The great thing about the Internet is that you can use it as a point of reference when you're unsure about something and need some guidance. However, the downside is you're likely to come by misinformation that has spread like wildfire. And this is not just a fault of the modern world we live in. Hearsay has stood the test of time and has unfortunately lead us to believe things which aren’t true, including myths concerning skincare and how our skin functions.
Which is why we’re here to debunk 6 common myths related to skincare, and lay down the facts to help you keep your skin healthy.
Skincare myth #1: The white pieces in peeling gels are your dead skin cells.
The facts: There’s a common misconception that the flakes or ‘bits’ – usually white in colour – that form when using a peeling gel are dead skin cells being stripped away from the surface of skin. In actual fact these fibres that ‘ball up’ are carbomers and cellulose binding to together as a by-product of the impurities, sebum and some water which they attract. The warmth from our hands and the circular buffing motion we use when applying peeling gels further help these fibres bond together.
Yes, these non-harsh particles will contain a small amount of dead skin cells which may get picked up along the way. Although as said, they're mostly made up of oils produced by the sebaceous glands and the key ingredients which make up most peeling gels. The fact that peeling gels help to smooth out uneven skin texture adds to people’s belief that the flakes are dead skin cells.
Related article: All About Exfoliating Acids
Skincare myth #2: You can’t use facial oils if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
The truth: if anything, facial oils will help oily skin types become more balanced as they will replace moisturising factors which will have been lost due sebum regularly surfacing to the outermost layer of skin, or though deep cleansing. It’s not a matter of completely avoiding facial oils, it’s about finding one which is appropriate for you.
Oily skin types usually feel more comfortable and balanced when facial oils are applied once every other day rather than everyday, as some oils may over saturate or congest pores. As well as this, opt for a lightweight or perhaps watery oil that absorbs more quickly and doesn’t leave as much greasy residue as a traditional facial oil.
Tip: It’s all about moderation.
It’s just as important to replenish nourishing oils to oily skin as it is to use a moisture retaining gel-cream moisturiser or hyaluronic acid toner. When choosing a facial oil for oily or acne-prone skin, choose one which doesn’t contain essential oils and is non-comedogenic as some oils can contribute to the formation of acne (particularly fungal ance).
Related article: Korean Skin Care Routine For Oily Skin
Consider using facial oils which are focused on natural moisturising factors such as Squalane and amino acids or peptides, so that you’re putting back oils into your skin which are naturally present in skin’s acid mantle rather than rich oils that we don’t necessarily need if our skin isn’t outer dry.
The Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop is a perfect example of a water-based serum with the same nourishing effects as a facial oil. It is ideal for anyone who doesn’t like facial oils because of their heavy consistencies. Its highly effective formula holds all the benefits of green tea antioxidants, skin strengthening and firming fermented extracts, ceramide, and rejuvenating peptides. It doesn’t have a sticky or oily finish, and helps to balance combination and oily skin.
Skincare myth #3: All alcohols in skincare products are bad for skin.
The verdict: Not all alcohols used in skincare products are astringents – a category of ingredients, typically alcohols, which discourage sebum production by drying out or mattifying skin. Nor are all alcohols used as preservatives to prolong the shelf-life of a product. Cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol for instance are good fatty alcohols derived from natural ingredients like coconut and nuts: these act as emulsifiers to create luxurious textures of emulsions/lotions and creams.
With their high fatty acid contents these alcohols possess emollient qualities which contribute to bolstering the naturally defensive moisture barrier of skin – an essential function for warning off factors which could potentially damage skin. The EWG rating system also classifies denatured alcohol as a low-hazard (colour coded green) ingredient which imposes no-known health risks.
Skincare myth #4: Hot water and steam ‘open up’ pores.
The facts: In truth, pores are always open! Hence why we’re encouraged to never go to bed at the end of a day without washing our face first as you never know what impurities have come into contact with your skin, and may be embedded within pores. Pores are naturally always open at the end of our hair follicles to allow the release of sebum to keep our skin supple and protected from environmental factors. Pores also function as a way to allow sweat to seep out of our body in an attempt to cool you down.
When we thoroughly cleanse skin to unclog congested pores, our pores may seem like they have become ‘closed off’. In reality they are still open, just perhaps contacted in size due to the removal of excess sebum, blackheads and other impurities.
If you’re looking for a kind-to-skin product that provides an element of pore care unlike steaming skin, we suggest you try the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid – a toner which gently eliminates blackheads and dead skin cells over time with Beta-Hydroxy acids. It doesn’t dry-out skin and instead rebuilds skin’s moisture shield.
Skincare myth #5: Alkaline skincare products help control oily skin.
The truth: alkaline skincare is an absolute no-go! Taking into account the skin mantle has a naturally slightly acidic pH level of between 4.2-5.5, we should be using skincare products which closely match the natural balanced pH level of skin. Using alkaline skincare does nothing but sensitive and compromise the skin barrier making it prone to soreness, redness, itchiness, dehydration and more.
To prevent this imbalance stay wise a use skincare products that stick within the range of pH4.0-6.5. Nowadays Korean Skincare brands often indicate on their packaging the pH levels of cosmetics with most facial cleansers, toners and serums staying around pH 5.0-7.8 (neutral to slightly acidic ‘safe zone’).
Related article: The Best Low pH Cleansers For Every Skin Types
The Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser is a reliable daily facial cleanser that balances skin’s pH level. It is safe for sensitive skin, and even soothes redness and itchiness associated with this skin type. What makes it so good for skin is that it contains amino acids (the main component of proteins) in replacement to chemical detergents. Unlike some foam cleansers it isn’t drying for skin. This hypoallergenic airy-foam is free from alcohol, common irritants and parabens.
Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
Skincare myth #6: If it burns it’s working.
The Verdict: a product should NEVER EVER burn, tingle or hurt you in anyway! Under no circumstance should you tolerate irritation and soreness induced by a skincare product. There are a number of reasons why a product may cause high or low levels of irritation:
- The product contains an ingredient or multiple ingredients which you are allergic or intolerant to
- The concentration of active ingredients are too high for your skin
- You have mixed ingredients which do not complement each other, e.g. a BHA cleanser followed by an ascorbic acid serum
- You have recently chemically or physically exfoliated your skin, making it vulnerable when in contact with some types of ingredients, e.g. alcohols
- You have used irritant ingredients on open sores (including open acne) or patches of dry skin.
Whichever the situation you should not persist to use a product if you experience any negative side effects. Do not wait for the burning or tingling to subside, immediately rinse your skin thoroughly with lukewarm water only. To prevent the likelihood of experiencing an adverse reaction to a skincare product, always do a 24-hour patch test before using a product you have never used before.
Do you have any other skincare assumption you would like to discuss with us? Drop us a message below!