A little more or a little less? Difficult, today, to ignore this question, because the quantity of product used each day has repercussions not only on the skin but also on the environment. “On the packaging, there is no precise indication, because there is no standardized dose per type of product. This is therefore often approximate, except if the container is equipped with a pipette, a pump bottle or presented in the form of a single dose, with the exception of sun care”, explains Pauline Poussin, head of scientific communication for the Native Laboratories (Lierac, Phyto and Roger&Gallet). Believing that the more you put in, the more effective it is, is a common mistake. Indeed, if the cosmetic laboratories evaluate the ideal dose by extensive studies and consumer tests, for many products, for lack of quantity indicated, each one proceeds according to his desires and his habits. Often with a heavy hand…
Face moisturizers: keep your hand light
For a moisturizer, just apply the value of a chickpea to the face and neck.
More ? Beware of the sticky effect. Another disadvantage: “Certain treatments containing silicones, powders or blurring agents create fluff on the skin when applying makeup over it,” notes Pauline Poussin.
Less ? Farewell to the expected hydration. And for the eye area, it’s the equivalent of a grain of rice for each eye, no more. As for the serum, four drops are more than enough for the face and neck. This highly concentrated formula is always applied in small doses and normally spreads without problems. “It is not intended to have a ‘covering’ effect, just the diffusion of the active ingredients, especially since a cream is often added on top”, specifies Dr. Marie-Estelle Roux, dermatologist.
Beware, therefore, of overdose, not necessarily good for the skin. Too much product does not bring more comfort and can even have an occlusive effect, favoring pimples and blackheads, but also certain dermatoses. “In consultation, some patients sometimes think they have dry skin, when they actually have seborrheic dermatitis or rosacea. Too generous an application of cream tends to maintain the phenomenon,” continues the dermatologist. Conversely, by applying too little, the skin is not hydrated enough and will suffer in terms of comfort and suppleness; in addition, ultimately, to aging prematurely…
Anti-aging active ingredients: getting your skin used to it
For these particular treatments, “you really have to follow the instructions for use. Retinol, for example, is a very powerful active ingredient. It applies once a day, rather in the evening, in small quantities: the equivalent of a pea for the whole face. Especially not in a mask or in a thick layer, and never on the eye contour, ”explains Dr Roux. To test tolerance and limit any risk of irritation, the trick is to apply it two nights a week at first.
In three to four weeks, the skin gets used to it and you can gradually switch to every other evening. Ditto for vitamin C treatments, which can also be irritating. “This reference molecule exists in different forms and its effectiveness varies according to its dosage. When it is present at 15% in a formula, it brings real stimulation to the skin, but becomes photosensitizing. It is therefore important to apply it in small doses, ie the value of a pea, in the morning or in the evening, rather at the beginning and end of winter,” adds Pauline Poussin. As for fruit acids, very keratolytic, they have a peeling effect. Again, a mini hazelnut is enough. “The application is made in the evening, every two or three days, avoiding the eye area. We are thinking of putting on photoprotection in the morning, because they are slightly photosensitizing, ”she continues. “Most often, irritation problems are not related to the product itself but rather to misuse,” observes Dr. Roux. The skin may tingle at first, this is normal, but this quickly stops as it gets used to it. Be careful, however, not to choose a high concentration to start with. We will opt for a cream dosed with 10% glycolic acid at most, especially if the skin is sensitive or acne-prone.
Body and hair: wash in moderation
In this category, it is above all necessary to adapt to the texture, more or less concentrated from one product to another. Organic formulas, in particular, are often more liquid. For shower gel or oil, a nut, that is to say the palm of the hand, no more, is enough to wash the whole body. Especially “since you don’t need to soap yourself a lot, except, of course, if you’ve had a messy activity. We focus on the hands, feet, folds and orifices, and that’s it. Otherwise, we risk damaging the skin, its hydrolipidic film and its microbiome”, recommends the dermatologist. And if you take several showers a day, you limit yourself to just one soaping. On the face, a dab of foaming gel or a pressure of foam cleanses perfectly, without upsetting the epidermis.
For the shampoo, a nice hazelnut is enough when you have short or fine hair. If they’re thick, curly, or long, a nut’s worth will do. And the same amounts are suitable for after-wash care. “It is good to remember that it is the scalp that must be washed, not the lengths. So, we take a little cleanser that we emulsify by adding water, then we gently massage the skull and the lengths benefit from the flowing shampoo,” adds Dr. Roux. As for the application of nourishing vegetable oil or serum on the scalp, a few drops are enough, the ideal being “little, but regularly”. For the health of the planet too, it is better to be moderate in the use of all these products, because they end up in nature. Indeed, the more you put, the more it foams and the more water it requires to rinse. We then quickly lose interest in using eco-designed cleaners.
“However, the recent formulas are cleaner and follow the evolution of the regulations in relation to environmental issues”, pleads Pauline Poussin.
Under the sun
When we talk about sun protection, “the dose is very important, because it is what prevents sunburn and thus limits, in the long term, skin cancers”, specifies the dermatologist Marie-Estelle Roux. The recommended amount for each application is equivalent to six teaspoons, or 2 mg per cm2 of skin for a person of average build. Sunscreen is therefore effective if you put it on a lot and often!
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