Looking good is a full-time job and many of us will be eagerly reading every blog post and magazine article we can find to get the best advice on everything from clothes to applying make-up. But there’s almost so much advice out there that some of it can end up being contradictory and confusing.
It’s therefore no surprise perhaps that several myths have emerged, particularly when it comes to the all-important matter of skin care.
This is compounded by the fact that new skin care products are emerging on a regular basis, with each and every one seemingly generating huge excitement and being talked up by trusted friends and high-profile celebs alike.
There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, so we thought we’d compile a few of the biggest myths concerning skin care and pick them off one by one. As the operators of a luxury London hotel with spa facilities, we’d like to think we know a thing or two about this particular subject, so let us clear up any confusion so your skin can continue looking fabulous.
High prices mean higher quality
We often measure the quality of the items we purchase by looking at the price tag. If something costs more, then it must be better, right? Wrong. Skin care products such as anti-ageing creams are broadly quite similar and contain the same active ingredients, so you won’t find any considerable difference in results. We’re not saying you shouldn’t buy the most expensive products on the market. It’s just that you don’t have to, so there’s no need to rush to your nearest department store for skin cream when your local corner shop has something that’s just as effective.
Popping spots helps them go away more quickly
Squeezing a spot is often your first instinct, but chances are you are just making it worse. After all, you could force pus deeper under your skin, which can lead to scarring and maybe a few new spots to complement the first one.
Sunscreen isn’t needed when it is cloudy
We often only apply sunscreen when there isn’t a single cloud in the sky – and even then that’s probably just when we’re on holiday in another country. We’re very casual about exposing our skin to harmful rays from the sun at home – and particularly so if it is a cloudy day. But clouds are not a barrier to harmful UV radiation – so you still need to be conscious of applying sunscreen even if you can’t see much of the sun.
Make-up isn’t a substitute for sunscreen
Many cosmetics such as foundation and moisturiser contain Sun Protection Factor (SPF), so naturally enough you think that you’re protected if you step out into the searing sunshine. But if you stop to think about it, this represents only a fraction of the SPF you’d get if you apply an average amount of sunscreen to your skin. The way you apply it simply won’t achieve the type of coverage that’s required to reach the SPF on the label, so by relying on make-up to protect you in the sun, you could easily be putting your skin at serious risk.
Tanning booths that filter out UVB rays aren’t dangerous
Operators of tanning booths often acknowledge the fact that lying out in the sun trying to get a tan is dangerous and can sometimes be a factor in developing skin cancer. But they defend their offering on the grounds that they do not expose people to harmful UVB rays. Nevertheless, they aren’t filtering out UVA rays, which can also trigger the onset of skin cancer and make your skin wrinkly. So they still pose a risk, both to your appearance and to your all-round health.
You only need to wash your face with soap
Applying one beauty product after another can be a pain, particularly if it’s early in the morning and you’re in a rush. But being lazy and just scrubbing your face with soap can cause more problems than it solves. After all, you’re washing away many of the protective oils on your face, rather than making sure you’re putting goodness into your skin. So rubbing in a nice cleansing cream and moisturiser can be a much better alternative, as it’s gentler and replenishing. And it only takes an extra minute, so it’s hardly a big task.
Anti-ageing cream makes wrinkles go away
We all want to roll back the years and our ears will prick up when a miracle anti-ageing cream is advertised on the TV. But there’s no magical solution to the passage of time and wrinkle cream only hydrates and plumps out the skin. So it’s a short-term fix to a long-term issue. By all means, apply a little on most days and you’ll look all the better for it, but in no way is it actually making those frustrating lines on your face vanish into the ether.
There’s some truly great skin care products there, but be discerning and sensible – and above all, don’t fall for the many myths that are put around.