Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Antioxidants, Retinols, and other active ingredients: a major discourse on the Western and Asian notions of skincare
My American dermatologist has always told me to use tons of active ingredients in my skincare. He started me off with antioxidants when I was 16, plans on starting my retinol care when I am 27 and using a peptides cream when I turn 33. He introduced me to Benzoyl Peroxide, Sulfur, and Salicylic Acid when I had pimples (and yay, I have finally successfully went off Benzoyl Peroxide), and told me I can wear as much makeup as I want as long as I took it off properly at night. He introduced me to a lot of great masques that are very effective and quite pricey. He would have let me use a skincare line with a lot of active ingredients (skinceuticals) if my mother hadn't bulked and bought me Mamonde instead.
My Korean derm has always told me to be gentle to my skin, steer clear of active ingredients (except for a very select few), and use as little makeup as possible. His motto can be somewhat translated as "Don't fake it if you can't make it". He introduced me to a lot of great masques that I can only make at home, and insists on having me use skincare that is as simple as possible. He makes his own skincare, most of which has 5 ingredients at most, and he has great skin. His latest action is to start me off on Japanese horse oil, which I know is quite controversial as an animal lover, and jojoba oil. He knows me well enough to understand that I would never really use an oil as an moisturizer exclusively, but he highly recommends doing so.
Antioxidants was just another great area for them to disagree over. My American dermatologist and many other celebrity dermatologists believe antioxidants are essential at night because it absorbs any damages the UV rays or other free radicals have done to you during the day before it damages the deeper layers or your skin and your genes. Therefore, to him, it is never too young for anyone to start antioxidants care, especially in this environment we have.
My Korean derm was annoyed that my American derm started me off on an antioxidant as early as I was 16, telling me that people should not use antioxidants unless they know they have been in the sun without protection, and even then topical antioxidants should not be used very often, only in emergencies. He compared antioxidants to Benzoyl Peroxide, which if you read my earlier articles, caused me quite a lot of pain since even though it cleared my face, gave me post-inflamtary hyperpigmentaion. He told me that antioxidants are great for the skin while handing me a glass of soy-milk (which is another decision my Korean derm made for me: go off milk, which contains lactoise which might be harmful for some people's skin, and instead drink soy milk which is full of isoflavons and benefits) and a pomegranate. He told me that antioxidants should be eaten, and not applied topically. He told me that it is always better to eat my way to beautiful skin than eat a big Mac (and I saw him frowning for the first time, something he never does in the name of beautiful skin) a day and apply antioxidants and other stuff on my face and eat the condensed Vitamin C and vitamin E pills, which he said can cause cancer and is hard to be absorbed. He told me that he tells all of his favorite clients that the best way to have great skin and stay fit is to drink soymilk in the morning with two boiled eggs, drink 16 glasses of green tea everyday instead of water, and eat a huge serving of raw fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner before eating anything else. He said that by the time he finishes his fruits and vegetables, he rarely have any room left for him to eat anything else.
I've been trying this diet those past weeks and I haven't had a breakout in 2 weeks, and I have lost 8 pounds. I am really happy, but I still don't know whether I should stop using antioxidants topically even though I am sure I eat more than enough everyday now. What do you think?
Labels: beauty tips