Skincare myths. There are vast amounts of skincare blogs, pages and articles out there on the internet. Filled with lifehacks, routines, products and information it can be difficult to debunk what is useful and what isn’t. What is truly beneficial for your skin and what are some necessary things you should be doing in your routine. It can be overwhelming but this blog aims to debunk some popular myths that have been circling around, through research and science, Dermoi’s key principles.
Myth 1: I don’t need to apply sunscreen on a cloudy day
I’ll admit I have been completely guilty of this, especially living in the UK where our days are filled with rain and clouds throughout the year. However good sunscreen habits are essential for your overall skin health both short and long-term, so if any a time, now is the time to create those.
There are two types of UV rays that the sun emits UVB and UVA. UVB is what causes (if you’re pale like me) the intense sunburn in the summer when you’ve been out in the sun for too long. That’s typically the only time people tend to put on sunscreen. UVB rays vary in intensity during summer and winter, sun or clouds, so yes, in summer you should be putting a higher SPF sunscreen than you do in winter, depending on what type of climate you live in of course. However, the mistake people make is not putting any sunscreen at all on those cloudy drizzling days. The sun also emits UVA rays. And UVA rays don’t vary in intensity like UVB, at all, no matter the weather. The Skin Cancer Foundation has shown that even on those cloudy days, the sun’s UVA rays can still pass through clouds by up to 80%. Now that’s not very much difference at all than if it was a brighter sunnier day. UVA rays also penetrate far deeper into the skin than UVB, causing damage from below upwards, making them far more harmful to the skin in comparison.
Now you may be questioning what the point of sun protection is in the first place and how do UV rays damage the skin:
1. Premature ageing
It’s been shown that almost 90% of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and premature ageing is caused by sun damage. 90%. What’s worse is that sun damage is irreversible, by both UV rays. Meaning the time you spend learning about skincare, the money you put in into products that help you or facial treatments, all those good benefits and hard work are completely overrun by not wearing SPF every single day. What would be the point in doing all that, I can’t stress that enough.
2. Skin cancer
There are two types of skin cancer, nonmelanoma and melanoma. Melanoma skin cancer is the type that can spread through the body and nonmelanoma remains within the area. It has been shown that 90% of skin cancer cases are directly linked to sun exposure. There are other factors such as genetics and race but by far increased sun exposure is the biggest cause. By putting on your sunscreen every day you are significantly reducing that risk and promoting your skin health for the long haul.
For those looking for a new SPF, I would recommend searching for mineral sunscreens as they contain ingredients such as titanium or zinc oxide as their nano filters (UV protection) which don’t penetrate as deeply into the skin, rather forming a protective barrier, and they are also more eco-friendly for our oceans and sea-life. However, if you are someone with a darker skin tone, mineral sunscreens can tend to leave a white cast so I would recommend looking more into chemical sunscreens. They do penetrate further into the skin however if you try to avoid the ingredient oxybenzone (which can be damaging to both the environment and your skin long-term), you can still find great quality sunscreens for daily usage.
Myth 2: Facial treatment once a year is enough to perfect skin
The one key principle in a skincare routine is consistency. You won’t be getting any positive effects from your products if you’re missing one day, applying the next, forgetting this step etc… The same idea can be applied to facial treatments, the key for them to work in the long-term is consistently keeping up with them. It varies for which treatment you’re getting however typically the recommended amount is about every 3-4 weeks, however always talk to your aesthetician. The number 3-4 weeks comes from the lifecycle of the skin. Skin cells are constantly being regenerated and the time it takes for one full cycle of your epidermis layer is about a month. Meaning, after one facial treatment, those effects have already worn off by the time the next month rolls around.
But why do we need facial treatments?
A skincare routine is not enough just at home to help and promote long-term skincare health. This is because within our realms of knowledge as consumers there is only so much we can do with products we can buy over the counter. However, nothing can replace a trained, professional aesthetician who understands and has studied the skin barrier, also who has the equipment and ingredients at hand that we don’t. Talking about your skincare goals and needs with your aesthetician and staying consistent with treatments is what allows you to reap maximal results from what you pay for. Especially if you have skincare concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation or rosacea which can be very difficult to manage with just an at-home skincare routine. The overall goal with facial treatments is preventative care rather than late intervention.
Myth 3: It’s not necessary to remove make-up before sleeping
Even though it can be annoying having to take the extra time to remove make-up before bed this is such an essential first step of your skincare routine. Especially making sure that ALL your make-up is removed before you sleep is something I don’t see enough of circling around online. If you are someone who tends to wear make-up more often or even daily this is quite important for you. We need to cleanse and wash our faces to make sure all make-up is removed; dirt and dust from the day otherwise remain on your face. This can lead to the build-up of bacteria on the surface of the skin which leads to severe acne.
Also, the dirt build-up on the face can lead to the clogging of pores which leads to more blackheads and whiteheads, especially around the T-zone. It increases irritation of the skin as, during the night, our skin is in the process of cell regeneration to protect and renew its barrier. However, by not removing make-up this process is prevented from happening, our skin isn’t given time to ‘breath’ at the end of the day. Going further in the long-term this habit can lead to premature ageing, worsening of fine lines and wrinkles and acne that can be very troublesome to get rid of.
When we wash our face at the end of the day we are stimulating circulation and lymphatic drainage at the top layer of the skin. This helps to oxygenate the area and to prevent things such as bloating the next morning or feeling ‘puffy’. Also, it allows the removal of the top layer of dead skin cells which is called exfoliating. This allows for better cell renewal and that build-up of dead skin cells is a common cause of acne for many people.
Now, how can I go about making sure all my makeup is removed?
The biggest method I still see online is using make-up wipes as a form of cleansing or washing your face. The problem with this is that it is very difficult only using make-up wipes to remove everything on your face without wiping or pulling too hard. That then becomes very abrasive for the skin and can lead to irritation. Also, people tend to then not wash with water after using make-up wipes which is also a big problem. As they contain cleansing agents if you do choose to use make-up wipes you should ideally be washing your face at least with water afterwards, and if you’re using micellar water the same applies. The method I like best is taken from the popular Korean skincare trend of a double cleanse.
First, you go in with an oil-based cleanser to remove all makeup and break up dirt from the day, then a water-based cleanser to cleanse the face afterwards and remove any left-over dirt. The principle behind this idea is that as oil is not soluble (meaning it doesn’t dissolve) in water, using only water-based cleansers would not remove all the oil and dirt on the face and vice versa with only oil cleansers. It makes sure your skin is completely clean and all make-up is removed without being too stripping to the skin. Make sure you’re always searching for non-stripping or non-drying cleansers! For those who don’t like to use oils, micellar water is a good replacement step for the oil cleanser but make sure you always follow up with your water-based cleanser afterwards.
Myth 4: I can do my own facial treatment at home
DIY scrubs, facial treatments, peels etc…From celebrities to influencers this is a big one that makes its way around, always marketing an all-natural method and the benefits of only using food. The most popular one being the lemon, honey and sugar scrub as a form of facial treatment, DIY style. This can be extremely damaging to the skin without people realising, and can cause huge irritation.
The difference between professional facial treatments is that your aesthetician or beautician is trained. They have access to the resources and the equipment to provide the best facial treatments that you simply cannot do or replicate at home as we don’t have access to that just buying over the counter. Also, the time spent learning about ingredients, different products and how to carry out procedures, is something we as consumers can’t learn from a couple of hours on google.
My biggest worry is that people make DIY scrubs or treatments from the food they have at home. Skincare products are specially formulated and researched to contain versions and amounts of each ingredient that is safe for the skin or just for the skin. They also have to undergo rigorous testing and approval from dermatology boards simply to be put onto the shelves. For example, putting lemon juice in that DIY scrub is extremely harmful as the pH of lemon juice is low making it quite acidic and is enough to irritate the skin and can even develop into long-term irreversible damage. Another example I see quite often is extractions, to remove blackheads and whiteheads typically from the nose. Again this is a procedure that requires a dermatologist as doing it at home could lead to the worsening of your acne as it can be very easy to spread the bacteria to other areas of your face or even get a skin infection.
Even though we are all in quarantine right now and haven’t got access to the usual facial treatments we do, here are some safe skincare ideas to maintain your skin alongside your routine during these times:
• Face masks – either to hydrate or to exfoliate there are many great options on Dermoi’s website
• Facial massages (face roller, gua sha etc…)
It can be difficult when first starting out in skincare to distinguish what is a myth and what is a fact. Finding reliable sources to ensure you are putting in all that effort for a greater good takes time. Some of my top-tips for thorough research is to steer towards scientific research. Medical articles or scientific studies are some of my best resources however there are also many dermatologists with blogs or YouTube channels that very concisely explain skincare in layman terms if the science becomes a bit intimidating. Also gathering the opinion from many different resources is something I always found helpful. If I read something somewhere I would always check other blogs or articles to see if others are saying the same thing. Gathering lots of skincare opinions is how you will finally begin to form your own. Taking the time to know what you’re doing to your skin will always prove beneficial in the long-term to help you reach your skin goals.
Author: Ema Kanlic