As the social media platforms expand we are all becoming more conscious of how we look. Perfection is celebrated and we post pictures with tags like #wokeuplikethis #goals #nofilter ect.. Advertising has become more savvy and will target us with products, telling us 'to achieve the perfection' of the girl or guy advertising it use X.
The skincare industry is a multifaceted and multi-billion pound industry. Women, Men, Teens and Babies all rely on products to take care of their skin.
We buy into the idea that the latest perfection will be achieved by using X products, The model looks amazing so it should work for me, right? .
The Acid Mantle, the skins surface.
It is a slightly acidic film on of our skin and acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other things that could contaminate or penetrate the skin. The acid mantle is a combination of sebum (the natural oil created by humans), and our sweat.
It is our bodies natural defence system. When the acid mantle is damaged it can restore itself, it takes 14 hours to 2 months, but in the time it takes to heal itself it can be damaged again.
Going back to pH and Transepidermal water loss, Eczema and other skin dermatitis have no known cure, the most we can hope for is to control the symptoms and avoid ingredients or products that cause a relapse.
Atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, stasis dermatitis are generally just referred to as eczema and around 245 million people are affected with it worldwide. Genetics also plays a very important role in your skins composition. It is most likely that if a parent or member your genetic line has skin dermatitis the children will also have a version of it.
This is my Big sister Charlene, we laugh as she is only 13 months older than me. We both grew up using the same products and we both had teenage acne around the same time.
My sister Charlene and I had many experiences of damaging our skin and we wanted to share our stories with you.
I remember like yesterday when my teenage skin came in, It was full of acne and very greasy. At the time there were lot of advertisements for new products to clear the oils that caused acne on teenage skin. the model in the advert had beautiful clear skin and would wipe it with a cotton pad with the blue cleanser on, they'd show us the result of what came off. Wow!! She was so happy and her friends would dance around with perfect skin having used the same product. It was very clever marketing and like many other teens my sister and I decided we had to have it.
My family used gentle products that didn't cause to much disruption to the skins acid mantle so no one never ever had signs of Dermatitis. One day I asked my Mother for money to buy the products advertised for teens clear skin, My mother response was
'Your skin is too young to put such strong products on it. Your skin will heal itself.'
I was devastated. My Mother had lovely skin and she used products on her skin so i thought she would understand, she had to start hiding the products in fear of us using them and damaging our skin.
Myself and my sister would read about the skincare routines of the models and actors in the teen magazines and watch the teen shows all the kids had perfect skin and we wanted that.
My Big sister Charlene (L) and Me (R) at Tia's 2nd Birthday BBQ.
Myself and my sister were very resourceful, we never took no for an answer. Pocket money, dinner money was pooled and we brought the products we wanted. Displaying them on our dressing table feeling grown up. Not paying attention to any real routine we started applying products to our skin with cotton wool, like they did in the adverts. We felt we were one step closer to clear skin. Oh so we thought.
During a conversation with my sister, I asked about her experience with our first skincare products. These products were advertised as gentle cleansers.
"It was a foaming cleanser, I washed my face with it twice a day and it tingles on the skin.'
I thought it was cleansing it properly. It left me with scarring similar to when a relaxer burns your hairline, I had scales around my nose. Then flaked off after a number of days."
She said if you look closely you can still see the damage on and around her nose.
I saw this first hand, it was pretty bad. Her face had scabbing like she been burnt by a hot water or hot comb. My Dad was furious he asked why we were "experimenting with chemicals." He said all we need to do was put dettol on a cotton bud and it will dry out the spot. I didn't listen I wanted to be like the girls on T.V
I was using a blue facial cleanser, I put it on the cotton wool and rubbed it on my spots and wouldn't moisturise in fear of making more grease on my skin. Like all things the effects took time so I used it for a while before I saw any change. Then noticed the spots were going but parts of my skin were getting shadowy. The result was deep set acne scars. black scarring on my forehead and cheeks.
I didn't mind so much as the spots went away, but the scarring was pretty bad. Mom was right it was too strong for our young skin. I started to moisturise with Coco butter and the scars managed to clear up on their own it took a few years though. A lot of our friends at school had the same results.
To be honest my Dad was right we stopped using the strong products and literally did 'spot treatment' and managed to keep the spots at bay. I still get the same reaction on my cheeks if a product is too strong. I will still always reach for a cotton bud and dettol when I get the odd spot or two.
At 38 I pretty much have my facial and body skincare on lock. But still wear foundation as some of the scars are still visible.
I don't use concealer it dries out the skin under my eyes. ( tried the 'baking' look thank God there are no pictures lol)
My skin hates chemicals, BUT all ingredients at there most basic definition are chemicals.
Most products have laboratory processed ingredients created to mimic natural compounds. There is nothing wrong with this, as most ingredients are to preserve the shelf like and change the viscosity. But for me the less Lab chemicals the better as I can't isolate the specific ingredient or chemicals that my skin doesn't like. I am aware enough to stay away from most things.
I tend to lean towards products where you can pronounce the ingredients or find the scientific name for a natural ingredient and generally find that works for me. My sisters allergic reaction to the foaming cleanser was the reaction I had to tea tree oil, but she has no issue with Tea tree.
Charlene is my Big sister and is 39, she doesn't wear foundation. she has amazing skin. #goals #selfie #skincaregoals #nofilter
My Sister Charlene and I are very much alike. (she is a lot tidier and taller though)
My sister has a very different skin type to mine. As a baby my Mother told us that my sister had the driest skin, it would be flaky and she would shed her skin in bed and be very scaly. She no longer has those issues.
My Mother dealt with her skin without the use of steroids, She bathed Charlene with baby bath products and olive oil in her water. (the one you find in the chemist)
She used Johnson's baby oil on her skin and petroleum jelly on the driest parts. This helped keep her skin moisturised and helped to lock in moisture too. Charlene still has products she cannot use now and once the reaction was so bad she had to go to a GP her skin was splitting and weeping.
Charlene recently discovered an allergy to NO.7 products, they also burn her skin. She cannot use products with rapeseed oil. It causes her skin to start splitting and weeping. It affected her elbows, behind her knees, her neck and between her breasts.
She is my #skincaregoals. But her cabinets are very different to mine a she can use products formulated for skin care and gets no reaction.
Charlene has kindly sent me some pics of her bathroom cabinet and her two favourite products. (Super clean tidy like I said)
I tend to follow a more natural route, I create my own products using clays and oils ect. I still actually use some brand products, I like this brand as it usually unscented there ingredients are clear and easy to decipher.
Although I advocate using multiple products from different brands. I do like to play in the same pool from time to time but never really use them step by step. Its usually a face mask here or a scrub there. These products have worked for us for a long time and we both have our favourites. I don't recommend them as you need to find what works do you.
So before you click 'add to basket' I hope you will ruminate, research and think about what it is put on your skin. We don't all have the time or energy to make our own lotion and potions, were human its understandable. But I hope you will experiment, not settle for okay results and to make more conscious decisions about what you use on our skin.
My daughter Tia is 7 and loves messing in my makeup bag. Tia and my niece both have eczema as it is genetically predisposed and they watch the same product ads as me and my sister both did. I want to encourage them to follow the advice that my Mother gave me and my sister when we were younger.
'Be careful what you put on your skin, it is delicate. '
As always until next time.
Take care of you, Love Yourself!