Check out these 7 skincare myths, and shop smarter.
MYTH 1. “Expensive products are better than cheaper products”
THE TRUTH: is a $100 moisturiser twice as good as a $50 moisturiser? I hate to disappoint you with a vague answer, but honestly, it depends. For example:
- The more expensive product might have double the active ingredients or the extra cost might come from fancier packaging, a luxurious scent, or a celebrity spokesperson to promote it. And it depends whether those things are important to you.
- Everybody’s skin is different – what works well for your skin might not work well for someone else, so it’s possible that the cheaper product could work better for you (or vice versa).
MYTH 2. “You don’t need to wear sunscreen if it’s cloudy or cold”
THE TRUTH: UV radiation has nothing to do with temperature – you can get very badly burnt in the snow, for example, where the UV rays reflect off the snow like a mirror.
And UV radiation can penetrate through thin cloud, so you can still get high levels of UV exposure on overcast days. UVA rays (the ones responsible for ageing) can pass through clouds, smog and glass, damaging your skin even if you don’t burn.
MYTH 3. “You can’t mix skincare brands”
THE TRUTH: in many cases it’s fine to combine products from different brands in your skincare routine.
Just be careful that you’re not doubling up on active ingredients, as this might irritate your skin. For example, if you’re using a serum with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) from one brand, and a moisturizer from a different brand, mind that your moisturizer doesn’t also contain AHAs.
MYTH 4. “Oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser”
THE TRUTH: oily skin can still become dehydrated (lacking water), which can cause it to look dull and flaky as well as oily. Dehydration can also cause your skin to produce even more oil! You should still use an oil-free moisturizer after cleansing to keep your skin hydrated.
And make sure your cleanser is not stripping your skin – if it feels tight after cleansing, it’s dehydrating your skin.
MYTH 5. “Natural/organic ingredients are better for sensitive skin than synthetic ingredients”
THE TRUTH: plant-based ingredients are no safer for sensitive skin than mineral-derived or “synthetic” ingredients. There are plenty of irritants in the plant world – ever heard of poison ivy? Or chopped hot chillies with bare hands? Or got lemon juice on a tiny cut?
If you have easily-irritated skin, dermatologists will generally suggest mineral-oil-based or silicone-based skin care products, which act as a barrier on the surface of the skin without penetrating.
MYTH 6. “I need a toner to close my pores”
THE TRUTH: pores don’t open or close! Toners are designed to remove cleanser residue and to balance the skin’s pH (acidity level). You don’t necessarily need a toner if you use a water-soluble cleanser, but you should definitely use one after a milky or creamy cleanser.
You can’t close large pores – but you can make them look smaller by keeping them clean (we suggest double-cleansing at night to remove all your makeup, and also using a cleansing device like a Clarisonic). Products with beta-hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acid) can help by dissolving built-up oil that can trap gunk in your pores.
MYTH 7. “My foundation has SPF15 so I don’t need a sunscreen”
THE TRUTH: sorry to bang on about it, but you definitely need sunscreen. Foundations are applied sparingly, whereas you’d need at least half a teaspoon to get proper SPF coverage.
Foundations also may not offer broad spectrum coverage to protect you from ageing UVA rays, as well as UVB.
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