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Five myths that'll do your skin no favours

Following these so-called rules could actually do you more harm than good, says Katie Wright

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Limiting damage: check details before applying products

Limiting damage: check details before applying products

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Clear face facial toner, £5.69, Sebamed

Clear face facial toner, £5.69, Sebamed

PA

Facial toner, £25.50, Dr Hauschka

Facial toner, £25.50, Dr Hauschka

PA

Natural anti-ageing revitalising face oil, £22, Nakin

Natural anti-ageing revitalising face oil, £22, Nakin

PA

Intense skin repair oil, £50.80, D'Alchemy

Intense skin repair oil, £50.80, D'Alchemy

PA

EradiKate salicylic acid blemish spot treatment, £49 Kate Somerville

EradiKate salicylic acid blemish spot treatment, £49 Kate Somerville

PA

Rare earth deep pore cleansing masque, £27.50, Kiehl's

Rare earth deep pore cleansing masque, £27.50, Kiehl's

PA

Limiting damage: check details before applying products

While each person's skincare routine varies somewhat, there are a number of basic principles that apply to practically everyone.

Cleansing is essential. Treat spots with toner. Don't use oils on oily skin. These are the common-sense guidelines we've all been taught to follow.

But what if we told you these rules are actually wrong? Katie White, founder of Re:lax skin studio in Hackney, says some of the advice doled out by the skincare industry is actually harming our complexions, rather than helping them.

Here, she explains five common skin myths and why we're wrong to believe them...

Myth 1: You need to cleanse in the morning

Washing your face is the first step in most people's morning routine, but you don't actually need to use cleanser.

"It isn't necessary to cleanse in the morning if you are cleansing properly at night before bed," says White.

"As a golden skincare rule, you absolutely should be removing all your make-up and hydrating your skin before going to sleep.

"If you are doing this, you can just simply splash your face with warm water in the morning. Using cleanser again is just a waste."

Whether morning or night, you shouldn't be washing away all those lovely oils with soap or a foaming cleanser.

"If you wake up and your skin feels greasy or still caked in product and you feel the need to wash your face for that fresh feeling, I would recommend using lighter products before bed, rather than resorting to using a harsh cleanser in the morning to get that squeaky-clean feeling," adds White.

Try...

  • Reviving cleansing cream, £22.50, Lucy Bee

Myth 2: Use harsh cleansers or toners if you have acne-prone skin

When you're suffering a breakout of spots, it may seem sensible to try to dry them out with strong treatments and toners.

"Acne skin is inflamed and the skin is compromised. We shouldn't be putting acids and alcohol on inflamed broken skin. We should be using gentle products," says White.

"Also, over-cleansing with a foaming cleanser that leaves skin squeaky clean will encourage further oil production, increase inflammation and can prevent skin from healing.

"Look for non-stripping cleansers, anti-inflammatory toners and products that are kind to skin."

Try...

  • Clear face facial toner, £5.69, Sebamed

Close

Clear face facial toner, £5.69, Sebamed

Clear face facial toner, £5.69, Sebamed

PA

Clear face facial toner, £5.69, Sebamed

  • Facial toner, £25.50, Dr Hauschka

Close

Facial toner, £25.50, Dr Hauschka

Facial toner, £25.50, Dr Hauschka

PA

Facial toner, £25.50, Dr Hauschka

Myth 3: Don't use oils if you have oily or acne-prone skin

Similarly, when your skin is oily, the last thing you want to do is add more oil into the mix, right? Wrong.

"Oiliness can be caused by many different reasons, including stress, diet and genetics, but it can also be caused by lack of hydration," says White.

"Our skin is designed to have an oily layer called the acid mantle. This is our first line of defence.

"Using harsh products can strip this back, so then the skin sends signals to the sebaceous glands to produce more. Using oils can decrease oil production because the skin recognises it is hydrated."

White recommends using lighter oils like jojoba, marula or squalene.

Try...

  • Natural anti-ageing revitalising face oil, £22, Nakin

Close

Natural anti-ageing revitalising face oil, £22, Nakin

Natural anti-ageing revitalising face oil, £22, Nakin

PA

Natural anti-ageing revitalising face oil, £22, Nakin

  • Intense skin repair oil, £50.80, D'Alchemy

Close

Intense skin repair oil, £50.80, D'Alchemy

Intense skin repair oil, £50.80, D'Alchemy

PA

Intense skin repair oil, £50.80, D'Alchemy

Myth 4: Extractions get rid of blackheads

Love them or hate them, extractions - when the therapist uses a tool or their fingers to squeeze blackheads from your pores - are a part of many facial treatments,

"Blackheads form when oil that comes through pores to keep skin hydrated oxidises with air and turns black," White explains.

"By squeezing, some oil comes out and some is pushed further down into the epidermis. This causes inflammation and can push bacteria into the skin - perfect spot forming ingredients."

The best way to tackle blackheads, she advises, is with acids such as salicylic or beta hydroxy acids, or by using clays.

Try...

  • EradiKate salicylic acid blemish spot treatment, £49 Kate Somerville

Close

EradiKate salicylic acid blemish spot treatment, £49 Kate Somerville

EradiKate salicylic acid blemish spot treatment, £49 Kate Somerville

PA

EradiKate salicylic acid blemish spot treatment, £49 Kate Somerville

  • Rare earth deep pore cleansing masque, £27.50, Kiehl's

Close

Rare earth deep pore cleansing masque, £27.50, Kiehl's

Rare earth deep pore cleansing masque, £27.50, Kiehl's

PA

Rare earth deep pore cleansing masque, £27.50, Kiehl's

Myth 5: If a product burns or hurts that means it's working

Some products such as exfoliating masks have got to sting a bit if they're doing their job properly, haven't they?

"No," says White. "More likely it means you are having a reaction to the product and you should discontinue using it.

"Skin is complex and delicate in different ways and not every product suits every skin type. If something is damaging the skin, it is definitely doing more harm than good."

White has a rule of thumb to tell whether a product is too harsh for your skin: "Pink is good, red is bad. If you have sensitive skin, use more calming ingredients."

Belfast Telegraph