A Skin Expert Answers the Top 7 Most Googled Skincare Questions

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Don't lie now. We all love to ‘Dr Google’ our own health symptoms from time to time, even though we know we really shouldn't.

When it comes to skin and skin care, it's always best to get your skin assessed by a real-life professional such as a dermatologist or dermal therapist like myself, either in-person or with an online consult.

That said, Googling things like 'what does vitamin C do for skin' and 'how to layer skin care' can be very handy and convenient if you have a quick/random skin question or concern. 

Because there is a lot of misinformation on the internet, I've put together my expert answers to seven of the top Googled skincare questions.

Here, you'll find accurate information you can trust (that also won't send you into a Dr Google impending doom spiral).

1. 'How to Layer Skin Care'.

Let's start with this because the answer is a bit complicated.

Rule of thumb = apply your products in order of thinnest to thickest texture after cleansing. E.g. Cleanser, mist/toner, serums, moisturiser, oil, sunscreen.

This can technically work, however I recommend to consider your skin concerns and the product ingredients, too.

When you're using more than one product with active ingredients (ingredients that 'actively' cause a change in the skin) at once that both have a similar consistency, apply in the order of your main skin concern:

  • E.g. If your primary skin concern is congestion, apply your exfoliating serum first.

  • E.g. If signs of ageing are your primary concern, apply your vitamin A serum first.

  • E.g. If you're most worried about hydration, apply your hyaluronic acid serum first.

Oh, and I love using an eye cream before applying serums, even though they're usually thicker in texture. Why? So you don’t forget to use one, and so it’s applied directly to the eye area skin (instead of having to fight through layers of skin care at the end).

Are you still confused? Yep, it is confusing! Let’s go through some example morning and evening skin routines so you get the idea: 

Morning: Cleanser > eye cream > watery, liquid mist or toner/essence > antioxidant serum > hydrating serum > moisturiser > sunscreen.

Evening: Cleanser (oil first then second cleanser if double cleansing) > eye cream > mist > your treatment product (vitamin A, chemical exfoliant containing alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs or beta hydroxy acids or BHAs) > moisturiser. 

Pro tip: Damp skin absorbs products more effectively, so I like to use a mist after cleansing and before serums. I'm loving SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Essence Mist because it's super calming and great for all skin types.

You can watch more on how to layer your skincare products in this YouTube video below.

2. 'How Long for a New Skincare Routine to Work'.

I hate to break this news to you, but skin care takes time to work.

There is no quick fix overnight miracle cream or product that will instantly address your concerns. If there was, whoever invented it would be seriously rich and we’d all be living the dream. 

Generally speaking, products can take minimum four weeks to 'work'. Ingredients like vitamin C and vitamin A that are often used to treat concerns such as pigmentation, signs of ageing and blemishes need time to take effect at a cellular level. And when I say time, I mean months.

However, certain products can deliver noticeable, superficial results, and quickly.

For example, hydrating serums can give the skin an instantly plumped or softer appearance. Some exfoliating products can give the skin a smoother, glowier appearance overnight because they work on the surface layers of the skin. There are also some brightening serums that contain iridescent or shimmer particles to deliver an immediate, subtle glow.

In short: Skin care is not a quick fix. It takes time and we need to be consistent.

3. 'When to Exfoliate in Skincare Routine'.

When you exfoliate will depend on your skin type and the kind of exfoliating product you're using.

Generally, most people would exfoliate at night after cleansing and before any serums or moisturisers.

Cosmedix Defy Age-Defying Treatment and Medik8 Press & Glow 200ml are a couple of my favourite exfoliating products. If you have rosacea or sensitive skin, you might use an exfoliating cleanser like Aesthetics Rx AHA Cream Cleanser 125ml as the first step of an evening skincare routine.

How often should I exfoliate? This depends on your skin type/concerns. I know, confusing! Sorry! Again, generally speaking, less is more. Start with once a week and then work your way up to alternating nights or every night if you have robust skin.

But the most important thing to know about exfoliating is you must always remember to wear *sunscreen.

You can learn more about the best type of exfoliation for your skin in this episode of the Skincare School podcast below.

4. 'How to Get Glowing Skin'.

Firstly, let’s all take a minute to breathe and remember “glowing skin” on Instagram isn’t always real.

But if you would like your skin to 'glow', which to me equates to skin that looks and feels healthy, there are a few things you can do:

  • Cleanse regularly and remove your makeup properly. This is very important, cleansing is not a nothing step. (You can read more about how to wash your face here.)

  • Exfoliate enough for your skin type, but not too much that it causes issues. (Read more about different types of exfoliators here.)

  • Keep your skin hydrated. Yes, even if you have oily/acne-prone skin.

  • Do all the lifestyle things like getting enough sleep, reducing stress levels, and eating a balanced diet. Easier said than done, I know. *Especially if you are a sleep-deprived parent, I salute you.

5. 'What Does Vitamin C Do for the Skin'.

Vitamin C is a very hot skincare ingredient at the moment, but what does it actually do?

The main reason people love vitamin C for skin is because it can deliver anti-ageing and brightening benefits.

Vitamin C in its bioactive form (called L-ascorbic acid or LAA) is the skin’s most abundant antioxidant. This means it protects against free radical damage, helps even the appearance of skin tone, and co-factors in collagen production.

L-ascorbic acid is the gold standard of vitamin C derivatives in skin care because it has the most evidence behind it. However, L-ascorbic acid is highly unstable and those with sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin types may find it irritating.

Other vitamin C derivatives like ethyl ascorbic acid and ascorbyl glucoside aren't as effective because they need to be converted into L-ascorbic acid by the skin, but they are often gentler and better tolerated.

My favourite vitamin C serum on Adore is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum (sorry, sorry, sorry this is the pricey one, but it's worth it!). I recommend applying it in the morning with sunscreen over the top.

Find more in-depth info on vitamin C and which type of vitamin C is right for you in this YouTube video below, or listen to the vitamin C episode of the Skincare School podcast.

6. 'Should I Stop My Skincare Routine'.

There’s no need to stop your skincare routine if it is working for you and you’re not getting any skin issues from the products you’re using.

The only time you should stop your skincare routine is if your skin care is burning or hurting you. I know many people like to claim beauty is pain, but a product doesn’t need to be hurting you to work. Oh, and a stronger product does not = better results either.

If you are experiencing continuous redness, peeling, flaking or any type of discomfort from a product, stop using it because it's likely your skin barrier has become impaired (more info on impaired skin barriers here).

7. 'Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Skin'.

I am firmly team Food Products Should Be Left in the Kitchen and Not Applied to Your Face.

You may see apple cider vinegar (ACV) listed as an ingredient in beauty products, but what about TikTok ACV videos or Pinterest DIY hacks about how ACV can lightly exfoliate or balance your skin’s pH? I wouldn’t go there.

Partly because ACV smells kind of gross. But more importantly, there are products on the market formulated for your skin that have been proven to do those things above, without causing skin irritation, dryness or damage.

ACV is really great mixed into a salad dressing, though. So maybe Google that instead!

Want to read more of Yads' expert skincare articles?

*SPF is only one part of sun protection! Always seek shade, and wear sunnies, a hat and protective clothing. Use sufficient sunscreen for all unprotected areas and reapply sunscreen as directed. Always read the label.

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