Three steps to healthy skin
November is the second annual Healthy Skin Month, which this year takes as its theme our skin’s three fundamental rights to stay healthy. Although our skin may is the largest of our body’s organs, it’s easy to forget that it’s entitled to care and attention if it’s going to stay healthy. Not just in summer months but all year round, skin has rights to Protection, Natural pH balance and Moisturisation if it’s going to remain in the best possible health and keep on looking great.
Log on to our live webchat with consultant dermatologist Dr Bav Shergill and skin specialists Mathew Patey of the British Skin Foundation and Nina Goad...for expert advice on keeping your skin in the pink. Whether you’re in search of the ideal regime or want to know which products you should choose for your particular skin type, the trio are on hand to crack your skincare conundrums. They will tell you also about the rest of what Healthy Skin Month, sponsored by Sanex, has to offer to people who really care about their skin. Log in to the chat and protect your skin’s rights.
Dr Bav Shergill and Matthew Patey and Nina Goad join us to discuss Healthy Skin Month.
For more information visit www.healthyskinmonth.co.uk
H: Host, Vicky Letch
N: Nina Goad, consultant dermatologist
B: Dr Bav Shergill,
M: Matthew Patey, British Skin Foundation
H: Hello and welcome to this very exclusive Skincare Chat, I’m Vicky Letch. Now then, even though our skin is the largest of our bodies’ organs, it’s easy to forget that it’s entitled to care and attention if it’s going to stay healthy, and it’s not just the summer months we should be thinking about but all year round. Skin has rights to protection, natural ph balances and moisturisation if it’s going to remain in the best possible health. So whether you’re in search of the ideal regime or want to know which product you should choose for your skin, keep watching because today’s guests are on hand to crack your skincare conundrums. I’m joined by consultant dermatologist Nina Goad, Dr Bav Shergill, as well as skincare specialist Matthew Patey of the British Skin Foundation. Welcome along to all of you, thank you very much for your time
M: Thank you very much
H: Matthew we’ll start with you, tell us all about healthy care month?
M: Well it’s – basically, healthy skin month is the celebration of your skin, it’s not just about what it looks like, but how you can protect it and keep it staying healthy basically
H: Ok. And I believe I’ve got 3 superheroes on my sofa – I’ve got Mr Protection, yes? Miss Moisturisation –
N: Oh yes
H: And Mr – sounds a bit boring – Mr Balance! So let’s start with Mr Protection, tell us all about your special area
M: Well basically the skin is one of the most important organs on the body, it protects your insides, it protects you, it regulates your temperature – through sweating and making sure that you don’t get too cold. It also protects you from bugs and diseases that you can get from the outside, so it’s doubly important that you take good care of it, and with the products that you use on it, and actually what you eat as well, and drink as well
H: Ok so from the inside out –
H: As well, you have to consider.
M: Just as important
H: Moisturisation, probably the one that we would relate to the most
N: Yes absolutely, and we think of moisturising as perhaps something that we do because we like the smell of the products, but actually it’s really important for your skin health to make sure it’s kept moisturised, not just in terms of using a moisturiser, but making sure the products you wash with moisturise your skin and don’t damage it as well, and it’s basically about protecting the barrier function of the skin so that it can look good and feel good
H: Ok. Mr Balance
B: Mr Balance –
H: Last but not least
B: Well I mean Mr Balance is more the science of the skin actually, looking at the ph of it. Funnily enough our skins are slightly acidic in their actual characteristics, and it needs to be that way in order to allow the enzymes that repair our skin and allow it to form that really good barrier against the elements to function at the optimum levels. So if we do things to reduce the ph or increase the ph of the skin we could damage that very vital function
H: And what sort of things would reduce that?
B: Oh well there are some soaps, some old-fashioned soaps that are very alkaline, can definitely alter the ph of your skin
B: There’s some caustic substances you can put in your skin that you can think you’re doing a good job on but perhaps not, so certain alcohols can do that as well
B: And they can affect your ph too
H: Great, thank you. So what age do we need to start concerning ourselves with our skincare? I was quite lazy and I’ve only recently started in the last couple of years – you look disgusted in me, the look of shame! So what age should we really start worrying about it?
N: Well it’s never too early really to start looking after your skin. It is, it’s the biggest organ so it’s important to take care of it. In terms of sun protection and not using products that are harsh when you wash your skin, that’s definitely the case for children, you want to make sure that when you’re washing them you’re using products that aren’t containing alcohol or aren’t degreasing the skin too much
N: Because it can give them dry skin, can cause all sorts of problems. And then of course protecting the skin from the sun, you should start when you’re a kid, and then obviously your skin changes when you’re a teenager, so you’ll need to change your products you’re using then, and your skin dries out as you get older as well
H: Yes it does, I can vouch for that. Now talking about sun and heat and hot weather, I don’t know about you but I’m finding it a little bit clammy in the studio –
M: Just a tad
H: Don’t know if I’m overexcited or it’s the studio lights, I’ll probably go with the lights for now! So what can we do to combat sweating? Who wants to take this one on?
M: Well you can – one of the main things that people think about hewn they sweat is the use of deodorants or antiperspirants, and we – you know if you are prone to sweating then by all means use these products, but try to – where possible – aim for products that don’t contain alcohol. It’s just that alcohol in any products tends to have a drying effect on the skin generally, no matter where it’s used on the body. Would you agree?
B: I’d certainly agree with that, actually you really have to be quite careful, because bearing in mind these products are intended for 12-24 hour usage, you’re putting something on your skin that’s not going to disrupt it or irritate it
N: So the same would apply for ph balance, I guess you’d also want to make sure that it’s ph balanced, the product you’re putting on your skin as well
B: Yes that’s right
H: Good advice. Now Gemma has sent a question in, thanks Gemma. She says “how does the skin protect itself?”
M: Oh, ask the dermatologist
H: I was looking at the wrong superhero, thank you
B: Well the skin protects itself by essentially you have a very clever outer barrier called the stratum corneum, composed of certain protein and fat molecules are interlaced together and form a fantastic barrier. It’s not a complete inclusive barrier, you’ve got little pores in your skin to facilitate things going in and going out, which is why some treatments on the skin are very effective. It maintains itself by continually turning over, so the cells that you see in your top layer of skin will be gone in 28 days and be replenished, and also it maintains moisture within that area as well to give it that kind of plump smooth appearance too
H: Ok. I like that plum, smooth appearance. Very important`. Hello Jo, Jo says “my skin is very greasy and I can’t seem to find products to make it any better. What is the best thing I can do?”
N: Well one of the things, one of the common mistakes we make when we’ve got greasy skin is to use really abrasive scrubs and products that we think will sort of clean the skin better and stop us getting spots, but actually it can do the reverse, it can make the skin more greasy and it can actually redden the skin and aggravate it. So don’t be tempted to use harsh products. Cleansers containing alcohol, we usually say avoid them because they can disrupt the barrier function of the skin. They can be better for oily skin, but just use a product that’s designed for your skin type – there are loads of products out there for oily skin, and don’t forget, the skin on your back and your chest can also be greasy, so you know just make sure you use a cleansing wash in the shower as well on those areas.
H: Is it quite a lot of trial and error, because I imagine – well it certainly took me a long time to find a moisturiser that I was really happy with, so it’s not being afraid to try something, that’s not working, so I’ll try something else, until it’s perfect
M: Everybody’s skin is different, so – and also, as you get older, your skin changes. It changes in thickness and also – so any products that come into contact with that will use to wash with or cosmetics you use, sometimes they will change the way that you feel when you wear them, so yes as you say it’s about, you know, a bit of trial and error, you know don’t be afraid to try something new and maybe you know with different ingredients but steer clear of – as I say – things like alcohol
H: Perfect. Now with what you’re talking about, finding the perfect moisturiser, there’s a really exciting competition going on. I’m going to tell you about it when we get to the end of this little chat that we’re having, but make sure you have a look on the website, because it is your chance to win a one on one with a dermatologist. I imagine if we’re in a room with someone like you, you could give us advice on what’s best for our skin?
B: Certainly, I mean that’s one of the things I do every single day, is giving people advice on their skin. Often it’s because they’ve got a skin condition but incidentally some people come and see me and have one thing they then point out, why do I have oily skin, is there anything I can do about the fact that I’m breaking out in spots, why is my skin sore and cracked and chapped on my hands, and what else can I do to support my skin?
H: Ok great. Amanda says “how does having a too low or too high ph effect the healthy – effect the healthy of your skin?” I think she means health of your skin
B: Well I mean as I was alluding to earlier, you’ve got proteins and structures that are very sensitive to being in the right environment, so if you have a – say a ph that’s too high or too low – the bonds that hold some of these components together in your skin can break, so the skin can crack and become very irritated. And also the repair mechanisms that make the skin renew itself are actually impaired by being in the wrong environment, so that’s how ph balance is so important for your skin
H: Brilliant. Ok I think I’ve got time to squeeze in one final question, this is from Rachel, she says “how can you maintain your skin’s natural or optimum moisture levels?”
N: Well two simple ways you can do that. First of all, don’t cleanse your skin with anything that’s too harsh or abrasive or anything that contains alcohol, so use a gentle cleanser, and that applies to your whole body, and then moisturise, moisturise as often as you feel you need to to keep your skin hydrated
H: Great. Thank you so very much, it’s all been so very informative. Great as well to have a month where perhaps some of us are a little bit lazy with our skincare regime, so we can really focus, in November, on finding the right products for us, and perhaps going on to sanex.com where they can find some good products for them, from the washing all the way through to the cleansing, the toning, the moisturising, and the whole body as well –
M: The skin’s important, respect it
H: Great. Respect – I like that, that’s a good – it’s important, respect it! Spend some time on the website as well, like I said there’s a great competition going on where you could win the chance to have a one on one with a dermatologist in your area, so if you are suffering in any way or finding it difficult to find the right products for you, make sure you have a look on the website and hopefully you’ll be the winner. I look forward to seeing you next time