A ton of skincare advice is readily available, courtesy the internet and old wives tales. But how much of it is good for your skin? Best case scenario, some of this advice has no effect on the problems you wish to tackle. Worst case, it is downright harmful!
The important point to note about skincare is that it is very specific to individual constitutions. Concerns should be addressed with customised routines from a dermatologist who can easily help you devise a treatment plan. Most people, however, tend to try out remedies they’ve overheard or follow routines prescribed by all-knowing family members.
The result? Making your skin concerns a bigger issue than when you began! Beat the unverified counsel out there with our myth-busting points below:
Photo credits: Humphrey Muleba (L); Jernej Graj (R)
Hot water opens up pores
Do not wash your face directly with hot water. Steam or a hot towel are better options to gently coax open your pores. Avoid shocking the delicate nerves in your face with freezing water and opt for lukewarm instead. While a hot shower or rinse may feel soothing, it will damage your skin by stripping it of its natural protective barrier and drying it out. How do you know hot is too hot? If your skin glows red with a rush of blood, you’ve gone too far!
Moisturising oily skin
Oily acne-prone or dry and dehydrated skin, they all need to be moisturised for balanced and nourished skin. The key point to note is the type and amount of moisturiser your skin requires. While oily skin requires the least amount of moisture, a moisturiser should still be a vital part of your routine for soft, hydrated skin. Our advice is to opt for a hydrating serum or light lotion over a heavy cream that could cause you more trouble.
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Products becoming ineffective over repeated usage
Your skin’s needs are dependent on the climate, your immediate surroundings, hormones and the products that are part of your skin ritual. Products that work on your skin have a proven track record. Also, consider that a cream or lotion that works with your perspiration in the summer may not be ideal for the extra moisture needed to combat chapped winter skin. As your skin ages it will change, you might need to revisit products that you’ve outgrown.
Understanding 'all-natural' products
All natural products are currently the hottest fad. However, you might want to consider the fact that natural products, completely sans preservatives, will not keep for a very long time. The question to ask oneself is whether the product is really natural. How is it not decaying over time? In order to keep it natural there are certain preservatives that will inevitably be used. Keep a beady eye on the contents. Often, even natural ingredients can cause irritation for some. Firstly, you need to consider the source of these products. Where are the ingredients grown? How are they processed? Without knowledge of its provenance, no product is completely safe for use. Do your research!
Photo credits: Sarah Comeau
Water as a cure-all
Water is extremely essential for our body to feel good and remain functional and hydrated. However, it is a not a miraculous cure-all. Guzzling 8-10 glasses of water a day will not keep away dry skin or cure those oily pores. Our liver detoxes and the digestive and urinary systems flush out toxins, and water helps with this process. But it cannot cure everything that afflicts your skin. Our skin’s quality is also the result of oil produced by sebaceous glands and products applied. Consulting an expert and being careful of the products you use are far more effective methods to ensure great skin than just drinking water and expecting an overnight change!
Go forth and conquer the world of skincare with our easy guide.