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The internet: a wonderfully weird place. Also one full of the worst suggestions, ever. When it comes to skincare advice and there is plenty of it, watch out for these five beauty tips to avoid like the virus.
Often, you’ll hear this phrase as a justification for why someone likes a product. Yes, we are still hearing this in 2021. A strong smell is a big no-no, especially in products that are meant to absorb into the skin, like moisturisers and serums. The reason being, added scent is a known irritant and can consist of unlisted chemicals. The only requirement for disclosure is “perfume” or “fragrance”. Even if you don’t classify your skin type as sensitive, these chemicals can sensitise. In other words, it can weaken your skin barrier. The result of this looks like flare ups that resemble rash or the sensation of itchiness, a possible sign of contact dermatitis. While individuals can tolerate different levels of added fragrance, it’s something to actively avoid as it’s usually an unnecessary filler ingredient.
“You should use the whole range.”
This is a sales tactic that tricks you into thinking that following a one size fits all approach is going to take care of your skin concerns. Our skin is an organ with changing needs. It’s ineffective to stick to only that offering because:
- A lot of brands that push entire ranges often don’t contain a great deal of actives, meaning it’s full of ‘filler ingredients’ that may feel nice but don’t really do anything. Therefore, using the whole range for every step will do next to nothing for your skin but also won’t do much damage.
- Perhaps the entire range is high performing but will likely focus on tackling a concern, like resurfacing or Vitamin C. While these are excellent additions, each stage of your skincare regime should be viewed as a balanced meal. For example, a plate of plain potatoes may satiate your hunger but nutrition-wise, you know you’ve not taken care of your body.
“Natural and organic ingredients are best, like essential oils.”
Anyone that tells you essential oils are your friend, isn’t looking out for you. It matters very little whether these oils are ‘organic’. They’re an irritant and often used to add scent to a product. And we know where that leads, don’t we. So let’s address the myth that natural and organic is best. First of all, anything fit for sale has to be extensively tested in a laboratory. What these terms actually mean is that a portion of the formula is ‘naturally derived’. Some people are aware of this, so turn to homemade remedies. This can be harmful because many ingredients in its natural form have too high or low a pH, are bacteria-prone in its raw state or the best you can hope for: it doesn’t do anything.
“It’s sustainable because it’s vegan.”
Here’s the catch, the label “vegan” doesn’t mean that every single ingredient (which inevitably comes from different sources) is certified free from animal testing. It actually refers to no animal-derived matter in the formula, which isn’t the same thing if this is your choice of lifestyle. Instead, look for the Leaping Bunny certification to ensure it’s not just vegan but cruelty-free too. The other issue with this statement is that while it may be more ‘sustainable’ to protect animal welfare, this is not enough to bear the label. Sustainable beauty involves a plethora of other criteria like choice of packaging (where mono plastic, biodegradable materials and refillable vessels are best), environmental and societal impact, labour ethics and transparency of supply chain.
Have any questions about sustainability? Drop me a DM at @fleurandrea