If you are a follower of skin care blogs or a skin care fanatic yourself, you've undoubtedly heard of a "less is more approach". And on the flip side you've certainly heard of the 12 step routines that are all the rage right now. Below I will explain why I believe we should be doing less to our skin on a daily basis...
I truly believe that we were created and evolved into an amazing species that inherently knows what to do. Our skin has sebaceous glands for a reason (to secrete our own natural moisturizer) and when combined with a bit of sweat makes up our acid mantle, resulting in a healthy skin barrier. No doubt about it- our skin needs to be cleansed, exfoliated (encouraging the skins natural process of cell turn over) and protected from the sun. But other than that we start getting into "band-aid" products or products that are simply starting to do more harm than good. I absolutely believe we can over lubricate our skin, resulting in more blackheads as well as a skin that stops functioning properly. If we stick to consistent and correct use of the basics our skin will start behaving much more to our liking.
Time and again in my practice I see the results first hand of over cleansing, over exfoliating and over doing things. As humans if there is a problem we usually want to take action and feel like we are doing something. When someone has a mild break out they immediately want to over do everything and instead they should be doing the opposite.
We are programmed to think we NEED 10 products or a certain cream will be the holy grail. And truly when it comes down to it we need to be cleansing gently every AM and PM (preferably with a washcloth at night), exfoliating with Alpha/Beta hydroxy acids and retinols, and protecting our skin 365 days a year with an SPF moisturizer. It really can be that simple. But you have to be doing it CONSISTENTLY. Once every few days isn't going to cut it. My treatments are wonderful and really help to give the skin a jump start but it is what you do everyday at home that truly matters.
Of course there will be a time and place for some of the "band-aid" products on the market. Say for instance you weren't a long time user of SPF and now struggle with pigmentation issues, you might want to invest in a brightening serum that will help you to lighten some of those spots. But these will be on a case by case basis.