From toothpaste and face wipes to facial exercise and spot squeezing – we address some of the most common skincare myths and debunk them.
There are many factors which go into the way that we treat our skin and keep it healthy. These may include exercise, healthy eating and certain products that hydrate, moisturise, or provide nutrients. There is so much advice out there on how to keep your skin looking plump and youthful that we forget which ones are the rituals that truly work. Here are 10 skincare “myths” that many of us have been following religiously for years, but turn out not to be so good for you or are simply wrong:
Truth: The reason people see their skin getting oilier is due to loss of moisture by excessively cleansing, exposing their skin to pollution and UV rays without protection, avoiding moisturiser, and essentially damaging their skin barrier. The best way to combat oily skin is with moisture! The production of oil happens because your oil glands are trying to compensate for the dryer areas of your skin. If this is your case, try mixing a couple of drops of a facial oil in with your daily moisturiser and apply a light layer of a moisture / night mask in the evenings to keep the moisture locked in whilst you sleep.
Truth: There is no concrete evidence suggesting that acne is solely caused by junk food. Refined sugars and high GI (Glycemic Index) foods can cause the body to respond with inflammation, but they are not the designated reason for acne. An oily substance called sebum is the main cause for acne; it is secreted by the skin and creates those annoying whiteheads that we all despise so very much.
The best way to reduce the production of sebum on your skin is to use products containing niacinamide.
Truth: I’m sure everyone’s mum has, at least once, told us to put some toothpaste on a sore or nasty spot. However, this is probably the worst decision you could make. Toothpaste has ingredients such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils, triclosan and many more, all of which have drying properties. Most of the time, these ingredients will cause skin irritation and make the surrounding surface irritated too. The irritation will go, along with the spot, but toothpaste is no solution. Spot treatments, such as over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are much better options, which are much more effective with little to no irritation on the skin.
Truth: After a long day or party at night, the last thing you want to do is take that layer of makeup off. However, by leaving it on, you are allowing all the dirt, oil and pollution that you’ve been gathering on it all day to penetrate your skin whilst you sleep. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. On top of that, those pollutants that you are leaving on your skin can break down your collagen and accelerate aging over time. Nonetheless, you can make it easier for yourself by getting a no-rinse makeup remover such as a balm, cleansing oil (for dry skin) or micellar water.
DO NOT USE MAKEUP WIPES! (Look at myth #9)
Truth: When you see “Dermatologically Tested” on a product, it doesn’t mean that dermatologists actually recommend it. A dermatologist could test the product and hate it, but it has been theoretically “tested”. These products do not necessarily mean that they are safe, effective or better because they say “derm–tested”. Always check for derm–approved or derm-recommended.
Truth: The idea that your pores open and close because of water temperature is a common myth that’s simply not true. This is because your pores are technically always open, and while there are plenty of other things that make steam beneficial to your skin, the so-called opening up of your pores is not one of them. Steaming is helpful to loosen up the dirt and oil clogged up in your pores, but they don’t open and close based on temperature. When washing, water should be kept at a lukewarm temperature.
Truth: The real truth is that there are very good products and not so good ones in all price categories. We need to stop focusing on the prices and labels of the products and start investing time in the formulation that goes into it. For example, the irritant-free toner by Neutrogena is just as good as, or maybe better than, the (similarly formulated) toner by Chanel. The amount of money that we spend on the products does not determine the quality. If spending less doesn’t hurt your skin and spending more doesn’t help it, then make sure you focus on that formula.
Truth: Don’t do it! Unlike your trusty abs and booty exercises that keep you firm and toned, facial exercises do the opposite. By doing facial exercises, you essentially encourage the formulation of wrinkles by continuously creasing and flexing the skin. However, doing a facial gua sha massage with a jade roller or jade gua sha can help relieve tension in the muscles, boost blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage to reduce bloating.
Truth: Makeup wipes are mainly composed of synthetic materials like polyester and plastic, which is extremely bad for both your skin and the environment. The chemicals that makeup wipes contain to keep them moist also coats your skin, gradually clogging your pores. Try to stick with a gentle foam cleanser or micellar water with a reusable makeup pad.
Truth: OKAY! I know you’re not really meant to squeeze. But if it’s there and hasn’t opened up by itself, and it just looks like it needs some “help” – don’t worry, you can pop it! All you need is a sterilised needle so you don’t break the skin open (that how you get scars!). Gently pierce it and let it do its thing! Make sure to cleanse your face before and after to make sure the area is clean and heals quicker. You can also use a bit of steam to soften the skin first.
Don’t forget that everyone’s skin is different. What might work for someone else may not work for you. It takes time to compose the right skincare routine. But once it’s there, it’s magic!
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