Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday skin care: top tips from a leading dermatologist

On Friday night, I had a great evening at the Berkeley Hotel for the launch of Philips' new electronic cleansing brush VisaPure (see my post here). Although finding out more about the product was interesting, as I am new to cleansing brushes, the best part of the evening was by far the skin care advice I got from Dr Sam Bunting - a leading Harley Street dermatologist. 

Not only did Sam hold an extremely informative group Q&A session, inviting us to ask her anything and everything about skin care, but also I was lucky enough to have a one-to-one with her about the state of my own skin, and get to know the products she rates highly.

Getting advice from an experienced health professional is totally invaluable, so I just had to share her top tips with you. The thing I love about Sam is that she is a self-proclaimed 'separatist' who believes in taking skin care routines step by step and not using products that claim to do too much. 

So have a read of the tips I got from her and see what you think- I would love to know your thoughts.

Top tip 1
Pores are not doors
According to Sam, it is a common misconception that pores open and close; however, in actual fact, they always remain open. If you have visible pores, Sam recommends the use of non-clogging foundation, concealer and powders to minimise their appearance. She also said that a great skin care ingredient to use in this case is salicyclic acid, which can be found in over-the-counter products at a concentration of 1–2%. Anything above this will available by prescription-only.

Top tip 2
Use non-comadogenic make-up
Sam advises the use of non-comadogenic (or non-clogging) foundations, powders and moisturisers. When asked if mineral foundations were the best ones to wear to keep skin breakout-free, she told us she actually preferred skin-savvy cream foundations like Vichy Dermablend, which I found interesting. She also suggested using Lancome make-up for the same reason.

Top tip 3
Make sunscreen your go-to anti-ageing product
Another interesting question brought up at the event was 'is it enough to wear an SPF that's included in a foundation or primer?' The answer to this question was an absolute no - although some women are concerned about the look or feel of applying sunscreen, Sam advocates using SPF lotions with cosmetic use in mind, such as La Roche-Posay's Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Extreme Fluid and Obagi Nu-Derm Sun Shielf SPF 50. Sam also said that any sunscreen you buy should be broad-spectrum product, protecting the skin from UVA and UVB light. UVA light is around all year, reflecting from glass onto our skin, so it is important that sunscreens protect against this. If applied correctly, using a teaspoon of lotion per use, a sunscreen can be used as a primer.

Top tip 4
Use non-foaming cleansers 
Another interesting thing I learnt from Sam was that often people only feel their skin is clean if they use a cleanser that lathers a lot, but that this is not the case. According to Sam, a lot of cleansers can actually harm the skin, leaving alkaline residue and making the skin feel tight and 'clean' when it has actually been damaged. I am guilty when it comes to products that lather - but now I will think twice! Sam suggests the use of gentle cleansers that won't take too much away from the skin and leave it dehydrated. She also recommends avoiding heavy detergent-based cleansers.

Top tip 5
Avoid the use of toners, unless they give something valuable to your skin
I was pleased to hear Sam say that toners have become pretty much redundant, because I really agree. Many times I have bought a toner and only used half of the bottle as I thought it was a waste of time - I don't find them memorable at all. Sam advised only to use toners if they are non-stripping and replace something valuable in the skin. Controversial, but I would have to agree!

What do you think of Sam's advice? Will it change your skin care routine? xxx


  1. Oh wow, very useful information, thanks!

    1. So glad you liked it! It really was too good not to share with you all x

  2. Some really surprising information there. I too am guilty of preferring cleansers that lather because it feels like its removed all dirt and makeup leaving that 'clean' feeling. Gotta be more cautious with what products I choose. I recently bought a Lancome foundation so good to know it doesn't clog pores! x

    1. I am totally guilty when it comes to cleansers that lather - i just don't feel like a cleanser has done its job if i can't see any effect! But I think I will try to stick with non-foaming cleansers in the future. It's interesting to know that apparently all make-up products tell you if they are comadogenic, you just have to look for it - I didn't think they did! So glad you liked the post x


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