We have all grown up with old wives tales about what is lucky, how to make your garden grow or what to feed your children. And we know that most of them are not based in much fact.
So, why do so many of still listen to them when it comes to our skin?
The skin is not only your largest organ, it is also the most visible. So it is vital that we look after it properly if we want to keep it healthy.
Here, we look at some of the most popular myths about skincare and find out whether there is any truth in them.
Myth 1: You should wash your face with soap and water
We all want to be clean, especially when we wear make-up, so it is natural to want to give our faces a good scrub.
However, many soaps can have a very drying effect on the skin as they strips it of its natural oils. The rubbing of the skin can also create irritation as it is too harsh.
There are many skin cleansers on the market which are great at removing make-up as well as the dirt, debris and pollutants that builds up on our skin each day.
Choose one that is especially suited to your skin type, to ensure that it cares for your skin as well as doing its job.
Myth 2: Anti-ageing products are for the over fifties
Many people think that anti-ageing creams are the sort of thing you use when the wrinkles are showing and it is time to turn back the clock.
The sad reality is that our skin actually starts ageing as young as 21.1
The old adage says that prevention is better than cure, and that is particularly true when it comes to anti-ageing products.
The earlier you start to use them, the healthier your skin will be for longer.
Many anti-ageing products contain anti-oxidants and other powerful ingredients such as retinol and acids, so you must take you time to choose one that is right for your skin and your age if you want it to be really effective.
Myth 3: Toothpaste gets rid of spots
Many teenagers have gone to bed with toothpaste dotted around their faces in an effort to get rid of a breakout before a big date. It is doubtful that many of them saw any results though.
Some of the classic toothpaste ingredients such as baking soda and alcohol have drying properties, which is why many people assume this will work.
However, these are more likely to over-dry or even irritate the skin, making it look worse, not better.
Stick to over-the-counter products that are designed to do the job and which contain ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Myth 4: Expensive make-up is better for you
If we are honest with ourselves, we are all suckers for big names and fancy packaging, so we convince ourselves that expensive make-up is somehow giving us more.
However, that is not always the case.
With expensive make-up, you may find that there is increased pigmentation, but there is not much more that it offers.
You might find there is a fancy applicator and a pretty scent, but it is unlikely to do more for your skin and the fundamental components are essentially the same in most make-up.
Myth 5: Collagen creams make you look younger
It is well-known that collagen is the scaffolding of our skin, and so when it starts to diminish, we see sagging and wrinkles appearing.
Therefore, any product that claims it has collagen in it, makes us believe that we can reverses this process. Unfortunately, the structure of the skin means this is not strictly possible.
Collagen is mostly found in the second layer of the skin, known as the dermis. A cream that is applied to the top layer of the skin simply penetrate to this depth.
Another issue is the way that collagen forms, as it takes on the structure of a large, braided molecule that links into long chains within the skin. As the molecules are quite substantial in size, they are simply too big to penetrate the skin.
These products will certainly feel nice, and the skin will be moisturised, but don’t expect to restore the inner structure of your skin.
Myth 6: Tanning is good for you
Whilst many of us are now aware of the dangers of the sun, there are still many that believe that having a tan is a sign of good health.
Whilst sun exposure does activate the vitamin D in our bodies, this needs to be done carefully.
Far from being a sign of health, a tan is actually sun damage caused by UV rays.
The change in colour that we recognise as a tan is the skin’s attempt at protecting us from harmful UV rays.
However, it is not particularly successful. In fact, it is estimated that a tan offers you the equivalent of SPF 3 sunscreen.2
Last updated: 29 October 2020