Daily Express

Top 10 beauty myths... busted! bea myt bus

Skincare guru Paula Begoun has been on a mission to demystify and debunk the beauty industry for decades. Here, she tackles some of the biggest misconcept­ions


With a lifetime in the beauty industry under her belt, what Paula Begoun doesn’t know about skincare isn’t worth knowing.

Founder of best-selling brand Paula’s Choice (paulaschoi­ce.co.uk), the former beauty counter worker was fired from her job in 1975 for telling customers the truth about what products could and could not do for their skin.

Yet it is exactly this no-nonsense advice that has led her to become the global skincare guru she is today.

Author of 20 books including cult favourites Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal and Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, she’s still on a mission to dispel the beauty myths that crop up time and time again.

“Some beauty myths are handed down generation after generation and repeated over and over,” says Paula, 68, who lives in Seattle.

“While they may have started out as well-intentione­d, we now know better due to the incredible amounts of research carried out over the past 10 years that proves what is really possible for skin and what isn’t.” And then there’s social media. “For some people there seems to be an intense need to be a part of the latest hack or trend,” says Paula. “But fads and trends are all too often a passing phase, based on marketing and not research.

“I’m here to tell you that you should never take a gamble on your skin.

“Stick to ingredient­s and skincare technologi­es that research has proved really work. That’s what will always give you the best results every day of your life.”

Here, Paula busts 10 of the biggest beauty myths.

1 MYTH: Skin repairs itself best at night

This myth re-emerges time and time again, but research shows the opposite is true.

Skin actually heals better during the day than it does at night. This is because during the day you are moving around more, boosting blood flow and

oxygen intake, which in turn stimulates healing far more than lying in bed. Yes, skin heals at night too, and getting a good night’s sleep is important. But day or night, skin needs brilliant repairing ingredient­s. So please don’t fall for the claims that there are special ingredient­s that are needed to repair skin at night because it simply isn’t true.

2 MYTH: It’s OK to skip sunscreen on a cloudy day or if I’m not going outside

Decades of research have shown that any amount of unprotecte­d exposure to daylight – even one minute – damages skin, and this includes cloudy days.

Even indoors your skin is at risk because harmful rays penetrate glass.

All this adds up to serious problems, includding premature skin ageing and skin cancer. It’s important to find a sunscreen – SPF30 or greater – with a texture you like that works for your skin type, so you will enjoy applying it 365 days a year.

3 MYTH: A cooling or tingling sensation means a product is working

In reality, a cooling or tingling sensation is your skin’s way of telling you it’s sensitised and irritated. In addition to the irritation you feel on the surface, this is also a sign of inflammati­on occurring in the deeper layers of skin, which can destroy support structures. Menthol, essential oils, fragrance of any kind, alcohol, cinnamon and eucalyptus are all common ingredient­s used to create this sensation so customers think a product is working, despite the fact research shows it’s a problem for skin.

4 MYTH: The solution to dry skin is to drink more water

Although drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your overall health, it won’t change dry skin. If that’s all it took, no one would have dry skin.

Treating a dehydrated complexion is far more complex than just drinking water.

This is where great skincare comes into its own.

Ingredient­s such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, electrolyt­es, omega fatty acids and niacinamid­e will do far more to improve dryness (along with other skin concerns) than drinking lots of water can.

5 MYTH: Your skin adapts to products so they stop working

Skin doesn’t adapt to skincare products any more than your body adapts to a healthy diet. Eating spinach and grapes is healthy for you today, and will continue to be healthy for the rest of your life. The same is true for your skin.

Skin is the largest organ of the body and needs replenishi­ng, with ingredient­s restored every day to keep it healthy.

Of course, your skin’s needs may change over time, in which case you might have to adjust your skincare routine, but that doesn’t mean your skin has “adapted” to the beneficial ingredient­s you were already using.

6 MYTH: Essential oils are great for treating skin concerns

Some components of essential oils are indeed beneficial for skin, but unfortunat­ely essential oils are also comprised of volatile fragrant compounds that cause inflammati­on, ultimately leaving skin worse off.

Non-fragrant plant oils such as jojoba, canola, sunflower, argan and most berry oils impart skin benefits without the pitfalls essential oils have.

7 MYTH: Sheet masks help ingredient­s absorb

There is no research that shows sheet masks have any advantage over using regular facial masks or other skincare products such as moisturise­rs or serums.

When it comes to skincare ingredient­s, absorption is strictly based on the ingredient’s molecular size or the product’s delivery system.

It’s important to remember that not all ingredient­s need to be absorbed on the same level.

The best skincare formulatio­ns are designed so some ingredient­s remain on the surface to protect the skin’s barrier, some absorb just below to nourish the lower layers, and others will go more deeply, where they can help to repair skin.

8 MYTH: Natural ingredient­s are better for skin

Research makes it abundantly clear that while there are lots of brilliant natural ingredient­s for skin, there are also plenty of natural ingredient­s that are irritating and damaging – and these show up in skin products all of the time.

On the other hand, there are lab-engineered ingredient­s that are brilliant for skin and work far better than their natural counterpar­ts.

Sadly, these amazing “unnatural” ingredient­s get downplayed or are accused of being bad for the skin when the opposite is true. Simply put, natural doesn’t always mean better.

9 MYTH: Drying skin with astringent­s can get rid of acne

Acne is first and foremost an inflammato­ry skin disorder so anything you do that increases inflammati­on makes it worse. Drying the skin’s surface with products containing harsh ingredient­s or using abrasive scrubs will lead to more breakouts and impede the skin’s ability to heal.

So, what actually works? A gentle water-soluble face wash to cleanse skin, a BHA exfoliant to decongest pores, clear breakouts and reduce inflammati­on, and an azelaic acid treatment to prevent blemishes, while also fading the marks they leave behind.

10 MYTH: Facial massage improves skin health

This is false. If anything, facial massage can accelerate skin ageing because it increases sagging.

Never massage, pull or tug at the skin. If you feel your skin move, whether up or down, sideways, or in a circular motion, you are helping it sag faster than it normally would.

This is a physiologi­cal fact because the movement of skin in any direction stretches the delicate elastin fibres that give it bounce and resilience. Elastin fibres are the rubber band support structures in skin and just like a rubber band that is constantly pulled and tugged, these fibres stop going back to their original shape, eventually breaking, resulting in sagging.

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