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Acids, retinol, vitamin C. Our lotions and potions are increasingly harsh and potent.
Do we really need it all?
While these ingredients can be great for treating spots, reducing the appearance of fine lines, and evening out discolouration, they need to be used in moderation.
The skin barrier needs protecting, and sloughing it away in the name of beauty will only cause more problems in the long run.
There’s where rewilding comes in.
You might have heard the term used in relation to sustainability and the environment. It’s all about returning the planet to a more natural – or wilder – state.
This often means doing nothing and letting nature take over, and take its course.
Dr Catharine Denning, who works with sensitive skin brand Curél, says that skin rewilding is about taking your skincare routine back to basics too.
She explains: ‘Skin rewilding is the removal of all actives from your skincare routine, stripping product use right back to allow for your skin to behave in a way that’s “natural” to it.
‘The school of thought is that by doing so, you are encouraging the skin’s natural microbiome to flourish and restore the barrier function of the skin.
‘Actives, which you’ll find in things like exfoliating acids, retinols, vitamin c should be replaced with products that are of a similar pH to the skin.
‘Typically these are also scent and colourant free, which help restore the skin’s barrier function.’
There are benefits to giving this a try, such as helping reduce sensitivities and restoring ‘the skin’s individual combination of beneficial microorganisms’.
It’s all about making the skin more ‘resilient’, as Dr Catharine puts it.
What ingredients should you use?
Dr Catharine Denning recommends:
‘For those that have perhaps overused their actives or have an impaired barrier function due to sun exposure, weather, stress or being on medication, I always advise to strip back the use of actives and replace this with a skin barrier restoration programme,’ she says. ‘Use very basic skincare that is ceramide protective and hydrating with a ceramide rich moisturiser, always ending with sunscreen in the day.’
First appear at Put down the acids and try ‘skin rewilding’ – your face will thank you for it