Flip through the pages of your favorite fashion magazine or check out a beauty blog, and you're likely to get a whole lot of advice. Amidst the constant buzz about new, must-have products, the influx of anti-aging treatments, and skin-care advice from every corner, it’s hard to separate the hype from reality.
Ever had someone say that dry skin can be fixed just by drinking more water, or that tingling skin means a product is working? With all the myths circulating skin care, it's bound to get confusing. What should you believe?
We compile our favourite now-debunked skin care myths and give you the facts about some commonly held beauty beliefs. Read on to learn the truth behind what really works for your skin!
Unless you've been living under the rock for the past 20 years, you have probably seen celebrities or models applying cucumber slices as part of their skincare routine in movies and pictures!
Is it really useful in relieving those persistent eyebags?
According to dermatologists and Eunice from Geranium Skin Boutique, refrigerated cucumber pieces do help to shrink blood vessels beneath the skin, reduce accumulated fluid and relieve puffy eyes... TEMPORARILY. However, it is definitely not a long term solution to puffy eyebags. Most of the time, it is a surgical issue but changes in diet and lifestyle are probably the biggest factors that can help you reverse those annoying eyebags!
Some of us may have tried this before... applying toothpaste directly on smaller zits or pimples and voila it goes away in half a day! While this trick may be useful for some, it is actually not a recommended skin care practice!
The reason why it works is because toothpaste contains alcohol which can dry up pimples and reduce redness and swelling. Just because the bump becomes smaller, however, it does not mean that it won't return! Moreover, the chemicals for your toothpaste may be too strong for our skin, leaving scars and cause hyperpigmentation which may be permanent... making it more of a problem than those temporary zits in the future!
If only that were true! Unfortunately, women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s can have acne, just like teenagers.
Not everyone who has acne as a teenager will grow out of it, and even if you had clear skin as a teenager, there's no guarantee that you won't get acne later in life, perhaps during menopause. Blame it on our hormones! While men can outgrow acne (because after puberty, men's hormone levels level out), women's hormone levels fluctuate throughout their lifetime, which is why many women experience breakouts around their menstrual cycle. What about the association between acne and food, stress, and over-cleaning your face?
Over-cleaning or scrubbing your face can actually make matters worse!
Acne is caused primarily by hormonal fluctuations that affect the oil gland, creating an environment where acne-causing bacteria can flourish. Don't confuse scrubbing or "deep cleaning" with helping acne, because it absolutely doesn't! Over-cleansing your face triggers inflammation that actually makes acne worse. What really helps breakouts is using a gentle cleanser so you don't damage your skin's outer barrier or create inflammation (both of which hinder your skin's ability to heal and fight bacteria) and using gentle exfoliation. An effective exfoliating product that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid can make all the difference in reducing acne and the red marks it leaves behind.
Probably not. There is no research indicating that make-up or skin-care products cause acne, and there is no consensus on which ingredients are problematic.
In fact, Shiori from SONA Japanese Skin Studio suggests that wearing makeup can actually improve skin health as most primers and foundations contain SPF, giving you additional protection to the sun.
While there has been no conclusive research to date on whether make-up or skin-care products cause acne, women do experience breakouts after using certain products. Such breakouts can be the result of an irritant or an inflammatory response, a random skin reaction, or a result of problematic ingredients unique to a person's skin type. That means you have to experiment to see what might be causing your breakouts.
But as a general rule, you should always try to look out for non-comedogenic makeup and cleansing products that do not clog your pores! Most non-comedogenic products are oil-free and irritant-free. They are also likely to contain the following ingredients to help reduce skin inflammation!
If you need help selecting your non-comedogenic makeup, you can consider going to japanese facial salons SONA Japanese Skin Studio who carry such products for their acne-prone customers!
The term "age spot" is really a misnomer. Brown, freckle-like skin discolourations are not a result of age. They are the result of years of unprotected sun exposure.
Sun spots can show up at any age, from the freckles sprinkled across a child's nose to smooth, flat brown discolorations you may see as early as your mid-20s. At any age, treating sun-induced brown discolourations doesn't necessarily require a specialty product, but it does take proven ingredients (like hydroquinone, niacinamide, and forms of vitamin C) plus daily sun protection to make a noticeable, lasting difference.
As Grace from a top local salon in Singapore Geranium Skin Boutique shares with us, no there is no magic potion or combination of products in any price range that can make wrinkles truly disappear or prevent them.
Good maintenance, beauty regime and hard work including the daily use of a well-formulated sunscreen are however the only way that we can age confidently, gracefully and naturally!
The wrinkles you see and agonize over (not to be confused with fine lines caused by dryness, which are easily remedied with a good moisturizer) are the result of cumulative sun damage and the inevitable breakdown of your skin's natural support structure. Skin-care ingredients, no matter who is selling them or what claims they make for them, cannot replace what plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists do.
But if invasive and often unnatural aesthetic techniques and plastic surgery is not your style, here are less invasive ways that can help you slow down the natural ageing process:
As mentioned, wrinkles form because of the breakdown of your skin's natural support system and buildup of toxins. Grace has therefore created Geranium's award-winning Face Toning TM that stimulates facial muscles to encourage the skin to continuously renew itself and remove toxins from the lymphatic system so that the skin cells can function more healthily and more effectively absorb nutrients, antioxidants and minerals for younger and glowin skin. This is done through combining the western Microdermabrasion with the eastern Gua Sha therapy that has shown to to help many customers reduce the number of wrinkles and give a more firm V-shaped face contour!
Shiori from SONA Japanese Skin Studio attacks the onslaught of ageing from another angle: by using Ultrasound and Microcurrent to stimulate collagen and Elastin Production. Unlike laser treatments that simply target outer layers of skin, ultrasound therapy bypasses the skin's surface and delivers the collagen stimulating ultrasound to deepest layers of the skin. As the dermis layer of the skin contains most of the skin’s specialized cells and structures, it synthesizes less collagen each year after about age 20 and further after menopause, leaving the skin drier, thinner, and not as taut as before. Once the dermis begins producing the new collagen, sagging facial and neck skin lifts and starts to look younger and tighter! Microcurrent, on the other hand, is a low level of electricity that mirrors the body‘s own natural electrical currents, triggering chemical reactions at a cellular level to enhance the production of natural collagen and elastin, provide circulatory benefits, and re-educate the muscles of the face.
By combining both Ultrasound and Microcurrent, customers can experience immediate firming, smoothing, and re-hydration of the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, basically achieving a facelift without the surgical procedures.
If these maintenance procedures are done on a more regular basis by a reliable and trustworthy facial therapist, you can be sure that far fewer wrinkles will appear on your face than ladies of a similar age... even without going for plastic surgery!
Blackheads may make your skin look dirty, but they are unrelated to dirt!
Blackheads are formed when hormones cause too much sebum to be produced, dead skin cells get in the way, the pore is impaired or mis-shapen, and the path for the oil to exit through the pore is blocked, creating a clog. As this clog nears the surface of the skin, the mixture of oil and cellular debris oxidizes and turns black. Unfortunately, you cannot scrub away blackheads, at least not completely. Using a topical scrub removes the top portion of the blackhead, but does nothing to address the underlying cause, so they're back again before too long. Instead of a scrub, try using a well-formulated BHA (salicylic acid) product. Salicylic acid exfoliates inside the pore lining, dissolving oil and dead skin cells that lead to constant blackheads.
Every time we go for a facial, extraction is a painful yet must-have procedure for most of us as it helps get rid of those annoying blackheads! Some of us think that the more aggressive the facial therapist with extraction, the better!
Well, that's not exactly the case!
Shiori from SONA Japanese Skin Studio shared that blackheads that are buried too deep are not recommended to be removed during extraction all at once! This is because aggressive extraction is usually the cause of long term scarring and pigmentation which can take months to heal! Instead, it is better to exfoliate the area twice or 3 times a week and wait for a month before going back to a skincare professional to remove the blackheads when it is ready to be removed!
Credits: Flickr Creative Commons
Ironically, dry skin is not as simple as just a lack of moisture. Drinking more water won't make dry skin look or feel better.
The studies that have compared the water content of dry skin to that of normal or oily skin show that there doesn't appear to be a statistically significant difference. Adding more moisture to the skin is also not necessarily a good thing. If anything, too much moisture, like soaking in a bathtub, is bad for the skin because it disrupts the skin's outer barrier by breaking down the substances that keep skin cells functioning normally and in good shape. So how does dry skin happen?
What is thought to be taking place when dry skin occurs is that the substances between skin cells that keep them intact, smooth, and healthy has become depleted or damaged, bringing about a rough, uneven, and flaky texture that allows water to be lost. However, adding water won't keep that moisture in the skin unless the outer barrier is maintained or repaired. To prevent dry skin, the primary goal is to avoid and reduce anything that damages the outer barrier, including sun damage, products that contain irritating ingredients, alcohol, drying cleansers, and smoking.
All of the research about dry skin is related to the ingredients and treatments that reinforce the substances in skin that keep it functioning normally.
Skin doesn't adapt to skin-care products any more than your body adapts to a healthy diet.
If spinach and grapes are healthy for you, they are always healthy and they continue to be healthy, even if you eat them every day. The same is true for your skin, as long as you are applying what is healthy for it (and avoiding negative external sources such as unprotected sun exposure). You may see skin stop improving as much as it initially did, but the explanation for that is simple: If you were using products with irritating or drying ingredients and then switched to brilliantly-formulated products, your initial improvement is going to be much more significant than what you'll see months later, when your skin is maintaining its new-found healthy, younger appearance.
There are three kinds of ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays penetrate the skin fairly deeply, altering your pigmentation to produce a tan. UVB rays are the primary sunburn rays. These rays also damage your skin's DNA and cause photoaging, pigment changes, and carcinomas (cancerous tumors). UVC rays are absorbed by the atmosphere and don't make it to the ground.
The SPF rating is a measure of the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to the time it would take with sunscreen on. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offers 100% protection. The difference in sunburn protection between the medium- and high-SPF sunscreens is not great. Look for an SPF of 30 and one of the following ingredients: mexoryl, oxybenzone or avobenzone for UVA protection, or titanium dioxide.
Even on a cloudy day, UV radiation from the sun reaches the earth's surface.
The sun’s rays lead to more than 80 percent of the changes that result in wrinkles, age spots, dilated blood vessels, spider veins, red bumps, growths and raised dark spots. UVA rays are a product not just of direct sun but of all natural light, capable of reaching the skin through glass, clouds and smog. In other words, there is no such thing as a sunless day.
Also, don't fall prey to the myth that you're protected just because you're wearing make-up with an SPF. According to research, you would have to put on 14 or 15 times the amount of make-up that a normal person would wear to reach the SPF on the label of powdered make-up. The same thing goes for foundation and liquid make-up.
Make sure you use sunscreen everyday in addition to your makeup, and reapply it every two hours as well as after swimming or sweating!
As founder and therapist at Geranium Skin Boutique, Grace shared that she has heard many customers commenting the following: "Aren't toners supposed to be like your second cleanser? Every time I use the toner on a cotton wool, I still see dirt or residue left behind!"
Toners are an important yet misunderstood step in your daily program. Toners are NOT a second cleanser. If you find that you still have dirt on your cotton wool, it means that you didn't get your skin clean so you better go back to your first step of Cleansing again!
Cleansers cleanse while toners tone or prepare. Toners prepare your skin for a moisturizer by reacidifying your skin to replace your skin's naturally low pH which is disrupted with gentle cleansers. Toners also contain hydration ingredients to hydrate your skin!
Do you have any myths to share or questions about skincare routines? Comment below!