There are so many old wives tales about skincare, but which ones should you listen to? Understanding your skin and how it works will allow you to maintain the health and condition of your skin, allowing your natural radiance to shine through.
You should wear sunscreen every day - Yes you should, even in the winter there is UVA present, although these rays don't burn the skin, they are the main cause of premature ageing so always make sure you put on a good SPF every morning. Vitamin D is important to our body though so don't forget your daily supplements.
Blemishes are caused by oily skin - False, even dry skin can suffer from bacterial breakouts, particularly when the skin is dry and flaky as this excess skin will block the pores and cause bacteria to multiply, therefor creating a spot. Using products that are too strong for the skin can cause it to react and breakout. Also not thoroughly cleansing each night can cause breakouts in dry skin as you're not removing any pollutants from the skin.
You should exfoliate regularly to avoid spots - True, dead skin and excess oil become trapped in the pores meaning they don't work as efficiently. I recommend products containing aha's such as glycolic and lactic acid to exfoliate as they help to dissolve the glue holding on the skin which is much gentler than a scrub, if you suffer with blackheads opt for salicylic acid. If you have sensitive skin or don't like the idea of using chemical peels, try a Dermaflannel.
Facial oils are only suitable for dry skin - False, Even oily skin can become dehydrated but the oil you use is important. Opt for facial oils designed for your skintype or natural oils such as jojoba which has similar properties to your skin's natural oil or castor oil which can help to clear blocked pores. You can use these oils to cleanse the skin (google the Oil Cleansing Method) or as a massage before applying a face masque. You can also add a few drops of oil to your skin after cleansing and toning.
Toner is too harsh for sensitive skin - False, there are a huge range of toners on the market these days for even sensitive skins. Use a PH balanced, alpha hydroxy acid based toner to help gently exfoliate the skin and lower your skin's PH after cleansing.
The more expensive the cream the more effective it is - False, a lot of the ridiculously expensive creams don't have any remarkable ingredients in them, particularly if they have the same formula from when they launched 50 years ago. That's not to say they don't work, but you'll probably pick up a product just as good (or better) for a third of the price.
Soap dries out the skin - True, soap has a high PH which tends to disrupt the skins natural PH which is roughly 4.5 - 5.5, avoid using soap on your face and opt for a cleanser designed for your skintype.
Your hair can clean itself - YUCK I'm not sure about hair but your scalp won't clean itself, regular hair washing is essential to remove the build up of oil, dead skin, pollution and dirt otherwise bacteria could multiply and the scalp can become irritated.
A collagen cream will help put collagen back into your skin - False, the natural collagen in your skin is too deep for any creams to penetrate, a collagen based cream can help to nourish your skin but it won't stimulate collagen production. Products such as glycolic acid and lactic acid increase skin turnover which in turn can also stimulate collagen. Supplements containing Vitamin C and Omega oils can also be very beneficial to collagen production.
A close shave will prevent ingrown hairs - False, if you shave with a blade you're at risk of ingrown hairs. To prevent ingrown hairs, exfoliate regularly and moisturise daily to prevent the skin from becoming fry and flaky.
Dry skin causes wrinkles - False, even oily skin can become wrinkled if you don't look after your skin. Avoid sunbathing and tanning booths, always wear an SPF, regularly exfoliate and cleanse and moisturise daily. I'm also a big advocate of meditation, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
Organic beauty products are better for you - This is all down to personal preference, I personally don't use organic products, there are pollutants in the air around us, in the water that we wash with, in the foods we eat, I don't see the point in using organic products unless I live completely organically but again, that's my personal opinion. As long as it works for my skin and it hasn't been tested on animals, I don't care if it's organic or not.
Parabens cause cancer. There has been a lot of scaremongering about parabens and so it's very natural to be concerned, Cancer Research UK states
There is no good scientific evidence to suggest that parabens from any cosmetics can cause cancer in people, nor that the levels of parabens found in these tissues are harmful.
But this is again down to personal choice, if you feel happier avoiding parabens then avoid parabens.