Well aging

Skin Care – Do we really need it?

Walk into the average household, and you can find dozens or more different creams, lotions, toothpastes, body washes and other cosmetics. Considering the huge range of options, the question is, "Do we really need all those skin care products?"

The answer isn’t that simple. From an evolutionary perspective, our ancestors managed without any shower gels or moisturizing lotions for almost two million years. Since they took long periods of time to migrate, they were able to adapt to the environment fairly well. It is quite interesting to note that to date, Caucasians and Asians still carry around 2% of Neanderthal DNA, which influences, for example, our skin and hair color. Like every other living being, humans also adapt to their environment, on the short-term (e.g. vacation) and on the long-term (e.g. our genes).

We no longer live in complete harmony with nature, but instead in complex civilizations, shaped by cultural traditions, values and rules. Often, we live in densely populated regions, which make hygiene regimens such as washing hands and body hygiene, etc. necessary to prevent the spread of germs. Since we travel around the world, we are exposed to new stimuli and environmental influences.

5 good reasons for sensible skin care

  • Supports hygiene
  • Protects against harmful environmental influences
  • Slows down natural aging
  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Increases social acceptance

And on average, we don't just live a mere 30 years anymore, but our life expectancy is almost three times as long. Aging and the changes it brings to the body have become a big issue for us. If we expect to live to an old age, then we want to have good health and to age with as much grace as possible. This is only possible with mindfulness, regular care and prevention, for our whole body including the skin.

Modern life creates new problems

And another thing, modern life is characterized by industrial production and consumption, and brings new kinds of stress and risks with it. Hazardous substances from environmental pollution can be found in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil from where our food grows. And we still do not know its full effects. The climate is also changing and e.g., depending on where we live, we may be more exposed to solar radiation.

People react differently to these conditions. This also applies to the skin, which is our visible organ. If you have very sensitive skin, you may be more prone to irritation. If you have problems with your immune system, to allergies. Those who live in sunny areas may be more likely to get sunburned. To avoid the worst, there is no way around taking good care of yourself. And during certain phases of life, the skin needs special attention: for example, in the first years of life and as you get older.

Aspects around health only reveal half the truth. Culture also has a major impact on how people behave. Beauty is very prestigious and looking good has never been more important than it is today. We are constantly flooded with images that shape our idea of beauty and perfection. Beauty blogs and YouTubers reach an ever-increasing audience focused on the weirdest niche topics. Good looks have long ceased to be a topic only for women and teenagers. Men are also increasingly interested in the many options available as to how to be seen as physically attractive.

To wrap it up, having a self-image that fits individual values and lifestyle means that beauty care has become very important for most people.

The view of science

And for those of you who need to know what the dermatologists have to say, washing your skin regularly and nourishing healthy skin also makes a lot of sense. However, you should know what skin type you have so that you choose the right products. Your dermatologist can help figure this out. Tips from dermatologists can also be found on the internet (e.g. Derma Bonn oder AAD.org).

Just a few examples: If your skin is more on the dry side, then you may need a moisturizer. People with oily skin shouldn’t use very oily lotions, yet they still need to moisturize their skin. Too little moisture can damage the skin barrier or make the skin look older than it really is. Small superficial wrinkles and rough skin are often indications of dry skin, not necessarily aging.

How often should you moisturize your body? As a good guideline, dermatologists say two to three times a week, unless you shower every day. Then daily moisturizing is recommended, because shower gel and hot water can make your skin dry out. It’s not only about large amounts of lotions or moisturizers. It’s more important to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Since UV radiation is one of the main causes of premature aging of the skin, sun protection is often essential, and may even need to be incorporated into your normal everyday skin care routine. If you live in a highly polluted area, it’s also important to clean and take care of your skin, since environmental influences can also lead to skin damage and premature skin aging.

Sensible skin care is not expensive

What is the answer to the question we asked at the beginning of this article, whether we really need all that skin care? Definitely, yes and each one of us has their own skin care needs. Paying attention to our environment and our lifestyle is essential since this influences the way we look, and the skin care we choose. The good news is that good skin care does not need to be expensive if you take a few facts to heart and follow a few simple rules, as you can read in our article.

Face mask

BASF Personal Care has selected the hottest trends and created the new concept of face masks for every purpose!


Despite all the social expectations and ideas flooding us daily: Face care should also be satisfying. It should give us a clear conscience, a good feeling and self-confidence. "True beauty comes from within" – even though this saying may be overused, there is truth to it. This quote embraces those who are at peace with themselves, feel comfortable and confident, radiate their contentment to those around them and have a positive impact on their environment. 

But remember: Taking care of yourself is not for others, it’s about doing something good for yourself.