Eight Skin Care Myths

Eight Skin Care Myths

A radiant complexion is something we’re all looking for and it’s natural to seek out advice on how to achieve your skincare goals.  With the internet awash with beauty hacks, how do you spot the old wives’ tales regarding skincare practices that don’t work or worse, those that could actually harm your skin? In this month’s journal, I help sort facts from the fiction as I clear up some of the most common skincare myths. Here are the eight skin care myths:

Myth #1 If you have oily skin, you don’t need to use moisturiser

If you’ve got oily skin, the last thing you may think of doing is layering on moisturiser, but this may be exactly what your skin needs. Oily skin means the skin is producing too much sebum, the skin’s natural oil.  Although the excessive build-up of sebum can lead to oily skin and acne, it doesn’t mean that the skin is well-hydrated. Stripping away these oils can promote dehydration and lead to potential irritation. Choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturiser as this won’t block your pores. You could also consider a gel or serum rather than a thick cream.

Myth #2 You don’t need sunscreen if your foundation contains SPF

Using a foundation with SPF isn’t a bad idea but you’d need much more foundation than your normal amount for adequate skin protection. Some estimates suggest you’d need seven times more foundation and fourteen times more powder. No matter the season or the weather, we should be wearing sunscreen every day. Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher. The SPF indicates protection against UVB rays only. A broad-spectrum sunscreen means that the sunscreen will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The key to sunscreen is to find the one that works for your skin, one that you will enjoy wearing every day. It should be part of your daily routine.

If you are starting to see the signs of sun damage and want to act, there are a range of effective clinic-based treatments you can consider.  Check out my journal post on sun damage and protection for more information on treatment options.

Myth #3 Natural, botanical skincare products are better for your skin

One of the biggest skincare myths is that natural and organic products are safer or better. Natural skincare products are often unregulated.  These products may contain botanicals and essential oils that can lead to significant allergic contact dermatitis in some people. Just because something comes from nature doesn’t mean it’s safe or not toxic.  Look for brands that have been through rigorous testing and use proven trusted actives and adaptogens.

You may also be interested in:  Body Dysmorphia and Skin

Myth: #4 Dark circles are caused by lack of sleep

Your genes, rather than the amount of sleep that you’ve had recently, are more likely contributing to your dark under-eye circles. Blue veins under the eyes may also cause dark circles. Hyperpigmentation due to older age, chronic rubbing of the eyes by those with allergies, or as a genetic trait all contribute to darkness under the eyes.  A good diet, based on healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruit can bring about visible skin improvements, including around your eyes. Fresh air and exercise will help your overall health and your skin’s appearance.

Staying hydrated is important.  Dry, dehydrated skin can look sallow and make dark circles appear more prominent.  Sun protection is vital to avoid hyperpigmentation. Too much sun exposure makes your body produce more melanin, which in turn gives you darker circles.

Make sure your night-time routine includes removing your makeup thoroughly. A good cleansing and moisturising regime allow your pores to breathe and your skin to rejuvenate overnight, so you look fresh and flawless when you wake up.

There are a variety of aesthetic treatment options you can consider if you want to do something more proactive to reduce dark circles. Check out my journal post on dark circles for details of available treatments. 

Myth #5 People with dry skin age faster

The main cause of ageing skin is predominantly sun exposure, followed by things such as smoking and pollution. Over time, such exposure breaks down collagen fibres which keep the skin looking youthful and plump. Therefore, dry skin does not cause wrinkles or ageing, however it can emphasise them. For advice about protecting your skin from sun damage check out my journal post 

Myth #6 You don’t need specific day and night regimes

At night our skin cells repair, recover and regenerate from the stresses they experience throughout the day and the human growth hormone speeds up that process. Skin is also more permeable during sleep. Skin cells make the most use of nutrients and ingredients you provide them with at night in your skincare products. A night-time skincare regime that includes anti-ageing products formulated for hydration and renewal can have real benefits.

Myth #7 You don’t need to take off your makeup at night

Leaving makeup on for extended periods of time can cause long-term damage. As you sleep your cells regenerate more than any other time of day and if there is makeup sitting on the skin, this process may be disturbed, leading to clogged pores, inflammation and pimples. No matter how tired you are, make sure to cleanse your face before your head hits the pillow to remove the day’s worth of pollution, dirt and oil.

Myth #8 Your skin can become immune to products after long-term use

Your skin doesn’t build up an immunity to skincare products over time. When you apply a product, your skin absorbs the ingredients and assuming it’s a well-formulated product, these ingredients will get to work performing their functions. Prevention is better than cure and you will never go wrong with incorporating quality ingredients into your regime from an early age.

You can find good, basic skincare advice online from reputable dermatologists and skincare experts. If you have skincare concerns that require more specific treatment, consult with a dermatologist in person.