WRITERS, BLOGGERS, PROS AND PEEPS WHO KNOW THEIR BEAUTY STUFF
The Top Five Beauty Myths. Busted.
Fri, 6 July 2012 3:53PM
Having trouble deciphering the smoke and mirrors that is the dizzy world of beauty?
With so much information available to us on all things cosmetic it can get somewhat confusing.
It’s a jungle out there (albeit a very well groomed, sweet smelling, preened jungle) but confusing all the same. Circumnavigating one’s way around the old wives’ tales, marketing claims and what your Aunty Jean told your Mum she shouldn’t do because her next door neighbour’s cousin is a beauty therapist and told her so can be challenging.
I don’t blame you, pretty peaches, if sometimes that mountain of beauty mumbo-jumbo becomes somewhat foxing, even for the foxiest of foxes.
What skincare myths do I think I’ve busted? This is the question I asked myself as tried to evoke my inner Skincare Scully and my findings disclosed in these files I share with you today.
Myth 1: The “I get my glow from my skincare” file
Know a gal that radiates like a 100-watt bulb sans makeup but uses a very basic skincare regime? Yes the world is an unfair place but chances are this pedigree glow-worm gloweths from within. I truly believe skin radiance starts on the inside with nutrition.
Miranda Kerr, Exhibit A, Q.E.D.
The reason I’m so cocksure? I undertook a Daily Green juice challenge in January – a simple green, mostly vegetable-based juice a day and I was sparkling. I’ve never been a glow-worm, never one of those fine specimens with naturally shiny hair, skin or eyes but, boy oh boy, did I glow after this month. I can’t quite describe it but I had a plumped-up hydrated sheen to the skin of my face, sparkling white eyes and a spring in my step.
Noticeably so. People commented on it without the need for dropping a hint bomb or ten. It was quite something and now feeds my growing obsession with feeding my skin from the inside out. My old philosophy of throwing every skincare product I can on the outside has been replaced from inundating my skin with all the goodness and superfoods that I can feed it.
(Well that and a smidge of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, $66, Adore Beauty! Fake it till you make it is my other philosophy.)
Myth 2: The “All melanomas are dark in colour” file
Okay, so I’ll now get the morbid one out of the way so we can all move on to more niceties, shall I? Now I don’t believe everyone knows this little factoid but it is one that is so important to be extra vigilant of here in this great, big but harsh Southern land we are so lucky to reside in.
Most of us do a self-skin health scan every so often right? A quick check for moles that may have darkened or changed shape? Well good, glad to hear it, keep it up please. Perhaps next time just be mindful that you aren’t overlooking any other changes that aren’t so obvious. Melanomas can take the form of colourless patches, red marks, dry patches, dark areas, light areas, raised areas or flat areas. You see where I’m going with this? While it absolutely pays to be vigilant and monitor our skin regularly, an annual skin screen by the pros is also very advisable.
At my most recent skin check I was animatedly pointing out a dark mole here and a large irregular shaped mole there that concerned me and was despondent when the doc paid little or no attention to my proposals, instead honing in on patches I had overlooked. He pondered over several small areas through his high-tech goggles before taking a closer look at some of his findings on his micro-screen.
Luckily all was healthy and normal but it hammered home to me how insufficient my self-screens were. Moral of this story: get an annual professional skin screen. Winter is the perfect time to reassess after a summer spent lolling in the sun. Chat to your GP who can usually provide the initial screen.
Myth 3: The “Exfoliation is the key to healthy skin” file
We all love our exfoliation, right?
It is the key to le glow, no?
Well in parts, yes, but slightly scarily no in the same vein.
Hold up … Whatchya talkin ‘bout, Willis?
Since the exfoliation epidemic that started in the late nineties/early noughties, we are a gaggle of obsessed exfoliaters. We are scrubbing, peeling, and micro-blasting our skin from all angles and crave that shiny, shiny smoothness that comes from a good ol’ fashioned buffing!
Well there is a very fine line into over-exfoliation and I fear most of us are scrubbing well passed it.
Fact! Your skin is your protective layer, a delicately pH-balanced super-performer that helps to protect our bodies from attack. Mess with that layer, scrub it too much, or dissolve it too often with acids or both and old strateum corneum may just have a hissy and start behaving badly.
Dry, thinned and over-sensitised skin are often by products of over-exfoliation. BOO! Hell it can even cause your skin to react and experience further breakouts. GASP!
In fact, that plumped-up post-peel glow that we can often find so addictive is in fact your body’s natural defence reaction. In fear of its protective barrier becoming destroyed, our skin sends out its troops to counteract the trauma and fibroblasts (collagen synthesisers) and blood are pumped to the skin’s surface to counteract the damage.
Am I anti-exfo? No I’m not but I believe, strongly, that most of us are guilty of overdoing it.
Remind me to tell you the story one day of the girl who went to her local skin clinic in search of a teeny course of LED facials only to be bedazzled by the course of peels that were on offer. A lactic, blueberry, pumpkin and a few glycolics later, old greedy exfolio-guts had full-blown cystic acne that took two courses of antibiotics , six months and a whole lot of tender love and affection to nurse back to health. My I mean her delicate skin mantle was so overworked all hell broke loose.
Now that is a scary extreme example but one I urge you to be mindful of next time you plan to frantically peel or scrub your way to a brighter skin day.
I think the key is staying aware of what the active exfoliants are lurking in your skincare are and believe me they are everywhere, in the form of chemicals such as AHAs (glycolic, lactic), BHAs (salicylic) and also physical, mechanical granules in scrubs. If most products across your skincare regime contain exfoliants in one form or another, then chances are you are overdoing it.
Maybe it is time to cut back? My advice – pick one exfoliating hero product and use once or at most twice weekly depending on your skin condition and build from there watching closely how your skin behaves.
I would even go as far as to be a radical and argue a muslin cloth used daily with a gentle cleanser is sufficient. Please don’t burn me at the stake!
Myth 4: The “Help! I’ve aged overnight!” file
You’ve suddenly woken up and noticed crappy, crêpey age has crept in overnight? Crow’s feet more pronounced? Frown lines more prominent?
Panic not. Rip Van Winklette you have not become.
If you suddenly notice your skin is looking wrinkly and aged, chances are your skin is just dehydrated, the first and most common cause of skin looking aged. I notice it most around my eyes, particularly after a night on the turps.
Your action plan: stop calling yourself a nana pronto, pick your sad sack self off the bathroom floor and get the water, coconut water and high water containing fruit and veg into you like cucumber, lettuce and melons into you pronto. (Green juice, anyone?)
Next, shed your newfound nana with some souped-up hydrating creams. Look for a product with hyaluronic acid in the ingredient listing – a mega hydration magnet ingredient.
A hydrating gel masque is your friend right now – Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, $68.50, 1800 659 118, is a hero in the form of a gel for these mini-drama times. Fret not you’ll be back to your young self in no time!
Myth 5: The “What I spend on skincare is directly proportional to how good my skin looks” file
“You pay for what you get with skincare.”
“I splurge therefore I am.”
That’s a negative, ghost-writers, but again a dragon I used to chase. The fancier the product, the more I craved it. The more new science, big claims, bells and whistles it had, the more I had to have it. But ponder this, skincare philosophers: surely the pricier the product’s marketing budget, the bigger the campaign, the glossier the magazine ads, the more high profile the million dollar celebrity endorsement, the less your money is actually going towards your skincare goo?
Now ponder this: a low-profile local Aussie skincare company, using locally sourced Aussie native skin-super ingredients in not-so-fancy packaging with a small marketing spend but a focus on quality-concentrated ingredients. Possibly more bang for your buck? Just throwing it out there …
The key to unlocking this myth? Focus on that ingredient list not that brand name. Are your active ingredients listed in the top seven ingredients? Does the ingredient listing read like the glossary of a botanicals book or a chemistry book? Is water the main ingredient? Now think what you are actually paying for.
My skincare choices these days come from researching this information not what the catchy TV ad tells me. I’m a total label geeks, I could spend hours reading product labels in Priceline. I won’t buy a product online without first checking the ingredients listing either. Now if only I had the same self-restrain and stringent screening for shoes …
You said it, Special Agent Fox Mulder! The truth is out there, you just need to know how to look!
So, fellow Primpers, let’s talk more about exfo. Which side of the fence do you scrub on?
Are you a green juicer?
Ever woken up looking like an old prune over night?
Special Agent Fox Mulder? Fox?
- Julie Wakely, Me, My Best and I
Posted by: PRIMPED Posse