There is so much information around how to best look after your skin. At times it can be confusing to differentiate between fact and fiction. Some of the advice range from simply not being true to others that are actually harmful to your skin. Below, we look at the Top 6 Skincare Myths and tell you why they’re not true. Hopefully you’ll be more informed and have a better understanding when it comes to your own skin.
Myth No 1: Expensive products give better results
I wish if this were true. At least it would make my life easier when it comes to choosing what products to buy. In reality, it couldn’t be far from the truth. In my early days, when I first started working and earning a bit of money, unwittingly I would spend £40, £50 on a moisturiser that would give me the same result as one that cost me £10.
Unfortunately the beauty industry plays on this mindset where they use clever marketing and make you believe the more expensive a product is the better results it will give. Many studies have shown that some of the expensive products that justify their price tag because of some special active ingredient, only have small quantities in them that are not enough to really make a difference.
The hard fact is, we are all going to age and no cream in the world can stop this. My advice, focus on achieving healthy skin rather than skin that only looks good. Choose products that will compliment your skin and which are suited for your particular skin type. By understanding this, your products will give you better results.
In terms of saving money, if you’re really keen on that moisturiser or cleanser that you’ve been so eager to try then wait for a sale and purchase it then. Some stores such as Boots and The Body Shop will often slash their prices by half during some of their promotions.
Myth No 2: You don’t need to moisturise oily skin
Firstly there are many reasons for the skin to be oily. In some cases if you over-use face scrubs, masks or other skincare products that ‘strip’ away the outer layer, the skin can become dehydrated and dry. In order to compensate for this, the skin starts producing its own oil, excessively.
Now coming to the main point, do you need to moisturise oily skin? Yes! The oil, also known as sebum acts as a barrier function of the skin. However, it doesn’t necessarily hydrate the skin. Meaning, you still need a moisturiser for this. Well hydrated skin is healthy and looks more youthful.
In the case of oily skin, it is first important to use the correct cleanser. Here try to ensure you use a lightweight product that will get rid of the excess sebum and shine. Then, the moisturiser you use should ideally be gel based or have a fluid formula. That way it will ensure it absorbs into the skin and won’t make the skin look or feel greasy.
Myth No3: Exfoliating more often is better for the skin
Face scrub or an exfoliator when used 2 to 3 times a week is a great way to remove dullness, blocked pores and acne. when done correctly it will really make a difference to the overall look and health of your skin. However, when done excessively it will damage the skin. Skin becomes dry and cracked as the natural oil that it produces gets stripped. You’re more likely to have breakouts and wrinkles as there is no moisture on the skin. While on the other extreme, some may see that their skin is trying to compensate for this and in turn their skin starts producing excess oil. This in turn will make skin greasy and more prone to acne and clogged pores.
The rule is, you shouldn’t exfoliate everyday. Instead, based on your skin type and the exfoliation level of the product, keep this to 2 to 3 times a week. Dry skin being less often and oily skin a little more. One of my favourites is the St. Ives Radiant Skin Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub. It has given me good results.
Myth No 4: Organic products are always better
Unfortunately this is one of the most misleading and incorrect information when it comes to skincare. The laws surrounding what qualifies as organic are very relaxed. This means even if a product has used one organic ingredient in a tiny amount it can still claim on its product label to be organic! Sad I know. But that’s the reality.
When we think of organic skincare, what comes to our mind? In most cases it will be the belief the ingredients used are ‘natural’ and are free from chemicals and parabens. However, upon closer inspection you find a whole host of things that are in no way organic or natural. My advice is always read the back of all products before buying to make sure you understand what you are paying for. In many cases, these words are used purely as a marketing gimmick to get you to spend your money.
Myth No 5: You don’t need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day
This is not true. You need to wear sunscreen on a sunny day, cloudy day, any day. Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean the uv rays are not affecting your skin. In fact, sun exposure is one of the main causes of pre-mature ageing. Many common skin problems such as uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles are the cause of overexposure to the sun. If you neglect this crucial part you are in fact accelerating the ageing process.
By wearing sun protection, you create a barrier so that the harmful rays do not penetrate in to the skin. This means, the elastin and collagen which are more present in younger skin are not depleting at a faster rate than they would otherwise.
If you’ve had chemical peels or regularly do derma-abrasion treatment, then it is even more important for you to wear sunscreen as these procedures expose the skin even more. For those who do not wish to use an additional sunscreen on top of their moisturisers, I would advise using a moisturiser that has spf in it. That way you don’t have to buy an additional product. However, if you’re on holiday or during the summer months, I would recommend using a sunscreen with a higher spf factor than what your moisturiser offers.
Myth No 6: Shampooing your hair every day is good
I know this post is about skincare. But I just couldn’t help but add this one in as there is a lot of misconception when it comes to how often you should shampoo your hair. In fact shampooing every day is one of the worst things you could do to your hair. It is one of the causes of dry damaged hair and hair fall. Read the post ‘Hair: How to Look After Your Hair and Improve its Health‘. Our hair produces its own natural oil in order to keep it moisturised and washing it every day strips that oil. As a result hair can become dry and damaged and opens the door to a whole host of issues.
So how often should you really wash your hair? Thick, less oily hair will require less shampooing where you can go without shampooing for 2, 3 days. While those with oily hair can shampoo more often. However, even in this case avoid doing it daily.
When choosing a shampoo, refrain from those that have harsh chemicals such a sulphate or those that contain parabens. These will really damage your hair and take away its health and shine. Instead, go for mild shampoos that use natural and plant based ingredients.