Fact Or Fiction: Debunking Eye And Skincare Myths With Dr. Florante Ricarte Of Philosophy

From the best consistencies for your eye cream to the correct order for your skincare routine, Dr. Ricarte clears the air
Photo: Courtesy of Philosophy

Social media: the single most polarising invention of the modern digital age. Even in the beauty sphere, the role that social media plays is contentious at the very least. On one hand, Instagram and Tiktok have given so many more everyday beauty buffs a platform and a community. We’re also seeing a much more diverse range of faces in the creator space. But on the other hand, the ease and accessibility provided by social media has made it that much easier for false information to gain momentum.

At times, it may even feel like everything you’re presently doing in your skincare routine is fundamentally wrong. After all, the endless barrage of rules makes the process too confusing. How do you know who to listen to?

To cut through all the chatter on social media, we spoke to Dr. Florante Ricarte, the Scientific Communications Director from skincare label Philosophy. Here, we debunk some of the skincare industry’s biggest myths, so you can weed out fact from fiction. He also chats about some of Philosophy’s products and how you can get the optimal results for your skin with proper use. As with skincare, it’s about the quality of your products, not the quantity. 

FICTION: All Dark Eye Circles Are Created Equal

“There are so many different causes behind dark circles. There’s not a singular cause. And each person has their own kind of unique cocktail of skincare concerns that can lead to dark circles.

“The eye area is known to be one of the most difficult areas of the face to treat, not even just topically, but dermatologically in the clinic. And there’s so many different approaches that you can take, so many procedures that you can have, based on your individual concern. So creating a universal approach is quite difficult. But this is what we’ve attempted to do with the Dose Of Wisdom Dark Circle Brightening Eye Cream,” says Dr. Ricarte.

“We started with the consumers, asking them unequivocally, “What are your eye concerns?” Then we went to our dermatology team and biology team, trying to find out what are the causes behind dark circles. It could be hyperpigmentation (genetic or naturally occurring), dryness or even a loss of volume, that typically we experience more as we age.

“After we identified the top four causes of dark circles, we went to our dermatologists in the clinic again and posed the question, “How do you treat these issues?” Even in the clinic, as it turns out, each of these causes are treated with different modalities. When it came down to creating a universal solution across all these different eye issues, we went into, “How do we choose ingredients then, that mimics each of these solutions in the clinic to create a universal approach?””

FACT: There Is A ‘Best’ Consistency For Eye Creams And Serums

Photo: Courtesy of Philosophy

“If I were to speak very generally about formulas [for eye creams], it’s all about the optimal spreadability. You want it to be light enough so that we’re not pulling the skin of the eye area, but instead we’re very gently dabbing the eye area. We also don’t want it to be so thin that it migrates into the eye. It’s this perfect balance, between being spreadable enough to where we’re not tugging, where we can deliver the product just by tapping, but it shouldn’t be so spreadable that it starts to migrate into our eyes.”

This point about migration of products into the eye is something that Dr. Ricarte heavily emphasises. “Because if it were like a serum texture, like a lot more lightweight, it will probably go down into your eyes and then [your eyes get] irritated. Then you rub your eyes and then you get even more dark circles because you’re rubbing your eyes. A vicious cycle.”

FICTION: There Is A Magic Number From Which To Start Treating The Eyes

“This is a common misconception, that there’s this magic number or some sort of calculation that you can derive, that says, “I should begin treating my eyes now”. It can get quite confusing because there’s so many different active ingredients out; there are so many different formulas to choose from and it can get overwhelming. But no, there’s no specific number to start taking care of your eyes.” Take that as a sign from Dr. Ricarte to start ASAP!

FICTION: Facial Moisturisers Work Just As Well As Eye Creams

“Actually, eye formulas are specifically designed for the eye area. It’s a very sensitive part because you don’t want a formula moving into the eye or migrating because it’s gonna cause irritation.

“We actually doubled the concentration of vitamin C in the eye serum from Philosophy [precisely] because we know that area needs a little bit more love.” In case you didn’t know, vitamin C is one of the most powerful ingredients when it comes to brightening.

FICTION: Eye Cream Is Only Applied To The Undereye Area 

“When we’re applying eye cream, we have to look at the specific formulas [of each eye cream] to understand where we can use the product. It’s about tapping the product into and around the orbital bone. This one from Philosophy, the Dose Of Wisdom Dark Circle Brightening Eye Cream, you can apply it to the sides and the eyelid area.

“If we were to just treat the dark circles, we’re neglecting the crow’s feet, we’re neglecting the thinness of the lid. But the bottom line is that it depends on the specific formula.”

FACT: The ‘Correct’ Order In Which To Apply Your Skincare Products Is From Thinnest To Thickest

Photo: Courtesy of Philosophy

“There is some truth to that. Moisturiser, which is usually the thickest, tends to create a barrier; it kind of acts as the seal of our regimen. Products like serums, which are a little higher in active ingredient percentages, should come before products that are more emollient. Moisturisers are formulated to act as a seal and finish off the skincare process.”

FICTION: Active Ingredients Shouldn’t Be Mixed

“It depends on which active ingredients we’re talking about. It’s all about sensitivity and irritation to the skin and how the actives really affect the skin. Ask this question, “What is this meant to do to my skin? And should I be combining those two at the same time? Or should I alternate it?”

“For example, if you’re doing things that are promoting turnover or exfoliating the skin such as with retinol, retinoids, AHAs and BHAs, doing those all at the same time might be a little bit too harsh. So why don’t we alternate those [in our routine]? Versus using something like retinoids that increase turnover but with hyaluronic acid that brings hydration—those are perfect together, actually.

“Think about the ultimate result, then tailor it from there.”


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