Whenever a new beauty trend hits the scene, I'm first in line to buy every product in sight.
Korean skin care? Way ahead of you. SPF serum? Sign me up. As a true junkie, I pride myself on knowing what's up, but that doesn't mean I don't get sucked in by fads that fail to do a whole lot in the results department.
And that's mainly because most of us, beauty addicts or otherwise, buy into a whole host of myths that have no evidence to back them up aside from word-of-mouth advice. Let's take a look at the ones we need to ditch.
1. Myth: Lavender is great for calming irritated skin.
Fact: While that statement in itself is not false, here's where adding lavender to your routine gets tricky. Although the soothing properties of lavender can calm redness, the plant can also make your skin photosensitive. That doesn't bode well for anyone looking to spend time outside, especially when beach weather rolls around. To avoid burning and further damaging your skin, slather on some serious SPF if you use these creams, oils, and serums.
If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of using lavender-laden products, check this out.
2. Myth: You should never use oils or rich lotions on oily skin.
Fact: As someone with an oily face, I can tell you that stripping your skin is never the answer. In fact, using harsh, drying cleansers and toners can actually trick your skin into producing even more oil. A good beauty routine starts with moisturization, so don't be afraid of anti-aging oils and creams. Just use them sparingly. After a while, your skin will balance itself out. It can only do that if it's healthy and nourished.
3. Myth: Eating too much of any junk food will make you break out.
Fact: The association between all junk food and breakouts is a little too general. Instead of pointing the finger at every indulgence, blame high-glycemic foods. Treats falling into this category often contain refined sugars and carbohydrates, which cause inflammation. Studies have linked inflammation to breakouts, so that's why zits appear after binging on stuff like pizza.
You can find more information about high-glycemic foods and their relationship to acne here.
4. Myth: All products labeled "hypoallergenic" will work for sensitive skin.
Fact: Much like the term "organic" has turned into an unregulated mess in grocery stores, the term "hypoallergenic" tricks consumers with sensitive skin into thinking that products labeled as such will not cause irritation.
According to the folks at Paula's Choice, "We’ve seen hundreds of products that are said to be good for sensitive skin that contain seriously problematic ingredients like fragrances, which are capable of triggering allergic breakouts or sensitive skin reactions." Be on the lookout for ingredients like alcohol, menthol, and camphor. For further details, follow this link.
5. Myth: Using products from the same line will yield better results.
Fact: You can chalk this up to clever marketing, people. While every brand under the sun claims that there's a special relationship between ingredients in products from the same line, you can save some serious cash by doing your research. If you love an expensive lotion but can't afford the serum that supposedly goes along with it, check the ingredients and look for them elsewhere on sites like Amazon and Dermstore.
6. Myth: Facial exercises can prevent and counteract the signs of aging.
Fact: According to Dr. Frederic Brandt, the mastermind behind Dr. Brandt Skin Care, "The muscle contractions used in facial exercises can actually contribute to wrinkling." Just think about how smile lines form. Over the course of a lifetime, those pesky parentheses on either side of your mouth become permanently etched into the skin. Repeatedly performing the same facial exercises can have similar effects.
7. Myth: Natural ingredients are always better than synthetics.
Fact: There's a reason why businesses like LUSH (which is an amazing brand, by the way) do so well. They give consumers the option to swap out harsh synthetics for natural alternatives. The researchers at LUSH know exactly which processes their ingredients need to go through to make them safe and effective. For that reason, not all natural products are created equal. Citrus juices and coconut oil, for example, can actually harm and irritate your skin if they're not processed correctly.
To learn more about which natural ingredients will actually help your skin, check out the LUSHopedia.
8. Myth: It's best to use products that contain collagen and elastin.
Fact: While all those claims about bioengineered collagen and elastin penetrating the skin and fusing with the collagen you already have sound great, they don't hold up on a molecular level. The fact of the matter is that the particles found in these products are way too big to penetrate the skin, let alone bind with pre-existing collagen.
9. Myth: High-end products are way more effective than anything you could possibly find at the drugstore.
Fact: According to most experts, the active ingredients in anti-aging products across the spectrum are pretty much the same. Even if concentrations of these ingredients in drugstore products are lower, you'll still get similar effects over time. (And while we're at it, I'd like to point out that no anti-aging lotion is going to make you look like you just had a facelift, even if you spent a small fortune on it.)
10. Myth: Baking soda is great for exfoliating and detoxifying the skin.
Fact: This one is particularly maddening, since beauty gurus, DIYers, and even major brands claim that baking soda is something that you should be using on your face. In fact, Biore just came out with a face wash based on the harmful trend. You absolutely should not use baking soda on your skin.
Not only is it too harsh to use as an exfoliant, but it's also way too basic. The PH level of baking soda can throw your skin totally out of whack — so much so that you could rob your skin of its natural ability to fight bacterial infections. Click here for more details.
The fact of the matter is that everyone's skin is different.
(via Real Simple)
What works for me might not work for you, and that's totally fine! While it's important to acknowledge the shortcomings of beauty fads and call out problematic myths, the pros of using lavender oil may outweigh the cons for you, or you really might break out after eating any form of junk food. Just figure out what works (and doesn't work) for you. Before starting any new regimen, it never hurts to do some digging online and consult a dermatologist!