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Andy Millward gives his top tips for healthy skin

Beauty Tips


Andy Millward gives his top tips for healthy skin

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Written by: Kathryn Danzey
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Something I hear a lot from clients is “I like to let my skin breathe” or “I know I should let me skin breathe”. Generally what they’re talking about is keeping the skin free-from heavy creams or foundations, in their mind, to allow it to “breathe”.

Whilst I’m all in favour of keeping the skin free-from unnecessarily heavy moisturisers and synthetic chemical-laden makeup, I feel it’s important to dispel the myth as to whether it actually breathes.

While the skin does require an oxygen supply to function and remain healthy, no measurable amount (almost negligible) comes from the open air. If our skin relied on oxygen from the air surrounding it alone then we’d all suffocate whilst swimming or taking a bath! The main oxygen supply comes from the respiratory system i.e. the lungs (we are human and not amphibian after all!) then via the blood supply found in the dermis and is transferred from the capillaries to the cells by diffusion.

That said however, it is still a good idea to keep the skin free-from from heavy occlusives such as mineral oil, lanolin or silicone for example. The skin is a lot more sophisticated than simple protection from the outside world. It performs a number of metabolic functions including perspiration to regulate heat; elimination of toxins and cellular waste; secretion of sebum, desquamation / shedding of dead skin cells etc. Occlusives like the ingredients already mentioned above form a barrier over the skin surface and can interrupt / interfere with these natural metabolic processes.The other really important reason to keep the skin free-from heavy or restrictive occlusives is bacteria control. The P.acne bacteria responsible for acne is a anaerobic, meaning it thrives in low-oxygen environments. Therefore if oxygen is not permitted to enter the pore freely, then the P.acne bacteria will be able to multiple. Combined with sebum (it’s food supply) and a build up of dead skin cells and you’ve got the perfect environment for acne to form.

Whilst we’re on the subject of occlusives and acne, some people may ask if the product is “non-comedogenic” does that mean it’s better in someway. The answer is no, not really. All non-comedogenic really means is that the ingredient or product won’t clog the pores. The issue here however is not really about ‘clogging’ the pore but rather ‘covering’ the pore and preventing the skin from functioning optimally. By interfering with its natural functions such as secretion and desquamation, then you can cause a blockage within the pore i.e. a comedone.

So to summarise the original question “does your skin breathe”, the answer is NO or at least not how you’d think. The more accurate term when removing that heavy foundation would be “I’m allowing my skin to carry out it’s natural metabolic functions”.

About the Author

Kathryn Danzey
I have a passion to bring to you what really works in the beauty industry, from a moisturiser to the latest advanced treatment for anti ageing. After almost 4 decades in the industry I'm packed with info to share but never tire of looking for new things and would love you to share your experiences with us too. We're here to help you find that treatment or product that will make a change for you. Can't do without My Collagen Shots and H3O Night Repair. Love a great serum and UV protection

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