4 Mistakes Even Beauty Experts Make

I’m on a mission to get good skin care information out there. It’s the main reason I started writing this blog. So I get frustrated when I hear the same beauty myths persisting. Here are a few things that I hear even beauty experts get wrong.  mistakes even beauty experts make

  • Drinking enough water will cure chapped lips and dry skin. [Tweet this!] There are many benefits of drinking water, but sorry, this just isn’t one of them. I hear people say this over and over, and I feel like Debbie Downer every time I say that it won’t. It’s the Salad Dressing Theory. Oil and water are not interchangeable. Drinking more water cannot replenish a lack of oil.
  • Your skin needs to breathe. Your skin doesn’t have lungs. [Tweet this!] Your skin can’t even absorb gases from the outside environment. In fact, it’s hard enough to get your skin to absorb solid nutrients. I even cracked open my super skin nerd text-book Physiology of the Skin for scientific confirmation on this one, and sure enough, Dr. Pugliese has many things to say. First he states that “the skin uses very little oxygen since 90% of the metabolic process in the skin is anaerobic, or does not require oxygen.” He also states that “oxygen is a gas, and gas will diffuse into other gases before it will dissolve into anything else.” Basically, your skin isn’t absorbing the air because the air can’t penetrate the skin. It’s not breathing. And no amount of makeup or lotion will change that your skin doesn’t breathe.
  • Fair skin is sensitive skin. I’ve had dozens of estheticians insist that I am sensitive, simply because my skin is light. The color of the skin doesn’t dictate sensitivities. Fair skin has a tendency to be thinner, but even that doesn’t mean that doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be more sensitive. I go back to my soapbox about what sensitive skin even means. I define sensitive skin as someone who has frequent reactions or many allergies. Skin of all colors can be allergic to an ingredient. Skin of all colors can have an adverse reaction to a product or get an irritation.
  • Products with alcohol will dry out your skin. We need to split hairs here. If you’re looking at a toner with SD alcohol or denatured alcohol in it, yes, it will probably dry you out. If you’re oily or acne prone, you might need that drying or extra help killing bacteria. If you’re dry, it may not be a good idea. If you are looking at a cream, chances are that product has cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, or stearyl alcohol in it. These forms of alcohol are all fatty alcohols, meaning that they are actually moisturizing. I don’t know enough about chemistry to be able to explain why these different ingredients are still all alcohols (chemistry experts, chime in!), but I promise you that fatty alcohols are important in a moisturizer and won’t dry you out.

Have you ever heard any skin care myths that you know aren’t true, but you hear everywhere? Shout out in the comments and tell me what they are!

Like this post? Get skin tips and tricks delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for the newsletter!

Water, Water Everywhere

I often hear clients sheepishly tell me that they are dry because they haven’t been drinking their water.  Fortunately, from your skin’s perspective, that old 64-ounce-a-day rule doesn’t really apply.

The first and most important reason is a matter of definition. Hydration refers to the water content of the skin, while moisture indicates oil content. Dry skin is lacking oil, and since, just like in salad dressing, oil and water don’t mix, you can’t moisturize your skin by applying or drinking water. [Tweet this!]

Another problem with trying to hydrate your skin internally is simply the fact that it’s virtually impossible to take in enough water to significantly increase water content of the skin. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to take in enough of any single nutrient to see a specific benefit on the skin. Your body works on an emergent basis, meaning that it prioritizes your vital organs over your skin. Although you want your skin to look great, your body doesn’t so much care as long as the skin isn’t broken. So it sends all that hydration (or other nutrients) to your stomach, your heart, your lungs, or your brain.  But don’t misunderstand this statement… your skin is absolutely affected by your diet. It’s just affected in more general ways, such as in the glow or the clarity of the skin. Drinking water can help a lot in these areas, especially if you’re drinking water instead of a high calorie sugary beverage!

Finally, the most glaring inaccuracy of this myth is that we don’t actually need to drink 64 ounces of water in order to be adequately hydrated.  Any nutritionist will tell you that we get most of the water we need from fruits and veggies, so those of us that eat lots of those probably don’t need to drink a lot of water on top of that.  Even coffee doesn’t dehydrate the way most people think it does. For more, I’ll refer you to my go-to nutrition source, the Nutrition Diva, who discusses this in more scientific detail.

So, now how to hydrate your skin, if not by drinking water? A few tips:

  • Serums that have a watery texture and use ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid, glycerin or aloe can be great for leaving a little water in the skin. Make sure to layer this under a skin-type appropriate moisturizer in order to seal that hydration into the skin.
  • Spritz an alcohol-free toner on before you moisturize. This is the only purpose to a toner, in my opinion. It leaves the skin damp, and the moisturizer can again lock it in. Rosewater, inexpensive and easy to find at most health food stores, is perfect for this.
  • If you’re oilier, use an light-weight moisturizer that has some of the above listed ingredients in it. Avoid mineral oil.

Remember that you can be oily and dehydrated, as well as dry and dehydrated. Hydration is a skin condition, not a skin type.  Most people benefit from more hydration.  Hydrated skin is fuller, plumper, and softer.  So spritz on that toner and stop beating yourself up for not getting a full two liters of water every day.

 

 

Like this post? Get skin tips and tricks delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for the newsletter!