We all know how important it is to take good care of our skin, but there is such an overwhelming amount of products on the market that just makes it harder to choose the best ones to suit our needs. So, we read the labels, hoping that they’d help us to make the right choice, but can we really trust all the claims they make? And what about the common beliefs that we should choose expensive and natural products because they supposedly work better? Is that true? Read on to find out:
1. Hypoallergenic products are safer and better for sensitive skin
Hypoallergenic is a word that implies that a product is gentler and less likely to cause irritations and allergic reactions and so it is better for those with sensitive skin. But as I’ve already discussed in a previous post, hypoallergenic is just a marketing tool. The term is not regulated in any way, there aren’t restrictions on what ingredients can and cannot be used in products labelled this way and companies don’t have to prove that these products don’t contain allergens. This means that cosmetic companies can just put the word hypoallergenic on every product they want, even those that contain irritating ingredients. But by reading the ingredient lists, you can easily avoid products with ingredients that you know will cause irritations, allergic and even breakouts to your skin.
2. “Dermatologically tested” products are safer and more reliable
The term “dermatologically tested” is another marketing tool. It means that the product has been tested on skin and nothing more. They don’t tell you on whose skin and on how many people the product has been tested, how the testes were performed, by what dermatologist they were performed, or what the results were. And although we like to think that when a doctor endorses a product they have people’s best interests at heart, some dermatologists may recommend a particular product simply because he/she was paid to do so (obviously not all dermatologist do this, but sometimes it can happen).
3. You should use skincare products targeted to your age group
We are often told that we need to use skincare products targeted to our age group, ie teenagers should buy products targeted to teens, women over 50s those for mature skin etc, but that’s just nonsense. While it is true, for instance, that mature skin can be dryer and develop skin conditions associated with age, that doesn’t mean that all women over 50 will experience that. There are lots of mature women who have oily skin prone to breakouts for instance and the richer moisturizers targeted to this age group certainly wouldn’t help them. More simply, everyone’s skin, no matter how old you are, is different and has different needs. You should use products that are designed to treat any skin concern YOU may have, regardless of the age group they are targeted to.
4. Natural ingredients are better and safer than synthetic ones
There seems to be a general belief that anything that’s found in nature is automatically good while ingredients made in a lab must necessarily be bad for the skin. That is not true! There is absolutely no factual evidence nor scientific proof to support the claim that natural ingredients are safer and more effective. In fact, often the opposite is true. There are lots of natural substances that are bad for you such as poison ivy for instance. In addition, natural ingredients may be harder to preserve and so more prone to bacteria contamination. The truth is that cosmetic companies can’t put toxic ingredients in their products. That’s illegal. As for their effectiveness, there are simply some natural ingredients that work well and others that don’t, just like there are some synthetic ingredients that work well and others that don’t. You should use products that contain ingredients that work well for your skin and its concerns, regardless of their origin.
5. Expensive skincare products work better than inexpensive ones
The effectiveness of a product depends on its formula, not its price. There are expensive products that are well-formulated, just like there are others who promise to treat wrinkles or other concerns but simply have a very basic formula that doesn’t do much apart from hydrating skin, and even those that contain irritating or comedogenic ingredients. And the same can be said for drugstore skincare products. In addition, sometimes high-end and drugstore brands are owned by the same company. So when new ingredients are discovered, the expensive brand will release products with it first and then usually, months later, a drugstore version will follow suit so you can have the same benefits at a more affordable price. By learning to read ingredient lists you will be able to tell what products, regardless of the brand, are better-formulated and so avoid spending money on those that just don’t work.
I hope this helped to set the record straight on some myths surrounding skincare products. Do you know any others that need to be busted?