We Asked an Expert to Debunk 4 Common Anti-Ageing Skincare Myths

Fact: There are a lot of myths floating around when it comes to ageing, and 'anti-ageing' skin care.

Some of it comes down to confusion. And fear-based marketing. And a lack of understanding around exactly what anti-ageing skincare products can (and definitely can't) do.

This is why we wanted to get an expert to debunk some popular anti-ageing myths. Not because there's anything wrong with ageing, but because it's a common skin concern a lot of people Google.

You can find out more on this topic by listening to the Week 12 episode of Skincare School the podcast below (or keep scrolling for the quick version).

What Happens To Skin With Age.

Firstly, it's important to be super clear - everyone will age.

Even though sections of society see looking 'older' as one of the worst things that can happen to a person (even more so if you're a woman), ageing is a normal function of the body.

That said, there are two main types of skin ageing: intrinsic (chronological) and extrinsic (environmental).

1. Intrinsic (chronological) ageing:

  • Intrinsic ageing signs include fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, drier skin and less resilient skin.

  • These are unavoidable because as your body gets older, it changes and that gets reflected in the skin.

  • Think of collagen and elastin as the padding and springs of your skin 'mattress'. As we age, the padding fades and the springs weaken, so the mattress isn't as bouncy.

  • One of the big contributors is accumulated free radical damage (free radicals = reactive substances our bodies make that bash into your skin cells and cause damage).

  • Changes in hormonal, immune and repair systems can contribute.

2. Extrinsic (environmental) ageing:

  • The older you are, the more exposure you've had to the environment.

  • Sun damage makes up a large part of environmental ageing and can result in age spots and hyperpigmentation, as well as deeper wrinkles.

  • Other contributing factors include smoking and pollution.

You can learn more about how sun damage can affect the skin in this YouTube video below.

Now, onto busting these anti-ageing myths with Skincare School co-host, Dr. Michelle Wong from Lab Muffin Beauty Science.

1. All ‘Anti-Ageing’ Products Are Created Equal.

Why this is false:

"Straight up, this is a no. There's a huge spectrum of what can be classified as an 'anti-ageing' product. For example, your skin produces less oil as you get older, so just by putting on a moisturiser, you can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles temporarily by plumping up the skin. Obviously, that's not going to last very long - it's just a moisturiser - but that would be enough to make an anti-ageing claim."

"In general, look for good clinical evidence from brands that have tested their products on actual humans, and good 'active' ingredients that can do what the product claims it can do."

You can learn more about anti-ageing skincare ingredients in our YouTube video below.

2. You Can Be Too Young to Start Using Anti-Ageing Products.

Why this is false:

"Generally speaking, you might want to start looking at anti-ageing products in your late 20s or early 30s. But microscopic skin damage can happen years before you actually see it. Over time, it adds up."

"I don't think you can really be 'too young' for anti-ageing products because of lot of those ingredients have more than one use. For example, retinoids are really great for acne and anti-ageing. But the one product you can't possibly be too young to use is sunscreen."

3. Everyone Should Be Using An Eye Cream.

Why this is false:

"I don't think eye creams are necessary [for everyone] because there aren't any anti-ageing ingredients for around the eye area that can't be used elsewhere on the face. You can carefully spread the rest of your anti-ageing products up around the eyes to target fine lines."

"That said, ingredients formulated in eye creams can be a bit lighter and gentler, because the skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face. This means it's more easily irritated and prone to milia (a white bump that forms when keratin gets blocked in the pore, and can only be extracted by a skin professional). Eye creams can also just feel nicer to use, if you have the budget."

4. You Can Achieve the Same Results as Botox or Filler By Using Skin Care.

Why this is false:

"Changes in muscle tone, bone structure and how fat is distributed on your face are a part of ageing, and skin care can only do so much. This is when you might look at surgery or more invasive professional treatments like Botox and filler."

"Botox is an injection you can get that kills some of the nerves in the skin. The muscle stops contracting, and you can reduce the appearance of wrinkles like frown lines and crow's feet around the eyes caused from facial expressions. Fillers are injected under the skin to increase volume (to fill out the mattress padding)."

"Some products can have a temporary 'freezing' effect on the skin, but skin care products can't actually get that deep into the skin, and they won't have such a dramatic result as an invasive option."

In other words, if a skincare product says it can actually do what Botox can, don't believe it.

Want to find out more about ageing and anti-ageing ingredients? Check out this content below:

Head to our Skincare School content hub for more episodes, articles and info on Skincare School the podcast!

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