How to choose the right skincare product- know from an Global Expert (Dermatocare's beauty tips)

Written By Gerda Perry, Aesthetician

Last updated: 03/10/18

"Doctor, which ingredient should sensitive skin types avoid? How do I choose my under-eye cream? Should I buy SPF 15 or SPF 30 sunscreen? Is there any product that reduces pimples?" The list of queries on choosing the right kind of skin care product from a cosmetic counter is never ending, so are the recommendations; at the end we are left but confused as to whom we should follow?

It is our pleasure to have Gerda Perry, one of a kind expert who has 30 years of experience working in Estee Lauder to answer few queries. She has in-depth knowledge and experience of product recommendation according to not only skin types but also skin problems. So, let’s get started!

See the list of skincare products that can help in reducing Aging/wrinkles

Query 1: I am Asian with light brown complexion and I stay indoors from 10 to 5 pm should I still use sunscreen regularly?  Which SPF is best for me?

The only difference between your light brown complexion and very light complexion is the pigment called Melanin. Melanin is produced by the skin cells called melanocytes.  Even if your skin is darker, it can still get damaged and burned by UV rays. Since you stay indoors (if you are not sitting by a window), a broad-spectrum sunscreen of 15 would be okay. However, if you are in the sun any longer, you need at least a 30 or higher. Do not forget to reapply it!  

Query 2: I have sensitive skin, and it gets easily irritated and breakouts occur with use of anti-wrinkle creams, sunscreens, toner, etc. Please suggest what kind of ingredient I should avoid?

The list of ingredient to avoid is too huge for me to fit in here, few important ones are:

  • Alcohol: All the alcohols should be avoided unless it is stearate-behenic alcohol; it is classified as a fatty alcohol, which is used as an emollient emulsifier and thickener in ointments and creams.

  • Fragrances
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate: These are usually present in face washes and shampoos and not in cleansers, oil or creams.
  • Apricot Kernels:  These are present in refining products and should be avoided because their shape is irregular and will irritate your skin.
  • Chemicals found in many sunscreens: The common offenders are avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone.  But please note if your skin is normal, it is perfectly fine to use them, only sensitive skin “may” react to it.  I am using the word “may” because sensitive skins might have no breakouts with above ingredients. But if your sensitive does breakout with above sunscreens, use a mineral formula. I personally recommend La Roche Posay`s Anthelios 50 Mineral.

One important myth is that tingling on skin means that the product is working, but the truth is tingling indicates the product is irritating your skin.  

MUST READ: Are your skincare products safe for your heath and yet effective?, Check out Dermatocare Reviews on top skin care products with regards to effectiveness, safety and skin type recommendations.

Query 3: Should I use under-eye cream regularly? Any recommendations?

You don`t need an eye cream unless your eye area is extremely dry. I find Estee Lauder`s Advanced Night Repair Eye very good. It can also be used in the daytime; works great even for sensitive skin. It is somewhat pricey around $60, however since you just need three little dots on your eyelid, side and under eye; it lasts at least two months or maybe longer. The effect of this cream is cumulative. Another product I recommend is Dr Ghaus Jiliani’s “Hem Serum" under eye product. Again it cost around 100 Canadian Dollars and has to be purchased from your dermatologist.

Query 4: I am in my late thirties, and have very dry skin and sensitive skin but no dark spots. Please suggest what should be my skin care routine?

In the morning follow these three steps:

  • Cleansing: You may clean your skin with a Crème Cleanser, or if you prefer water, use a gentle pH balanced cleanser which does not destroy the acid mantle (sebum or oil and sweat create this protective film) of your skin. Just make sure it is for dry skin.
  • Use Eye Serum or lightweight, fast absorbing eye cream: If you plan to use make-up pat the eye cream under the eye area only. Put a primer on your eyelid.
  • Moisturiser: For your moisturiser, use cream rather than a lotion, then follow with your sunscreen of SPF 30 or 50. Since you don`t has brown spots don`t try to get a tan, consider yourself lucky!

At night, you can follow the following skin care routine:

  • Eye Make-up remover, if needed: L’Oréal clean artiste is oil free makeup remover that is inexpensive with added advantage of no oils in your eyes.
  • Crème Cleanser meant for dry skin.
  • Toner, of course, an alcohol-free one, might be soothing for sensitive skin.
  • Eye Cream: Advanced Night Repair Eye cream or lightweight, fast absorbing eye cream if you need it. Avoid the liquid serum for your dry skin.
  • Serum for your face and neck: Ingredients in most serums are, stable antioxidants like vitamin C, green tea, resveratrol and cell- communicating ingredients like retinol and niacinamide.
  • Lifting Crème for face and throat: Lifting creams will help in reducing fine lines, help dryness and keep your skin supple. They will keep your skin in great condition for some more years. But remember, as you get older only plastic surgery will help in removing the deep wrinkles.

Tip: Although mineral oil does originate from crude oil, it is as natural as any other earth-derived substance it is a great ingredient for dry skin.  

Related topic: Which Skin Care Routine Should I Follow- Know from Dermatologist

Query 5: I am an 18-year-old with oily skin and lots of blackheads and few red pimples on my face. Please suggest what kind of skin care products I should use? What type of skin care products increases pimples?

Firstly, you have to understand how pimples or blackheads form? They develop when the sebaceous or oil glands that are located at the base of the hair follicles become overactive. When the opening of these oil glands gets blocked, the collected mixture of oil and cellular debris oxidises and turns black, resulting in what you see as a blackhead. These oil glands subsequently get infected with bacteria, swell up and then fill up with pus leading to red or pus-filled pimples. Here are few tips on how to select your skin care products:  

  • Do not use products containing irritants like alcohol, peppermint, menthol, lemon, lime or eucalyptus, etc. These ingredients might increase oil production and make the pimples worse.
  • Don`t use bar soaps for cleansing because its ingredients can clog pores.
  • Use a gentle, water-soluble cleanser for washing your face.
  • Use a bit of manual exfoliation, very gentle, don`t scrub.

Related topic: Skincare tips to reduce pimples- Common Do's and Don'ts from a dermatologist


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