10 confusing, sometimes laughable beauty myths

Over the years I’ve been surprised to hear many beauty myths and misunderstandings about the way our skin functions. In this blog post, I’ve debunked some of the most common ones. Here’s to understanding your skin better and keeping it in good health!

Myth #1: You only need sunscreen in summer

Truth: Unfortunately, the sun’s rays can cause damage all year round, yes, even when it’s cloudy or raining. If you’re concerned about maintaining youthful skin it is best practice to use sun protection 365 days per year, even if you are inside and seated by a window. Glass does not provide UV protection.

Myth #2: Oily skin does not need a moisturiser

Truth: All skin types benefit from a moisturiser to maintain skin barrier health and, yes oily skin can still get get dehydrated, particularly if you have overdone astringents or anti-acne products that dry out the skin. In fact, if you do have acne it’s important to not strip the skin’s sebum or the skin will go into overdrive to produce more oil. Look for something with a light texture that won’t make you look like an oil slick.

Myth#3: SPF in makeup is the same as wearing sunscreen

Truth: Oops, no it isn’t. It is highly unlikely that you are applying enough foundation for the sun protection factor to really be effective. To be sun safe, pop a sunblock underneath your other products. See Myth #1.

Myth #4: Your skin needs to breathe

Truth: We’ve been guilty of this one ourselves, but it’s often overplayed. The skin is not like a set of lungs; it does not breathe and the top layer of the skin is actually just dead skin cells. While some ingredients, such as coconut oil, are commonly comedogenic (meaning that it can block the pores) and thick makeup may also block the pores, they are not suffocating the skin.

Myth #5: You need a special cream for around your eyes

Truth: Marketers have used this ploy to sell more products for years, but ultimately, a gentle moisturiser is perfectly fine to use around the eyes. If the skin is particularly dry, a nice balm can soothe the skin, but there’s no reason to invest in an eye specific product.

Myth #6: The higher the SPF, the better.

Truth: The difference between the SPF numbers sounds dramatic, but is not as big as you’d think. An SPF15 sunscreen blocks out around 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays, an SPF30 protects against 97 percent; and an SPF50 gives 98 percent protection. Most experts agree that an SPF30 is fine for use all year around as long as enough is applied and it is reapplied every two hours – more so if sweating or swimming.

Myth #7: Squeaky clean skin is good

Truth: Not so fast. That tight, scrubbed feeling might make your skin feel thoroughly cleansed, but remember, this is your face not the floorboards! Maintaining your skin’s moisture barrier is the key to healthy skin, so choose gentle cleansers that lift impurities without impacting the skin’s natural protective barrier.

Myth #8: Pores open and close based on water temperature

Truth: Pore size is the result of your skin type and genetics. Your pores may appear more visible if you’ve used hot water to wash your face, but that’s because hot water swells the skin slightly not because the pores have opened. A lukewarm water temperature is ideal. Remember, if your skin is red after rinsing, the water you used was too hot.

Myth #9: Drinking more water will hydrate the skin

Truth: This myth seems to stem from years of models and actresses telling beauty journalists that the secret to their youthful looks is three litres per day of good old fashioned tap water. Not true, sorry. Drinking eight glasses of water a day may be good for your health, but if  you have dry skin, you are better off looking for nourishing products to soothe and soften the skin instead of turning on the tap.

Myth #10: Choose skincare products based on your age

Truth: Wrong. Age is NOT a skin type. A 40 year old may share the exact same skin concerns and skin type as a 25 year old. Oily skin can affect mature people and dry skin can be a challenge for those in their 20s. So it’s a marketing ploy to promote products aimed at 50+ or for teenagers. Look for ingredients that suit your skin type, not something that aligns with your birth date.

Until next time, Christine

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