Skinterstitial (i'm so sorry)
Let's all acknowledge that "Weekly" is aspirational
|Beth Kingston||May 19|| 2||5|
Been a while, huh? Pandemic brain affects us all differently and while I somehow manage to remember that I have skin, I continue to forget I have a skin newsletter. Also my sense of time passing is fucked. Also - and this is the big thing, perhaps you will sympathize - I seem to have a very hard time being interested in anything. ANYTHING. Seriously, I even gave myself permission to at last rant at you all about eye creams (I was saving it for when I really needed an incentive) and the most I’ve managed to do is occasionally think how fun that sounds in theory. In theory.
Since y’all have been awfully quiet and not requesting any info at all, I assume you too are suffering from an ennui so profound and far-reaching that it could easily serve as the origin story of several French existentialists. I’m hoping your epidermis is doing well - mine is great except for how the onset of summer has the oil glands freaking out at about sunset every night, coating my chin in a glistening layer of sebum as some kind of circadian defense mechanism. It’s a real fuckin joy to casually prop my chin on my hand, only to slide off like a greased pig and face-plant into the laptop. GOOD TIMES. Note to self: sop that shit up with some homemade sourdough, it’s highly absorbent and apparently the streets are paved with it these days.
Anyway, I really will give the lowdown on eye creams (and various eye-area treatments) but it might be a while and here are just a few tidbits to tide you over. A skinterstitial, if you will.
Let’s begin with this video from Gothamista, who I’m sure would be wildly jealous of that made-up crap word because she talks all the time about “skintertainment” insert puke emoji here.
But aside from a few little personality quirks that rub me the wrong way, I like her and she gives good advice that will not ruin your skin. She recently did a helpful video along about what to do if your skin is fucked up from using a mask all the time. A dermatologist joined her, which is terrific, and Renee herself recommends some good products, you can trust her.
I will just add that personally I never found any of the pimple patches with salicylic acid in them to be remotely useful. Maybe it’s the brand, I dunno, but I just stick with using straight up hydrocolloidal patches on actually fully-formed zits. They are fucking brilliant and you should have some on hand at all times, my god they are like little miracles.
HEY also Dermstore is doing their Summer Sale right now, go forth and stock up if you need to! Some great deals, especially if you’re a lover of Good Genes (you can get the big size for way cheaper than usual) or if, like me, you have your eye on some Avène products (I am extremely curious about that Retrinal.)
As you know by now, Lab Muffin a.k.a Michelle is one of my faves in the skincare world, and she recently talked about how Very Problematic the brand Weleda is. As someone who enjoys their Skin Food product (it’s been my nighttime hand cream this winter/pandemic, because it’s greasy as fuck and smells delightful to me) but was only vaguely aware of/annoyed by their “nature is better” marketing, this was a surprise.
Here’s her thread:
If you’re looking for an alternative to Skin Food, I promise there’s nothing all that special about it. It’s just very full of lanolin. You can get some Lansinoh (seriously, it’s 100% lanolin, why should nipples get all the love?) or if you’re attached to a nice scent, try out Lano Hand Cream - or the other Lano products.
This is just a warning if you are thinking up picking up some essentials from YesStyle - which, as you know, I frequently do: it will take forever. It doesn’t appear to be YesStyle’s fault, at least. I think it’s just customs. They shipped an order out to me on April 1 and I still haven’t seen it. I don’t even know if it’s hit the US Postal system yet, I didn’t get any kind of tracking number this time. I have a back-up of my Hada Labo Premium that I could bust into, but my beloved centella serum is on its last few pumps and I will be left in the lurch if that package doesn’t arrive, o the horror.
So try not to order from overseas for anything you need within a month (or two months, I guess.) I might be forced to place an order with Amazon, sigh.
I mean I could just call this Fun Facts, but they are not actually fun. Anyway, I thought I’d let you in on some not-so-secret-but-not-exactly-advertised info on some hyped ingredients, so that you can be savvy when shopping, impress friends and colleagues, take over the world and/or dominate trivia night at the pub, etc.
Collagen and Elastin
You will see these on labels and the implication is that you will replace/replenish your own collagen and elastin by applying the miracle moisturizer within. I am here to tell you that no. Collagen in the bottle doesn’t mean improved collagen in your skin. That is a myth. It is a biological impossibility.
HOWEVER, collagen and elastin are good moisturizers. Not any better than a bunch of other moisturizers, but definitely good moisturizers. So they are not shit ingredients, they’re just not going to do what you might think, and not what the skincare brand is trying to make you think when they splash that across the label. [cue The More You Know gif]
Probiotic and Prebiotics
They’ve been trying to make probiotics a thing in skincare for a while and once again I’m seeing all kinds of “it’s the new trend!” talk roll around lately. Ugh, stop trying to make fetch happen.
So to clarify: the skin microbiome is definitely a thing, and for sure it’s a thing that matters. There’s no doubt about that. But like your gut microbiome, it’s highly individualized and while we know there are some great things to have in there, it’s all a very fine balance so you can’t just slap on a “good” bacteria and assume it’ll improve things. Also there is so far no practical way to actually get live probiotics (they have to be living) into skincare. Your Activia yogurt is no good if it’s not refrigerated continuously at the right temp to keep it alive until it reaches your mouth - and once you open it up you gotta get it in your gut ASAP, not put the cap back on and stow it away for months at a time. So probiotics in skincare: bullshit wasted effort, don’t fall for it.
HOWEVER, there is plenty of evidence that PREbiotics are great. These are things (nutrients or compounds and whatnot) that promote the best environment for the good bacteria to grow. Prebiotics basically nudge your skin into creating and maintaining a healthy microbiome. There are a lot of clinical studies that show prebiotics work wonders for sensitive skin, especially for eczema and rosacea, both when taken orally and applied topically.
So in sum: probiotics bad, prebiotics good. Avène and La Roche Posay are leaders in the world of prebiotic skincare, if you’re in the market.
Okay, I will leave you with some of my IG posts, because I have been trying to catch up on reviewing some skincare items there! Tomorrow on IG I will try to remember to talk about the Hada Labo Gokujyun Alpha Lotion, fyi, and spoiler alert: meh.
I’ll be back when the prospect of talking shit about eye creams is too powerful an enticement to resist. —EK
Just a quick reminder:
Might be The Solution To All Your Problems but not mine:
This is the serum I’m almost out of, I love it so:
This is an absolute miracle in a bottle for many people, so don’t let my just-okay results deter you. Especially since there’s a sample size. If you want to know what it (potentially) does, here’s some more about azelaic acid and remember The Ordinary offers a 10% azelaic product too.