Inflammation can come from multiple sources—skin care routines being a very common one. As we discuss in the episode, current skin care routines tend to be very aggressive: People are using multiple, very potent actives without guidance from a skin care professional.
One of the most common Sturm sees? Retinol overuse. “People with cystic acne, yes there’s an indication to use retinol there,” noting that it’s a powerful tool when used correctly and with professional instructions. But that’s now how the ingredient is being treated today: folks are encouraged to use potent formulas without proper education. “For a lot of people it makes your skin barrier super vulnerable to stressors, such as UV light and pollution.”
And it’s not just retinol or acids—even ingredients like vitamin C can cause barrier disruption when not used appropriately. “Vitamin C is a great ingredient—but if you use a high dosage topically it will destroy the barrier. It’s much more beneficial to use a moderate dosage in a gentle formula,” she says. “Then it can do all these beautiful things, like build new collagen, catch free radicals, and brighten your skin.”