Should you ditch the moisturiser in your skincare routine?

We asked the experts

25 February 2020 - 00:00 By Sanet Oberholzer
Light moisturisers that are easily absorbed protect against over-use, says Dr Pitsi Kewana, an aesthetic doctor at the Renewal Institute.
Light moisturisers that are easily absorbed protect against over-use, says Dr Pitsi Kewana, an aesthetic doctor at the Renewal Institute.
Image: 123RF/puhhha

You know the three-step basic skincare drill: wash, tone and moisturise. But there's a theory doing the rounds online that slathering on moisturiser may clog your pores and slow down your skin’s natural renewal, leaving your skin dry and looking older.

Is there any truth to this? We asked three experts, and here's what they had to say:

OTISHIA NAIR

Training specialist at Dermalogica

Moisturisers do not slow down the skin’s surface renewal.

Our skin is built to renew itself every 28 to 45 days, depending on age. Factors like stress, climate, skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and acne, incorrect cleansing (including not using the correct exfoliator), UV exposure, age and genes have an impact on cell renewal.

Our skin is built to renew itself every 28 to 45 days, depending on your age
Otishia Nair, training specialist at Dermalogica

Cell renewal starts in the lower layers of the skin, where the new cells are born. They then move up towards the surface. When they reach the top they are “dead” skin cells that will slough off to make place for new cells to move up again. If you do not exfoliate, or even double cleanse, the dead cells can become stuck on the surface and inside the follicles. This can leave your skin dull, give it an uneven texture and tone, and cause your pores to clog up, which can then lead to congestion (blackheads) and breakouts.

It is not moisturiser but incorrect product use and internal and external factors that can hinder the cell turnover and renewal.

DR PITSI KEWANA

Aesthetic doctor at the Renewal Institute

Your skin needs to turn over new cells, but at the same time hold on to moisture to prevent it from drying out. Using a light, easily absorbed moisturiser can help with this and doesn’t impede cell renewal. They are the best [type] to use to protect against over- use. Heavy oil-based moisturisers can clog the pores, which often leads to breakouts.

To ensure your skin gets the moisture it needs, it is best to get input from a skincare professional because there is a balance that needs to be maintained between moisturising too much, which can lead to clogged skin, and moisturising too little, which may leave the skin undernourished.

DR RAKESH NEWAJ

Specialist dermatologist

A person should only moisturise if they feel the skin is dry.

Yes, if you over-moisturise, especially in damp areas of the skin (like the armpit or groin), it can make you become prone to infections like candida.

However, you should not ditch the moisturiser because it may slow the skin’s renewal process. If the skin is dry, one must moisturise to keep the skin subtle and decrease the chance of getting diseases like eczema.