With so many quarterly, or even monthly, new releases from different skincare brands that cater to various skin concerns, it is starting to get confusing if we should, again, invest in any of those products.
“Do I honestly need this brand-new variant of facial wash from Brand A that says that by using this cleanser, my skin will be soft and protected from free radicals? But my old facial wash from the same brand also says the same thing but with a newer, more improved formula and it is a limited edition.”
“Oh dear, another new exfoliator from this well-known brand and I’m not even halfway through with mine from a different brand. But this one from Brand B says that this particular exfoliator of theirs will make my skin smoother, brighter and healthier-looking in as little as one use.”
“That new toner from Brand D looks so promising because it says that it will remove pore-clogging residues that will prevent future breakouts. But I still have one from Brand D. Should I give Brand C a try as well and use them simultaneously?”
But the question is, do we honestly need to put all these skincare products from the same or different brands on our skin?
We live in a world where we tend to overdo everything for the sake of beauty without understanding the actual damage of over-cleansing, over-toning, over-exfoliating, and over-moisturizing does to our skin.
By over-applying skincare products topically, we suppress the symbiotic system that we have with our microbes and so the bacteria that domesticate our dermis are altered.
But as ludicrous as it sounds, the bacterias found in our skin are our beauticians.
You are maybe thinking, “Ew. Really? Bacterias? But why?”
To begin our topic, the thin top layer of our skin is the epidermis. The epidermis has 4 layers, and those are: Stratum Corneum, Stratum Granulosum, Stratum Spinosum, Stratum Basale, and underneath it is the Dermis.
The first layer of the epidermis is the Stratum Corneum. It is the outermost, most protective layer of our skin. It is our skin’s anti-aging layer and also the anti-infectious layer.
The second layer is Stratum Granulosum or our hydro-lipid barrier, which produce ceramides and lipids. In comparison, if ceramides are the mortar between bricks and our skin cells are the bricks itself, ceramides help hold the skin together by forming a protective layer that limits moisture loss and protects against harmful substances penetrating our skin. Not only it plays a vital role in determining how our skin looks but also how our skin will respond to environmental threats.
The third layer is Stratum Spinosum. It is immunologically active and provides a net-like layer for the Stratum Basale.
The fourth and last layer is Stratum Basale, otherwise known as the basement layer. It is where keratin and melanin cells are produced and are pushed up to the Stratum Corneum every 14 days.
You might be wondering why those cells are pushed up to the Stratum Corneum. The reason behind this is that it is the continual process of cellular renewal and regeneration which leads to a total loss of 40,000 skin cells every minute of our lives.
With Stratum Corneum as the top layer of the skin, it is comprised of dead skin cells as they are being pushed up by the basement layer for cellular renewal and regeneration. Because of this, the practice of chemical peeling or excessive exfoliation became predominantly popular, thinking that our skin will not benefit from having dead skin cells.
It is strange but our skin needs those dead skin cells for a while because when we over-exfoliate, we create an unnecessary situation where cell loss exceeds cell production.
Our skin actually needs those dead skin cells for a while. When we over exfoliate, we create a situation where cell loss exceeds cell production.
What makes the young cells stressed and vulnerable is when the top layer that consists mainly of dead skin cells, which also serves food for bacteria, is not present.
By overdoing our skincare routine, not only we are removing our bacteria’s food source; we are also eliminating our skin’s first responders, which allow an easy entrance for toxins and infections.
Chronic conditions that we think is not related to using a certain skincare product happen because all these surfactants lodge themselves into the Stratum Corneum as we rarely give our skin a break.
When moisture and special fats of our skin get depleted, we experience a wide array of side effects. With an impaired lipid barrier, we experience redness; when our skin is inflamed, it becomes dry and itchy; clogged pores happen due to oxidative stress; and impaired cell signaling between the body occurs when a certain product causes irritation, resulting in premature aging.
Remember that with over-exfoliation, you remove the top layer of cells that we need and that flora from our skin.
When we venture out into the world without that top layer and its flora intact; it’s like going on vacation and leaving the front door of your home open.
May this make you think twice before overdoing your skincare regimen because you may think it is doing more good but it is doing the exact opposite.
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