Despite what a lot of marketing suggests, there is no particular reason to suppose that natural ingredients are safer or superior to synthetic ones. It depends on what you are doing with them. It’s horses for courses. You pick the material that has the properties you need for whatever it is you are trying to achieve. But on the whole most of the time I prefer natural oils over mineral oil for skin creams. Continue reading
There has been a lot of debate online following a video being run by the Huffington Post about a woman who hasn’t used shampoo for five years. This was picked up by the Beauty Brains and it has generated and continues to generate a lot of debate. As it has already been pretty thoroughly gone over at first I decided not to weigh in. But on a whim I started my camera rolling and just recorded what came out. The question on my mind, should you shampoo your hair? Continue reading
Dove have been running a rather stupid advert showing the difference between Dove and ordinary soap. They put some coloured paper in the shape of a woman on bars of soap and left them on the soap bar. Ordinary soap destroys the paper whereas Dove doesn’t. So bloody what! Continue reading
An interesting question from Patricia that I think might interest some other people.
I have sensitive skin and always look for cosmetic products which are free of harsh chemicals. I was not aware of the m1 preservative until today when a report was made on the breakfast show and will in future try to find a product which does not include it. However, I have been aware of parabens for some time and have tried to use products that do not include parabens, difficult. Lloyds the Chemist did bring out a range of their own brand moisturisers parabens free, but for some reason I can’t find that range now, think it may be discontinued. Inecto make a moisture replenishing body lotion which is paraben free, I love this, and have given to friends and to one young friend in particular who suffers from dermatitis and she likes it very much. I have checked some of the most expensive brands of cosmetics, and for some reason most seem to include parabens in their make up, don’t know why because surely cosmetics, particularly lipsticks, are something which are used up pretty quickly, I know mine are.
I think there are two distinct meanings to the term sensitive skin. Some people have skin that is just a lot more porous and dry than others. This means that it is not a good barrier and is prone to becoming dry and itchy. I can sympathise with this as my skin is a bit like this, and is getting worse as I get older. Continue reading
A lot of the appeal of high end skin care is that it contains active ingredients that do good things for you. It’s a nice thought, but it is as well to be aware that getting through the skin is no mean feat for a molecule. The top layer of the skin is like a sponge, but one that holds onto stuff. And it is also continually being shed – so stuff that gets onto your skin doesn’t stay there too long. And on top of that there is a continual flux of water from inside your body escaping outwards – known as the trans epidermal water loss. Continue reading
A question from Breanna who suffers from eczema, eyelids being her particular problem.
Here is a question that comes up every now and again. Is soft water better for skin? Suzanne has noticed that her skin condition is better when she uses soft water. I’ll let her speak for herself.
Hi Colin, First let me say I’ve only recently found your blog but I think it’s great, very sensible advice, wish I’d known about it earlier. Perhaps you could answer this question for me? I live near London in a very hard water area. When I go to stay in other, more rural parts of the country, I am amazed at how good my skin looks and feels after just a few days. Is this because the water is cleaner, or contains less limescale, or is less chlorinated? My skin is sensitive but not dry, and I find that washing in water at home produces a ‘taut’ feeling, even if I use no soapor cleanser. I don’t get this feelingin soft water areas. To get rid of the ‘taut’ feeling, I apply moisturiser, very sparingly, but often find that I then get whiteheads, blackheads and milia, I’m often better off without moisturiser at all. How can I reproduce the wonderful results I get in soft water areas at home? Is it necessary to spend upwards of £500 on a home softener system – which may not do the job anyway as this is not ‘natural’ soft water? I have bought a ‘Rainshow’r’ chlorine remover, and was thinking of adding a little salt or some bicarbonate of soda to my bath water? Grateful for any suggestions! Suzanne Continue reading
A tough question from Andy.
“I need a really good recommendation for a hand cream colin, i have tried so many yet always end up disappointed with it being gloopy, tacky and sticky on skin, with me being a hairdresser hands hurt and are sore at night, the only hand cream that i like is ardens 8hr hand. Yet its so expensive i need an alternative. Plz help?”
Well hairdressers hands get a lot of punishment from water and the detergents in the products they use for hours on end day after day. They certainly need protection from a heavy duty hand cream. Continue reading
Garnier Moisture Match is a range of moisturising products varied to match different skin types. This is a really neat idea and I am a bit surprised that nobody has done it before. (Standard caveat -in the beauty business somebody has always done it before. I mean none of the major players has done it before.) It makes sense because what a moisturiser mainly does it provide a barrier to the skin to prevent water loss. The actual moisture comes from inside your body. All the product does is slow down the rate you lose it at. We all have different degrees of water loss and so our choice of moisturiser is a very individual one.
A plaintive e-mail from Talia.
Do you have any advice on what can be done for healing peeling skin on the face more quickly? I live in a very dry climate and lately my mouth and cheeks have been cracking and peeling from the dryness. (I might add that I’m also on some very drying prescription acne meds that probably are worsening things — though what happens to my face if I stop using those is no better.) I stay pretty hydrated beveragewise and don’t think there’s much more liquid I can force down… is there something that fixes this? (Like, some anti-cracking cream or a behavior/home remedy that eases the cracks?) Some understanding of the science of cracked skin that can be put to use? Anything?
Dry cracked skin is a tough problem Talia, and a fairly common one sadly. The science of cracked skin is not too difficult. Normal healthy skin is a good barrier to water loss. Some water is lost, but it is quickly made up for by water coming from inside your body. Continue reading