There has been a lot of promotion and press coverage lately on Scandinavian skincare brands, so it is important to weigh this up against well-known scientific evidence, which remains unchanged. Evidence tells us how various factors in our environment and diet lead to free radical production, which in turn causes cell damage in the body. Skin, being the largest and most exposed organ, takes a big hit and tells the tale of our insides. We know what elements of skincare are important for repair, regeneration and protection.Is Scandi skincare the way forward?
In dermatological terms Scandi skin is skin that has no pigmentation whatsoever. Skin of this type is very unlikely to blemish, scar or develop brown age spots. However, the majority of people have a degree of pigmentation in their skin because of genes and ethnicity. Hence an individualised skincare routine is essential.
Washing your face with water is fine if you live in a part of the world with zero pollution or have no issues such as fine lines around the eyes, dry patches or pigmentation. However, the majority of us are subjected to toxins, air pollution and dehydration from air conditioning and central heating, on a daily basis. Simply washing with soap and water in the morning and adding a layer of moisturiser is not going to be effective long term, especially as we age. Therefore, the better way to keep our skin ‘fit’ is to exfoliate in the morning, which stimulates the skin cells to regenerate, in the same way that we need to exercise regularly to keep our bodies working effectively. Then apply a serum and a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
At night, after cleansing to remove all the toxins from the day, you should leave your skin to rest and breathe. Retinol is the only product you may be advised to use.
Using glycerine as a skin barrier literally traps moisture and dirt on top of your skin, preventing it from breathing and not allowing effective rehydration. “Moisturiser” is a term from the past if we are talking about skin rejuvenation; it only gets absorbed by the top layer of corneocytes and never reaches down to the dermis, or the “factory” level. This level is where healthy collagen elastin is formed and new blood vessels are regenerated. To reach this target level ingredients need to be brought together in a stable formulation. This is where the best medical and cosmeceutical-grade serums, containing antioxidants, reparative enzymes, vitamins C and E, and retinol, come in. It’s the patent formulation and the slow-release action of the effective and protective ingredients that sets them apart.
We use plant-based products, but scientific formulation delivers them to the right skin level and in the right dose. Vitamin C and retinol, for example, can degrade very quickly if exposed to light or air. Hence, packaging must be in airless UV protected containers, which deliver a measured dose. If they are conveniently and safely packaged, you are more likely to use them and therefore achieve great results.
Go natural yes, but we are not Scandi. Our skin’s healthy glow depends on a combination of factors: general health, hormonal balance, patterns, genes, lifestyle, diet and ultimately, our desire to work with what we were born with, not what we’d like to have.
The mantra therefore is KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT SMART!