“Less is more” is an approach often lost in today’s social media frenzy of ‘shelfies’ and ten step skincare routines, but it’s the staple of not only an effective skincare routine, but great skin as an outcome according to cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting .
We’ve long turned to Dr Sam for advice on everything from the powerful skincare ingredients that actually work to the best non-comedogenic makeup for adult acne (and why long wear makeup may not always be the best idea). She herself deals with the skincare issues that have become ever more pressing in modern times: sensitivity, redness and of course the dreaded adult acne, which has seen a 200 per cent rise in the past few years according to dermatologists and disproportionately affects women. While it can be tempting to throw the bathroom sink at our skincare gripes, Dr Sam has one very simple tenet for creating and maintaining healthy skin: “create a capsule skincare wardrobe, and keep it basic.”
As such, Dr Sam is now curating said wardrobe with the launch of Dr Sam Bunting skincare , entering the market not with a fancy serum or decadent night cream, but the most elemental of skincare products: a cleanser. Why make the brand debut with a face wash?
“On the whole we’ve all become quite promiscuous with our skincare choices, yet we’re still not getting to the crux of what makes great skin. Get cleansing wrong from the off, and it’s hard to get skincare right.
“Skincare actives are very important, but we need to support those ingredients to allow them to work properly. There's no point packing a cleanser with the likes of retinol- you’re just washing it down the sink. The likes of oils and balms complicate things too - your skin has to work much harder to rebalance itself. Your cleanser isn’t there to solve skincare problems, but it can really aggravate them if you don’t get it right.”
So what should we be looking for in a cleanser, and why did Dr Sam decide to not only make her own, but use it as the initial flagship in her range?
“Practically, good cleansing is vital, but there’s so much confusion in the market. Really, we all need the same kind of thing- a product that’s gentle but effective, won’t irritate skin and that removes SPF and makeup is just one cleanse. There’s no need for twenty cleansers in a range, all aimed at different skin types. We need something safe, idiot-proof and well-formulated, without foaming agents or fragrance , but our magpie tendencies tend to see us hoarding a variety of products that can do more damage than good.
“Another issue for myself and fellow dermatologists is that we find a cleanser we love and are happy to recommend to patients, and then it’s either discontinued, or has eight words to its name and is virtually impossible the find in the sea of products out there.”
Dr Sam has channelled this frustration, plus inspiration from her Youtube and Facebook group following and in-clinic patients, to create a skincare range that’s gloriously, almost rebelliously low key. With so many blemish busting cleansers aimed at teens and not delivering in terms of either functionality or aesthetics for older consumers (or arguably the young people they’re targeting), Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser , £16 for 200ml, is a breath of fresh air- a chic white bottle containing a refreshing jelly textured cleanser that swipes makeup, grime and sunscreen away in a single wash. The formula promises zero residue left behind, smooth soft skin post-use and not a hint of fragrance or expensive active gone to waste.
A day and evening serum, moisturiser, SPF and blemish treatment will follow later this year, and Dr Sam wants to make the range as direct to consumer as possible so that she can control the customer experience end-to-end- you won’t see the brand popping up in shops just yet. She promises practicality, bang for yo Saveur buck and clarity, on every level. Her eventual aim is help even the most blemish-prone of women (40 per cent of us apparently) feel positive and happy going about our business without makeup, using cosmetics for enhancement, and not a mask. More lie-ins and fresher faces await.
Find out more about Dr Sam Bunting’s skincare products
Follow Dr Sam on Twitter @DrSamBunting and Anna @AnnaMaryHunter