Skincare: Separating fact from fiction

Skincare: Separating fact from fiction

By Emily Ruse, Front of House Manager

With so many people advertising themselves as ‘experts’ in the field of skincare these days, it can be difficult to tell apart sound facts from the complete nonsense and there’s a lot of nonsense…


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These days, people looking for advice tend to turn to the internet before anywhere else – how many times have you suffered from a random pain in the leg, opened up google and five minutes later self-diagnosed a life-threatening illness? We’ve all been there. But often you will find that not everything you read on the internet is true. When it comes to the beauty industry there are so many magazines, Instagram stars and bloggers all claiming to be experts in the field that it creates a minefield for people searching for genuine, reliable advice backed by science. It is important to remember that not everything you read on the internet is true and if you have a skin concern or would like just some advice, most of the time you are better off discussing it with a professional.


Misconception: Sunscreen is only for the summer months.

Many people believe that they only need to protect themselves from UV light during the summer – this is probably one of the biggest misconceptions in the industry and its one that we see every single day. Sunlight is made up of multiple wavelengths of light including UVA and UVB. UVA light is classically thought to be associated with skin ageing and UVB for burning. While UVB light varies depending on the seasons, UVA penetrates glass windows and is relatively unchanged by the time of day, season and altitude. Meaning yes, you need to slather on the SPF even in the colder months.

Now, before you say the four words that any Aesthetician hates to hear, just because your makeup contains SPF does not mean you don’t need to use a separate sunscreen underneath and here’s why – broad-spectrum sunscreen offers protection against UVA and UVB, both of which are harmful to the skin. Make-up products, such as foundation, may not offer the same degree of protection as they are often geared towards limiting UVB alone. If skin ageing is a concern, then protection against both UVA and UVB is vital, meaning you should be using sunscreen on a daily basis.


Misconception: Botox is permanent, and the results are immediate.

We see a lot of misconceptions around Botox, one of them being the idea that Botox prevents wrinkles permanently. When you have Botox, you are preventing fine lines and the deepening of those wrinkles that you already have. It works by relaxing the muscles that crease the skin and typically lasts 4-6 months before results begin to wear off. Therefore, you must continually keep your Botox topped up if you wish to diminish wrinkles formed by muscle movement. On average, Botox treatments take around 10-14 days to fully take effect. This is because the treatment works by changing the size/strength of the muscle injected which does take some time and means that nobody will ever see immediate results.


Misconception: Dry skin needs moisturiser.

It may sound like a bold statement to make, but moisturisers often aren’t the answer to your dry skin related prayers. We believe and follow Dr Zein Obagi’s philosophy on skin health and treatment. Dr Obagi, a Board-Certified Dermatologist for over 35 years, is well known in the dermatology and skincare industry for pioneering advanced skincare solutions. His approach is to create healthy skin rather than just treating the obvious symptoms.

To break it down without running off on a tangent, the dermal layer of the skin has three important components: Elastin, Collagen and Glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s). These three musketeers from the Extracellular Matrix which is responsible for how our skin operates and looks. When we are young, all these cells work optimally but fast forward into your twenties and the skin slowly starts to degenerate. This is known as the ageing process.

It’s during this time that many people will start to see the ‘signs’ – fine lines, milia, brown spots, dryness, whatever it may be. But instead of just temporarily fixing the problem, we go to the source of the issue and repair it. For example, in the case of dryness, we need to repair the breakdown of GAG’s and the skin will be able to hydrate itself again. Whereas, if you apply moisturiser to the surface of the skin, it will just sit there collecting dust (or dead skin) and interfere with the skin’s own ability to produce hydration.

So how do we fix the Extracellular Matrix? Well, if you keep for skin exfoliated with both a physical scrub and a retinoid and nourished with an antioxidant you will find the skin does not require any additional hydration.


Misconception: Permanent fillers are better and more cost effective than having to return every 6-12 months.

Permanent fillers likely cause permanent problems. As we age, our facial structure changes with gravity and volume loss. A permanent filler injected in your 30s or 40s may not look the same when you are in your 60s. Therefore, it is very important to confirm with your practitioner which product they plan to use in your face. Temporary products containing hyaluronic acid e.g. Juvederm or Teoxane are gold standard products. Another bonus – if you’re not happy with the results, they can easily be reversed by injecting a dissolving product called hyaluronidase into the filled areas.


Misconception: The sun can help heal acne.

Contrary to popular belief, the sun does not make your acne better. The initial, temporary drying effect and the blemish concealing tan may fool you, but the sun’s rays actually stimulate oil production. What’s more, the sun’s rays can cause dryness and a buildup of dead skin cells, which can block pores and promote acne. Therefore, not only can increased sun exposure create breakouts but it can also cause them to be more severe than they were beforehand. As well as this, overexposure to the sun can lead to other skin issues such as pigmentation, ageing and an increased risk of melanoma.


Misconception: Your skin will get used to skincare products and stop responding to them.

It is very unlikely that your skin will “get used to” the beneficial effects of skin-care products. When active ingredients in your products are giving you the desired results and improvements, there’s no reason for them to stop giving you that same result, granted the skin condition you’re treating doesn’t change. While your skin won’t necessarily “get used to” the products it can get accustomed to and eventually accommodate some of the potentially irritating ingredients such as glycolic acid and retinol.


Misconception: Botox leads to a loss of expression

At one point or another, we’ve all seen an actress or television who has had too much Botox and can no longer move their face. Botox works by relaxing muscle movement, reducing the frequency and severity of line and wrinkle formation in the skin. “Frozen face” is caused when an excessive number of Botox units are administered and is easily avoidable if you go to a provider with the proper expertise and training.


Misconception: “Age spots” are a result of ageing.

Aside from the name, age spots don’t actually have much to do with ageing as much as it does with the sun. Age spots are essentially sun damage. They are caused as a result of the suns UV rays which penetrate all year-round. These rays cause a chemical reaction in your skin’s melanin which is the substance that gives you your skin tone, eye colour and hair colour. Being exposed to the sun regularly or leaving your skin unprotected from UV rays darkens the skin’s pigment, giving you a tanned look. As new skin cells form, the tan normally fades but sadly, as you age, your cell turnover isn’t as quick as it is in your 20s, resulting in age spots that don’t fade along with the rest of the tan.


Misconception: Toothpaste can help to heal acne.

Certain ingredients in toothpaste such as menthol, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and baking soda all have drying properties. However, there are no ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments and over-drying and even burning can occur from applying it to spots and blemishes. We’ve all done it once or twice over our teenage years however toothpaste will only irritate the skin, and the pimple will probably eventually disappear along with the irritation, but toothpaste is in no way a primary treatment for acne. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid that can be purchased over the counter are much better options.


Misconception: Natural, organic skincare is safer than synthetic ingredients.

Many synthetic or lab processed ingredients are not only perfectly safe for humans, but they are also more stable, less inconsistent in their composition and less likely to cause a reaction than many natural ingredients. “Natural” or “organic” skincare products often don’t have the research and studies to back up their efficiency and tolerability – if it’s results you are looking for, it is best to stick to the tried and tested, top of the range medical grade products that have seen proven results.


Misconception: Pores can shrink.

There are an abundance of products on the market that all come with the pitch of permanently shrinking, diminishing and making pores look basically nonexistent – very attractive promises to someone who struggles with their pore size but sadly this isn’t a reality. You cannot decrease your pore size or erase them altogether. Nor can you sand them down, scrub them off or empty them out. The number of pores you have as well as the size of them is genetically determined – any product that promises you anything different is, well, quite frankly lying. That being said, there are some things that you can do to help your pores appear smaller – ‘appear’ being the operative word here. It’s true that oiler skin types tend to have larger pores than drier skin types, due to the excess oil in the pores causing them to stretch out. So logically, if you reduce the oil, you can reduce the visibility. Treatments such as chemical peels and Co2 Laser resurfacing will be your pores best friends in this respect as they work to reduce the oiliness and therefore make pores appear smaller.

Book a complimentary consultation with one of our skincare experts. We offer professional advice on a wide range of medical skincare and prescription strength products.

Call 01892 22 22 22