Continuing the interview from yesterday, we will talk about the correct way of applying skin care products, how to get rid of blackheads and how our nutritional deficiencies manifest on skin.
Use retin-A cream to avoid blackheads!
Me : So, when we have so many products like a facial oil or serum and moisturizer and sunscreen, is there a correct way of applying them? Should face oil go first and then moisturizer or should sunscreen be the first product on your skin?
Her : No, it is always facial oil or serum then a moisturizer and finally the sunscreen. The only thing which goes on sunscreen is the makeup.
Me : So, when we apply so many products, do not they clog our skin, especially causing blackheads. What is the best way to get rid of blackheads? I think they are most annoying of skin problems.
Her : The blackheads happen because of the oil getting clogged in the open pores. The ideal thing to use is a salicylic acid cleanser on those areas where you have blackheads every day. The only way to get rid of the existing ones is to get a blackhead cleansing or extraction done.
In the long run to avoid formation of blackheads, applying retinoids or retin-A cream on the nose, corners of the nose and upper cheek area where you usually get the blackheads unclogs the pores and reduces the pore size as well making them less prominent.
Do a two layer moisturization for your lips. Apply a lip moisturizer first and seal it with lip balm!
Me : And, what is the best way to take care of the lips? I think they are not ignored per se but it is difficult to care for them as much as we care for the face. They tend to get darker, drier and look more pigmented.
Her : Yes, the lips get more pigmented as we age or when they get dry. So, make sure to keep them nourished and moisturized at all times. Having said that, keeping the lips moisturized is not that easy. Usually all lip balms have petrolatum or petroleum jelly which creates a layer on the lips. This layer protects the lips from losing the moisture but the jelly does not add anything to the lips. So, always use a lip moisturizer or regular moisturizer on your lips and finish off with petroleum jelly to prevent the loss of moisture. This will keep them supple and moisturized.
Me : Usually, I have noticed that during the drier months or when my skin is not behaving properly, the corner of my lips get drier? What causes this?
Her : This drying of the corner of lips or area around the lips is called perioral dermitits. It is especially seen in people who lick their lips a lot. The constant licking makes the saliva in the corner get drier and darker. The other factors for dryness is hormone changes in the body, especially for women, it is related to the changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. Some days, the lips are drier and some days they are not.
Me : So, when we face these sort of problems like hyperpigmentation or excessive dryness, we tend to change our beauty products or experiment with a lot of home remedies. How does constant changing of products affect our skin?
Her : There is no problem in changing the beauty products constantly. You just have to make sure that it is the ideal product for your skin type. In fact, it is a good thing to keep changing your products every three to six months so that your skin does not get used to the products. At least make sure to change one product in your entire skin routine occasionally.
The other factors for dryness around lips is due to the hormone changes in the body, especially for women, it is related to the changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.
Me : So, that was about constantly changing products. Now, when do we know how much is too much? When is it a time to stop over-caring for the skin either using home remedies or using products?
Her : Our skin is usually very good at indicating when it is time to stop. The first sign is usually breakouts. Either the product you are using does not suit your skin or you might be using just too much of the product. You will start getting whiteheads, pimples and inflammations or red spots. Another common thing to happen is the skin gets too oily or too dry. There is a lack of glow on the skin, it looks dull and dehydrated all time. When it starts happening constantly, you should realize that your skin needs a break. Go slow with the products and the routines.
skin care, lip careDark circles are related to Vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and iron deficiency.
Me : How much of our skin gets affected by the nutritional deficiencies? Just as you mentioned that pigmented lips might indicate B12 deficiency, do any other skin problems indicate any other deficiency.
Her : Yes. For example, dark circles are related to Vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and iron deficiency. Also, keep in mind that Indians are genetically prone to age with their eyes. The way our face is structured and our bones are, we lose our natural fat especially on the eye area very fast which causes it to sink. Because of the sinking of the skin, it reflects the muscle underneath the skin which is purple in color and that is what causes the dark under eye shadow. So, it is very common to have dark shadows under eyes which basically are not dark circles.
Similarly, pigmentation happens due to Vitamin B12 and D deficiency very commonly. Thyroid imbalance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS or PCOD) and imbalance of your female hormones can all result in pigmentation.
Me : Whew! So, eating good does have its own advantages. You want your skin to shine, you better concentrate on your diet instead of just hoarding the products. And, thank you so much Dr. Chytra for your time. It was lovely talking to you and thank you again for sharing your knowledge.
So, this was all about skin care with Dr. Chytra Anand from Kosmoderma skin clinics.