Expert Advice

Beauty Pharmacist Q&A

Beauty Questions with Beauty Expert Pharmacist

The Beauty Questions we all want answered

There are certain beauty queries that come up time and time again. As a pharmacist, I know how important it is to have the right information from reliable sources, and I’m here to help. Here are four questions that I’m frequently asked.

What causes dark circles?

Many people associate dark circles with tiredness and lack of sleep. Although these can make the appearance of them worse, they are not the main cause behind the development and worsening of dark circles.  Dark circles often display as a shadow under and around the eyes and can cause a tint of blue, purple or red. This is because they are linked with your blood vessels in that area which start to show through due to your skin thinning.

As we age, the skin around our eyes starts to lose elasticity and its volume. These genetic changes, along with social changes, can make them worse over time. The best treatment is actually prevention which means using a hydrating eye cream to moisturise the skin around the eyes. Other treatments include using concealers. Red or orange based concealers are great at cancelling out blue tones to give you a more even finish.

Do I need to use sunscreen daily?

The simple answer is YES! Sunscreens are not just for summer and holidays but should be part of your daily routine. Even on the days when we don’t feel the sun, the sun is still omitting rays which can be dangerous for your skin; specifically UVA rays. UVA rays tend to more prevalent and can travel through clouds and glass into the deeper layers of your dermis resulting in early onset of ageing, development of cancers and pigmentation.  Always ensure that your sunscreen protects you against both UVA and UVB rays. Many moisturisers now offer SPF in the same formula, making it one easy step.

What does a toner do?

Many people tend to overlook toners when it comes to skincare as they are unsure about the benefits. Originally designed to balance out pH levels of our skin, toners have evolved into the perfect product to complete all skincare routines.

Toners can help with secondary cleansing and also remove dirt and makeup residue. They also tend to now have treatment properties such as hydration or oil control. As well as all this, they help reduce the appearance of open large pores, giving you a more even looking complexion. Always check before buying any product that it is suitable for your skin type – using the wrong products can lead to breakouts, inflammation and dryness.

What is the difference between AHA/BHAs?

These two abbreviations get thrown around the beauty industry and have become quite a niche term among brand and beauty influencers.  Often teamed together, they can work against multiple skin concerns ranging from anti-ageing, improving pigmentations, to fighting acne and blemishes. They are also great exfoliants.

AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids) such as glycolic or lactic acid tend to be water soluble and work on concerns on the outer layer of your skin. This includes removing dead skin cells, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and working against pigmentation and brown spots.  On the other hand, BHAs (beta hydroxyl acids) are oil based and are able to penetrate deeper into your skin. They target concerns from within and are a great ingredient for those prone to acne and oily skin.  The most common BHA used in skincare is salicylic acid.



Writer and expert

Life motto: 'There's no such thing as too many beauty products'

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