A slightly provocative post - hoping to spark a discussion among the #scicommunity and especially the folks working on the industry side
“Clean beauty” is a nonsense trend based on fear-mongering marketing techniques that doesn’t benefit consumers and can even potentially limit innovation in skincare
How did it come to be? A lot of industry insiders seem to blame challenger brands that started to use “free-from” claims and “black lists of ingredients” for marketing purposes, as well as NGOs like EWG who earned fame and big budgets by claiming that many cosmetic ingredients were “cancerogenic”, while ignoring actual toxicologists attesting to the contrary. And the snow-ball fear started rolling…
You probably don’t know how to shower 🧼 Such a statement can sound absurd and almost personal. But it doesn’t imply that you aren’t hygienic, on the contrary, you’re overwashing. Today, daily showers are synonymous with good personal care, but on the dermatology side, it tells a different story 🛁
Have you been rolling in mud? Sleeping in dirt? Smearing tomato sauce on your stomach? The answer is probably no, with potential exceptions. You don’t need to clean yourself if you’re not dirty - cleansing your armpits and your groin (safely) are pretty much the only parts of your body that need attention. @Dermangelo mentioned a twitter debate about leg washing in the shower, and like he said, it’s not necessary! Use this newly spared time in the morning for a nice cup of coffee or a nice breakfast ☕️
Your skin has never been a trouble maker before, but suddenly you are getting reactions to the cosmetics you’ve been using for years? What’s going on?
Many think of sensitive skin as a “skin type”: as if you either have a skin that is prone to reactions or your skin is sturdy enough to endure almost anything. This is not true: any skin can be sensitive. Reactive skin is not a permanent skin type but a symptom that something is not right with the state of your skin barrier at this moment in time. In some cases, a problem with the skin barrier comes with an underlying medical skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne. In other cases, the skin barrier gets damaged by external factors like over-washing, over-exfoliating, exposing the skin to too many or too high concentrations of potential irritants, as well as harsh weather conditions (cold, wind, dry air, sun damage). If you do not suffer from a medical skin condition, but your skin is reactive, most likely you or your environment are doing something that causes your sensitivity, and your skin would return to it’s normal healthy state were you to identify and eliminate the culprit.
External damage to the skin barrier can happen at any time: a person might be over-washing their face for years without noticing negative effects, probably because their skin is doing a great job of quickly repairing the damage. Sometimes though there comes a point when the skin is not able to “bounce back” as quickly as before, leaving the skin barrier “leaky”. A compromised skin barrier leads to dryness, flaking, and makes the skin more likely to react with inflammation, redness and itchiness to different compounds that come in contact with it.
If you have sensitive or reactive skin, what not to do is at least as important as what you actively undertake in terms of skincare. Many dermatologists, including our advisor and renowned expert on skin sensitivity Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, believe that using too many products, and using too harsh products is at least in part responsible for the growing number of people suffering from reactive skin.
Here is a quick list of things that people with sensitive, or reactive skin should avoid and even a cheesy acronym that might help you to remember the list better: OOPS-FF . It stands for: O ver-cleansing, O ver-exfoliating, P lant extracts, S oap & harsh surfactants, F ragrance, and F ormaldehyde-releasing preservatives (feel free to ignore the acronym, staying away from cheesy things is a very commendable stance 😉).
If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid:
The short answer is yes, but there are, of course, lots of nuances.
Let’s start by understanding what skin sensitivity means. Sensitive skin is a condition when skin’s natural barrier is weakened. Because the “leaky” skin barrier allows water to evaporate easily, sensitive skin is prone to dryness, rough texture and flaking. Weakened skin barrier also means that potential irritants have an easier time penetrating the top layer of skin, making reactions more likely.
Retinoids (the compounds that are chemically related to vitamin A, including retinol) can certainly disrupt the skin barrier, even in healthy skin. Most people starting with a retinoid notice skin dryness, peeling and even redness in the first couple of weeks. The good news is that your skin can get used to a retinoid: your skin barrier can go back to normal over time and the side effects subside.
We have made the first step to overhaul the website by introducing new navigation!
When you use WIMJ on your desktop, you now have all the features that we offer right there waiting for you on the left.
When you access us via your phone you get an app-like menu in the top left, which scrolls with you so you can access it easily at all times!
You see the term everywhere, but what does it mean? And why do people have it?
Dermatologists haven’t come to a consensus as to how to define it, but it means that the external environment causes the skin of sufferers to feel extra sensitive. So if your skin frequently gets irritated from over-the-counter skincare products or even fabrics like wool, or if you just have itchy, burning skin frequently or intermittently, then you probably have sensitive skin
There are two different pathways which can lead to sensitive skin:
Hi and welcome to Chloe’s corner! This space is reserved for more personal talks on skincare, beauty, and advice I wish I knew before I started skincare.
For this first edition I wanted to reflect with you on my own skincare journey and give you a small challenge. I started to have acne at the beginning of university, and at the time I blamed it all on alcohol and a poorer diet (almost I’m sure it didn’t help). With each passing month my acne got worse until I couldn’t leave the house without foundation all over my face. When doing research I only read the first articles that would pop up on Google - articles my Cosmo, Allure, and Vogue. They’re well respected magazines, so surely they must know what they’re talking about.
My preliminary research made me do 3 things:
Melanin in brown and black skin is estimated to be at least twice as effective in absorbing UV rays compared to white skin. Some studies suggest that the difference can actually be closer to 5-fold.
As the result, UV exposure is seen as a less potent factor in increasing risk of skin cancers in people with dark skin compared to people with fair complexions.
Indeed, skin cancers are significantly less prevalent in people of color than in the white population. However, when skin cancer occurs in non-whites, it is often diagnosed as at a later stage making the treatment more difficult. This means that while the risk of skin cancer is lower for those of us with dark skin, it doesn't mean that this risk shouldn't be taken seriously.