Grandma’s Skin Advice You Must Stop Using Now!
Whilst our Grandmother’s may have been a pillar of advice, experience and practical know-how with many day to day challenges, her advice for good skin health was not always spot-on. Here we look at a couple of instances where Grandma’s advice was not necessarily the best.
The squeakier, the better
As young children, we are taught that squeaky clean is the only clean. Grandma’s love of fragranced soap often provided a versatile cleansing solution for face, body and hair. Soap (no matter how much oatmeal, lavender essence or olive oil it contains) is a highly alkaline substance that strips the skin’s protective layers, leaving it inflamed, dry and sensitised. The skin should never feel squeaky, tight or dry after cleansing. Why not try a cream or gel facial cleanser, a liquid hand or body wash and hair-specific shampoo.
No pain, no gain!
From methylated spirits to rubbing alcohol, anything that stings is often promoted to be antiseptic and astringent – the perceived perfect antidote for oily, breakout prone or devitalised complexions. Just as it is not recommended to use bathroom or glass cleaning products on your face, the same is to be said for burning metho and alcoholic-based concoctions. Men should exchange alcohol-based after shaves for soothing after-shave balms. Never spray fragrance onto the face. Oily complexions can be re-balanced with gentle beta-hydroxy-acids and pimples can effortlessly be treated with glycolic acid, mandelic acid and even tea tree oil.
Sorbolene solves everything…
Whilst there is nothing particularly wrong with old fashioned sorbolene, there is nothing particularly right with it either. A basic emulsion made from mineral oil and water, sorbolene is often enhanced with some vitamin E or glycerin for good measure. Whilst this formula may be moisture protective on the skin, it offers no ultra violet shield and doesn’t actually deliver anything into the skin. The skin is left with a heavy, greasy feel. Look for more modern moisturisers that are rich in water-binding humectants, antioxidants and sunscreen. Good ingredients include hyaluronic acid, retinol, green tea, peptides and vitamin C. If your daily moisturiser contains less than an SPF15, apply a separate sunscreen over the top for the ultimate in skin protection.
Applying baby oil to the skin is akin to greasing a rotisserie chook to make it cook faster and darker with a crispier coating. Whilst Grandma’s trick to achieving a faster tan may have involved covering herself in baby or coconut oils, it is also the sure fire way of accelerating skin ageing, cancer and uneven pigmentation. Always protect exposed limbs with a minimum SPF30 every season and every day. Sunburn and tanning are the skin’s first signs of ultra violet damage, a broadspectrum formula delivers protection against al ray types to reduce sun damage and to preserve face and body skin. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the ears, the back of the neck and the backs of the hands. Remember that the only safe tan is a spray or fake tan.
By: Andrew R. Christie
Beauty & Skin Industry Specialist