If there’s one element of a skincare routine that nearly all of us subscribe to, it’s moisturising.
Even the most low-maintenance beauty consumers probably use some form of hydrating face product in their skincare routine – hey, even our other halves like to dig their paws in a tub of cream these days. So, when a highly respected skin expert says it might be a good idea to ditch moisturiser, I’m all ears.
Facialist Kate Kerr, who is loved by beauty editors and celebs alike for her clinical, results-driven facials, says that hydrating face creams may be actually be hindering your skincare routine.
Reason 1: Halt Accelerated Ageing
“There are anti-ageing benefits to not using a moisturiser, as they can inhibit the production of Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) which are one of our skin’s natural moisturisers. GAGs are important for the production of collagen and the cushioning around it, keeping the skin plump and firm. Moisturising also prevents the skin’s natural exfoliation by smoothing the skin cells and stopping them from sloughing off.
“So, by stopping moisturising, this actually stimulates cell turnover and encourages natural desquamation [skin peeling] which improves skin function and exposes the tightly packed plump fresh cells to effectively reflect light and leave the skin glowing.”
Reason 2: Strengthen skin
“When we see flaky dryness, our instinct is to apply moisturiser. The flakes are no longer visible, so we presume the moisturiser has worked. In reality, all we’re doing is compressing down that dead skin, stopping it from shedding naturally, and negatively impacting the skin’s barrier function. When the skin’s barrier function is impaired it becomes more sensitive, inflamed and dehydrated. Our skin is capable of maintaining its own hydration levels, so only a ‘true dry skin’ is in need of moisture supplementation.
“By using a moisturiser, our skin’s surface sends a signal down to its water reservoirs telling it that there is plenty of moisture and to halt production, which makes the skin sluggish and lacking in moisture, so we reach for more moisturizer thus exacerbating the problem. Once you stop moisturising in your skincare routine, this cycle is broken and the skin’s ability to moisturise itself increases over a period of 6-12 weeks. Don’t let that time frame put you off; I normally see client’s skin turn a corner at around 2-3 weeks.”
Reason 3: Stop breakouts
“Another peril of moisturisers in a skincare routine is that when the skin becomes dehydrated, it often over produces oil. Then because the skin is sluggish and there is a build-up of dead skin cells it prevents the flow of this increased oil production, leading to blackheads, whiteheads and possibly even acne. Oils, balms and rich moisturisers can also exacerbate acne further as when sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells mix, they form a plug that clogs pores. When you use rich occlusives you prevent your sebum owing freely out of pores and becoming backlogged, which causes congestion.