Top skincare myths, busted

because good skincare requires a little education and a lot of great ingredients

Published May 2021

We love busting skincare myths.

Almost all skincare products make the same extravagant claims. That’s why it’s so hard to choose. An educated consumer can usually wade through the flimflam, but wade you must. The only way to truly know if claims are accurate, is by deeply researching each company and their products’ individual ingredients.

We turn to the internet for our answers (unless you have an office full of scientists, like we do) and the internet is where myths and misinformation abound. Even the experts often have contrary assertions. So, here is our humble effort to help you get some clarity regarding the not-so-humble sweeping statements made by the average skincare company.

Top 5 Skincare Myths:

    1. You do not need moisturizer if your skin is oily
    2. You do not need to exfoliate
    3. Topical collagen is just as good as oral supplements
    4. More vitamins means better results
    5. Drinking water will not help your skin

Then, after getting the values and performance-based questions out of the way, there is the most important question to consider are these products right for my unique skincare needs. Keep reading to get detailed explanations about each of these myths.

Myth #1: You Do Not Need Moisturizer if Your Skin is Oily

Here is a rare example where the chorus of critics is actually together in correcting a common, seemingly intuitive misconception. But it bears repeating. We (the royal “we”) tend to conflate oily skin with moisturized skin. However, you need to moisturize even if you have oily skin, especially if you are treating conditions that oily skin is prone to. Like acne, for example. Although it may seem to follow that if oily skin causes acne, then I should moisturize less, the opposite is actually true. Some products used to treat oily skin will actually dehydrate the skin. We don’t want that. Why? Because when skin is dehydrated, it over produces oil (or sebum) to compensate. And this is where acne joins the party. Too much sebum can mix with dead skin cells to clog your pores, which, in combination with bacteria, causes blemishes and acne. The moral? Moisturize!

Myth #2: You do not need to exfoliate

Yes, the overuse of abrasive exfoliants can irritate and damage your face, but the solution is to find products that are not abrasive and to not overuse them. So, don’t stop exfoliating -- just be more gentle and use the right products. Considering that 500 million skin cells die on your face every day, and that most of our skincare measures aim at making our skin look the opposite of how dead skin looks, it makes sense to exfoliate. So, how much should you exfoliate? Well, it depends on your skin sensitivity and type, but two to three times a week is a good place to start, and preferably with a product suited to your skin. Got sensitive skin? Try starting with a once weekly, gentle exfoliation regimen.

Myth #3: Topical collagen is just as good as oral supplements

First of all, let us assure you that you won’t find collagen in our products. Why? Because they come from animals and that makes us sad (all our products are vegan). Taking collagen supplements, however, can boost your body’s natural supply. That said, don’t put it on your face and expect it to work. Why? Because collagen molecules are too big to ‘penetrate’ your skin. It’s widely believed that only substances with a molecular weight of 500 daltons or less can be absorbed through the skin … which is much smaller than a collagen molecule. Even if they did, there is no evidence that they bond with other collagen molecules to help form the lattice or ‘web’ that holds moisture in your skin. Save your money and skip the animal ingredients :)

Myth #4: More vitamins means better results

Another application of the, “If something is good for your skin, put it on your face,” fallacy is the prevalence of vitamins in skincare products. Like collagen, some vitamins and antioxidants are great for your skin … under the right conditions. And therein lies the rub. The issue with putting them directly onto your skin is that vitamins and antioxidants, including the super trendy retinol or Vitamin A, can degrade or oxidize and become inactive before being absorbed by your skin. Other factors can make them unstable as well. Plenty of skincare companies claim to have the ‘right’ formulation to make vitamins more effective in skincare, but even the most recent studies make pretty limited claims.In a good formula, the right vitamins (antioxidants like vitamin E, for example) can be very effective. We use vitamin E in our micro-oxygen hydrating night cream, but we also use microbubble technology that keeps the products against your skin to increase absorption and reduce degradation . Don’t assume that because a product touts ingredients with vitamins and antioxidants that it either delivers a helpful amount to your skin, or that it delivers in an effective way.

Myth #5: Drinking water will not help your skin

We are not sure how this one started, but it appears to be fairly popular on ‘beauty myth’ lists. To be sure, there are dermatologists in both camps, but look more closely at their remarks. The ambiguity is actually about whether drinking more water all by itself will directly lead to better skin. When it comes to skin hydration, links to two studies that show that, indeed, increased water consumption is linked to a more hydrated epidermis, and one review suggests that drinking more water improves skin’s appearance. Research on this topic is also hard to come by, because beauty companies are not in a hurry to fund studies on the effectiveness of something you can get for free. So, while it’s not a cure-all, it is definitely not a myth. There is evidence that drinking water keeps skin hydrated. And it is a generally accepted principle of skin health that while cells require available moisture to function, dehydration inhibits these processes. So, drink up.  

We hope this list will help you navigate the complicated array of tips, tricks and trendy ingredients that the curious and intentional skincare lover should be met with. We’ve tried to make your job a little easier by using a short list of clean, safe ingredients backed up by science that make a difference in how your skin looks and feels.

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