Five of the biggest skincare myths debunked

Anybody who’s ever tried to improve the appearance and health of their skin will know there are a seemingly endless range of opinions out there on what works and what doesn’t.

A lotion will be touted as a miracle cure for wrinkles one week, only to be branded as irritating to your skin the next. Things can get confusing very quickly.

In order to help clear up some of the myths that surround skincare, we’ve contacted experts to request their help. So here is the definitive debunking of some of the most common myths in skincare.

1) You don’t need to wear sunscreen when it’s cloudy

It may sound just a tiny bit alarmist of us to recommend sunscreen even when the sky’s overcast. After all, whoever heard of someone catching a tan in blustery weather? However, if you’ve ever spent several successive days outdoors during cloudy weather– say on a hike, or at a music festival – you’ll no doubt have found that when you next returned home and looked in the mirror, your skin was a few shades darker.

The reality is that UVA & UVB rays can easily penetrate cloud cover, and will indeed damage your skin – if not noticeably at first. If you can see your shadow on the ground, you can still burn if you stay out long enough while unprotected.

2) The more frequently you wash your face, the better

Definitely untrue! Washing your face too often can disturb the microbiome of your skin and damage your skin barrier: the skin cells and fats in your outer layer of skin which keep your skin safe from daily wear and tear.

Twice a day is best: once in the morning – either first thing after waking up, or after your morning workout – and then at night, as soon as you get home. This second cleanse will help to remove the free radicals and grime from your day out and about.

3) The more expensive the product, the better it works

Price doesn’t always indicate efficacy – and besides, everyone’s skin responds differently to different products. Instead of reaching for the most expensive price tag, take your time experimenting with different products and choose what works for you.

A good rule is to invest more in your serums and treatments rather than cleansers and moisturisers.

4) Anything marked ‘natural’ or ‘chemical free’ must be better for you than other types of skincare products

You see a lot of products on shelves marked as ‘all natural’ or ‘chemical free’. However, this doesn’t mean they’re of a higher quality. There is no agreed-upon legal definition of what constitutes ‘natural’, so it’s disconcertingly easy for companies to slap it on a label.

Rather than blindly trusting labels in shops, it’s wise to do a little research online before making your next purchase.

5) You don’t need to exfoliate

Exfoliating is great for your skin, helping it to say soft and silky by clearing away dead skin cells. Removing dead skin can help your skin to appear brighter and healthier, and can minimise the appearance of wrinkles, age spots and acne. If you don’t want to use a mitt or scrubber.

If you prefer, you can use with a liquid exfoliator such as an AHA or BHA toner, which don’t require scrubbing.

Photo by Audrey Fretz