Skincare trends that may not work on Indian skin types

We read a lot about the latest skincare trends and are immediately tempted to join the bandwagon. But how effective or useful are those skincare routines? Here are five trends that may not work for us.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: We read a lot about the latest skincare trends and are immediately tempted to join the bandwagon. But how effective or useful are those skincare routines? Here are five trends that may not work for us.

CTM routine:

It is not the cleansing and the moisturising that is the problem, but the toning that is. Toners containing hydroxy acids are best avoided since hydroxy acids work best in the short contact mode. There is no advantage to leaving toners on the skin, especially those containing acid actives. You need to use a moisturiser only if you have dry skin, and not as a matter of routine, especially if you have acne. And if you have acne it would be better to have an oil-free aqueous moisturiser.

Dry brushing:

Dry brushing involves scraping the surface layers of the skin with a rough washcloth or a dry brush. This is a Western skincare concept and just doesn’t work for our skin. This is because physical abrasion of the skin causes a lot of pigmentation conditions which are very unique to Indian skin types. These conditions, like macular amyloidosis, for example, are almost exclusively seen in ethnic Indian and Asian skin. So applying a concept like dry brushing to a skin type that pigments with skin abrasion don’t work at all. Use chemical exfoliators instead.

Slugging:

This involves slathering a thick layer of a heavy moisturiser on the face, and leaving it on overnight. It works in cold climates with very low humidity, like any other moisturising technique. Slugging does not work in humid Indian weather and causes nothing but breakouts. Instead, consider using the three-minute rule for skin moisturising if you have dry skin. Use a pea-sized amount of moisturiser, and apply it on the skin within 3 minutes of washing the face; this will make the moisturiser work in an optimal way. If your climate is very humid, switch the moisturiser step to the evening.

Gua sha:

For the very same reason as friction increases skin pigmentation, repeated rubbing of the skin, using any kind of tool, such as a gua sha. Rather gua shas have been used traditionally for pain relief, where they are said to work on a combination of counter- irritation and placebo effects for relieving pain.

Vitamin C during the day:

Of all the trends, this one is the most popular these days. However, it is important to realise that vitamin C gets easily oxidised to agents such as erythrulose which work to tan the skin. So the idea of vitamin C in your AM routine can easily be counterintuitive to your desire to detan the skin. Skin absorption is best in the evening/night, based on circadian rhythms and so if you are looking to add vitamin C serums to your routine, add it in your evening routine.

It is very easy to get tempted to start every new skin routine that comes across, without understanding how the trend is likely to play out in our skin types and in our weather conditions. If you are under the care of a dermatologist, it is best to check with your doctor before adding any trending skin routines to your daily plan, to play it safe.

— Dr Renita Rajan, chief consultant dermatologist, Render Skin and Hair.

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