I recently read something that made me realise I don’t know much about treating dry skin and that what I thought I knew was completely wrong. I’m hoping my newly found knowledge will help my face stay hydrated this winter – and since I know a lot of people suffer from dry skin I just wanted to share this information and maybe help someone else with the same issues!
So, the article I read was by Finnish natural skincare expert Katja Kokko – you can read the article here (only in Finnish I’m afraid, but I’ll try to summarise the main points in this blog post). Katja tackles two myths that I have to admit I believed up until recently…This will probably be old news to a lot of you, but if it isn’t, keep reading.
Myth nr 1: facial toner dries out your skin
Who else thinks that the function of a toner is only to remove remaining dirt after cleansing? That a toner is unnecessary? And that a toner will dry out your skin? Whilst a toner does finish the cleansing process it’s job is also to restore the pH balance of the skin and to soothe and hydrate. And what hydrates is water – which you’ll find in a toner. In the past many toners contained simple alcohol in order to remove oil from the skin, but as far as I know that is mostly not the case anymore. And simple alcohol would’ve obviously dried out the skin and probably been the reason for this whole myth.
I’ve also been wrong about how to use a toner. The best way is actually to spray it onto your face and the gently tap it into the skin with your hands. You should use a generous amount of the product both morning and evening, followed by a serum and/or a moisturiser. This applies to all skin types.
Myth nr 2: the thicker the face cream the better
Who else thinks that the richer the moisturiser the more hydrated your skin will be? I’ve always gone for the thickest cream with the highest fat content when my skin has been dry – usually in the midst of winter. But no, you should differentiate between a hydrating and a moisturising cream.
A hydrating cream is light and adds moisture to the skin and does therefore contain a lot of water. Because water is moisture.
A moisturising cream is a product that will prevent the moisture from leaving your skin and will that way moisturise.
So if the skin isn’t hydrated properly there’s no point using a moisturising cream – first your need to add water to the skin and then trap that moisture. I do always try and add my moisturiser right after washing my face in order to do just that, but I didn’t realise a toner will be so much more effective. So from now on I’ll be using toner and hoping the Finnish winter won’t dry out my face!
For a long time I’ve wanted to move towards using only natural and organic products when it comes to skincare, but I haven’t known where to start and so I’ve just sort of left it. Now my approach is to use up the products I have and whenever I run out of one I’ll do my research and replace it with a natural one. Katja Kokko’s blog (some of it is in English too) is a good place to get tips and that’s where the toner I’m using, Madara Balancing Toner, was recommended. I’ve used it for a couple of weeks now with good results, but the true test will be this winter when the air gets a lot drier and colder…
The two other brands you see in the photos, Mossa cleanser and Cattier clay scrub, are both affordable (around 10 euros each), natural and well suited for my sensitive skin. I thought all natural skincare products would be pretty expensive so was pleased to notice there are cheaper yet good alternatives out there!
Do you use natural skincare products? Any you can recommend?
x Nina x
PS. If you’re interested in natural skincare you should check out Kokko’s book, Genuine Beauty. I actually haven’t read it myself but I’ve heard people raving about it. Will need to get my hands on a copy too!