The Most-Googled Skincare Questions Answered By The Experts
The Most-Googled Skincare Questions Answered By The Experts

The Most-Googled Skincare Questions Answered By The Experts

Ever wondered what vitamin C does? Or whether you really need to keep your serums and moisturisers in the fridge? We asked three experts to answer the most-Googled skincare questions…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

What Does Vitamin C Do?

“Vitamin C is great for brightening your skin and giving it more even tone. It also stimulates your production of collagen and elastin, so your complexion looks firmer and feels bouncier. It delivers antioxidant benefits too, which means a good dosage reduces UV damage within your skin cell tissue, preventing any further penetration from the sun. Vitamin C is great for reducing the appearance of dark spots and it even stimulates new cells for a fresher-looking complexion. In short, it’s a great ingredient to add to your routine.” – Michaella Bolder, facialist, skin expert & SheerLuxe beauty contributor

Are There Ingredients You Should Avoid During Pregnancy?

“Retinol is the main ingredient to avoid – it’s a derivative of vitamin A. The reason for this is it can be absorbed into the bloodstream, and you want to avoid having high levels in your system while pregnant in case it causes any harm to your baby. Other than this, most ingredients are fine to use while pregnant, providing they aren’t causing you any sensitivity – if they are, stop using them immediately. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be cautious about certain actives like vitamin C and glycolic acid, because your skin is naturally more sensitised throughout pregnancy.” Teresa Tarmey, skin expert & A-list facialist

How Do You Know What Causes Acne?

“In some respects, the reason you’re breaking out can be easy to pinpoint, but it often involves a process of elimination. For instance, acne and breakouts can be hormonally driven, so pay attention to whether it tracks in line with your menstrual cycle. Other causes include make-up that’s not comedogenic – this can clog your pores and trigger breakouts – and hair products that interfere with your skin. It’s so important to follow a thorough routine at the end of the day to really cleanse and purge your pores of dirt. A lack of routine is another major cause of breakouts. Equally, make sure you know the difference between breakouts and acne. Breakouts are often sporadic and in clusters, whereas acne is painful, persistent and hard to get rid of.” Dija Ayodele, skincare expert & author of Black Skin

If You’re On A Budget, What Should You Spend Your Money On?

“No one needs a 15-step skincare routine. It’s best to look for products and formulas that your skin wants and needs. For example, everyone should use a good cleanser, an exfoliator for twice a week, a serum, a moisturiser and finally an SPF. These are the foundations of any good routine – you don’t need more than this. Just ensure the formulas work for you – for instance, if you suffer with dryness, invest in big-hitting hydrators.” – Michaella

Does Botox Really Slow Down The Ageing Process?

“This is a tricky one. The simple answer is yes – but only when you get to a point when the lines are showing in your face even when it isn’t moving. Botox is great and serves its purpose, but I advise against starting too young. It’s worth waiting – in my opinion – until you really feel you need it.” – Teresa

Is It Possible To Treat Acne Without Professional Help?

“As I’ve mentioned, there is a big difference between acne and breakouts. If you’re suffering with breakouts, these can be treated at home with a comprehensive routine. Just ensure you have access to spot treatments that contain blemish-busting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. However, if your breakouts aren’t shifting, then this is what I’d call acne, which is a skin disease that needs to be assessed by a professional. You can determine the difference between acne and breakouts if your spots are increasing in frequency, are clustering into lumps or feel painful – then you need to see a professional to treat the issue.” – Dija

Would You Recommend Chemical Exfoliators Over Physical Ones?

“Exfoliating is an essential part of any skincare routine, but everyone should be careful not to overdo it. Physical exfoliants are an effective way of lifting away dead skin cells and impurities on the skin’s surface, but they’re not always the gentlest form of exfoliation; excessive use can leave the skin feeling sore and irritated. Chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid (AHA) and salicylic acid (BHA) don’t involve excess rubbing. Using them at a lower percentage can be a gentler solution – just stick to once or twice a week. They work by dissolving the bond that glues dead cells to our skin’s surface, and the result is better brightness and glow.” – Michaella


Skin Fridges Are Everywhere – Do You Really Need One?

“Unless you’re living in a sauna, I don’t think it’s necessary to put all of your skincare in a fridge. That said, certain actives – like niacinamide and vitamin C – can benefit from being kept colder. This is because the cooler temperatures keep these ingredients more stable and therefore more effective.” – Teresa

Should Your Skincare Routine Follow A Particular Order?

“Always begin with a cleanser then layer up based on consistency – start thin, finish thick. If you use one, follow up with a toner post-cleanse, then an exfoliator or a face mask. Next up is a serum – if you’re using several, start with the one that has the wateriest consistency, then layer up to the thickest formula, leaving a few minutes in between each application. If you use an oil, apply this next, then seal everything in with moisturiser. You’ve heard it before, but every daytime routine should finish with a layer of SPF.” – Michaella

Why Do Spots Leave Scars Even If You Don’t Squeeze Them?

“Spots are a type of inflammation and any type of inflammation will leave a form of a scar on your skin. In darker skin, more melanin is produced as a response to inflammation, so you’ll notice more hyperpigmentation, while fairer skin types will find it shows up as redness and pitted marks. We call this post-inflammatory erythema – it’s common and a natural result of injury to the skin, which is what spots are. Try not to panic – scars can fade over time and be treated.” – Dija

Do Eye Creams Actually Work?

“These creams are specifically formulated for the thinner, more delicate skin around your eye area, so there are many benefits to using them. They also carry fewer actives than other products in your routine, so they’re less likely to irritate or suffocate the skin. That said, there is no problem with using your serum or cream right up to the eye socket. Just be careful not to overload the area and don’t get too close to your actual eye. This is because products can migrate throughout the day, and you want to avoid causing any irritation.” – Michaella

Should You Persevere With Retinol Even If It’s Causing Irritation?

“You can, but you must start with a lower percentage. I developed a 0.3% retinol that is gentle enough for every day and it keeps skin hydrated, as opposed to turning it dry and flaky. I find clients often go too fast and too hard with big-hitting percentages that are bound to cause irritation. Take it easy and build up gradually, – then you won’t need to ‘persevere’.” – Teresa

Does Pigmentation Ever Truly Fade?

“Absolutely – especially if it’s what we call ‘superficial’ pigmentation, which is often the result of breakouts. In this instance you want to have a good skincare routine that includes ingredients like liquorice extract, retinoids and kojic acid – these are all proven to regulate how your skin operates and how its cells develop. They also work to get rid of any dead cells holding onto pigmentation – though this takes time, so make sure you stick to a good routine. If you’re keen to speed up the process, lasers, peels and micro-needling are best. They get rid of pigmentation and simultaneously strengthen your skin, meaning it’s in better condition to begin with, so breakouts will affect you less and less. It’s an obvious piece of advice, but don’t pick your spots. When you pick, you deepen the injury and cause further inflammation to your skin. This is then called a ‘dermal injury’ and it means it’s sat deeper down so it’s trickier to treat.” – Dija

Can You Explain What Ahas Are? 

“AHAs are alpha hydroxy acids and they’re good at brightening, tightening and smoothing your skin. They all vary, but my favourite is lactic acid. It’s the safest for all skin types and it gives great glow without causing any sensitivity. An issue I see is clients mixing and overusing AHAs – stick to one or two maximum and find the right one for your individual needs. Lactic is a great place to start.” – Teresa

For more tips & advice, follow @MichaellaBolder@TeresaTarmey & @Dija_Ayodele.

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily