Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Beauty Myths No.12 - You have to use everything from the same brand


Ever since I started putting pictures of my daily routine on Instagram I have been asked these two questions: 'Do you use different products every DAY?' and 'Don't you have to use everything from one brand in order for them to really work?'

The answers are 'Yes'. And then 'No'.

Yes, I use different skincare every day. In the same way that I wear different clothes and eat different food. And I always have. Even when wildly restricted by budget, I would have at least two moisturisers and 2/3 cleansers on rotation. Your skin is different every day. So should your products be.

No, you don't have to use everything from the same brand. The only thing to be concerned about are clashing vitamin A products that you get on prescription, but in that case, your doctor would have advised you separately about what to use/not use when issuing the prescription. 

Over the counter products very rarely 'clash' because the %'s of active ingredients are low - they won't build up/interfere with each other.

What IS important is the order you use items and the formulas themselves. Your serum from XYZ won't know that your moisturiser is from ABC and stop working in protest. That's not how it works, no matter what sales hype you are given from the brands at counter. 

My products, as a rule, tend to have peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin a (at night) in them. Varying strengths, varying formulas, similar ingredients. There are thousands of products out there. Embrace them (again, obviously within your budget).

The next time someone tells you that you simply have to use their moisturiser on top of their serum, don't buy either of them. 

Or you could hold up this picture of Danny Devito below and say 'I DON'T THINK SO MATEY.'





78 comments:

  1. But does mixing things up every night mean that one cannot benefit from a cumulative effect of using, say, the same retinoid every night on the trot? I'm just curious about this as some aestheticians and salespeople have warned me that I am shooting myself in the foot by not using the same products consecutively. Always wish I had a comeback other than rolling my eyes and thinking, "If it's good enough for Caroline Hirons..."

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    1. Hi Jackie.

      As I said, the majority of my PM products contain a retinoid of some fashion so the effect will still be accumulative....in the same way that eating a lot of different types of potatoes will accumulate on your thighs and a lot of different self tans will make you go orange... :) *eats crisps, applies tan*

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    2. Thank you so much, Caroline. Now...Have just read on Sunday Riley's IG that Luna goes *under* Good Genes. Have been putting it *over* for the past month. I do wish lines were more proactive about giving order of use guidance within their own repertoires, at least - gutted I had to scour weeks-old IG comments to find this. Especially at these prices...

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    3. I wouldn't worry. I still don't understand that thinking. Nothing really penetrates oil, so i would advise using GG and luna on separate evenings.... Sorry if this confuses you more! :)

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    4. Thanks again for responding, Caroline. And yes, I'm a bit more confused, because I thought I'd read here that I could apply oil *under* my moisturizer as well as over. But I appreciate you soothing my order-induced angst! (And a cheat sheet on oils - or maybe just finer detail on order of products (in more depth than in the routines cheat sheet - someday would be fab.)

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    5. The sentence “nothing really penetrates oil” killed me. Do this means that everything I am applying after oil is useless? I love oils and I need a post about oils, please Caroline!
      Maria-Cristina

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  2. Label: 'utter bollocks' LOL. Oh CH how I love you so.

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  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. Danny Devito's face :) I really wish I didn't read this blog or follow you on Instagram, my bank balance is not your friend Caroline haha!

    Zoe Newlove Beauty Blogger & MUA

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  4. Not related to this post but not sure my comments in Acne cheat sheet will get noticed so I am posting it here. I am currently suffering worst acne breakout (never had a clean skin) from past three months. I cannot exclude dairy completely so I switched to organic as my research showed its less harmful. Your cheat sheet said take organic skimmed but other scientific studies showed skimmed is worse than full fat. I know it makes sense to cut out fat when having acne but supposedly full fat milk is processed by body better than skimmed. Is skimmed better?

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    1. She writes about it in her 2015 clarification post http://www.carolinehirons.com/2015/01/2015-clarification-post.html?m=1

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    2. Skimmed is worse - better tasting in tea - but not great for the face :( SADLY

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    3. Thanks Caroline! Your blog is so helpful :)
      And thanks for the link Anonymous, read few more things on that link.

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  5. Thankyou Lady Hirons, I've often wondered if I should be using different products every day and I'm glad you've answered that. I use whatever products I feel I want to on that particular day, if that makes sense!! Thanks for all your advice x

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  6. This post wins for the Danny photo alone.

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  7. Hi Caroline! How was the Starfish cream? I saw a sad smiley face under it on insta.. skip or buy?

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    Replies
    1. http://www.carolinehirons.com/2015/02/mizon-returning-starfish-cream.html ; )

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    2. Good cream, shame about the ground up starfish.

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  8. I think there are ones you could get close to using nothing but their line up, like Sunday Riley or Tatcha or Tata Harper. I agree with you though, brands do certain things better than other brands and your skin type and budget must be taken into account.

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    1. I could use Tata Harper all day every damn day at the moment!

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    2. Disagree about the Tatcha... too much mineral oil and alcohol denat. running about the place. A few things are lovely though.

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  9. I have always been given the Leary eye when telling people my mix of brands I use-as mentioned above but asked in another way-okay so as u said Vit A in various brands used with have an accumulative effect -but say the Tata Harper supernatural serums or Perricone AFFA -should these not be used for awhile to get full effect of their ingredient mix. Or can I swich it up every week-sometimes I feel like a chicken without a head! I feel I switch too often😁

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    1. Don't get me wrong, if you've paid a lot of money for a product absolutely use that thing all the way up! If I'm testing something I usually use it all up. I adjust the product pictures to show AM or PM - not both. :)

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    2. Thanks for the reply-I am going to really try use my products all up-but my I seem to be very light handed-a serum can last me at least 6 months -and I love to try new things-but I am on a ' use it up' mission - xx

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    3. I know me too. I'm succeeding everywhere except skincare.

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  10. Great post! I have always used a mix of products for years. I own multiple cleansers, toners, moisturizers, etc. I enjoy it and my skin loves it. Agreed, your skin is different some days affected by your time of the month, winter, summer, stress, etc. I am just happy to have found your blog 9 months ago and to see I am not out of the norm for switching up on a daily or weekly basis.

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  11. I may use that Danny Devito image in all aspects of life from now on.

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  12. Dear Caroline. So lovely to have found your website. I'm from South Africa. Many years ago I lived in London with my husband for three years. Ever since I've been missing all the lovely UK skincare brands etc... back here in South Africa we do have quite a few nice productlines, which you obviously wouldn't know about! I'm in need of help with skincare for my teenage daughter (almost 14). The typical combination skin problem, dry-ish cheeks and T-zone problem, quite a bit of blackheads around nose and chin and breakout on forehead. I've been trying to get her to steer away from foaming cleanser s and drying alcohol-containing toners like so many mothers like to buy for their daughters at this stage of the game! She's currently using VIchy Normaderm range....still the skin is not improving. We've also tried La Roche possay effaclar duo but that also didn't help. I know it's only a hormonal thing but I do feel for her! Any tips/recommendations would be much appreciated. Sorry for the long message!

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    1. There are some Environ products that could help. Not all, but some. If its hormonal and bothering her I would see a dermatologist before the scarring starts. x

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  13. Thank you for your amazing posts, I think it is safe to say that I have learned a great deal about my skin since I started reading your blog. What I (my brother :) wanted to ask is: "Is skincare just for girls?" Now, I know it is not, but my brother is scared of using cleansers and moisturisers and all that. He suffered from really bad acne, was on antibiotics etc, is left with scars and is afraid that if he starts using some products on his face, his acne will come back or it will irritate his skin. What basic products would you recommend? Are any of those that you recommend on your blog also suitable for men? Thank you! xx

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    1. Everything is suitable for men. Depends on his age, if he is worried about scarring he needs some vitamin a products. Overnight is usually easier for boys too because they can apply them and use them without it being obvious they are doing so.

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  14. That's good! I feel it's a good marketing system ie the Clinique 3 step system! xx
    alicekatex ♥

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  15. Ah it's even worse with shampoos, where they tell you that you have to use the WHOLE range...I have to questions on combining products though...does an exfoliating toner (let's say Pixi Glow) would be to much to use if I apply a rosehip oil on top (which has Vitamin A) and then again can I combined a prescription cream with Tretinoin with the said oil? Thank you!

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    1. I wouldn't use rosehip oil on top of vit a products mainly because it's sticky and gloopy to be honest. What benefit from the rosehip oil are you looking for? And Glow Tonic is fine with anything.

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    2. First of all thank you for the response! Well I actually hope that it will help me get rid of the scars that remain on my chin from all this hormonal bumps I keep getting every single month (it's the only type of "acne" I ever got). I used glow tonic for a month and I have to admit the rest of the face looks pretty good and even my psoriasis patches on the forehead diminished (I use prescription creams as well...a cortisone one twice a week and a pimecrolimus one the rest of the evenings), but it didn't help (the Glow Tonic) with my chin situation. What would be a good face oil for a woman in her early 30s with the aforementioned traits? (my skin would be categorized as normal/combination) Thanks again!

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  16. I could really use your help to be honest. I got a chemical peel done today at the dermatologist's and I don't know what to use now? What kind of moisturizer, do I need a serum? I am 17 and went to him because of acne although it's nearly all gone now. Please, queen of skincare, I need you!

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    1. You should have been given all of this as aftercare advice. Did the derm not tell you what to do afterwards or offer aftercare?

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    2. Well, no not really. I got a Fluid from la Roche Posay (Toleriane) but my Skin immediately sucked it all up and it left my face feeling exactly like it did before.

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    3. I hope you are better by now. It's really important for the dermatologist to be there for you when you need him. I've recently blogged about it: http://www.skincareoriented.com/your-beauty-ally-dermatologist/ . Toleriane Fluid is great, but post-peel it's better to use Cicaplast from La Roche Posay. A-Derma's Epitheliale A.H. is another superb option for healing. And please make sure you apply your sunscreen.

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    4. Thank you for your help. It's all good now. I used Thermal Spring Water to spray on my face, etc. But I'll definitely look into the Cicaplast. The other option you mentioned unfortunately isn't too easy to get hold of where I live.

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  17. Thank you for this post! I've been wondering about this, mainly because I had heard something similar, that you should use the whole line because they were formulated to work together. I love your sense of humor!

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  18. Question: are the products in your photos lined up in the order in which you use them? Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

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  19. Thanks for the explanation Caroline & good to know that my alternate slathering of different products from different brands may have some beneficial effects. I probably take this idea as far as it can go by using Clarisonic with rmk cleansing wash some nights, a cleansing milk other nights and a balm with 30+ minutes of facial massage other nights depending on what mood I'm in.
    I did have nearly 12 years of being a Laszlo devotee where they advise nothing but Laszlo is allowed so now that I'm no longer shackled to that I enjoy trying new and interesting products. I like the look of the Kate Somerville products on your blog but need to try samples - maybe when they finally have the full range in the UK. Am also very keen to try the Body Deli range - have you tried it? x

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    1. Haven't tried Body Deli -Somerville products are brilliant by and large.

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  20. could you consider advice (to everyone) on how to cope with the skin reacting in highly stressful situations like shock or grief.
    My grandmother (who lives with us) had a stroke on Sunday and now we have to basically wait for her to die, and my skin has gone to the dogs literally since the moment we found her, I'm prone to eczema in stress but this is like everything has shut down and I look as bad as I feel. (Grey, dry despite slathering on hydraluron and moisturisers, patchy esp wrists, and round my eyes and mouth) it's not eczema to warrant a trip to the GP just my skin showing how I feel despite me keeping calm for everyone else.
    I know it will probably get lost in the comments and it very much sounds stupid and vain and petty but if there's any advice on how to at least give my skin some comfort and make me feel human again, I'd highly appreciate it.

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    1. Hi Danielle,

      I'm so sorry. It's very typical for grief to manifest itself through the skin. The best you can do is strip it back to basics - cleansing balms, light acids and good facial oils. Sending lots of good thoughts to your family.

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  21. Y/N question: should we be concerned about hydrophobic properties of oil (ie. Ole Henrikson Pure Truth) when layering underneath/over a water-based moisturizer?

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    1. No. Essentially the water will stay trapped in the moisturiser and is supposed to stop your own moisture from evaporating off the skin. But you do feel more of a difference if you use a water-based serum as opposed to an oil based one. Change it up each day depending on what your skin needs. :)

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  22. Love your no-nonsense approach :)
    I have normal skin and it tends to be stable day to day, so I tend to stick to the same products. Also I am concerned that some products would upset my skin, and so am inhibited from trying too many new products. Do you have advice for what ingredients to avoid so that I can feel safer trying products that are more safe for skin? (Apart from mineral oil, I don't know what to look out for)

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    1. Not really Willow, Every face is so different and anyone can be allergic to anything....if you are nervous just introduce one item at a time. Then you'll know if something is the irritant or not.

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    2. Thanks. It's quite a world to navigate, this skincare stuff, as it seems every brand/product line claims to offer the "newest, best, magical" ingredients and delivery! Trial and error, I suppose :)

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  23. Great post! I have learned a lot here. I have been also thinking about these things too. That Danny Devito face is so funny..love it!

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  24. I completely agree this is true for retail / over the counter brands that are designed to be used to maintain healthy skin however when working with professional / cosmeceutical strength products that are designed to correct issues like acne or melasma for example it is best to stick with the single range. They're designed to be used as a system that forms part of a treatment process and usually to prep / condition the skin for treatment. That said I never insist clients buy the entire range and I prioritise the items for them if budget doesn't permit but I advise that may not get same results from treatment if mixing cosmeceutical with over the counter products. As you pointed out it's to do with the % of actives x

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    1. Morning Mr Millward!
      See I could go off on another tangent re 'professional' or 'cosmeceutical' lines. The fact is, if they were that effective and strong they would be classed as a drug and need a prescription.
      Technically, Dermalogica, Elemis, Guinot and Sothys are 'professional' ranges. I think you know what I'm saying. ;)
      Obagi etc are what I would call a pro line. What are the others? I'm asking you genuinely, not picking a fight - promise! :)

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    2. Morning!
      Ok good point about the 'professional' ranges, although the ranges you've stated I personally class as 'spa' ranges not 'professional' in the sense I mean professional ;-)
      Obagi is obviously medical / prescription but it's not the only range I would class as cosmeceutical. I'm talking ranges like Image, Environ, NeoStrata and CosMedix & Results RX (obviously, it's not me being bias, I wouldn't use them in my treatments if I didn't 100% genuinely believe in their results). Even Obagi has a non-prescription pro range now.
      Results wise I see better of results from clients who stick to a program rather than dipping in and out and using a product here and a product there, so that's where I was coming from really :)

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    3. Ah I know you know your stuff mate. :)
      I would class those as salon brands too - but that's not always how they describe themselves! ;)
      I didn't get on with image and I think Environ is over-rated. Can we still be friends? LOL

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    4. Haha yes of course we're still friend!

      p.s. I think Environ is over-rated too, I only included them to be diplomatic. Note I didn't even mention SkinCeuticals though LOL

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    5. Forgive me for 'eavesdropping,' but I do wonder about this. I asked an aesthetician recently what he thought of Obagi and in response, he sniffed, "Fine if you want 20 year old science." (I have only had brilliant results with Obagi, and am also a huge fan of ZO Skin Health, Dr. Obagi's own line after splitting from the company he founded. But it is quite, quite expensive. I had a consult from Dr. Obagi himself and he told me not to bother with a moisturizer, that it was all about serum and retinoids. "No use slapping pink paint on a crumbling wall," he said - his analogy for what women do with costly creams.)

      Basically, the more I research this stuff, the more uncertain I am that I'm doing ANYTHING right. (That said, SkinMedica's TNS Essential Serum is the only product I've ever used that noticeably and dramatically improved my skin. It's expensive, so I only buy it in summer to stave off the horrible 'heat rash' I get on my forehead without fail - it is the only thing that has ever prevented/eliminated it.)

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  25. Super informative, as usual! Thanks so much, Caroline!

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  26. I want to give you a high five. This is my biggest bugbear with therapists/ counters. It just doesn't make any sense what so ever. It's like saying you should use all makeup from one brand or all clothes from one line. Products don't have superpowers to know to work better or less well - Pick and mix with what works best. I ♡ you Caroline! Xx

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    1. Can you imagine wearing the same outfit for 6 months on the trot? (Unless of course you had no money...)

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  27. Oh I'm so glad I found your blog Caroline, I've been mixing and matching for the last 30 years constantly looking for 'the one'. I now know there is no 'the one' more a combination of different products ie: double cleanse double tone etc. I've completely changed my routine and my skin and me salute you :-D

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  28. I have to say that I've always tended to use things from the same brand/range until I started reading your wonderful blog. For a while now I've been mixing up my cleansers and have pretty much overtaken the bathroom shelves with my array and am now starting to build up my collection of different moisturisers and serums, oils etc. I am really enjoying just picking the things that take my fancy and mixing it up on a day to day basis. I love seeing your instagram pics of the days skincare too.
    I also have finally got my best friend into using good skincare everyday. She probably got fed up with me pointing her in your direction everytime we spoke!!! And she is loving how her skin is feeling so much better since!! Me and my skin love you!!

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  29. Loooove your blog/Instsgram/Pinterest! You have transformed my skin in a matter of months! I need a new night moisturiser (dry skin, acne scarring, early 30s) and was debating between Mizon night repair and Aurelia night (I know you have reviewed products from each brand)? Is Una Brennan a good stop-gap moisturiser? Thank you! Nuala xx

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  30. Hi Caroline!

    I'm a relatively recent convert to your blog and thought you might like to know my psoriasis on my face has fully cleared up since I've been following your advice.

    ...so thanks! :)

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  31. Hi Caroline and readers,

    I have a lot of blemishes and acne scars on my face. Can anyone recommend a product that might help me even out my skin tone. Thank you so much!

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    Replies
    1. One henriksen truth serum and overnight treatment gel.
      Murad age spot gel serum but has to be purchased on line from the USA as it contains hydroquinone which I know is a controversial ingredient but it's a product that I use when I mean business.
      Moisturiser wise one henriksen sheer transformation or philosophy renewed hope. X

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  32. Hahahaha I don't think so matey lol . I love this. Thank you for the information.

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