DON'T BUY SNAKE OIL!
"Don't cross your eyes, they'll get stuck like that!" "Don't go outside with a wet head, you'll get a cold." "Sleep on your back to prevent the formation of wrinkles." Or, "If you don't take your makeup off before you go to sleep at night, you'll get more wrinkles." What you'll get is a dirty pillowcase!
Science based medicine evaluates medical treatments and advice in a scientific light, promoting the highest standards in healthcare. The gold-standard for a scientific study is the Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo Control ( RDBPC) study which, by design, minimizes biases, and has the ability to demonstrate the cause and effect relationship. Unfortunately, these studies can be expensive and time consuming.
All too often, skincare "experts" give advice based on assumption and personal experience. Human "intuition" and personal experience are awful ways to figure out which treatments are actually effective. (read more)
Scientific studies, even RDBPC studies, are not perfect, but experimental studies are, by far, the best way to find out if a particular medicine, ingredient, or therapy is safe and effective. It's the basis of almost every major medical advance in history!
When you come across skincare advice, question whether the advice is based on scientific studies or someone's "intuition." Conjucture in medicine is dangerous. It is "ok" to "not be sure" or to conclude "further studies need to be done." But snake-oil exists. Don't buy any!
MATURE SKIN ....HOGWASH!
CAUTION: Skincare products claiming to be designed for a specific age group, or for "mature" skin (usually referring to women over 50), are formulated with the same ingredients as all OTC moisturizers. There is no specific ingredient that can be added to a moisturizer to make that moisturizer more effective based on age. This marketing ploy makes absolutely no sense. 35 year olds can absolutely use the same moisturizers as 50 year olds, and 50 year olds can use the same products as 80 year olds!
Age should not determine which moisturizer you use. Choosing any skincare product based on your age is not a wise way to shop.
A "NIGHT CREAM" IS ESSENTIAL
A "Night Cream" is a moisturizer. Yes, it is often (but not always) thicker, found in a smaller jar, and more expensive per ounce than a conventional facial moisturizer. Night creams sold on skincare aisles are formulated just like other facial moisturizers. They are water based, contain humectants to pull water into the most superficial layer of skin, occlusives to prevent water from evaporating into the environment, emulsifiers to keep the water and oily components from seperating, preservative to keep the formulation from becoming contaminated with mold and bacteria, and frequently, fragrance. There is a common myth that "skin rejuvenates at night." Research at the cellular level suggests that a possible "circadian rhythm" of skin STEM cells may exist. Cells in the superficial layer of skin, the epidermis, however, continuously divide and turnover 24/7. When the alarm clock rings at 7:00 am, skin cells don't stop replicating!
A "night" cream is a facial mositurizer that does NOT contain sunscreen.
FALSE: You do NOT need a "night" cream.
IS SUNSCREEN BURNING YOUR EYES?
The skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin on the body (approximatley 0.5 mm thick.) It also happens to be a common site for non-melanoma, sun induced skin cancers, like basal cell carcinomas. Although the concave areas of the corners of the eyes may seem protected from direct sun exposure, light that reflects off of the brow and other orbital bones, ultimately hits this area which may explain the propensity for skin cancer formation at this site.
Many users simply forget to apply sunscreen around the eyes. Others opt not to due to burning or stinging in the eyes when the sunscreen is applied in that area.
Sunscreens commonly contain ingredients that may irritate the eye itself. Fragrance, the active ingredients in sunscreens, especially the chemical filters, preservatives, and other ingredients may cause eye stinging and burning if applied too close to the eye. The best eye protection is seeking shade, a wide brimmed hat and 100% ultraviolet protective sunglasses. Other alternatives include applying a fragrance-free sunscreen stick, or lip balm, around the eyes, one that is formulated with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as the active ingredients. (You can select one using the Product Selector.) Sunscreen sticks and lip balms have a high wax content which may prevent the sunscreen from spreading into the eyes with sweating or increased physical activity. Although SPF facial foundation, concealers, and powdered eye makeup applied around the eye does not offer adequate sun protection, it may prevent some of the sun's ultraviolet light from hitting this sensitive area.
THE TYPICAL SKIN LOTION RECIPE
The majority of moisturizers on the market today, whether they be facial moisturizing lotions, eye creams, night creams, "anti-aging" creams or serums have the same basic formula. The basic moisturizer is a mixture of water and oils, the oils being used to make the skin feel soft and smooth and prevent water from evaporating from the skin's surface.
Moisturizers contain water-soluble ingredients and oil-soluble ingredients that are mixed together with emulsifiers, ingredients that keep the water and oil components from seperating.
Most moisturizing lotions are water based and contain up to 80% water. Moisturizing ingredients called occlusives create a barrier on the surface of the skin to prevent water from evaporating from the skin into the environment. Petrolatum and dimethicone are common examples of occlusive ingredients found in moisturizers. Other ingredients, that draw water from the deeper layers of skin into the most superficial layers, are called humectants. Glycerin is a commonly used, effective, humectant found in many over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products. Other ingredients that are added to the formulation to make the skin feel soft and smooth are called emollients. They commonly include essential oils and cetyl esters.
Emulsifiers that help combine the water component and oil component often include glyceryl stearate and stearic acid. In addition to these ingredients, silicates and thickeners are often added to give the product its appropriate consistancy and help keep the product stable. Preservatives are added to prevent overgrowth of bacteria and fungus, and fragrance, is often added to make the product more appealing.
There are a wide variety of skincare moisturizers on the market, from inexpensive products found at local pharmacies and retail shops to boutique products, packaged beautifully, found at department stores. All with the same basic formula. Shop wisely, and remember, there is NO correlation between the cost of a moisturizer and its ability to moisturize the skin.
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Welcome to Fully Exposed
Hello, and welcome to FryFace!
I've been a New York based dermatologist for over 25 years. I love music. I love triathlons. I love chemistry. (I love Petrolatum jelly.) I study skincare ingredients and product formulation. I listen to skincare "advice" from self-proclaimed ......Read More