Recently, I sat through a skincare presentation by a product trainer of a nameless brand, and I was very surprised when I heard some things that I had thought were skincare myths that had already been debunked. I picked out 3, before my brain went into a bit of a tailspin and stopped absorbing the info, because I just could not brain it. You know that feeling? It felt like my head was about to explode from the misinformation.
I thought I’d share them, because incidentally, I also heard similar things being touted not long after and I wanted to clear it up so we are all a little more informed, ok? It would be interesting to know if you have ever been fed these lines, or if there are other skincare myths you’ve been fed.
Myth #1: Your pores will open and close like doors
I’m serious. That was the analogy given and I was gobsmacked. I thought this is one myth that has been cleared up a long time ago! No, folks. Your pores are not like doors or windows. They do not open and close at will. When you use warm water, it does not open your pores. When you wash your face, it does not open your pores. Your pores have no muscles. Using a toner doesn’t close your pores either. The next time someone tells you your pores can open and close, ask them which muscle does it.
Myth #2: Double cleansing means using a cleansing milk or cream to remove makeup followed by a toner to make sure your face is clean
Goodness, how does a toner act as a cleanser, I wonder! This actually does toner a disservice. Double cleansing simply means cleansing your face twice. Self-explanatory. This is a cleansing step which you will find in the Asian or specifically Japanese skincare routine. You will also see it in the Korean skincare routine but I associate it with the Japanese because that’s where I learnt it. You can read about double cleansing, which I shared many years ago.
It usually starts out with a cleansing cream/milk or oil to remove makeup and skin impurities; then followed by a foaming cleanser. This ensures your skin is well cleansed before you move on to the lotions, serums and potions you will then put on your skin.
A toner is not and must not perform a cleansing function. I’d say that this is the general idea associated with a toner, which is why I stopped using one. But I do now, as a skin softener and moisturiser and to moisten my skin to prepare for the serum and moisturisers to follow. It has taken me a while to get round to the idea of using a toner, but I have derived benefits from it. But the last thing on earth I’d use it for is as the 2nd step of a double cleansing routine; and if you are, please stop.
Myth #3: Using a cleansing oil often will eventually clog your pores and break you out
The analogy given is that your pores are like a straw (??) and it “sucks” product. I’m not sure where that came from, to be perfectly honest. But what we were told is that regular use of a cleansing oil will clog this “straw” and therefore break your skin out.
Well, false, false and false. A cleansing oil can break you out if the ingredients do not suit your skin (it happens to me with some oils) and if you do not remove it properly. If you are using an emulsifying cleansing oil e.g. Shu Uemura and its ilk (see the many I’ve tried in my time!) then the method of removal is half the battle won. You MUST properly emulsify the oil before washing it off and that does not mean splashing on the water. You have to do it bit by bit, which is why washing your face can take a while. Don’t rush it. If you don’t do it properly, yes, remnants of the product can clog your skin and break you out. Do it properly and you will reap the benefits. If you are using the oil cleansing method then you need a hot towel and patience.
The other thing is to follow up with another face cleanser. The cleansing oil should not be your first and only face cleanser. It is the first step, of a double cleansing routine. Follow it up thereafter with a face cleanser that suits your skin. This ensures your skin is properly clean but also ensures that the traces of cleansing oil you may have missed, are properly removed.
If I may venture a suggestion, using a face cloth can help too. After you have emulsified the oil for a bit, use a warm face cloth to remove the product. You will find that a face cloth actually removes it a lot more quickly and effectively than if you use your hands. Then, follow up with your other face cleanser.
Have you ever heard these skincare myths and did you buy them? Have you been fed other lines about skincare you want debunking?
I have to admit I too used to fall for the “pores open and close” line back in the early days. But after reading and educating myself about it, I realised it was a mere fallacy. I can’t begin to get my head around the double cleansing with toner thing. That was just so mind boggling! What other mind boggling things have you heard about skincare? Do share, so we’re all better educated