Skin Care Myths Uncovered

Posted on: 23 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Are you treating your skin in the right way to reduce wrinkles and make it glow?


Your grandmother may have had great skin for her age but it was not necessarily down to the old-fashioned soap and water regime! These days the proliferation of skin care products does mean it can be hard to know what to use. Jo Parker, Champneys Spa Director reveals the truth behind the most common beauty myths.

Myth: Soap is good for the skin.

For a clear glowing complexion it essential to start with squeaky-clean skin, but this does not mean using soap.

Soap contains surfactants which are too harsh on the facial skin. They allow oil and water to mix so sebum, the oil naturally produced by the skin, is all stripped away leaving the skin vulnerable. Soap is also an alkaline product with a PH of approximately 8. Skin on the other hand is slightly acidic, approximately 5.5 PH, so using soap raises the skin's PH. Some soap also contains fatty substances like paraffin or lanolin. These leave oil residue on the skin which then blocks the pores and can also lead to blemishes.

Mild wash off cleansers or soap-free washes are the best option if you prefer the refreshing feeling of water being splashed on the skin. They are kinder to the skin with a PH closer to the skin's natural number and do not leave a residue. A gentle exfoliant is also a must.

Myth: Cleanse your skin regularly to combat oiliness.

If you have an oily complexion another misconception is to over zealously cleanse the skin. This will in fact only exacerbate the problem by over stimulating the sebaceous glands responsible for producing the oil known as sebum. Mild peeling, or an enzymatic mask, are both effective treatments.

Myth: Using a facial oil is not good for oily skin types.

This is not true. Oil particles are smaller than a cream and therefore have the ability to penetrate the skin more effectively, helping to maintain balanced moisture levels as well as healing the skin at deeper layers.

Myth: Expensive products are more effective.

Not necessarily. The best approach to find what's best for your skin is to look at the ingredients, and talk to an expert beauty therapist - your skin will reveal exactly what suits it.

Sun Protection Factors (SPF) influence price but they're definitely worth it. Everyone should be using SPF as a matter of routine, it doesn't matter if your skin is fair or dark every skin type can burn.

Some brands are beautifully packaged and others minimal. Champneys is an example of producing professional products using quality ingredients yet delivering them at reasonable prices.

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