Please Ignore This Skincare Advice

by Olivia Cox October 22
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Mum rules. We all have them. Things we’re told to do or not to do, validated purely by the fact that mum said so, and therefore it must be true. Generally, these morsels of mum-fact were statements cleverly delivered to appear like advice, expertly moudly to present just the right level of fear factor should you choose to go your own way with it. They ranged from the plausible – not swimming for half an hour after eating, wearing a scarf on cold days so you didn’t catch a chill (altho sidenote: what even is a chill?), to the utterly fabricated. Like sitting too close to the TV would give you square eyes, and if the wind changed on a scowl your face would stay like that. Mum-myths. Strangely reasuring but improbably satisfying to prove wrong.

It got me thinking about what sorts of myths I still subscribe to. The main culprits? Skincare myths. There’s loads of things I do and don’t do but don’t really know why I do or don’t do them. You know?

So I thought I’d do some myth-busting to find out whether what I do has any actual basis in fact slash reason, or whether I’m just entirely wrong.

1 You must take your makeup off before bed – TRUE -Skin’s renewal process happens while you sleep. If you leave make-up it prevents this, meaning skin fatigue is accelerated.

2 Oily skins must not use oils on their skin – FALSE – If skin doesn’t have enough oil, it goes into overdrive and produces more sebum than it needs, which causes build up which can lead to spots. So using a topical oil may help reduce skin’s own oil production.

4 Using a primer is just an extra step and that’ll clog my pores – FALSE – A primer acts like a protective barrier to skin, sealing in skincare and helping fend off aggressors. I love to use e.l.f Hydrating Face Primer because it’s super light and makes make-up application seamless.

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5 Foundation makes your pores bigger – FALSE – Foundation doesnt directly affect pore size, but when skin’s own oils mixes with makeup it can make pores appear larger. Using a pore-sealing primer like Guerlain xx before applying make-up will help.

6. You should squeeze spots – FALSE – a) ewwww (but also kind of satisfying shush). b) squeezing spots increases the risk of scarring, and also spreads bacteria, meaning your face friend might soon have a partner or two….

7. Dryer skin types need to exfoliate lesss – FALSE – While it can seem counter-intuitive to exoliate dry skin, it’s imperative to remove the layers of dead skin cells and encourage health skin turnover. A chemical exfoliant (e.g. glycolic acid) is generally better than manual, as the latter can lead to microtears.

8. Only older skins need serum – FALSE – Whilst younger skins won’t need serums targeting deep lines / wrinkles etc, there’s no age perameters for adding something hydrating. Serums contain smaller molecules that penetrate more deeply into skin at a very high concentration, so it’s a great step for all ages.

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9. Cucumbers de-puff your eyes – TRUE – (ish). Because whilst it’s not specific to cucmbers, applying something cool to an area constricts blood vesels and resistricts the fludi build up that can lead to puffiness. So in theory you could do it with anything from aubergine to cold cuts. Altho I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it…

10. Always pat dry face, don’t towel dry – TRUE – Rubbing skin can lead to irritation and inflammation, so always gently pat dry your skin

11. You can’t wear makeup to the gym – 50/50 – As a blanket rule it’s better avoided, since sweat and increased temperature brought on by exercise can lead to open pores which can become blocked by make-up. But. There are some foundations specially developed for this exact scenario. Oxygenetix’s patented breathable silica mesh performs like a second skin and allows skin to breathe.

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