that we don’t even know when to throw away. What happens to us to cause such a lack of control is called marketing. “Niacinamide becomes fashionable and now everyone buys one when they don’t even know that many of their products already include it,” warns Borregón.

“Moisturizer? If the skin is healthy we don’t need it.”

Hydration is one of those magic words that you always hear when talking about skin routines, but dermatologist Cristina Eguren assures that we are very confused. It is necessary? Yes. Essential? No. “We have been told about the need to always use a moisturizing or nourishing cream, but if our skin is healthy, its barrier function is not altered, we don’t need it,” she says. “Many people’s heads explode when I say it, but it’s true,” she confesses, knowing that this statement is fodder for controversy.

That, of course, has nothing to do with ‘skin dieting’ or not following an adequate routine, but in some cases it is worth spending the money on a good serum rather than on a good moisturizer, always under the advice of dermatologist. In a retinization process, for example, the person may need to provide more hydration until it is completed. It may also be that in certain circumstances, our skin is drier or altered. But in no case does Eguren believe that it is essential. “You can apply one because you like it, for pure pleasure, like when you give yourself a relaxing massage, but that’s it,” he concludes.

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