Skincare and associated terminology can be confusing (idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, anyone?). Take brightening – one of the most sought-after skin solutions. Finding a corrective skincare routine can be daunting but Kiehl’s bestselling Clearly Corrective range offers expert dematologist-approved solutions. To clear up beauty 'fake news' surrounding corrective skincare, Beauty Editorial Director Katie Service asked consultant dermatologist Dr Alexis Granite some of the most Googled queries. Can salicylic acid be used to treat anything other than acne? Is hydroquinone really that bad? What is hyper vs hypo pigmentation? Which ingredients can really help? Watch to find out, then find more top tips below.
When to use corrective skincare
"It’s all about having a routine – and it’s not true that all of your corrective ingredients are better used in the evening – Kiehl's Clearly Collective line can be used morning and night. For daytime, I recommend something to prevent and protect and at night it’s about correcting and hydrating." says Dr Granite. "For example vitamin C is one that I often recommend to use during the day in serum form because it’s going to protect you from UV exposure and pollution, then the evening is time to use your retinol product – or something to hydrate like Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate at night."
Brightening is not about whitening
Brightening and whitening are two terms that are often confused, often because the key ingredients overlap. But as Dr Granite explains: "When we talk about brightening it’s all about boosting glow and vibrancy of the skin. Whitening or lightening is concerned with the fading of pigmentation, along the lines of bleaching. It’s not necessarily a positive word in today’s society but it is natural to want to lighten any dark areas or places of unwanted pigmentation."
Picking your skin can exacerbate pigmentation
You’ll hear dermatologists the world over advise against picking, and there’s good science to prove why. "The question whether picking affects acne scarring isn’t actually related to picking, it’s all about the collagen production," explains Dr Granite. "Acne or spots are caused by a mix of clogged pores, bacteria and inflammation. When you get a spot it causes a trauma to the skin and when that trauma heals, collagen is produced to rectify the skin. The collagen can either be the right amount, too much – where you’ll have a hypertrophic (raised) scar – or too little, leading to a trophic (sunken) scar. If you don’t immediately scar, extensively picking at a spot disrupts the collagen production and could leave a mark."
It's All About SPF
"SPF is one of the cornerstones of a comprehensive routine which addresses correction, protection and prevention of skin care concerns," Dr Granite explains. "Sunscreen is key to preventing further skin damage once corrective products are in place." It is also the most effective tool to prevent anti-aging, which is why it is essential to introduce an SPF in your everyday skincare routine. "Sunscreen will allow ingredients such as vitamin C, botanicals and hyaluronic acid to work more effectively." Try adding Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense and Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen into your regime for two great options suitable for all skin types and everyday use.