• Prabhleen Kaur

Skincare Mythbusters

The skincare and cosmetic industry is filled to the brim with misinformation and myths that are far from the truth. You can call them the bane of this industry's existence, but it’s genuinely so crucial for an individual to know the correct information to take the best possible care of their skin. With everybody handing out advice left and right, inaccuracies and fallacies plague all of these rumours, which may be causing real damage to your skin, so it’s time to clear up any misconceptions and find out the real truth to ensure you have no trouble making informed decisions to uplift your skincare and beauty regimen!

Myth #1: Steaming your face will open your pores

I’ll start off by admitting that this was a misconception that I’d believed in for as long as I can remember. Our mothers may have told us that steaming our face will open and unclog our pores, and rinsing it with cold water will close them. Sorry to burst that bubble - but that’s absolutely untrue! Steaming your face will not open your pores, seeing as pores can’t open and close because they aren’t a muscle that can expand and contract. While your pores may seem more visible to you after applying hot water to your face, this has nothing to do with them actually opening - it’s simply because your skin swells up a little bit as a result of the warm water. Seeing these pesky little openings on your skin may feel like a nuisance to you, but they actually serve a crucial purpose to the health of your skin; pores are home to a hair follicle and sebaceous gland that allow way for our skin’s natural oil (sebum), which is meant to moisturize and protect our skin. So what’s the purpose of steaming, you may ask. Steaming itself will not clean out your skin - however, steaming and lightly exfoliating will soften the topmost layer of your skin making it easier to loosen and extract dirt and other buildup that may be blocking your pores. This buildup and dirt can stretch out your pores, giving the appearance of being bigger than they actually are. Along with this, steaming also allows for better penetration of products, allowing them to go deeper into your pores.

Myth #2: Using porestrips will get rid of your blackheads

While they may be bizarrely satisfying to use, reaching for your porestrips to remove your blackheads isn’t the best decision. Peeling off your porestrip and seeing your blackheads may provide you with instant gratification, but that’s all it is; instant, and temporary. Blackheads are essentially the result of dead skin cells and oil blocking your pores. This material oxidises and appears to be black. So do porestrips actually work? The answer is yes, and no. The porestrip will remove your blackheads as a result of the the strong adhesive which rips off the top layer of dead skin, and any bacteria, oil and debris that became oxidised in your pores. However, what porestrips are not able to do is reach deeper into your pores and successfully reach the root of the problem, which means that your blackheads coming back and you removing them with a porestrip is just a never ending cycle. Not only that, but the rough adhesive on the strip can irritate your skin by tearing it, along with ripping out crucial hairs from your pores. The solution to tackling this problem is ensuring that your pores are clean in the first place and are not being blocked by dirt and sebum, to see permanent results. Using deep cleansing products that contain salicylic acid and exfoliating regularly can solve this problem.

Myth #3: Makeup causes acne

This is true - for some products only - which leads to a form of acne called “acne cosmetica”, which is essentially breakouts that are triggered by cosmetics. There may be various different reasons as to why an individual may experience this, however for most people, applying makeup itself isn’t what causes acne - its the lack of its removal that does. Leaving makeup on your skin for long periods of time and not removing it adequately allows for dirt and bacteria to accumulate within your pores, which further goes on to cause acne, breakouts and pimples. This can be avoided altogether by initially testing out products to see if they irritate your skin, and ensuring that you have a specific skincare routine in place to remove your makeup and properly cleanse your skin at the end of the day.

Myth #4: More product, more often is the best for your skin

Less is more - you’ve heard it, and now it’s time to implement it. You may have the most expensive products in the market, but too many products and applying them too often may backfire on you as much as having absolutely no skincare routine would. Most people think, “if a little worked so well for me, even more will do wonders” as they continue to lather on their serums and oils and creams, but truly, too much of anything is bad. The truth is that though it depends on the ingredients of what you’re using, too many products at once have the potential to counteract each other, irritate skin and even cause clogged pores and breakouts as a result of not being absorbed completely. The same goes for over exfoliating and cleansing. Cleansing too often strips your skin of it’s natural oils and may take your skin from healthy and thriving to dry and suffering. As for exfoliating; it has great benefits, the main one being removing dead skin cells which may have been clogging your pores and giving you a dull complexion, but overdoing it with an exfoliator is one of the worst things you can do. How often you should be exfoliating in a week depends on your specific type of skin, but absolutely no one should be exfoliating every single day.

Myth #5: Skip the sunscreen if it’s cloudy outside

You may be tempted to ditch your daily dose of sunscreen when you see the lack of the sun rays outside, but it’s so incredibly important to make sure you guard your skin with sunscreen, even on a cloudy day. A lack of sunscreen doesn’t only cause pesky things like premature ageing and rashes, but may lead to much more serious issues such as sunburns, diseases and cancer. Clouds don’t completely block UV rays - in fact around 80% of UV rays can still pass through clouds and cause damage to your skin. Sun rays can also be reflected through snow, water, grass and sand. So the common misconception of relating sunscreen to temperature is completely inapplicable - you do not only need sunscreen when it is hot and sunny outside, but all year round actually. All in all, no matter what the temperature and weather may be outside, the sun's rays will most definitely find a way back to you, so please make sure you take care of yourself and apply sunscreen to protect yourself from sun and heat damage!

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