Although so many more people are becoming interested and invested in skincare (which is amazing), there are sooooo many myths surrounding it that I really wish I knew when I first started. Sometimes it’s down to a business trying to create more profit, but other times it’s simply misguided information. I’m here to help you bust some of these myths today.

MYTH 1: Pores open and close

I’m certain EVERYONE has heard this one, you need to steam your face prior to cleansing or exfoliating in order to open your pores and then use cold water after to close them. Guys, this is a myth. Pores are pores they cannot open and close, cleansing, exfoliating and extracting help to dislodge dirt and build-up that may be trapped in these pores. This may give the “appearance” of smaller pores but I’m afraid they’re still the same. Unfortunately, there’s no magic way to eliminate your pores, and do you know what I think they should be embraced – it's so normal!! Particularly if you have oily skin, don’t stress about them. All of those products that claim to reduce the size of them really mean they “help” to reduce the “appearance” of them.

MYTH 2: The more expensive the skincare the more effective it is

I don’t think many people will be surprised by this as it’s pretty similar with any beauty product. More expensive does not equal more effective! When it comes to beauty products, expense isn’t necessarily down to the quality of the ingredients or product itself – it could be due to packaging costs, whether it’s a luxury brand, certain fragrances used and many other factors. I have tried my fair share of luxury skincare and although the packaging often looks beautiful and the product may feel luxurious, it hasn’t done my skin as much good as an affordable skincare brand. A great example of this is “The Ordinary” - rather than focusing on fancy packaging they have created simple products with quality ingredients that really work and for such an affordable price. Rather than focusing on the brand or cost, look at reviews instead!

MYTH 3: Don’t use thick/heavy creams if you have oily skin

This is something I really wish I’d known when I first started using skincare – just because you have oily skin, it doesn’t mean you should use oil-free products!! If my acne-prone teenage Self had known this 10 or so years ago my skin would have improved far quicker. The skin produces oil in order to hydrate the skin, when someone has acne or super oily skin this is due to an overactive sebaceous gland. Funnily enough someone can be oily/acne prone and their skin is dehydrated – usually this is down to the individual over cleansing/exfoliating and using too many oil-free products. If the purpose of our sebaceous glands is to keep the skin hydrated and we continue to dry out our skin, what do you think the glands’ response will be... to product more oil. Do you see how we end up going in circles? If you have cystic acne consult with a doctor who can give you the correct medication/products, otherwise if you suffer with breakouts simply spot correct those with a drying product like the Mario Badescu Spot Treatment. For the rest of your skin use gentle cleansers/exfoliators and moisturisers that nourish and hydrate your skin. Although I am oily, I will always use a thick night-time moisturiser and this keeps my skin plump, healthy and hydrated, for the daytime opt for something lighter like a gel cream to hydrate without making the skin feel greasy.

MYTH 4: Ageing skin is simply genetic

I was so surprised to learn that this is a myth! Believe it or not your ageing is affected roughly – 30% by your genetics and 70% by your lifestyle!!! How crazy?! The Skincare Bible is a really great book that goes into this in more detail but there are certain factors that age the skin – most notably sun damage, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, lack of sleep and poor diet. It certainly makes you think doesn’t it, you could use all the best skincare in the world but if you’re not using your SPF daily the sun damage to your skin could still cause premature ageing. I highly recommend getting the book to find out more details on this but it has definitely made me far more aware of my lifestyle and how that could be affecting not just ageing but my health in general (remember the skin is your largest organ).

MYTH 5: You need to exfoliate daily

This is a big myth right here! It is not necessary to exfoliate daily and if you have sensitive skin this can actually cause major irritation. If you are currently doing this and it works for you then fine but it’s not something that is recommended. It is recommended that we exfoliate around 2x per week, depending on your skin sensitivity will depend on the type of exfoliant you opt for. I do not like scrubs at all!! I have mildly sensitive skin and these products cause rashes and break me out, I don’t think we need to use anything that harsh on our face – keep that for the body. I love love love chemical exfoliants. I know these sound scary but they’re incredible, products like the Wishful Skin Enzyme scrub are a gentle chemical exfoliant that immediately remove dirt and dead skin from the face. Whereas products like Retinol or AHAs/BHAs that you can find in serums get to work as you leave them on. Please keep in mind that if you are using Retinols or Acids that you start with a very low dosage and work your way up as if you’re skin isn’t used to them it may cause irritation.

MYTH 6: SPF is only needed in the Summer

THE BIGGEST MYTH EVERRRRR! This is one that I’ve only learnt about in the past year or so, I think because I live in the UK and we get about 2 mins of sunlight a year (slight exaggeration but you get what I mean) that I wouldn’t need to use SPF unless I was on holiday. I’m pretty sure every other British person has this mentality... and I’m afraid some don’t even wear it on holiday in the hope to get a better tan. Well earlier we just found out that sun damage is the biggest cause of skin ageing and worse than that it can cause skin cancer! I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to wear your SPF every single day, whether it’s summer or winter – UVB rays can penetrate clouds and windows and so can damage your skin year-round. If you don’t want to add an extra step into your skincare routine an easy way to solve this is to buy a moisturiser with SPF in it (though I would stress that you do need to reapply and generally it’s more effective applied over moisturiser).

I really hope you enjoyed this one I actually had so much fun writing it – if it was helpful let me know in the comments below, and if there are any other beauty myths you want me to bust let me know!

Love Char xx

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