Skincare Basics: Expert Answers Frequently Asked Skincare Questions


1. Do I really need to wear sunblock everyday?
The short answer is no, you don’t. Most every esthetician/dermatologist will probably say yes – but in reality, if you’re indoors most of the day you can get away with applying topical antioxidants (meaning straight onto the skin). I always say use antioxidants first. That way you’re at least getting UVA/UVB protection (remember – free radical damage isn’t only caused by the sun. We’re exposed to free radicals 24/7 – even by things like our computer and phone screens!) Use sunblock when you’re actually going to be in the sun. So if you’re taking a hike or going for a long walk, go for it. Otherwise, if you’re using a product high in Vitamin C, or for example Antioxidant•K which is very antioxidant enriched, that shield is going to protect you all day. Sunblock essentially isn’t the healthiest thing for your skin anyway, it can cause a lot of congestion and lead to breakouts. So I say either top off with it or use it when you need it. (For the record – we’re not crazy anti-sunblock people over here! Please, protect your skin if you’re going to be in the sun. Just don’t forget the importance of antioxidants!)

2. With so much information about different skin types out there, how can I tell if I have dry, oily, or sensitive skin?
Here’s the easiest way to figure it out: if you have a red undertone, that means you have more of a sensitive skin type. If you wash your face and it gets red and that redness stays with you all day, or if you apply a product and immediately flare up, you’re sensitive.

  • If you’re congested – you touch your skin and feel little tiny bumps, then you’re probably more of an oily skin type. This is usually in your t-zone where you have larger pores.
  • If your skin isn’t retaining any moisture and you feel like no matter what products you’re using it’s still super dehydrated, then you’re probably more of a dry skin type.

3. How do I deal with sensitive skin? I feel like I can never introduce anything new into my routine.
The easiest way is to actually desensitize it. As an esthetician, how I do this when people come to me is I introduce new products into their routine very slowly. People with sensitive skin are probably used to using very simple formulas, so the minute you introduce something new, they flare up. What I’ve learned over 26 years is that you don’t want to change your whole regimen all at once. I’ve had so many people come to me with sensitive skin, and within 3 months they’re able to use pretty much anything because we’ve slowly desensitized them. So you would start by changing your cleanser, and then your moisturizer, and so on one at a time so that you can monitor how your skin reacts per product.

4. How do I know if a product is right for me?
First, like I said, make sure you’re introducing new products in baby steps. That way you can figure out if a product is giving you an adverse reaction. If you change your regimen all together, let’s say you completely switch your cleanser, moisturizer, and serum all at the same time and then you flare up, you won’t have a clue as to which one is giving you the allergic reaction. If you, let’s say just introduce a moisturizer and you break out or have a rash, you’ll be able to say “ok, I just started using this moisturizer and that’s what’s causing the reaction.” A lot of times it can be makeup, too, like if you all of a sudden change your foundation. So whatever it is, just don’t change your regimen so quickly.

5. What do you think is the most important part of a skincare routine?
Cleanser. If you don’t clean your skin properly you’re going to leave a residue that causes congestion and buildup, and your skin won’t be able to absorb moisture. So no matter what you do afterwards you won’t see the benefits. Cleanser is key – not only applying it the right way but removing it the right way (think you’re removing it all by just splashing some water on your face? Wrong!) I always tell people to remove with a wet washcloth or cellulose sponge (which you can find at any beauty supply). Even if you’re using something like a Clarisonic and you feel like it’s working really well, don’t forget to top it off with a wet washcloth or sponge to really make sure you’re removing any residue.

6. I feel like I clean my skin really well and am following all the right steps but I still have acne. What causes acne?
Acne is inflammation. It could be caused by anything from drying out your skin too much to having too much buildup. So you want to make sure you’re removing all the dead skin buildup, whether that’s with a scrub or with a tool (that’s why we created the Diamond•K – check it out if you haven’t already!). By removing those layers of dead skin, you’re basically allowing your skin to breathe and absorb moisture, and not be suffocated to where bacteria and acne is able to brew underneath. Let your skin breathe, sister! Also, maybe skip on the heavy foundation during the day and opt for something like a BB cream+SPF instead (Senna’s Barely Base is my fave).

7. What’s the best way to deal with early signs of aging? How can I take care of those lines and wrinkles I’m starting to see around my eyes, on my forehead, etc.?
Well, the good news is that millennials are much more into moisturizing than I was. All we did when we were younger was dry out the skin (I used to use rubbing alcohol as my toner! Bad idea.) – so you guys have much more potential to have great skin. Just by hydrating, that’s #1. I think #2 is using tools. Skincare tools are big. Microneedling to stimulate collagen is a great preventative way to fight aging, as well as exfoliation tools. Tools are key!

8. If you could choose one tool, what would it be?
If I was going to pick one tool, it would be something like the Diamond•K. Whether you’re concerned about discoloration, large pores, congestion, being able to absorb moisture – by working on resurfacing the skin you nip all of that in the bud. It’s basically an all-in-one. There are so many different types of tools, but something that works on resurfacing is key if you want to have the best skin possible. Teenagers, adults, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has about 10-15 layers of dead skin (ew, I know) that should be buffed away in order to see the best results from whatever other products you’re using.

9. What can I do about acne scars/discoloration, and those frustrating marks leftover from breakouts?
Acne scars are caused by a loss of collagen. Usually what happens is that cystic acne breaks apart the collagen fibers, so what we have to do is re-activate and re-stimulate. The best way to do that is with a microneedle derma roller (ours is 2x the width with 2x the number of needles!). This causes tiny little microscopic tears in the skin that force it to rebuild and rejuvenate. Like when you get a cut or scrape, your body heals by way of cell turnover and new skin grows back. Or if you workout and use a certain muscle, you’re creating micro tears that then heal and rebuild to form new and stronger muscle. That’s the whole idea, you want to traumatize the skin on a microscopic level, just enough so that it renews and rebuilds. You want to roll 3-4x per week if you have acne scars. It’s super easy – just wash your face, apply a serum, and gently roll until your skin is slightly pink. That’s how you know you’ve re-stimulated collagen. If you have discoloration, use something like a Vitamin C serum or you can use Hydratant•K, which is our Vitamin D oil. A few minutes 3-4x a week is all you need!

10. Finally, if there was one piece of advice, one thing you’ve learned about keeping your skin young and healthy – what would it be?
Do your homework. Home care is key. Most people will take great care of their bodies, they’ll eat right and exercise, but they forget all about their skin. You have to invest in your skin the same way. That doesn’t have to mean with a lot of money, but invest at least the time. It’s the little things – remove your makeup at night, moisturize!, if you can get a skin care tool, get it and use it. It’s just like going to the gym (why we call Microneedle•K the #skingym!). Whether you’re exfoliating a little deeper or stimulating collagen, there are so many benefits. You won’t see results if you’re not putting in the time! So my best advice is definitely to do your homework.

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Much more to come!
Team TKP