Taking good care of our skin is very important but not always easy. Between contradictory advice and misleading marketing claims it’s hard to know what really works and what really doesn’t. So, I thought I’d set the record straight on four common skincare myths that will hopefully help you keep your skin in great condition while saving you a few bucks as well. Are you ready? Let’s start then:
Myth 1: Skincare products with collagen firm skin and fight wrinkles
Collagen is an important part of our skin. Together with elastin, collagen gives our skin its texture and structure, keeps it firm and supple. But collagen deteriorates with age and sun damage, causing skin to sag and wrinkles to form. So, it is easy to believe that applying a cream with collagen can replenish this important substance and improve the way our skin looks. Sadly, that’s not that case.
To provide anti-aging benefits, collagen has to penetrate the skin, but because its molecules are too big, that’s just not possible. When applied topically, collagen stays on top of the skin and moisturizes it. But that’s all it does. And the same is true for elastin and hyaluronic acid. So, next time you see a cream with these ingredients, especially if it is expensive, don’t fall for the hype!
Myth 2: you need to buy a separate eye-cream
The cosmetic industry has done such a great job at convincing women they need a separate eye cream that they refuse to believe this is just another marketing claim without any proof to support it. Yes, it is true that the skin around the eyes is thinner and needs gentle care but there is absolutely no research or proof that shows you need to buy a separate eye cream. Besides, just compare your regular moisturizer with your eye cream: the ingredients are the same! The difference? Eye creams come in smaller jars/tube but have a higher price!
I know what you’re gonna say: eye creams are formulated to fight dark circles, under eye bags, crow’s feet. Well, have you ever come across a product that actually delivers that? No, because they can’t. What your eye area needs is exactly what your face needs: a moisturizing cream with SPF, preferably fragrance-free. So, stop wasting money on eye creams and use your regular moisturizer instead.
Myth 3: Drinking lots of water will keep skin hydrated
If only it were so easy to keep skin hydrated and moisturized, no one would have dry skin anymore! The truth is that it doesn’t really matter how much water you drink (and remember that foods contain water too!), what matters is how well your skin is able to retain water. Our skin, in fact, has a protective barrier that, when intact, keeps water in so skin stays hydrated, supple and soft. However, when this barrier is damaged (sun exposure and cold weather are the main culprits), moisture evaporates and skin dries out. But drinking lots of water won’t repair this barrier, using a good moisturizer to add some moisture will.
Myth 4: Skincare products can eliminate cellulite, stretch marks and wrinkles
I wish! I so do! But again, that’s not true. If there were really products capable of eliminating these flaws, everyone’d buy them and as a result, no one would have cellulite, stretch marks or wrinkles anymore. While there are products that help, nothing can completely get rid of them and the results are only temporary anyway. Most anti-aging creams simply moisturize and fill in wrinkles with substances like silicones so that wrinkles and fine lines appear smaller. But when the effect vanishes, the wrinkles are still there, as deep as before.
Antioxidants help in preventing new wrinkles from forming but then can’t eliminate those you already have. The only thing that can do that is Retinoids, but of course don’t expect miracle results straight away. They can reduce wrinkles and fine lines but it takes ages to see a small improvement. You won’t get baby smooth skin overnight! As for cellulite, creams usually make skin appear smoother so you don’t see the unaesthetic bumps, but don’t make it go away. In other words, cellulite is there, just less noticeable. What about stretch marks? Some creams can help but only if they are newly formed. So, again, don’t buy the hype!
So, there you have it. I hope you’ll find these tips useful and if you have any other skincare myths to bust, feel free to share them in the comments.