'Skin sins' - are you guilty ?

‘Dr Mervyn Patterson shares the most common "skin sins " with Femail at Mail On-line

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Many of us are guilty of exposing our skin to a range of sins without even realising it! Good intentions with elaborate skincare care routines can do more harm than good. We all want healthy glowing skin but understanding how products and behaviours can in fact damage our complexions is vital to protect our skins health.

Worrying fact

Over 50% of the women in the U.K. now describe their skin as sensitive or very sensitive.

Here’s some skin sins you need to know to keep your healthy glow:

AHA Addiction

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are amazing and there has been an explosion of products on the market containing the super ingredient, including serums, toners, and creams and treatments. Used correctly for your skin type, these products promote a youthful glow, but be mindful of using AHAs every day in everything, particularly if you have sensitive skin, remember less is more. Beta-hydroxy acids such as salicylic are emerging as the preferred ingredient as they achieve a measured degree of exfoliation by breaking the bonds between the top surface cells whilst also having anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Harsh Exfoliation

Avoid physical scrubs that remove healthy skin cells and lipids as this exposes the deeper layers to environmental damage and water loss. Use instead products like Epionce Lytic Tx, a selective chemical exfoliator, containing salicylic and azelaic acids that gently remove dead skin cells without harming the skin barrier.

Don’t rely on Foundation for UV Protection

Many foundations now contain SPF but for optimum protection you should apply SPF underneath your makeup for a full protective barrier. SPF should be used religiously all year round, don’t think that it isn’t required in winter when harmful rays can still penetrate and accelerate ageing and pigmentation.

Product Overload

Terms like #skincarejunkie and #koreanskincare are trending for a reason. Instagram is awash with 10 step routines causing many of us to love skincare a little too much.

Over layering.

Not every skin type is built to cope well with ten types of product at a time. A handful of quality products and a comprehensive cleanse, selective chemical exfoliator, serum and barrier repair moisturiser on a daily basis may be more beneficial. Invest in fewer, greater quality items that work well for you. Complex skincare regimes are a nightmare if you start to get outbreaks or irritation as it will be difficult, if not impossible to determine what is working or causing a problem.

Avoid high concentrations of anything on your skin

Another common mistake is the overuse of one or two so called ‘key ingredients. Marketing hype abounds and it often tends to overemphasise ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic or vitamin A (retinol). Unfortunately, what the consumer tends to do is to put far too much of these ingredients on in quantities that have no useful value. The result unfortunately is a disruption of normal skin function and increased risk of irritation.

If in doubt choose products that are balanced in their formulation and contain just the right number of constituents for a healthy skin. Epionce Intense Defense Serum delivers vitamin A, B, C, D and E in the correct balance and concentration to optimise the health of the skin whilst avoiding irritation.

Retinolheads (skincare equivalent to petrolheads)

Retinolheads are those that apply way too much retinol.

It is in very magazine or skincare blog and is seen by many as the answer to skin ageing. Whilst it is true that a small amount of vitamin A is essential for skin cell health, it is now being widely overused. Yes, it stimulates the division of the cells at the basal layer at the bottom of the epidermis but add too much and waves of young immature cells rush to the surface. These immature cells are poorly organised and lack the correct lipid layers leaving the skin unprotected. The result is redness, irritation, dryness and skin that is more prone to sensitivity and UV damage.

Excessive poor-quality moisturisers.

Over moisturisation, particularly if the product doesn’t contain barrier repair properties may ultimately do more harm than good. A cycle of deteriorating skin quality can be triggered with a reduced ability to repair the skin barrier and heightened chronic inflammation. The skin is now more vulnerable to both the penetration of environmental factors and also to the loss of precious water from the deeper layers. This is why some people see ever increasing dryness and skin flaking despite applying copious quantities of moisturiser.

Repair. Repair. Repair

Be skin smart and look for products that help repair and renew. Repairing the external skin barrier by optimising the correct ratio of lipids will improve the protective properties of the surface epidermal cells. Products that also incorporate a wide range of anti-inflammatories will dampen unwanted chronic inflammation and improve the health of the skin. Epionce Renewal Facial Cream is a moisturiser that contains the perfect balance of cholesterols, ceramides and free fatty acids to promote good barrier function.


Another symptom of product overload and skincare addiction! Many of us can’t help ourselves and want to try the latest serum or newest product endorsed by our favourite celebrity face. But regular experimentation means less results. Consistency is key with skincare if you want to see results, stop switching up your products, you will never know which is most effective. It takes a whole month for the skin to turnover and I would normally recommend a full 3 months to evaluate a new product.

Good Skincare but Bad Makeup

Breakouts are a battle for so many, with so many factors at play. Many people who suffer from breakouts invest in good skincare, routines and treatments to keep blemishes at bay. But the same attention and care needs to be applied to the quality and ingredients of their makeup choices – particularly foundation. It is generally better to look for mineral makeup ranges that are designed to sit on the surface of the skin and are less likely to cause pore blockages, outbreaks and irritation.


Don’t wipe, although wipes are very convenient, face wipes are not good for skin. Instead cleanse thoroughly, particularly in the evening, with a cleanser such as Epionce Gentle Foaming Cleanser as they are specially formulated to repair the delicate skin barrier as well as effectively removing makeup and unwanted impurities.

Never skip the night cleanse.

It is really important to ensure that all makeup, sunscreen and any grime or environmental pollution that has been picked up during the day is thoroughly cleansed off the skin. A clean canvass will ensure that your regular skincare routine will penetrate more effectively.

Don’t over-hydrate

Many people think if you drink plenty of water this will hydrate the skin. Drinking one’s daily requirement of water on its own will do little, if anything, to improve the look of the skin. Encouraging people to drink in excess of what their body naturally desires is pointless as the body’s natural fluid balancing systems simply excrete the unwanted fluid. It is an urban myth that drinking ‘extra’ water helps the look of the skin. Skin health is much more complex than simply drinking enough water. Sure, adequate hydration is necessary, but it is only one factor.

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