Jelena Skendžić Ratkajec

COLUMN / What else you can learn about your skin

Written by: Jelena Skendžić Ratkajec

Skin care is a real little science that follows our personal needs like a sinusoid. From person to person, experiences vary which is perfectly normal and expected as something that suits your skin may not work for mine and vice versa. Even when recent knowledge about skin care and protection postulates what is the "only correct" way to achieve the maximum effect on the skin or when we use the most advanced formulations recommended by top experts - our skin will again show us whether it agrees with the theory and in practice or maybe it has some own logic. Because we are so different, it is difficult to talk about universal rules; about universally good ingredients and combinations of treatments that are proven to work.

But if your skin is sometimes as oily as mine, which is probably the motive that led you to open this article and learn more about skin, you are probably still interested in the basics of quality care, and I will try to convey them from my own personal and professional experience .

What will you learn in this article?

  1. Gentle, pH balanced and not too frequent cleaning is extremely important.
  2. Hydration (a good ratio of moisturizers, emollients and lipids) is needed by all skin types, but it should be reduced to the appropriate application of products intended for our skin type. As we must not neglect it, it is also not good to overdo it - especially with oilier skin prone to irregularities.
  3. Dehydration of the skin should not be confused with dermatoses that are also manifested by scaling, nor will abundant hydration help ward off scaling symptoms. If switching to a gentle cleanser and moisturizer doesn't help with flaking, it's probably not just dehydration.
  4. Sun protection cream (SPF) is probably the most essential skin care tool you will come across. Choose high to very high protective factors of a wide spectrum of protection (SPF 30-50; UVA + UVB), and the textures should be suitable for your skin type: fludi if you have normal to oily skin; cream if your skin is normal to dry.

Our skin exists in symbiosis with microorganisms.

If you've ever wondered why we emphasize so much the importance of a well-adjusted pH medium when it comes to Skintegra products, maybe this item will answer that question. Human skin is naturally acidic and likes products with a pH of around 5.5, and perhaps the most important among them are gel cleansers. What is it about?

Friendly microorganisms live on our acidic skin, which successfully colonize it when the pH is undisturbed and thus protect us from pathogens, undesirable microorganisms that can cause skin inflammation. An excellent example of such a microorganism is S. epidermis, one of the most numerous "friendly" bacteria that creates antimicrobial peptides and thus prevents colonization by other microbes that are associated with chronic inflammatory skin diseases.

Alkaline cleaners are really as bad as they sound.

Soap, which is naturally alkaline or alkaline, has an antibacterial effect and indiscriminately removes from the surface of the skin those (for our microbiome) "friendly" bacteria, leaving the skin unprotected and vulnerable to colonization by pathogens that then create a biofilm and lead to infection. That is why it is extremely important not to exaggerate the cleaning of the skin, and especially to avoid alkaline cleaners. The cleanser's skin-friendly pH and gentle surfactants clean without damaging the skin while sparing the friendly colonies that strengthen the skin.

We all know what dehydrated skin is, but too few of us know what TEWL is.

TEWL is a term that stands for "transepidermal water loss" or transepidermal moisture loss. He is the main culprit for the unpleasant feeling of tightening the skin after cleansing the face. You see, most of us imagine that skin dehydration is fixed by endlessly adding moisture to the surface of the skin, and we don't understand that dehydration is actually the evaporation of moisture from the deeper layers of the skin through its surface because, for example, by cleansing, we have removed the protective layer of its own lipids. Without this residual "dirt", the moisture quickly evaporates and leads to dehydration - discrete surface "cracking" of the skin like dry earth with an accompanying feeling of dryness. That is why it is important to hydrate the skin immediately after cleansing with a product suitable for our skin type and condition.

Too little is not good. Too much too.

If you think dehydration is your main problem because you're seeing unexplained flakes on your skin, think again. The term "dehydrated skin" is well known to us and too often we consider it the main culprit for scaly changes on the skin, although there are dermatoses that also lead to flaking, the cause of which is not only dried skin (due to incorrect care) but something much more serious. Too much layered hydration then usually makes the problem worse. One such chronic condition is seborrheic dermatitis, which is manifested by scales, most often located around the nose, eyebrows and along the edge of the hair, along with redness and irritation of the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, perioral dermatitis and other similar dermatoses are often mistakenly associated with skin that needs to be nourished with nutrients, thereby postponing a visit to the doctor.

Protective factor always. Or at least almost always.

The protective factor or SPF as part of daily care is an increasingly popular trend, and for good reason - it not only protects the skin from the mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of UV radiation, but also prevents premature signs of aging. The most common problems I encounter when it comes to this type of product are an increased number of pimples as a result of clogged pores and irritation. Let's start from the first: the increased number of pimples often follows from the fact that we put SPF as an extra layer on the already applied care routine, which is wrong for all skin types except maybe dry or very dry. Too many layers will create an unnecessarily occlusive barrier on already oily or combination skin and lead to acne, even though the product itself would not be comedogenic at all. If the skin is oily, a toner or water serum is all you need to apply under the SPF. I believe you already know that the skin should be thoroughly cleansed in the evening. Filters are designed to stay on the surface of the skin and to resist perspiration, makeup, exposure to water - without thorough cleaning, of course they can clog our pores.

And there is irritation.

Another problem is the irritation often caused by UV filters. What is it about? Some (primarily chemical) filters can irritate sensitive skin because of the way they are formulated to adequately protect the skin from UV radiation. It is important to emphasize that when causing irritation, older generation filters are much more common "culprits", but sensitive skin can react to any filter - even a new generation one, and even a mineral one. Sometimes the irritation can affect only the more sensitive skin around the eyes. If we have the same problem with all filters, one way we can try to cancel this problem is to try switching to a lower SPF (for example, 30 instead of 50). A lower filter concentration will be less irritating. Apart from that, we only have to experiment and search for the right combination and concentration of filters that will suit us to protect ourselves from UV radiation abundantly and regularly. Once the search is over, and SPF becomes a part of our everyday life, we are on our way to a complete and well-rounded care that does not have to be complicated to be visibly effective.

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