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.
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.