5 insider secrets from one of Britain’s top dermatologists

Posted by
Louise Whitbread
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5 interesting things we’ve learnt from consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto’s debut book, The Skincare Bible…

We all know how important skincare is, but we also know just how much of a complete minefield it can be. Double cleansing? SPF? Acids? The list goes on, and it doesn’t help that there’s probably more information on the internet than ever before. 

The abundance of new products can also be confusing and working out what a good, solid routine consists of isn’t easy. That makes it even harder to know what is actually sound medical advice and what really isn’t. And, sadly, instead of seeking advice from a dermatologist, a lot of us just learn to live with the consequences of any skin conditions we might be suffering from. 

Granted, getting an appointment with a trained professional isn’t always entirely viable. NHS waiting lists are months long and going to see somebody privately can cost a small fortune. But that’s where The Skincare Bible, £14.99 comes in.

Available to buy now, it’s a new book written by Dr Anjali Mahto, an expert dermatologist and spokesperson for The British Skin Foundation. Inspired by the questions she gets asked in clinic every day, it covers every skin complaint you could ever think of. It’s a no-nonsense guide that gives you all the tools you need to take control of your own routine. Before you run out and buy your copy, here’s seven interesting things we learnt from our first (of many) reads…

You can’t change the size of your pores

Yes, really. Contrary to popular belief, pores – which are more prominent in oily skin types - don’t have muscles around them that make them open or close, but there are a number of methods that can help minimise the appearance, according to Dr Mahto. These include: Retinoid creams, chemical peels and much more.

SPF is important all year round

Using makeup with SPF in is probably fine when the days are short in winter, says Dr Mahto. However, when spring rolls around, it’s worthwhile to switch to a separate sunscreen to use after your regular moisturiser. Stylist recommends Heliocare 360 Gel Oil-Free SPF50, £28, and Medik8 Physical Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Physical SPF 30, £35.

The term ‘clinically proven’ is just deceptive marketing

Seen on many a product label, the term ‘clinically proven’ is used to make products sound like they have undergone rigorous scientific testing, says Dr Mahto. The reality is they are almost never a robust clinical trial with sound scientific methodology, an adequate sample size or appropriate statistical analysis. Interesting…

Ditch lounging about in gym wear if you want to prevent body acne

According to Dr Mahto, body acne can be cause by heat, sweat and occlusive clothing raising the body temperature, which in turn can cause spots. So while it is tempting to sit around in your gym wear while glugging down a green juice, it’s actually no good for your skin. The solution is to shower immediately after exercise and switch to shower gels and body washes containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid and tea tree oil. The Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap, £8 is a good product to start with, she says. 

Never wash your face in hot water

This sounds basic, but water should actually be warm to luke warm. Hot water can leave skin dry and irritated, and very cold water is a lot less effective at removing oils from the skin. It’s also worth noting that you should always use a towel to pat dry your face after washing it – don’t vigorously rub the skin as you dry it because it can lead to unnecessary irritation.

The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide To Having Great Skin by Anjali Mahto, £14.99 is published by Penguin Life and available from 5th April

Images: Linus Nylund / Instagram