beauty

10 of the best tips dermatologists and skin experts guarantee you've never heard before.

I'm really not great at a lot of things: Making appointments over the phone, shaving my legs, taxes, etc. One thing I AM good at, however, is annoying innocent dermatologists and asking them 292 questions a day.

Why? Because I'm a nerd when it comes to skincare. Froth over the stuff. The AHAs, The BHAs, the vitamins As - the whole shebang.

Watch: Here are seven ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues below.


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But here's the thing - whether you're a skincare aficionado or an absolute novice, we're all just out here hanging around waiting to find out how to nab the healthiest, glowiest skin. Right?

And for the most part, you've got the basics down pat. Washing your face every day, wearing sunscreen, not ruining your skin with pore-clogging products - that kinda stuff.

But for the love of sweet baby cheeses, there's a helluva lot of products and information out there. It's crowded. And things are confusing. Scary. Complicated.

That's why we asked a bunch of dermatologists and skin experts to share the best professional skincare advice they've ever learnt. Here's what they said.

1. Cleansing and toning can increase your oily skin and congestion. 

Do you have oily skin that loves to breakout? Yes?? Then this one's for you!

"Many people assume that if they have oily skin prone to congestion and blackheads that they need to cleanse and tone their skin to dry it out and exfoliate regularly to remove blackheads," said dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists

Listen: Here's the best facial oil for every skin type. Post continues below.

"Unfortunately, our skin is very reactive and in response to cleansing and toning it will try to produce more oil to protect itself from harm."

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Interesting!

Instead, of going hard on the cleansing and toning front, Dr McDonald said those with oily skin should use "very gentle cream based cleansers and minimise physical exfoliation."

Gotcha.

2. Vaseline is the best eye cream.

Well, this is game-changing. According to dermatologist Dr Eleni Yiasemides from South Derm, the best eye cream won't set you back more than $5. 

Awks!

"The use of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is the best eye cream I recommend for intense hydration, non-irritation and [it's] safe to use around the eyes," said Dr Yiasemides.

*Car wheels screech*

3. Makeup wipes aren't great for your skin.

If you're anything like us (cute, constantly spills coffee on her top) then you use makeup wipes on the reg. They're quick, easy and remove makeup in a pinch.

However! According to skin experts, they're actually pretty rubbish for your skin.

"Makeup wipes are a poor substitute for a thorough cleanse of your face. While not everyone needs to double cleanse (especially if you don’t wear makeup) wipes alone don’t equate to a proper cleanse of the skin." said Dr Imaan Joshi from Skin Essentials.

Want more info? Here's what a cosmetic doctor says about using makeup wipes on your face.

4. Comedone extractors can be used to remove blackheads at home.

While we all know that popping or squeezing blackheads is a big no-no (read: can really mess up your skin and cause scarring), blackhead extractors (which are commonly used by dermatologists), are also available for DIY at-home use.

"You can buy comedome extractors to remove blackheads from the face and body. Most people don’t know these exist," said Dr Yiasemides.

Just be CAREFUL, yeah? There's no need to go gung-ho with it. Because if used incorrectly, you can still end up causing scarring and stuff. 

And obviously steer clear of acne. Comedones (those small bumps) only!

5. Sunscreen gets 'used up' with sun exposure. 

So THAT'S why we're supposed to re-apply our SPF!

"Sunscreen chemicals absorb UV rays and only have a finite capacity. Therefore, if you have been in the office all morning, your sunscreen should still have good protection at lunchtime, whereas if you've been outdoors during the day, it will be all 'used' up and it is much more important to reapply regularly," explains Dr McDonald.

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If you struggle with the whole re-application thing, check out this genius tip to reapply sunscreen without messing up your makeup.

6. Sleep is more essential to skin health than you think.

Your skin. She's tired. After a long day of fighting off UV rays, pollution, sweat and all the other garbage, your skin is desperate for a bit of rest. And she'll only really get it while you're sleeping. 

"Adequate sleep is essential to skin health," said Dr Joshi. "The skin repairs itself and makes collagen while we sleep - so don’t skimp on this."

A solid eight hours of sleep each night can do some very good things for your skin.

So, get to bed a wee bit earlier. Go on. Your skin will thank you for it.

7. You should care for your skin at *every* age.

According to experts, everyone at any age can care for their skin and have a skin routine - "it's just different for each time in life," explains dermatologist Dr Rebecca Saunderson from Drummoyne Dermatology.

"In Australia, our UV exposure is high, so sun protection should be a part of every person's regime. Whilst in primary schools, there are 'no-hat, no-play' policies, this is not mandated in high schools (and in my humble opinion, should very much be!)." 

So, wait. Do... babies need a skincare routine?

"Babies generally don't need soaps or even soap-free washes, but will benefit from a daily massage with a moisturiser or ointment, and might need barrier creams in the nappy area if they have irritation," explains Dr Saunderson. 

"Up until teens, taking care of the skin barrier by using soap-free washes, and a good moisturiser, containing, for example, ceramides, will keep the skin replenished."

Once puberty hits, however, you might need to ramp things up a bit. There might be blackheads, and increased sebum/oil production, said Dr Saunderson. 

"That's when introducing a cleanser once to twice daily, and treatments targeted to your specific skin requirements will be beneficial. Generally, if it's drier, creams are better, and if it's oily, lotions are better."

As we age, our skin will generally become drier and will need more nourishment. 

"Anti-ageing preparations are usually started in the 20s and include antioxidants, AHAs/BHAs and retinoids - but [they do] need to be targeted to your skin type and needs," she adds.

8. Your BB cream with SPF isn't enough.

Ohhh! So you want to skip the whole SPF thing and use a BB cream with SPF in it? That's cool. Do you know how much you'd need to put on your face to get adequate protection.

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Take a peek here. Terrifying isn't it?

"SPF in combination with BB creams, CC creams and foundation is rarely enough to give adequate sun coverage. If you used enough to get sun protection, you’d look like a clown. Far better to use a dedicated SPF under your cream or foundation."said Dr Joshi.

So, please don't rely on your makeup for sunscreen. Use a separate sunscreen and apply makeup over the top, and you'll have way better chance of protecting your skin from premature ageing and, y'know, skin cancer.

9. Smoking ages your skin.

No touchy on the smoky! And yesss vaping counts, friends - that s**t is just as bad for you - if not, worse.

"Smoking depletes collagen and elastin, the building blocks of healthy, dewy skin. It changes the skin, teeth, and hair in ways that can add years to your looks and may be irreversible in some," explains Dr Joshi. 

"Long-term effects include dry skin, uneven skin pigmentation, baggy eyes, a saggy jawline, and deeper facial wrinkles and furrows."

Yikes.

10. Tinted sunscreen can lessen pigmentation.

Okay, so this is apparently a thing, and we wished we'd known about it, like, yesterday. 

According to one of our derms, your best defence against hyperpigmentation is... tinted sunscreen.

"If you're trying to lessen pigment irregularities or redness, you should use a tinted sunscreen," said Dr Saunderson.

As we mentioned before, it's best to go for an tinted SPF instead of a BB Cream or CC Cream - and you should be using one teaspoon (two fingers' worth) for your face and neck.

"Without delving too much into the science, there is visible light (the light that the human eye can see), and ultraviolet (UV) light (produced by the sun and cannot be seen by the human eye)."

"UV is responsible for DNA damage that leads to skin cancers. However, visible light can cause redness in light-skinned persons, and pigment in darker-skinned persons."

"Therefore, a tinted sunscreen should be used particularly if you are worried about pigment in your skin or have redness or inflammation." 

Have you heard any of the above tips before? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Canva; Mamamia

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