There are some myths about skincare that you could swear were passed down from your Mom’s mom and probably her mom before her. You just accept them as reality. Some have sprung up over time and have been driven home by beauty magazines. There’s no reason to believe a beauty ‘truth’ just because everyone else does, though. Here are a few I’ve picked out that deserve special attention.
Beauty Myth #1 - Drinking water helps prevent dry skin
Nope. Of course, drinking water does benefit your skin in the same way that it benefits the rest of your body, but if you have dry skin it’s going to take more than an expensive mineral water habit to moisturize your skin.
The main causes of dry skin are heat, hot and chilly air, and the number of oil producing glands you have (and how much oil they produce). If your skin feels dry, moisturize and protect it with the correct products and exfoliate regularly so that they can penetrate better.
Beauty Myth #2 – you must spend more on cleanser and moisturizer
This isn’t necessarily the case. If you must skimp on your skincare products, economize on your cleanser, and buy a basic moisturizer, but don’t ignore other specifically tailored skincare products with effective, proven medical-grade active ingredients.
Look for serums and other products containing retinol, antioxidants, and pigment-treating ingredients, as these are clinically proven to get you results.
Beauty Myth #3 - Don’t use moisturizer on oily skin
By denting oily skin hydration from a good moisturizer, you’re making the problem worse. Washing your face, and cleansing your skin strips it of natural oils. You need to add that moisture back in so that skin doesn’t overcompensate and start producing even more oil. Even if you are using prescription medicated products for acne, you should still moisturize every day. They can be harsh and can cause your skin to peel, so look for a light, oil-free moisturizer and use it every night. This helps avoid irritation and it won’t make your acne worse, I promise.
Beauty Myth #4 – wrinkles can be ‘erased’
Oh, if only that were true, women would be lining up around the block to buy it. Although a good anti-aging product can help hide and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, they will still be there. If your wrinkles worry you unduly, the best products to look for are those containing a topical retinoid. Studies have found retinoids to be fairly effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, photo-aging and sun damage.
Beauty Myth #5 – if you work indoors, there’s no need for sun screen
You might not think so, but even if you’re indoors, you’re still being exposed to sunlight. Maybe you forgot about that quick trip to the store where you had to walk from the parking lot? Or did you not notice the sunlight coming in through the window next to you?
Even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate and damage your skin. Just get into the habit of using moisturizer with a decent SPF – SPF30 or above should work – and it won’t matter if you must go out in the sunshine, you’ll be covered.
Beauty Myth #6 – with sunscreen, the higher the SPF the better
Although there’s some truth to this one, it’s not entirely the case. Research has shown that an SPF 15 blocks around 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks around 97%, and an SPF 50 blocks up to 98%. Nothing will block 100% of UV rays at the moment.
Experts recommend SPF 50 for outdoor activities and SPF 30 for every day.
Beauty Myth #7 – I don’t need topical vitamin C, I get enough in my diet
If only it worked that way, we’d all be eating oranges and sweet potatoes every day! The truth is that the skin on our face, neck, chest, and hands is exposed to a lot of pollutants on a daily basis. If you use a topical vitamin C product, you can protect your skin from some of this damage. It also helps to brighten and exfoliate your skin. Applying a vitamin C enriched product topically gives you a much stronger dose than a vitamin pill or your diet can.
Beauty Myth #8 – waxing, shaving, or dermaplaning, makes hair grow back thicker
Thankfully this one isn’t true either. Waxing can thin out hair growth over time because constantly pulling hairs out of the roots weakens them. If you shave, it causes your hair to grow back with a tapered end, making it feel softer. Shaving or dermaplaning is no different to cutting the hair on your head. It’s also a myth that waxing your upper lip causes lip lines; these are more likely to be down to smoking, pursing your lips, sipping from straws, chewing and sun damage.
LED skin treatments are becoming more and more popular in spas and skin clinics, even at home, but what do you know about how they work and what they are most effective for? In simple terms, an LED is a light source that emits (gives out) light. LED light therapy uses light sources to direct light of different wavelengths onto the skin from a few inches away, using single light units or formations of panels. This light has a beneficial effect on the skin and can help improve some conditions. It’s also an effective anti-aging treatment.
LED light therapy was originally developed to fast-track wound healing and scars following surgery, but its effects on healthy skin were soon noticed and a new beauty treatment was born.
These days, LED facials are evolving all the time along with the technology behind them, and you’ll see different types of LED facial on most esthetician’s treatment lists. Some of these advanced skincare treatments use blue light, and some only use red light. The idea behind LED skin treatments is that using different color light therapy stimulates different reactions in your skin and penetrates to different depths in your epidermis. So, for example, blue light is often recommended for acne treatment, as it helps kill the bacteria that causes it, while red light is known to be effective for healing and boosting collagen production, so is the top choice for anti-aging treatments.
Do LED Light Facials Really Work?
It sounds simple, but can a burst of targeted light therapy really make that much difference to your skin? Well, the experts seem to think so. Although the treatments only last a few minutes, there’s evidence to show that they really are effective. There have been studies looking at how well LED light therapies work for both acne and anti-aging and the great news is that both showed significant improvement. A study published in 2016 stated that: “low level light therapy (LLLT) with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is emerging from the mists of black magic as a solid medico-scientific modality, with a substantial build-up of corroborative bodies of evidence for its efficacy and elucidation of the modes of action.
Reports are appearing from many different specialties; however, of particular interest to plastic surgeons treating the aging face is the proven action of LED-LLLT on skin cells in both the epidermis and dermis and enhanced blood flow. Thus, LED-LLLT is a safe and effective stand-alone therapy for patients who are prepared to wait until the final effect is perceived.”
How Does LED Light Therapy Actually Work? The cells in your skin convert the energy produced by red LED light into a substance called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) – the fuel your cells need to do their job. Cells in the dermis layer of your skin then use ATP to produce more collagen and elastin, which plumps up the skin, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Blue LED light works slightly differently – it kills Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that lives below the surface of the skin and causes acne breakouts.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
It’s likely that you’ll need at least four treatments before you see results, but the benefits are cumulative, and once you’re happy with the effects, you can scale your treatments right down to maintain them. Ask your esthetician for more information if you want to see the effects for yourself.
Pregnancy is an exciting and exhilarating time for most women…but it can also be exhausting, and you can see changes in your skin and body that you might not be particularly happy about. With all of these changes, it’s hardly surprising that many women feel hormonal, stressed out and emotional. This is where some good quality spa and at-home pampering should make all the difference.
There are lots of dos and don’ts while pregnant, spa and skincare treatments are no exception. Depending on what stage you’re at in the pregnancy, we’ve put together a few lovely things that you might want to treat yourself to when the mom-to-be blues strike…
Spa and Facial Massage:
When you’re achy and hormonal, a massage can really hit the spot. Make sure to tell your massage therapist that you’re expecting and how far along you are when you book though, so that he or she can adapt the techniques and any oils used to suit you. Your massage therapist will know to avoid certain areas during a massage, for example massaging some points on the wrists and ankles in pregnancy can cause cramping. They’ll also position you properly so that you don’t lie on your back after a certain point as this can make your blood pressure drop and leave you feeling a bit dizzy or faint. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra pillows or suggest lying on your side if that’s how you feel most comfortable. All in all, massage is a great pregnancy treatment, so go for it.
Beauty and The Bump Skin Care:
Some women find that their skin is more sensitive than usual during pregnancy, but skin care and spa treatments can still be a real treat. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask for a patch test, pre-treatment. Perk yourself up with a nourishing facial – some women boast of their pregnancy glow but others, especially if they’ve been dealing with morning sickness or tiredness, feel a bit flat and a facial is a relaxing, boosting treatment. Tell your therapist so that she can avoid any facial treatments that include retinoids – they can harm your baby and are best avoided. Many spas and skin clinics offer facial treatments that are specifically designed for pregnancy so opt for one of those if you want to spoil yourself. Gentle is always best in pregnancy although if you want to keep up a specific skincare routine you should still be able to carry on with some treatments, like microdermabrasion, which is perfectly safe in pregnancy. Leave chemical peels and Botox/fillers for post-pregnancy if you’re a fan. At home – avoid retinol-based treatments and anything containing salicylic acid and opt for skincare ranges that are designed for pregnancy if possible. Glycolic acid, which is found in a lot of anti-aging products (and is helpful for evening out skin tone) is a safe alternative for pregnant women in the skin clinic or at home. Remember that your skin can be extra sensitive. Find a good body nourishing oil to massage your bump with (your beauty therapist may be able to recommend one for you) and treat yourself every day to minimise stretch marks as baby grows…
Baby Safe Beauty Treatments:
If you’re a fan of luxuriant lashes you’ll be pleased to hear that you might not need them extended while you’re pregnant; most women have the best lashes of their lives while they are pregnant because when you’re expecting, your hair stays in a permanent growth cycle. Although, if you do fancy lash extensions, they are perfectly safe in pregnancy.
If it’s getting difficult to see your feet, a pedicure might be the perfect antidote for swollen ankles and aching feet. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a manicure or pedicure while you’re pregnant, in fact many mom-to-be spa and beauty packages include them as standard. Some women like to avoid chemical beauty treatments completely during pregnancy, including nail polish. There’s no evidence that occasional use of nail products will cause any harm but if you prefer a ‘naked’ mani-pedi it’s something most spas and beauty clinics will be able to accommodate. You can also ask your nail technician to avoid products that contain formaldehyde and toluene.
Beauty has always been my passion, and as a licensed esthetician, I know that true beauty comes from the inside. I use products that are organic and natural, because I believe that what we put on the outside affects us on the inside. I also choose products that are cruelty free and I also have vegan options... because, animals deserve our love and respect.