The Enlightenment Series: Skin Myths
In a world of misinformation and industry untruths, our calling is to provide clarity.
Here to thoughtfully illuminate the answers to some common skin misconceptions are Pamela Prokos and Sarah-Lee Paskin, two of our expert Team of Online Skin Consultants whose vocation it is to dispense advice and enlightenment—one Consultation at a time.
Is there such a thing as using too much product?
SLP: As with almost most things in life, too much of something is not necessarily good for us.
Think of your skin as a sponge, only absorbing what it needs, as it needs it. It may feel intuitive to apply liberal amounts of product in order to achieve the best results, but, like a wet sponge unable to soak up any more water, excess product will just be spread across the skin’s surface and cannot be absorbed effectively into the deeper layers of the skin.
For optimum results, follow the application directions for each step in your routine, or contact a RATIONALE Skin Consultant for further guidance.
I’m confused about layering—especially when it comes to SPF. Should SPF go directly onto clean, dry skin followed by my other daytime products, or is it the other way around?
PP: SPF50 should always be the last product applied in your skincare routine, and, if you wear makeup, should be applied before any cosmetic products. The reason for this is twofold: it ensures that your skin is getting the nutrients it needs from your daytime formulations, but also allows your SPF to form a shield-like film over the surface of the skin, protecting it from what we refer to as The Solar Constant.
Are physical exfoliants more effective than chemical?
SLP: To answer this question we need to think about your skin and its natural processes.
There are naturally-occurring enzymes within the skin that encourage the desquamation (natural exfoliation) of our skin cells. Over time, these enzymes begin to down-regulate—a process which is exacerbated by solar and environmental damage—impairing the skin’s ability to perform its natural exfoliation processes and defend against harmful micro-organisms.
The RATIONALE Catalyst family of formulations work to reactivate the skin’s vital youth enzymes, employing organic Acids and Peptides to recalibrate the skin’s pH back to a youthful acidity and re-establish its barrier integrity.
Physical exfoliants, on the other hand, (such as granular scrubs and treatments like Microdermabrasion) are designed to ‘buff + polish’ the skin—a process which the skin does not require to function optimally, nor can it tolerate on an ongoing basis. These types of abrasive products and treatments often lead to long-term skin issues such as an impaired barrier, increased sensitivity and heightened inflammatory responses.
I’m not a makeup wearer, so I don’t need to cleanse at night. Fact or fiction?
PP: Fiction. Even if you don’t wear makeup, a thorough cleanse each night is still a vital part of your skincare. Daily exposure to environmental aggressors such as pollutants, dust, dirt and sweat can contribute to congestion, dehydration and will eventually produce a dull and lifeless complexion.
A nightly cleanse with a gentle, Lipid-rich cleanser not only works to remove these particles and replenish the skin’s barrier, but it also enables your skin to better respond to the night-time actives you apply post-cleansing.
The higher the percentage of active ingredients in a product, the better – right?
SLP: There is the misconception in the world of skincare that the higher percentage of active ingredients in a product, the quicker you’ll see results.
While active formulations have the potential to produce great results, unless the formulation is able to be properly recognised and absorbed by the skin, it may end up causing adverse reactions and doing more harm than good. The solution lies in carefully calibrated formulations designed to sync with the skin’s natural physiology. We call it Skin Identical—and every RATIONALE formulation is created to this standard.