We all want healthy-looking, radiant skin and will happily put into practice the best skincare advice and lifestyle tips that might get us there. However, in a world where anyone can claim to be a skincare ‘expert’ it’s not always easy to differentiate between fact and fiction – and there is a lot of skincare advice out there that isn’t necessarily true and can even be harmful to your skin. To get to the truth, Team Sturm has taken the ten most common skincare ‘tips’ and asked our own expert, Dr. Barbara Sturm, to break them down into which are true or false, and the reasons why they work (or in some cases, don’t). You may be surprised with some of the answers…
1. The Order In Which You Apply Your Products Is Important
Applying serums and creams in the correct order is necessary to ensure you get the most out of a product. Always begin with the clear and lighter serums, such as the ANTI-POLLUTION DROPS, and then move on to the lipid-based, milky serums such as THE GOOD C VITAMIN C SERUM. Your FACE CREAM comes last in order to seal in the previous products and boost hydration. Make sure to leave a few seconds in-between applying each serum in order for the skin to effectively absorb its ingredients.
2. All Foam Cleansers Strip The Skin Of Its Natural Oils
Whether a foam cleanser strips your skin of its natural oils is dependent on how the foam is created and what ingredients the cleanser entails. If foaming agents are contained in the product, these are likely to dry out and irritate the skin. However, the foam can also be created with the use of a specific pump, which doesn’t require the use of foaming agents. My CLEANSER for instance, uses a pump applicator and is designed to gently remove dirt or makeup while simultaneously hydrating the skin with soothing ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Purslane.
3. A 10-Step Skincare Regimen Is Necessary For Healthy, Glowing Skin
Sometimes “less is more” and the same goes for your skincare routine. You don’t necessarily need ten products to achieve your skincare goals and ‘over-treating’ may lead to adverse effects such as increased skin irritation, redness and sensitivity. A simple routine consisting of a cleanser, gentle exfoliator, serum and moisturizer can go a long way and suffice in achieving healthy-looking skin, especially if it tends to be more sensitive. If you have specific skincare concerns that need targeted care, then layering serums created with a particular focus, such as brightening, anti-aging or clarifying, can help.
4. Not All Vitamin C Serums Are Created Equal
When using a Vitamin C product, it is important to consider the concentration it contains. A concentration of up to 5% is safe to use, even on sensitive skin, whereas a product above that percentage can irritate the skin barrier and also decreases the effectiveness of the serum. I created THE GOOD C VITAMIN C SERUM using three stable, skin-friendly forms of Vitamin C at an optimal concentration of 5%, as well as Zinc to support the absorption of Vitamin C into the skin. The serum helps to reduce uneven skin tone, protects from free radicals, and supports the formation of collagen for healthy and youthful-looking skin.
5. The Majority Of Skin Rejuvenation And Repairs Occurs Whilst We Sleep
Getting enough sleep is not only important for your overall health and wellbeing but is also vital for your skin. At night our skin cells regenerate, repair and recover from stressors they experienced throughout the day and the human growth hormone speeds up that process. Skin cells also make the most use of nutrients and ingredients you provide them with at night, such as with your skincare products, highlighting the importance of a diligent nighttime routine. To add, sleep affects the production of the stress hormone, cortisol; poor sleep can lead to increased levels of cortisol, impacting your skin appearance and health.
DR. BARBARA STURM AND OLIVIA CULPO: THE EFFECTS OF LACK OF SLEEP
6. Sleeping In Your Makeup Now And Then Is Okay
Leaving makeup on for extended periods of time can reap long term damage. As you sleep your cells regenerate more than any other time of day and if there is makeup sitting on the skin, this regeneration is disturbed and can cause clogged pores, inflammation and pimples. Add to that a day’s worth of pollution, dirt and oil and the bottom line is, no matter how tired you are, make sure to at least give your face a quick wash before tucking yourself in.
7. Over-Exfoliating Can Damage Your Skin Barrier
Over exfoliation can have damaging effects on your skin barrier and in turn leave your skin vulnerable to free radicals, pollution, bacteria and inflammation. A tempered amount of exfoliation however, of up to three times a week, can do wonders for clearing away dead skin cells and creating a clear base to absorb important ingredients. I recommend two types of exfoliation; physical and enzymatic. The FACIAL SCRUB uses peeling bodies called Cellulose Peeling Particles, which gently remove the dry, dead skin that can lead to blocked pores, causing breakouts. An enzymatic exfoliant like my ENZYME CLEANSER exfoliates the skin at a more microscopic level for a deeper but gentle cleanse.
8. You Can Become Addicted To Your Lip Balm
You cannot technically become addicted to any lip product, but you can however find your lips are drier if you are using a product with damaging ingredients. The skin on our lips is thinner than the skin on the rest of our face which is why we will often notice damage on them first - especially in winter when the air is dry and cold or in the summer when they are getting more sun exposure. Using products that contain essential oils can dry our lips further and shiny glosses can attract sunlight, causing more UV damage. If you are using a product with inflammatory ingredients you may find you need to apply it more to alleviate the dryness and irritation it’s causing, hence the ‘addictive’ feel. My Dr. Sturm LIP BALM is infused with plant-based oils, butters and waxes that protect against dehydration and it also includes antioxidant Vitamin E which will shield the lips from free radicals and environmental aggressors. It’s also fragrance and color-free.
9. Double Cleansing Is Essential To Deeply Clean The Skin
If you have a good cleansing product with functioning ingredients you shouldn’t have to cleanse twice. Finding a multi-tasker that won’t dry out your skin or strip it from essential oils is important. My gentle foam CLEANSER removes makeup while also providing the skin with necessary hydration without disturbing its natural pH. Follow up your cleanse with the BALANCING TONER for any excess dirt or makeup, and on the days that you are feeling extra congested use a gentle exfoliator like the ENZYME CLEANSER. Ultimately, double cleansing is perfectly fine as long as you are using gentle products but is not a necessary step to cleansed skin and certainly isn’t needed every day.
10. If I Have Fair Skin, I Can Also Use Dr. Barbara Sturm's Darker Skin Tones Line
I created the DARKER SKIN TONES Line with the needs of more melanin active skin in mind but is also completely suitable for anyone who is looking to target hyperpigmentation or overactive sebum production. The line employs potent, anti-aging ingredient science to help boost hydration and even skin tone for a natural, healthy glow. If any of that sounds good to you then the DST line is suitable for your skin.