Toothpaste to treat spots? Cucumber to help puffy eyes? We’ve called in our favourite skincare expert to put these – and other skin myths – to bed.
Vishul Gudka, master of aesthetics, clinical director and lead practitioner of The Aesthetics Room, is here to put our skincare concerns to rest. We’re always hearing of weird and wonderful ways to magically fix our skin, but the real problem? Not knowing which information we can trust. Picking out the 8 most popular myths, are you ready for the truth?
MYTH 1: You don’t need to use anti-ageing products until you’re in your thirties
TRUTH: Anti-ageing products, especially ones with antioxidants, can be used as early as age 21; the earlier you start, the better. Just make sure you use anti-ageing products that are appropriate for your skin type. Potent products such as retinol can be added to your regimen in your mid to late 20s.
MYTH 2: There’s no such thing as washing your face ‘too much’
TRUTH: Over-washing the skin can lead to dryness, sensitivity and irritation, so we need to be sensible about cleansing. The ideal cleanser should be sulphate-free to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils, and it’s important not to rub the skin too harshly.
MYTH 3: Using hot water opens up your pores
TRUTH: Pores are not temperature-sensitive. Hot water makes the skin swell, which makes pores look more “open”, but they don’t open and close based on temperature. When washing your face, water should be kept at a lukewarm temperature.
MYTH 4: Cucumbers and cold spoons help to de-puff your eyes for good
TRUTH: Putting cucumber on your eyes can provide some relief (due to their cooling properties). However, this is a temporary home remedy that doesn’t have a long-term impact.
MYTH 5: Your skin can become immune to skincare ingredients if you always use the same products
TRUTH: It’s unusual for your skin to “get used to” the beneficial effects of medical skin-care products. If active ingredients in your products are giving you the improvement and results needed, there’s no reason it’ll just stop.
MYTH 6: Applying a high SPF only once is fine for the whole day
TRUTH: A higher SPF increases the amount of time you can stay in the sun, protected. For example, SPF30 means you can stay in the sun 30 x longer than you would when not wearing a sunscreen without getting sunburnt. Remember to reapply regularly as sunscreen with a high SPF still wears off. SPF is only one feature of sunscreen – there are other important factors to be taken into account, predominantly the level of UVA protection, which can differ. This will also depend on factors such as your skin type and whether you’ve been in the water.
MYTH 7: People with dry skin age faster
TRUTH: The main factor of ageing skin is predominantly sun exposure, followed by things such as smoking and pollution. Over time, such exposure breaks down collagen fibres which normally keep the skin looking youthful and plump. Therefore, dry skin does not cause wrinkles or ageing, but it can emphasise them make them stand out.
MYTH 8: Toothpaste helps to treat spots
TRUTH: Certain ingredients found in toothpaste, such as alcohol, menthol, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils and triclosan have drying properties. However, this method is no more effective than conventional treatments. Side effects such as over-drying and even burning can occur from applying it to spots.