We get told so much about how to look after our skin, it’s no wonder that we can’t tell good information from bad.
But what if your daily routine is actually harming your skin?
We bust 5 skincare myths that'll keep your skin feeling fresh:
1) Exfoliating is good for your skin
Exfoliation feels great, right? You feel like you’re giving your skin a really deep cleanse, scrubbing away the day’s toxins and leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth.
If you exfoliate too often or too aggressively, you strip the oil barrier that your skin forms naturally to keep itself protected. In fact, you really shouldn't be exfoliating at all because you'll often remove the first layer of skin as well. Removing this protective layer causes dehydration, redness, flaking and inflammation.
When you dehydrate your cells, it causes them to dry out - which is why you get annoying, flaking skin.
Not only this, but the inflammation caused by over-exfoliation can prematurely age your skin. You’re stripping off your top layer and exposing a layer of skin underneath that’s unprotected and not ready for the elements. This is why it feels so soft - it’s new skin. Do this too often and you’ll cause
Removing your skin’s protective barrier with harsh exfoliation often causes products to sting. If you experience a stinging sensation when you’re exfoliating, it’s a sign that you are irritating the skin. This is what causes redness and patchyness.
2) Oily skin is bad
We get told all the time that oily skin is something we should try and prevent and conceal. Make up companies make a fortune from powders and products designed to stop our foreheads and noses looking shiny.
Our skin, however, works hard to create these natural oils. Their purpose is to trap moisture inside the skin and prevent irritants from getting in. If we strip this oil out of our skin, we’re removing this barrier.
What the oil does
The oil your skin produces, called sebum, provides our skin with antioxidants, acts as a barrier against the sun and actually slows down the aging process. It prevents nasty things like pollution, UV rays and other stressors penetrating your skin.
3) Dry skin is caused by not moisturising
Dry skin isn’t just a result of incorrect skin care. Did you know your dry skin could be being caused by a hormone imbalance, medication or even a change in the weather?
Dryness caused by incorrect skincare regimes
As we’ve touched on, some soaps, exfoliators and skincare products are too harsh on your skin. You certainly shouldn’t scrub at your face with vigour - your cells are delicate and need to be treated as such. You want to lock the moisture into your skin, not remove it by drying out your skin.
Dryness caused by the weather
In the Winter, we notice ourselves using hand moisturiser and lip balm a lot more than in the summer. This is because the dry air draws the moisture out of your skin - which is why it is more important than ever to moisturise in the winter. Between the cold air outside and the hot air inside, your skin gets assaulted. If you find your skin getting dryer as the weather gets colder, we recommend booking a free skin consultation to plan your winter regime and keeping your skin healthy and hydrated.
Dryness caused by medication
Believe it or not, a number of prescription and over the counter drugs have ‘dryness of skin’ as a side effect. These are most likely to be tablets for:
Dryness caused by hormones
Estrogen has a pronounced affect on our skin. The production (or non-production) or estrogen impacts the thickness of our skin, our wrinkles and the our skin’s moisture. When our bodies produce more estrogen (such as in pregnancy) our skin appears plumper, more hydrated and wrinkle-free. When our bodies produce less estrogen (such post partum) our skin appears dryer, paler and thinner. This can be combatted by hormone treatment, but also using specially designed, medicinal skincare.
4) Wearing makeup gives you spots
Wearing makeup doesn’t give you spots. However, not properly removing make up and using makeup over sores or exposed areas of skin can make spots worse.
When you wear traditional makeup, you’re covering your pores. These can get clogged which leads to blackheads, whiteheads and spots.
Mineral makeup doesn't clog the pores - and can actually benefit your skin. Mineral make-up is made up of minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. So where traditional make up uses parabens, chemical dyes and fragrances, mineral make-up leaves these out - making it a hundred times better for your skin.
Make sure every evening that you clean your face thoroughly, removing all of the makeup. Never go to sleep with make-up on, and try giving yourself make-up free days to let your skin breathe.
5) It's best to pop spots
Whilst it might be tempting to get rid of the spot on your chin by popping it, this doesn’t actually remove the problem.
When you squeeze a spot, you can actually push the bacteria deeper into the skin, which can lead to your spot becoming redder and inflamed. Squeezing spots often leads to scabbing too, which can leave scars.
Instead, keep your face clean and use a special cream to reduce spot size and get rid of pimples.
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