6 Skincare Myths Debunked By A Skin Care Professional

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If you’re like me, you’re endlessly trying to achieve your best skin possible and sometimes, it seems like an unattainable goal. The internet is a minefield of tips, tricks, and recommendations that it truly can feel difficult to suss out what’s what. This is why I decided to sit down for a chat with Fran Allen, a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Skin Therapist who works with Province Apothecary.

Together on the phone, Fran walked me through the what’s what of skincare and entertained even my silliest questions. It’s a big part of the foundational work that she does working at the skin lab for Province Apothecary: talking to clients, answering questions and helping them find effective solutions from conventional products and perhaps, look into new holistic solutions. How cool is that? 

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Photo by Arden Wray

Read on to find out 6 skincare myths that were debunked by a pro!

I read that jade rollers are supposed to be great, but do they actually do anything?

Fran explains to me that there’s currently no education on how to use jade rollers, the misinformation can become dangerous.”Yes, they are very pretty, and I would keep it cool. But it’s funny when we use them in our facials because people always comment, ‘Oh wow, this is how you’re supposed to use them?’” Allen also notes that because it’s intended to be cold, it’s you are using one, you should apply light pressure and use it for gentle sculpting and drainage. “It’s really not something that you need to use a lot of, or but a lot of pressure into. People tend to want to be more aggressive with their skin.”

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I read all about that Kylie Skin Walnut Skin drama online back in May – is it really that back for your skin?

Listen, there are lots of physical exfoliators containing walnut or even, St. Ives’ apricot scrub. But Allen pleads, “Everybody stop using these scrubs on your face!” She explains that people often want skincare that’s intense, and feels like they’re doing something. “Skincare should often feel subtle and consistent. That’s where you’re going to find the best results.” She also explains that with walnut and apricot scrubs, you have the ability to impact your skin’s protective barrier and compromise the microbiome. So the moral of the story here is: stop using abrasive scrubs. It’s not worth it.

Real talk though: do I need to have different skincare products for day and night?

The short answer: no. The longer answer: you might want to use different products in the day than you do at night. Allen explains, “During the day, having an SPF on is important,” and she recommends using something zinc-based like Drunk Elephant or BareMinerals which packs powerful protection. “Either way, make sure you’re using an SPF on top of your moisturizer or you are purchasing a moisturizer with an SPF.”  At nighttime, the products you might want to use on your face are different, than in the morning. Typically, Allen recommends to clients to use more active ingredients in the evenings. These include hyaluronic acid, AHAs, BHA, retinoids, and salicylic acid – just to name a few. “Your skin is kind of like working to repair and regenerate, while you’re sleeping and while you have those products on your skin.” But the long and short answer: if you wear them at night or day, it doesn’t really matter.

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People seem to swear by facial steams, but I keep reading that they aren’t great for your face. What’s the scoop on this skincare myth?

Allen believes that steaming can be good for your face, but explains it definitely depends on when you’re using it. “If you are somebody with rosacea or incredibly sensitive skin, using an excessive amount of steam is going to break capillaries in the skin,” noting that skincare is not a one-size-fits-all approach and is more individual. One place Allen does see facial steaming take place and does not recommend, is the shower. “I think is really interesting and a place where steaming goes rogue,” explaining that when people wash their face or take care of their skincare in the shower, they aren’t actually doing anything. “Just because you are washing your face with whatever you’re using, you’re kind of moving the buildup on the skin. It’s just moving it around, and you’re steaming your skin and it’s absorbing it again.”  Yuck! Remind us never to wash our face in the shower again.

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Instagram/@madeleineedwards

How true is it that food can affect your diet?

Allen is quick to point out that a lot of time, people have misconceptions about what is causing their skin issues noting, “There can be a lot of fear around this, and I would recommend seeing a professional if you think your diet is affecting your skin.” Often the correlation does not imply causation, so Allen will encounter people who feel really guilty or start restricting foods just so they can preserve their skin. She explains, “I don’t necessarily think that’s always the best place to start.” She notes that if you do suffer from rosacea, acne or cystic breakouts – things like dairy may exacerbate it, but she explains “it usually signifies that there’s a deeper issue happening and they could definitely be related to food, stress, lifestyle, or other things. From there, it’s best to take a holistic approach to skincare.”

I was always told that toothpaste on a zit would help dry it out – is this one of the skin care myths that’s true or false?

Allen laughs and says, “I wonder if it’s the baking soda and the peppermint in the toothpaste?” But to her knowledge, no – it’s just fake news. All these years, you mean to tell me I’ve just been walking around with toothpaste spots on my face for no reason. Dammit.

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