CURRENT BEAUTY MYTHS – Caroline Hirons

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A couple of weeks ago I asked for the most-repeated myths around skincare and beauty that you wanted debunked/clarified. Well.

There was A LOT. So, in no particular orderÖ

  • You can use retinoids while breastfeeding. All of them (video filmed with Dr Emma Wedgeworth, Consultant Dermatologist, so that you do not have to take my word for it Ė https://youtu.be/ ).
  • You can use acids Ė all of them Ė while breastfeeding.
  • The general advice is not to use retinoids while pregnant. Although interestingly, brands do not have to disclose that their products contain vitamin A or place any pregnancy warnings on vitamin A products anywhere in the world except for some Gulf States (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Iraq) where you need to disclose retinal, not retinol.
  • You can use retinoids under 25, especially for acne or scarring. It will not damage your skin if you start too early.
  • Retinoids/vitamin A do not thin your skin.
  • Niacinamide, vitamin c and retinoids can be used in the same routine. You donít need to, but you can.
  • You can exfoliate daily, but you might not need to.
  • Micellar water can be used as a cleanser. If you arenít near water, itís fine to use now and again. Or, use it as a first cleanse/eye makeup remover, and follow with a good skin cleanser.
  • Tretinoin (tret) can be (and is) used to treat spots, but you can expect to still get the odd hormonal spot, particularly on your chin.
  • Black skins need sunscreen.
  • You need to reapply sunscreen.
  • Foaming cleansers can be good, particularly for oily skin. Use as a skin cleanser. If you have perioral dermatitis or little skin coloured bumps on your forehead (sometimes known as fungal acne), try avoiding†SLS in foaming cleansers and see if it improves.
  • Fungal acne is not a medically-recognised term. Itís yeast-related.
  • Do not use toothpaste on spots.
  • You can use facial fake tan with retinol or acids, but as retinoids job is cell turnover, it will obviously affect the longevity of your tan.
  • Spot stickers are brilliant, particularly for those under the skin, hormonal spots.
  • If you pluck a hair, three will not come back in itís place. It is one hair follicle, not 3.
  • You can still use actives if you have rosacea. Try azelaic. And avoid the areas that are inflamed if you want to keep up with other actives.
  • You can use vitamin C in AM or PM routines, AM is just commonly recommended due to its antioxidant properties.
  • You can cleanse with the same cleanser twice for a double cleanse or you can use two different cleansers.
  • Leave 20 minutes or longer between retinoids and further serums/moisturiser.
  • Using retinoids on a damp skin will make it work quicker and absorb faster.
  • If you have sensitive skin, fragrance free may be best for you but you donít have to totally avoid fragranced products Ė it depends what triggers your sensitivity.
  • Essential oils trigger more allergies than synthetic fragrances.
  • If you use more eye cream (or any cream/serum/treatment), it is not more effective. Your skin can only absorb so much.
  • All eye creams are not equal. Different eye creams target different concerns. Check out my reviews on different eye creams to find one thatís right for you.
  • You donít have to double cleanse (frankly, you donít have to do anything) but itís good practice.
  • You must use SPF if you have acne.
  • Drinking water does not cure acne.
  • Oily skins can still use oil or cleansing oils. Itís never one-rule-for-all.
  • If you apply SPF directly on top of an oil, it might not be as effective. The oil can break down the SPF.
  • You can use glycolic acid and retinol together.
  • Retinoids are traditionally used in your PM routine, but again, there is no hard and fast rule and some brands now market their vitamin As for daytime use.
  • You need a separate SPF, not in a moisturiser, to encourage proper use and provide full coverage.
  • If your foundation contains SPF, you should still use a separate SPF as you will not be applying enough foundation for full protection.
  • Mineral make-up products (e.g a mineral face powder) do not provide SPF protection.
  • Mineral SPF powders do.
  • You do not need to use products from one brand for it to be more effective. That is marketing.
  • SPF does not cause cancer. People spreading this misinformation are at best, misinformed, and at worst, scare-mongering morons.
  • Toners do not close your pores. Pores are not revolving doors, they do not open and close.
  • Sun beds do not cure acne.
  • Sun beds do cause cancer.
  • Rubbing banana peel on your face will not clear spots.
  • You still need to moisturise if you have oily skin.
  • You do not need a cleanser with an active ingredient in, but it may be beneficial depending on your skin type. For example, if you have oily or congested skin, adding in a BHA cleanser a few times a week might work for you.
  • You can and probably will see a change in skin during pregnancy. Hormones. Itís normal, not a reason for an intervention.
  • Makeup does not block your pores if you are effectively cleansing.
  • Hyaluronic acid is not the only way to hydrate dry/dehydrated skin.
  • It is perfectly possible to be intolerant of hyaluronic acid.
  • Your skincare will not get into your breastmilk.
  • Factor 30 is not as good as Factor 50 SPF.
  • Vitamin C can help improve the look of pigmentation, but it will not permanently reduce/fix it.

PART 2 (yes really) Ė INCOMING.

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