Intuitive skincare: Offering your skin what it really needs

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When you are a beauty aficionado, you naturally wish to try every new product that enters the market. The glossy packaging, fancy advertising and the likes are enough to entice you. But have you ever stopped for a moment and wondered if the new product will benefit your skin, or will it be more of a way to satiate your beauty craving? 

Do you remember the last time you actually tried to understand what your skin wants? It may read a bit odd, but that is exactly what the ethos of intuitive skincare is. In simple words, practising an intuitive skincare routine means ditching that line of beauty product you swear by, and instead just applying what your skin requires at that given point of time.

Intuitive skincare is a fairly noble concept that has been gaining popularity. To understand more, we reached out to dermatologists who helped us with the details and also shared why one should try practising it. 

Defining intuitive skincare

“One needs to abandon the various skincare products they are using and rather take a slow and thoughtful approach towards skincare,” said Dr Geeta Grewal, Cosmetic Surgeon and Wellness Expert, 9Muses Wellness Clinic, Gurugram explains.

For example, if your skin is feeling dull but not dry, you use a vitamin C serum but not a hyaluronic acid serum. After using vitamin C serum for two weeks, when you feel that your skin has dried out, welcome your HA serum along with ceramides back.

“Intuitive skincare is all about understanding yourself individually because no size fits all. Everybody’s skin is different including the stressors; so you choose your skincare according to your needs,” Dr Kiran Lohia, founder Isya Aesthetics, New Delhi, tells indianexpress.com.

While the trick lies in balancing the products being used, Dr Lohia shared that the entire concept is empowering because you have the control to apply catering specifically to your skin type and it’s needs.

How to begin practising intuitively?

Intuitive skincare means letting go of your favourites. (Photo: Pixabay)

It requires you to take that leap of faith every day. You need to examine your skin and understand that the particular product you have used will hopefully (fingers crossed!) work. 

“There is no one-size-fits-all or one holy grail everyday product. It’s all about switching your products according to your needs and unlearning strict skincare routines. For example, everyone doesn’t need an oil cleanser, and accepting that you don’t need certain products is a good start,” said Dr Afzaa Machiwala, MBBS, MD, Consultant dermatologist, Kaya skin clinic Vile Parle suggests.

This also means letting go of your favourites and having patience. Dr Grewal says, “In this skincare regime, we go for non-toxic formulas by understanding what an individual skin craves, what types of ingredients it loves and allows for changes whenever needed.”

But, for those who do not trust their intuition so much, nothing like asking for help. “If you do not know what actives to include in your skincare, that is what we are here for!” shares Dr Lohia.  

Having said that, does it work for every skin type? Yes, says Dr Grewal but, Dr Lohia adds “if you have serious skin concerns like rosacea, acne or photoallergic dermatitis — then you want to be treated by a dermatologist.” 

Are there any benefits? 

The trick lies in balancing the products being used. (Photo: Pixabay)

When you are intuitively listening to what your skin needs, you make it a point to eliminate a lot of products. This, in turn, helps in reducing the dependency on the beauty shelf — which is great because you never want to be heavily dependent on a product where you end up feeling like your skin might face adverse reactions or break out.   

“This way, we stop hoarding products based on skincare trends and lean towards products which our skin genuinely craves and this, in turn, helps us in tackling beauty waste,” adds Dr Machiwala.

At the end of it all, healthy skin is the goal for everyone — whether practising intuitively or not. But it must be noted that this regime may not give you the quickest results, but it offers long term benefits. Dr Machiwala adds: “ It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It delves into everyday skin issues and is a lifetime goal. Healthy skin is a journey and not a destination”  

“Through an intuitive skincare regime, you’re choosing a lifestyle that enhances your confidence and makes you feel good at the same time. You start appreciating everything about yourself and that instills a sense of awareness about your own self,” says Dr Grewal.

But, is there a chance of overdoing this regime? Dr Lohia says no, because “it is pretty much impossible to overdo it. For example, if your skin is sensitive you will automatically stop using actives. Because intuitive skincare also means stopping things when you feel like you are overdoing it.” 

Dr Grewal, however, believes the possible downside is overdoing vigilance. “You’re minutely noticing the transformation in the skin which is caused by weather and hormonal changes in the body. This can lead to a certain obsession to be constantly monitoring it because our skin changes a lot even when we wake up to the time we go to bed.”

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