The Skincare Bible | Book Review

The Skincare Bible is a book by London-based consultant dermatologist and former acne sufferer, Dr Anjali Mahto. Originally released in April this year, the book is 295 pages long, divided into nine main chapters.

I picked up this book last week at the bookstore, where it was (sadly) labelled as “new”. That’s how behind we are here in Indonesia. To be perfectly honest, the main push that made me eventually purchased the book was a line on the back cover.

“…common complaints such as acne and dryness,”

Then after finishing the book, I realized it’s not referring to a scientific breakdown or expert advice for dry-skinned acne sufferers (like yours truly), but pointing out there are chapters addressing both concerns, separately.

I am not complaining, though!

The book starts with Dr Mahto’s personal views and concerns about skin and skincare these days; the trend-centered publications, biased and misleading “expert” opinions in medias, and of course, people that are struggling with their skin.


The first chapter is addressing the skin, all the different layers and functions, which I’m sure has embarrassed all the readers on how we tend to focus on the skin visual, ignoring all the great works our skin is doing: protecting our organs, shielding us from unwanted microbes and infections, etc.

The next two chapters are focused on skincare regimens, followed by independent chapters for some of the most popular skin-related topics (diet, lifestyle, hormones) and concerns (acne, pores, pigmentation).

The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto is ended with a note, that it is important to receive quality advice about skin from “real” skin experts, and everybody should be educated in skincare ingredients.

My Thoughts

It’s like a must for me to applaud a skincare book by a doctor, that is recommending products such as Pixi Glow Tonic and The Ordinary Retinol, alongside her scientific breakdowns. As a former beauty editor and current beauty content creator, I know people love the sophisticated, up-to-date experts.

The most interesting part(s) of the book, for me, are simply the facts that I didn’t know before, especially the scientific ones. Isn’t that why we all read books at the first place, to learn something new? For example, what really happens to our skin when we sleep at night (we all just know it’s “renewing itself”), the ultimate research on genetics and skin, and how dietary advice for acne was actually fundamental in dermatology before the 1960s.

Since I’m already a loyal audience to some dermatologist YouTubers (like Dr Sam Bunting and Dr Davin Lim), and I regularly do derm visit, I already guessed some sub-topics that I knew I would see in the book: retinoic acid for everything, and the typical dermatologist-preferred short skincare routine (cleanser-antioxidant-moisturizer, plus sunscreen during the day, and occasional exfoliation a.k.a my skincare routine).

In short, it’s fair to say that half of the books are things that we can actually access online, or extensive version of those.

If there are parts that I “dislike” about the book, it would be:

  •  The frequent recommendation of physical sunscreen. Having a clogged-prone skin, I know I am not the only one having problem with physical sunscreen.
  • The advise on eye cream to be part of any skincare routine, while at the same time saying separate cream for eye area is not needed (with exception to acne sufferers that might wear medicated moisturizer for the face). I am really left confused on what Dr Mahto real stand on eye creams.
  • The whole chapter about anti-ageing procedures that I skipped, because I have no interests in those at all. But just like Korean skincare brands endorsing the 10-step-Korean skincare routine, double-toning or serums layering , I would expect a dermatologist with expertise in doing these procedures to endorse the options.

Love, Annetta

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