Taking care of your skin is so important.
The products you choose matter, of course, but so do your diet, your sleep habits, and so on. We've passed along some great, simple skincare tips and we keep adding to our list.
BUT … scouring the web, we've stumbled across a few recommendations that struck us as … let's say 'strange'. At best.
So we collected a few and ran them by Dr. Louise Hidinger.
Dr. Hidinger (check out her twitter and blog) has a PhD in biological chemistry and a certification in cosmetic science. She previously told us about why old makeup becomes risky makeup – and now, in this article we pass along her reactions to weird bits of skincare advice you might find on the web.
#1 My face isn't a BLT sandwich, thanks
The ridiculous idea: If you get sunburned, put a fresh tomato slice on your face.
What's going on here? Tomatoes have antioxidants, okay, but a fresh slice curing sunburn?
Remember our "obvious-but-surprising" tip about using a clean pillowcase?
Same thought applies to other things that touch your face. Your phone being probably the #1 overlooked contender.
How many times each day do you use your phone? Well, a dirty phone leaves behind dirt (and oil, and germs) on your skin. So clean your phone, and you'll have a positive effect on your skin as well!
Use distilled water for the screen and camera; use rubbing alcohol for hard plastic – such as the body of the phone and possibly the case. Here's a simple how-to on cleaning your phone.
Take a moment and think about what else touches your face. Your glasses or sunglasses might be an obvious answer. So clean them occasionally. Work phone? Clean it.
Who doesn't love a long, luxurious, relaxing hot shower?
Surprise - your face doesn't!
Long, hot showers strip your skin of its protective oils. That makes your skin start to dry out!
It's true – standing in hot water too long is drying, not hydrating.
And when your skin is dry, it's more easily damaged.
As usual, WebMD (we love WebMD) references a medical doctor on this issue – Dr. Andrea Lynn Cambo – advising short warm showers or baths, not longer than 5 to 10 minutes.
We suggest making face-washing separate from your shower time, giving your more delicate facial skin the TLC it deserves.
Want healthier skin? (Of course – why else would you be reading this blog?!) Take a look through your cosmetics and ruthlessly chuck out anything that's past its prime.
Old makeup runs the risk of contamination.
To clear up a misconception: Bacteria aren't the problem. The real enemy is mold and fungus, according to Dr. Louise Hidinger.
Dr. Hidinger has a PhD in biological chemistry and also holds a post-graduate certificate in cosmetic science. (If you haven't already discovered her awesome blog Ingredients of Style
, go! Now!)
Via email, she explains for us what happens as cosmetic products age:
Bacteria gets into cosmetics and skincare products as soon as the container is opened and the product comes in contact with skin (e.g. when using fingers to scoop cream out of a jar). This is because all people have bacteria residing on their skin. The more important concern is actually fungal contamination, not bacterial contamination. Certain funguses and molds can infect the skin, which presents a risk to people with compromised skin or a weakened immune system. If a cosmetic product gets moldy, it’s time to throw it away.
Packaging can make a big difference here. Dr. Hidinger also says:
Contamination can be reduced by having the product in a pump container that excludes air and water. However, this type of packaging is not always possible, as it depends on the type of formulation, as well as the cost of the packaging itself.
In our view, getting rid of older products may have a sneaky side benefit. Nobody likes to waste, and so you may find you want to simplify your beauty routine, buying and using fewer products overall – as we pointed out in our last skincare tip, that can have a positive impact all by itself.