Navigating the department store cosmetics floor - with their myriad of lotions and serums - can be confusing and tricky business. Once you’ve finally landed a product, you now have to hope you've chosen correctly. Sadly, we've all fallen victim to choosing the wrong product for our skin - and as facialist extraordinaire Eva Karpati says, using them incorrectly. We quizzed the Hungarian skin guru (who has looked after everyone from Naomi Watts to Sarah Murdoch) for her top three biggest skin mistakes, and how to avoid them.
If you’re an oils junky, essential oils might already be part of your skincare repertoire. While they might smell great and can have some healing properties for certain ailments, they’re not ideal for all skin types. Eva suggests thinking twice before taking the ‘essential’ part too literally – especially those of us prone to dry, dehydrated skin. “Essential oils can’t penetrate through the cells of the skin,” she warns. “[Instead] the oil sits on top of the skin and results in pigmentation on the skin [as a reaction to] the harshness of the Australian sun and UV rays.”
If you can’t bring yourself to ditch essential oils, Eva encourages you to follow a few simple rules. “If you ever use an oil on your skin, you should use vegetable oils; and never put oil straight on straight on to the skin,” she says. “[When choosing an oil] think ‘anything you can eat, you can use’ and always mix oil with your moisturiser to ensure optimal results and promote oxygenation. The oil then won’t sit on the skin, give you redness or suffocate the skin.”
Since our teenage years, tea tree oil has been a perennial part of the beauty cabinet. Need to banish a blemish? Tea tree oil. Cold sores? Tea tree oil. Flaky skin? Tea tree oil. You get the idea. But, as Eva explains, this may be doing more harm than good to your skin. “Tea tree oil actually burns and irritates the skin, which means you can end up with more pigment,” she says. “It also doesn’t provide your skin with any healing benefits.” So what should you do when you’re suffering from blemish-prone skin?
“When you have a blemish you need to consider just a few things,” explains Eva. “You already have the existing inflammation there so you need to have something that is going to get on top of that. Most of the time a lot of companies use salicylic acid. Even if it’s only one or two percent, salicylic acid can have an antiseptic and healing effect that can help with blemishes.” Eva also suggests having a clay-based face mask handy to help rejuvenate and repair the skin.
Eva is a big believer in going back to basics when it comes to skincare and the choice of products we use – it should be all about minimalism. “I think that it gets confusing when we have too many things. The less you use, the better,” she says. “I believe most of the time we are using too many different products for no reason, it [means products] don’t go into the skin [like they should].” With our bathroom cabinets busting at the brim, Eva may be onto something. So what skin-care products should we splurge on and where can we cut corners?
Eva suggests investing in one good cleanser that is packed with enzymes (preferably an enzyme powder) and a water-based serum (that must contain the anti-inflammatory ingredients fucoidan and alpha lipoic acid). “We tend to get carried away with all the hocus pocus,” she warns. “At the end of the day we should go back to keeping it nice and simple.”
The unique formulation includes all-natural ingredients such as rice powder that help stimulate skin renewal, as well as removing all impurities and congestion.
So, what skincare sins have you been guilty of? What are your best fix tips?
Story by Stephanie Russo