This summer, Life&Style editor Tara Kergon encourages body positivity and a celebration of diversity instead of attempts to fit ideals of perfectionWritten by Tara Kergon on 16th June 2018
Book Review: ‘The Skincare Bible’
Life and Style's Charlotte Gill reviews 'The Skincare Bible' by Dr Anjali Mahto
When I stand in the skincare aisle of a shop, surrounded by moisturisers and exfoliators and masks and scrubs galore, I do not know where to look first or even what some of the products do (I’m talking to you, toner). To add to this, would-be helpful reviews and skincare routines in magazines and online often involve multiple stages. There seems to constantly be a new product or method to try and I cannot help questioning whether there is a money motive behind the feature. The skin is the body’s largest organ and goes through a lot so I want to look after mine but it is very hard to know if I am paying for the brand name, being sucked in by the packaging and marketing, or if the product is genuinely effective and, if so, if it will actually suit my skin type.
This new book, written by Dr Anjali, a highly-trained UK dermatologist, helps us to wade through some of the (mis)information and the products and treatments out there in an accessible way. She does a bit of myth busting (you cannot shrink pore size, despite what products promise, you can only minimise the appearance) and gives evidence-based reasons for why something should be done in a certain way (it can be useful to apply products to the face before bed because the skin is more permeable at night) or why we may struggle with certain problems (oil production peaks early afternoon - finally an explanation for my shiny afternoon face!).
“This new book, written by Dr Anjali, a highly-trained UK dermatologist, helps us to wade through some of the (mis)information and the products and treatments out there in an accessible way
Dr Anjali covers suitable skincare regimes for each skin type; hormones and their effect on our skin at various stages of life; specific skin concerns (such as acne, rosacea and pigmentation); anti-ageing; skin cancer and moles; and lifestyle factors (such as sleep and diet). Of particular relevance given the sunny weather of late, she really emphasises the importance of sun cream: choose a ‘broad-spectrum’ cream which offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays and wear it every day (yes, every day!) in the spring and summer months. She addresses, in detail, the ingredients often found in products so that we can feel more informed as consumers. Usefully, she discusses the oft-used jargon and labels, and whether we should believe them all (‘organic’ and ‘natural’ does not necessarily mean safer or more effective, for example).
“This book filled a welcome gap in not only the book market but in the majority of people’s knowledge surrounding skincare
This book filled a welcome gap in not only the book market but in the majority of people’s knowledge surrounding skincare! Reading it may save you visiting a doctor or dermatologist for information as the guide is very comprehensive, or alternatively it may encourage you to see one or seek out a treatment if you feel it could help. For the e-book readers out there like me, I would recommend buying the physical book this time. In places, it was really detailed in terms of science, especially the ‘Crash Course in Skin’ section, and was not what you would call ‘bedtime’ reading. It is not meant to be read like a story and is indeed a ‘guide’, of which you can dip in and out and read the parts relevant to you. And, though they say never to judge a book by its cover, the cover is very pretty! It would make a great gift for someone interested in skincare and beauty products and it would be a nice idea to get together with friends to buy it so that you can all have a browse and pick up some useful tips!