A couple of weeks ago I asked for the most-repeated myths around skincare and beauty that you wanted debunked/clarified. Well.

There was A LOT. So, in no particular order…

  • You can use retinoids while breastfeeding. All of them (video filmed with Dr Emma Wedgeworth, Consultant Dermatologist, so that you do not have to take my word for it – ).
  • You can use acids – all of them – while breastfeeding.
  • The general advice is not to use retinoids while pregnant. Brands only have to include a pregnancy specific warning in certain markets, such as some Gulf States… where you need to highlight “Not for use during pregnancy” for certain Vitamin A derivatives such as Retinal.
  • You can use retinoids under 25, especially for acne or scarring. It will not damage your skin if you start too early.
  • Retinoids/vitamin A do not thin your skin.
  • Niacinamide, vitamin c and retinoids can be used in the same routine. You don’t need to, but you can.
  • You can exfoliate daily, but you might not need to.
  • Micellar water can be used as a cleanser. If you aren’t near water, it’s fine to use now and again. Or, use it as a first cleanse/eye makeup remover, and follow with a good skin cleanser.
  • Tretinoin (tret) can be (and is) used to treat spots, but you can expect to still get the odd hormonal spot, particularly on your chin.
  • Black skins need sunscreen.
  • You need to reapply sunscreen.
  • Foaming cleansers can be good, particularly for oily skin. Use as a skin cleanser. If you have perioral dermatitis or little skin coloured bumps on your forehead (sometimes known as fungal acne), try avoiding SLS in foaming cleansers and see if it improves.
  • Fungal acne is not a medically-recognised term. It’s yeast-related.
  • Do not use toothpaste on spots.
  • You can use facial fake tan with retinol or acids, but as retinoids job is cell turnover, it will obviously affect the longevity of your tan.
  • Spot stickers are brilliant, particularly for those under the skin, hormonal spots.
  • If you pluck a hair, three will not come back in it’s place. It is one hair follicle, not 3.
  • You can still use actives if you have rosacea. Try azelaic. And avoid the areas that are inflamed if you want to keep up with other actives.
  • You can use vitamin C in AM or PM routines, AM is just commonly recommended due to its antioxidant properties.
  • You can cleanse with the same cleanser twice for a double cleanse or you can use two different cleansers.
  • Leave 20 minutes or longer between retinoids and further serums/moisturiser.
  • Using retinoids on a damp skin will make it work quicker and absorb faster.
  • If you have sensitive skin, fragrance free may be best for you but you don’t have to totally avoid fragranced products – it depends what triggers your sensitivity.
  • Essential oils trigger more allergies than synthetic fragrances.
  • If you use more eye cream (or any cream/serum/treatment), it is not more effective. Your skin can only absorb so much.
  • All eye creams are not equal. Different eye creams target different concerns. Check out my reviews on different eye creams to find one that’s right for you.
  • You don’t have to double cleanse (frankly, you don’t have to do anything) but it’s good practice.
  • You must use SPF if you have acne.
  • Drinking water does not cure acne.
  • Oily skins can still use oil or cleansing oils. It’s never one-rule-for-all.
  • If you apply SPF directly on top of an oil, it might not be as effective. The oil can break down the SPF.
  • You can use glycolic acid and retinol together.
  • Retinoids are traditionally used in your PM routine, but again, there is no hard and fast rule and some brands now market their vitamin As for daytime use.
  • You need a separate SPF, not in a moisturiser, to encourage proper use and provide full coverage.
  • If your foundation contains SPF, you should still use a separate SPF as you will not be applying enough foundation for full protection.
  • Mineral make-up products (e.g a mineral face powder) do not provide SPF protection.
  • Mineral SPF powders do.
  • You do not need to use products from one brand for it to be more effective. That is marketing.
  • SPF does not cause cancer. People spreading this misinformation are at best, misinformed, and at worst, scare-mongering morons.
  • Toners do not close your pores. Pores are not revolving doors, they do not open and close.
  • Sun beds do not cure acne.
  • Sun beds do cause cancer.
  • Rubbing banana peel on your face will not clear spots.
  • You still need to moisturise if you have oily skin.
  • You do not need a cleanser with an active ingredient in, but it may be beneficial depending on your skin type. For example, if you have oily or congested skin, adding in a BHA cleanser a few times a week might work for you.
  • You can and probably will see a change in skin during pregnancy. Hormones. It’s normal, not a reason for an intervention.
  • Makeup does not block your pores if you are effectively cleansing.
  • Hyaluronic acid is not the only way to hydrate dry/dehydrated skin.
  • It is perfectly possible to be intolerant of hyaluronic acid.
  • Your skincare will not get into your breastmilk.
  • Factor 30 is not as good as Factor 50 SPF.
  • Vitamin C can help improve the look of pigmentation, but it will not permanently reduce/fix it.


PART 2 (yes really) – INCOMING.


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