Beauty myths busted

We set the record straight on some misconceptions that could be harming your skin.

Those with oily skin can do without a moisturiser
Moisturising is as important a step as cleansing and it is necessary for all skin types—dry, normal, oily, and combination. Moisturisation provides much-needed hydration to the inner layers of your skin. It replenishes the nutrients and natural oils lost when you wash your skin. Those with oily skin also tend to use harsh products that strip away the natural oil from the skin. Again, a bad idea. Using such products makes your skin produce more oil to over-compensate, which could lead to issues like breakouts. Those with oily skin can pick a gel- or water-based moisturiser that’s non-greasy and light on the skin.
Photograph: senivpetro /

It’s okay to skip sunscreen on cloudy days
Sunscreen is critical to skincare, so dermatologists advise we get into the habit of applying it every day, even if we are indoors. Often people don’t apply sunscreen when at home, on cloudy/rainy days, or when using makeup with SPF. While you might feel cooler on cloudy/rainy days, clouds don’t completely block out the harmful UVA and UVB rays. These rays can still penetrate your skin and cause sun damage. The suns rays can reach you even when you’re indoors. For example, when you’re sitting by a window. So sunscreen has to be applied every day, all year round.
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Aggressive exfoliation gets rid of acne
While exfoliation is a great way to get rid of dead skin cells, doing so aggressively can do more harm than good. By scrubbing too hard with a gritty, grainy formula you could end up with red, bruised, itchy skin. Harsh exfoliation will also irritate acne-prone skin, causing flare-ups and breakouts. This process could also dry your skin by stripping it of its natural oil. Using the right product is key. So read up on what type of exfoliator works best for your skin type and how you should use it.
Photograph: stellabmarys / Instagram

Toothpaste works on pimples
This is a skincare hack we’ve all heard about growing up. Dabbing some toothpaste on a pimple is supposed to dry it out and clear it up quickly. Toothpastes do contain anti-bacterial ingredients that can help to combat the bacteria that cause acne, as well as others ingredients that help dry out pimples. However, this quick fix could actually be harming your skin. Toothpastes contain chemicals that aren’t suitable for skin and are likely to irritate it. The product is meant for teeth, so the chemical concentration is higher, making it a harsh product for skin. Also toothpaste might burn when drying out a zit, and this reaction can leave behind an acne scar. All in all, not the kind of beauty hack we were looking for.
Photograph: bearfotos /

Sunscreen with higher SPF lasts all day
Just because your sunscreen has a high SPF doesn’t mean you can skip reapplication. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping outside and keep reapplying every 2 hours of exposure. Effectiveness of the sunscreen’s protection decreases over time, leaving your skin vulnerable. So remember to top up. You should also reapply immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays.
Photograph: Darren Mark Domirez/Flickr