Lexli has long been outspoken about the myths that are used to market skincare products; myths that have resulted in a confused and frustrated consumer. The positive side of this consumer confusion, however, is that men and women have begun taking their skin concerns to professionals in record numbers.
Presented below are some common skincare myths and the facts that set the record straight.
Products containing collagen and/or elastin can rejuvenate skin cells.
Countless advertisements in recent years exclaim a product’s use of collagen and/or elastin. These are major structural proteins in our skin that are often advertised to have magical qualities when applied topically. However, the reality is that, when added to a product, collagen or elastin has absolutely no benefit to the skin whatsoever. At most, they may make the product consistency “feel” more silky and smooth. Here’s why:
Collagen and elastin are proteins found in our skin and that of all animals. These proteins comprise the structure of the dermal layer of the skin. However, collagen and elastin cannot be absorbed into the skin because their moleculer size is too large, a step that would be essential if they were to do any good whatsoever. What’s more, if you take them out of a human or animal source, the proteins are dead. Therefore, even if the skin could absorb them, they’re completely inactive, and would not provide any benefit. The only collagen or elastin our bodies can use is that created by our own cells and tissues. That from another human or animal source is completely useless.
Say, for a moment, however, that collagen and elastin did have some beneficial properties when applied topically to the skin. It would then be important to note the type of collagen or elastin that is used. Most collagen and elastin found on ingredient lists is referred to as “soluble collagen” or “hydrolyzed elastin.” This means the manufacturer has actually cut the molecule into tiny pieces. Therefore, even if they were beneficial, you aren’t getting true collagen or elastin in these products - only pieces of these proteins.
The only benefit of using collagen and elastin in skincare products is the improvement it brings to the consistency of the product. In other words, they make the product feel nice on the skin.
Products containing oxygen ensure youthful-looking skin.
Given that oxygen is essential to life, its usage on our skin must be beneficial, right? Wrong.
Simply put, we need approximately 23% oxygen in the air we breathe to live. Anything more than that may be converted into O3, otherwise known as oxidants or free radicals. This fact alone demonstrates that oxygen in skincare products isn’t beneficial. However, let’s go a step further and look at a few additional realities. First, humans cannot absorb oxygen through the skin; it is only absorbed through the lungs. From an evolutionary standpoint, if our skin could absorb oxygen, our lungs wouldn’t have developed. Second - and here’s the real catch – oxygen cannot even be put into a skincare product because it’s a gas. It simply won’t mix with the product’s other added ingredients. Even if it could be contained in a product formulation, it would release into the atmosphere rather than penetrate the skin when applied, due to its gaseous state. Therefore, any marketing that claims a product contains pure oxygen is little more than false advertising.
Facial skin requires multiple moisturizers.
It is a common misconception that skin needs numerous, separate moisturizers for different areas of the face. The skin does need a good moisturizer, the type of which is dependent upon skin type. For instance, oily skin requires a moisturizer with less oil-based humectants while very dry skin needs a moisturizer with heavier humectants. However, there is no absolute need to buy separate moisturizers for different parts of your face.
Separate eye cream is essential.
The skin around the eyes is thinner and has less oil glands. Therefore, it does require extra care. However, use of a hydrating moisturizer works just fine if carefully applied around the eyes. Skin is skin, so what works on the rest of your face works in this area, as well.
If trying, specifically, to improve the appearance of fine lines, puffiness and dark circles, then a separate eye product such as a serum or gel-formulated product with extra emollients may be considered.
The concept of “gentle exfoliation.”
There is no such thing as “gentle exfoliation.” By its nature, exfoliation requires force or strong acid to remove dead and damaged skin cells. Only by being aggressive with exfoliation will it give the desired effect of collagen stimulation and dermal rejuvenation. Although rubbing the skin with “granules” or “microspheres” may give a temporary polished feel to the skin, it will not provide the necessary force to slough dead skin cells and boost collagen production.
Products that are “dermatologist recommended” or “dermatologist tested” are proven to work.
Phrases like “dermatologist recommended” or “dermatologist tested” simply mean that as few as one dermatologist has tried the product or used it on a patient with no negative results. It is in no way valid proof of a product’s performance.
Men and women require different skincare products.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of skincare products formulated specifically for men. Remember the tenant that “skin is skin?” The same rule applies here. Of course, individuals have different concerns and, thus, require differing approaches to skincare. But, these differences cannot simply be divided down gender lines.
Given the recent growth of the male personal care market, it’s no wonder that companies are putting out skincare lines targeted specifically to this audience. However, the only difference between these products and other skincare lines is the fragrance and the look of the bottles. After all, few men want a “cute” bottle on their bathroom shelf.
Water-based skincare products keep your skin hydrated.
This may be one of the biggest myths within the skincare industry. Water-based skincare products don’t hydrate because skin cannot absorb water. The presence of water simply dilutes the active ingredients that are contained within the product.