Thursday, 11 February 2016

Why I've Quit Using Over The Counter Skincare (Almost)

Somewhat unconsciously 2016 has become the year of 'getting shit done' for me and it's only January, oh yeah! This is the year that I've decided to stop complaining about things that I'm not happy with or aren't working for me and actually action some changes. Top of my list along with finally creating my own writing space - more on that in another post - was tackling my skin issues.

I've mentioned the frustrations I've felt with my skin before with constant congestion causing breakouts and this summer I noticed an increased area of pigmentation on my forehead. Although I've discovered some nice skincare that has helped - and it has helped - nothing has actually permanently helped to change my skin. Taking matters into my own hands I decided to seek help in the form of a professional dermatologist to see what actually was going on with skin at a cellular level (fancy huh). So I googled, read some reviews and booked in a free appointment to get a skin consultation and guys, it was an eye-opener.

After sitting down for an hour with a very lovely professional (sidenote her skin is amazing) I found for the first time I was getting advice on what the hell my cells under the surface are actually up to and as it turns out it's not much. My cells are lazy guys, they are pretty crap at completing their supposed 30ish day life cycle of forming, rising to the skins surface and sloughing off naturally. All that laziness is causing a lack of water getting to my skins surface which is why I've always confused about how my face feels tight and dry but appears oily. It's dehydrated and all those lazy-ass cells are getting congested and causing pimples to form.

I can't tell you how good it was to sit down with someone who has science on their side and tell me exactly what I mentioned above without me actually saying it to them. And all for free! At the start of my consultation I wasn't entirely sure about what I wanted to come away with. Mainly I wanted to know which products to buy and what would cure my skin woes.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) my dermatologist only prescribes products which have been tested and scientifically proved to show a different to skin cells. Which means no over the counter skin products. Now I should point out that this doesn't mean nothing from a beauty shop or supermarket can cure my pigmentation/dehydration woes but often the research done by pharmaceutical companies has a conflict of interest (ie. Their own brand scientists doing the research so it's not really peer reviewed or independent) meaning it's hard for dermatologists to recommend them.

At the end of my session I came away with a new understanding of what my skin is actually up to (being lazy apparently), what products will actually make a difference (hyraluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin A) and the offer of skincare products which have been proven scientifically to make a difference. I decided after the hour was up that since I've been spending my hard earned cash on products that were only cleaning the surface of my skin it was time to delve a little deeper. The price of the skincare I came away with - a cleanser, serum and moisturiser to start - isn't that different to high end skincare. Ranging from $60 for the cleanser to $90 for the serum requires a bit more budgeting for me but is overly not too bad considering I only get one skin to care for.

While it's early days yet to see what is going to work for me, I've also got a milk peel booked next month for the pigmentation (also caused by my lazy-ass skin cells) so I'll keep this blog posted on what changes are happening.

The main point of todays ramble, and it has been a ramble, was to say this. If you have skin concerns that you feel haven't been overly helped by over the counter skincare then why not book in with a dermatologist. Most of them give free consultations so you are under no obligation to spend any money and it's an amazing feeling to get some advice from a medical professional concerning your skin.

Have you ever thought about consulting a dermatologist before for your skin?


  1. I've been to a dermatologist before and had medication for my skin as well as prescription creams. Now my skin is mostly kept under control with pretty simple skincare, I finally stopped screwing it up with things in an attempt to make it perfect. I would like to go back but it's far out of my financial reach unfortunately.

    1. Im glad you've found a solution to your skin! Yeah I think this is the only time ill be able to afford it - having worked for a few years and not yet having kids. I think my skin issues are beyond what normal skincare can do unfortunately but on the plus side I have noticed an improvement to how my skin feels which regular products have never been able to help.


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