Should I wash my face in the shower? And 7 other most Googled skincare questions in 2022, answered

An expert answered the most commonly Googled skincare queries.
  • Do you have a burning skincare question? It's likely answered in the article below.  
  • From knowing your skin type to understanding the importance of vitamin C, DrJudeyPretorius, a biomedical scientist, offers detailed answers.
  • These eight questions are also the most Googled skincare questions of this year.

The internet contains a wealth of information, and it's become so easy to find answers to questions on just about anything – including skincare. We've done some digging to find the most-asked skincare questions on Google in 2022 and consulted an expert for the answers. 

Dr Judey Pretorius, a biomedical scientist and founder of skincare brand BioMedical Emporium, answers the top eight skincare questions asked on Google this year.

1. How do you know what your skin type is?

Skin types are determined by the Fitzpatrick scale developed in 1975 and refer to a skin tone scale developed to classify skin colouring and response to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, explains Pretorius. Fitzpatrick 1 – 6 is based on how you burn.

Image supplied

Pretorius breaks it down:

  • Fitzpatrick skin type 1: skin always burns, never tans, and is sensitive to UV exposure.
  • Fitzpatrick skin type 2: skin burns easily and tans minimally.
  • Fitzpatrick skin type 3: skin burns moderately and tans gradually to light brown.
  • Fitzpatrick skin type 4: skin burns minimally and always tans well to moderately brown.
  • Fitzpatrick skin type 5 skin rarely burns and tans profusely to dark.
  • Fitzpatrick skin type 6 skin never burns, is deeply pigmented, and is least sensitive to UV exposure.

2. What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?

Dry skin occurs when the epithelial layer of the skin (the outermost layer of the skin) does not have a moisture level or lipids within it. Dehydrated skin occurs when you don't have any form of moisture retention or hyaluronic in the dermis (middle layer) of the skin. 

READ MORE | Collagen supplements for skin - hoax or worth the hype?

While dry skin lacks oil (sebum), dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin may experience eczema, sensitivity, flaking and even cracking, while dehydrated skin is prone to breakouts (due to the skin producing too much extra sebum in an attempt to counteract the dehydration), irritation and dry patches. 

Dry skin requires oil or cream-based skincare to replenish lost lipids, while dehydrated skin requires water-rich products, an increased water intake and possibly lifestyle changes. 

3. What are the basic skincare products we all need?

The very basics of what we need are a facial cleanser, a serum and a moisturiser (one for the evening and one for the day that contains an SPF).

4. In what order do I use my skincare products?

Always use your cleanser first, then your serum, then your moisturiser and lastly, your facial sunscreen.

5. What does vitamin C do?

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet, especially when it is used topically at higher concentrations. One of the perks of vitamin C is that when you apply it onto the skin, it literally brightens the skin and makes it glow, whether you are a Fitzpatrick 1 or a Fitzpatrick 6 skin type. Vitamin C can also assist in minimising dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne scars.

6. What is niacinamide, and what does it do?

Niacinamide is vitamin B3. Firstly, it is a vitamin; secondly, it is a powerful antioxidant. It's one of the necessary ingredients to boost overall cellular energy.

READ MORE | Niacinamide is the skincare ingredient you don't want to overlook in your routine

Our cells contain energy levels, which are essential in order for skin cells to go through cell division (when cells divide from 2 to 4 to 8 to 16 to replenish dying cells). Cells cannot divide without energy levels, and when this occurs, the skin may appear more dull and more fatigued. When you expose your skin to niacinamide, it will boost the overall energy levels of skin cells, which will lead to faster cellular differentiation.

7. At what age should I start using skincare?

You should start using skincare products as a teenager, but the age that you should start looking at anti-ageing skincare is 25.

READ MORE | When you should you start using anti-aging products, according to a skin care expert

8. Does washing your face in the shower cause dry skin?

No, not at all, as long as you ensure that the temperature of your shower water is not too hot, because if the water is too hot, it can strip skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and sensitive. It can also compromise the skin's moisture barrier, which is essential for protecting the skin against environmental stressors, bacteria, pollutants, and other irritants.

About Dr Judey Pretorius

Dr Judey Pretorius is a highly accomplished biomedical scientist and product development specialist with substantial experience in the disciplines of acute, chronic and post-surgical wound healing, regenerative medicine and cell therapy. She holds a master's degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology, followed by her PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Medicine Development and Design. She has also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Dermal Aesthetics.

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