Untitled design (10)
CSE-Icon-Blog_Education
Expert

The Bad Bin: skincare items to get rid of now! 

Micellar Water

How does it work?

Micellar water is marketed as an easy way to cleanse makeup, dirt and debris off your skin. How it works is little micelles (tiny molecules of oil suspended in water) grab hold of oil, dirt and debris that is sitting on top of your skin, theoretically leaving you with a makeup free finish. 

Why it’s in the bad bin…

Aside from usually being packed with preservatives and fragrances (yuck!), this easy makeup remover is stripping off much more than just your concealer. As the product is picking up dirt and debris, it’s stripping the natural oils from your skin – the beautiful protective layer that traps the water inside your skin and maintains an amazing ecosystem of good bacteria on the outside. We reckon that’s pretty important to keep around?

To add insult to injury, the average PH for micellar water is around 7.4 (although we’ve seen reports of brands being tested with levels closer to that of bleach (11-12)!!!). That is far too alkaline for your skin’s microbiome! We’re shuddering just thinking about it. Those little guys evolved with us to tolerate a slightly acidic PH (4.7-5.5). Changing this environment leaves room for pathogenic bacteria to proliferate and leaves the c acnes bacteria to burrow down into the pore looking for food, where it can cause a breakout. Remember your c acnes live on the fats in your sebum (and if we strip this away he will go looking for his food at the source). He eats the oil and spits it out at the correct PH for your skin to flourish! What a man!

Alternative:

Double cleanse your skin at nighttime with a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away your skin’s natural barrier defence systems. A proper cleanse is quick, effective and won’t leave you with sensitive, breakout prone skin. Hooray!

 

Makeup wipes

How do they work?

We have all used a makeup wipe at some point in our lives. These fresh smelling, handy little makeup removers that do the exact same thing as micellar water – just in a less fancy pants way! Emulsifiers in the product pick up your makeup, dirt, debris (and also your natural skin barrier) and the soft, white cloth is easily disposed of. We get it – we all love a handy beauty product. Say it with us: they *clap* aren’t *clap* worth *clap* it.

 

Why they’re in the bad bin…

Importantly, they are horrendous for the environment – they take years to break down and all those microplastics have to go somewhere, argh! They are just as horrendous for your skin. 

Due to having a high water content and convenient packaging that lets us stick our bacteria-covered fingers inside the product daily, they need to have some pretty aggressive preservatives in there! These preservatives unfortunately don’t just target the bacteria that may enter the product, they also decimate the microbiome on your skin (those dudes we talked about earlier that are crucial for crowding out the bad bacteria). Couple this with stripping away your skin’s main barrier defence system and we have a recipe for acne disaster.

 

Alternative:

Again, a double cleanse should suffice here. If you LOVE the feeling of a soft cloth running over your skin or need a bit of extra help removing makeup then let us introduce you to my best cleansing friend, the Dermaviduals cleansing cloth! This is a chamois style cloth that is super gentle on skin. We love it so much because it dries rock hard between uses to stop bacteria from proliferating in the cloth. Genius!

 

Exfoliating Scrubs

How do they work?

Okay quick skin lesson! Your corneocytes (the superstar cells right at the surface of your skin – you know, the ones that everyone always tells you are dead) stay connected to your skin by holding hands with the cells beside and underneath them. This bond (the cute hand holding) is called a corneodesmosome (big words we know but stick with us here). When these little guys (the corneocytes) are finally ready to fall off, they give your chymotryptic enzymes (little packmen that eat away these bonds between the cells) a message to sever their connection to your face and they fall off. Exfoliating scrubs accelerate this process (called desquamation) by manually pulling your happy little corneocytes away from their buddies, sometimes before they’re ready to go.

 

Why they’re in the bad bin…

Your corneocytes are your very first point of contact with the outside world. They are still sending messages both down to your keratinocytes (skin cells) and to your sebaceous glands. If we abbrate them off then the cells underneath are prematurely at the surface of your skin! The only messages these guys will be sending down are HELP ME PLEASE SOMEONE! 

Aside from disrupting your skin’s natural desquamation process, most scrubs also cause microtears in the skin (causing even more inflammation). This is the stuff of our nightmares!

 

Alternatives: 

If your skin temporarily needs help with the desquamation process, an enzyme treatment (which mimics your natural enzymes) is a great option to go for as they only target cells that have given off the message that they need to be released from their hand holding. For those who like the feeling of a physical exfoliant or for a dull, mature skin we recommend the Dermaviduals peeling cream which has perfectly rounded jojoba beads that can gently knock off any cells that are ready to go and provides a dermal membrane structure cream to nourish the skin at the same time.

Vaseline

What is it?

We’re just going to come out and say it: it’s petroleum! Well at least it’s the remnants of petroleum distillation (which in our books isn’t much better). Vaseline/paraffin/petrolatum is SUPER cheap and its occlusive properties give the skin a temporary soft feeling. 

 

Why it’s in the bad bin…

These mineral oils form a thick, waterproof layer on top of your skin which prevents normal skin functioning, creates breakouts and can lead to heat build up and wrinkle construction in the skin. The worst part of this is that it has been found to accumulate in the liver, kidneys and lymph nodes (how terrifying!). 

 

Alternative:

Our favourite alternative to vaseline is the Oleogel range by Dermaviduals! These beautiful creams are hydrating, skin friendly lipids that can help with anything from winter dryness to cracked heels and elbows. We have a big tub of Oleogel Plus in my medicine cabinet at all times! They also have a specific Oleogel for children as their immature keratinocytes need a little bit more love and support than ours. (Georgia was slathered in sorbolene as a baby – which also contains mineral oils – and wishes her parents had access to these amazing creams to support her dry, eczema prone skin).

Pore Strips

How they work:

Pore strips contain ingredients that dry hard like super glue when mixed with water. When slowly ripped off the skin the debris and oxidised oil from inside your pores stick to the strip and are removed from your skin. 

 

Why they’re in the bad bin…

Aside from the harmful ingredients inside the pore strip and how they can damage the skin upon removal, these are ineffective at best as a solution for blackheads. Yes they remove the top portion of the blackhead BUT they don’t remove the base of the blackhead (or in most cases the sebaceous filaments), or treat the cause of the blackheads at all! The aggressive treatment of the pore can also stretch and damage the structures of the pilosebaceous unit (pore). Eeek!

 

Alternatives:

Our first point of call would be to change the type of oil our client is producing from a thick, sticky, viscous oil to a thin, healthy free flowing oil. To do this we get them on a high dose of fish oil and reduce their omega 6 intake (that means no more Mcdonalds). Enzymes are also a great way to budge the debris that may be in the pore. A good quality skin routine with some powerhouse serums should be more than enough!

 

Woah! What a ride! If you’ve come this far, you’ve learnt a lot and you’re clearly invested in your skin’s health. Massive gold star for you. If you’d like even more gold nuggets from our resident skincare expert Georgia, book in for an online consult where she can wave her magic wand and get your routine sorted.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Ready to get started on your skin journey.

Book an online consult today.