Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Biggest Beauty Lies The Industry Is Feeding You

[As published on HERE]
I don’t have perfect skin, but I try my hardest to maintain a diligent skincare routine so that my skin can look presentable. It could be better, but on some days, I feel pretty damn good about my skin. And then I go to a shopping mall and bump into a persistent beauty consultant.
“Miss, you see your dark spots, so obvious!!!”
“Miss ah, your wrinkles around your eyes very deep already!”
“Miss, your dark circles, if you don’t improve them, they will be there forever!”
“Wah, miss, your pores are very big!!”
When I was younger, I used to fall prey to these scare tactics. But now, I get extremely annoyed because I feel that it’s not the correct way to introduce your products to potential users. If people buy your products just because they’re scared of what will happen to their skin if they don’t, well – good for you for making the sale, but shame on you for miseducating the consumers.
Whatever happened to promoting self-confidence?
We talked to a few beauty experts to find out about some of the lies the beauty industry has been telling us:

Lie #1: The higher the SPF, the better.
The market is saturated with suncare products, ranging from sunblock for your eyes to sunblock for your hair and scalp. But what’s most mind-boggling is the SPF factor. You’ve got SPF20, SPF50, even SPF135 and beyond… how do you choose?
Truth: In fact, the higher the SPF, the smaller the molecules become to create an impenetrable shield on your skin’s surface. That means that these tiny molecules can enter the skin and clog ores, causing blockage, pimples and whiteheads. “Generally, SPF25 to SPF30 is enough, even for Malaysian weather. Unless you work long hours under the sun, you really don’t need SPF50 or higher,” says professional aesthetician Stephanie Yong, founder of Celebrity Beaute. “Plus, if your moisturiser has SPF20 and your sunblock is SPF30, you’re not getting SPF50 protection! Only the higher SPF count is valid!” she continues.

Lie #2: You need an entire range of matching products.
1_Pure range by Premi
Beauty brands always try to sell you a whole range of products, from cleanser to sleeping mask to matching CC cream or whatnot. The products are then recommended to you guerrilla-style, using a scare tactic that convinces you to buy the entire set because if not, there’s no guarantee what will happen to your skin…
Truth: Many products are formulated according to a particular skin type, but do you really need a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and sunblock for oily skin? The answer is no. Our skin can have multiple concerns, so it’s perfectly ok to mix and match products that match your skin’s needs, instead of generalizing your skin into just one ‘type’ like oily, dry, dull or sensitive.

Lie #3: Antibiotics are a cure-all for acne.
My friend suffered from a bout of acne recently. She went to see a skin doctor, and was promptly given oral antibiotics to treat the problem. Thing is, my friend has always had good skin. Was it really necessary for her to be given antibiotics for a mild case of pimples?
Truth: Many skin experts are prescribing antibiotic tablets as a ‘cure’ for acne. But the truth is that it only acts to suppress the problem, not cure it. Oral antibiotics work for people who suffer from severe acne, where they have tried all possible solutions to no avail. But for people who have temporary acne conditions, the question lies in whether prescribing oral antibiotics is just a ‘shortcut’ under the guise of a ‘miracle treatment’ with unknown side effects in the long run, especially when you take bacterial resistance towards acne, and prolonged consumption of antibiotics into account. “The best say is still to change one’s lifestyle. Change the way you live and the way you eat. You will certainly notice an improvement,” advises Stephanie.

Lie #4: Expensive is best.
Previously, we did a feature on moisturisers that cost north of RM40,000. There are lots of products in the market that claim to contain caviar, gold, diamond dust, but to date many of these luxurious ingredients are not scientifically-proven to improve the complexion.
Truth: As with fashion items, what’s trendy isn’t necessarily what works for you. In the beauty world, what’s expensive isn’t necessarily what works for you. Always do your research before buying a product. If possible, try it and let it sit on your skin for a few hours before deciding. A RM40 cream can work just as well as a RM400 cream, if it matches your skin’s needs. Extremely expensive creams contain high concentrations of active ingredients, but more often than not, your skin doesn’t need all that. You risk overloading your skin with too-rich textures and ingredients that end up confusing your skin, causing it to go beserk.

Lie #5: Glycolic acids are a miracle treatment for pigmentation.
Gylcolic peels, glycolic acid solutions… there are many ways we can improve our skin’s exfoliation process, and this star ingredient has got many women falling head over heels in love.  Glycolic treatments remove the skin’s outer layer, so that a new layer can grow back. It helps to lighten skin discolouration, brighten the complexion, improve blackheads and diminish dark spots and acne scars.
Truth: Although it is undeniable that glycolic acid is indeed a great ingredient, it isn’t exactly well-suited for our climate. If we lived in a seasonal environment where we could stay out of the sun for a few months, it would be perfect. What the Internet doesn’t tell you is that we live in Malaysia, where the sun is harsh all-year round. Extended sun exposure after glycolic treatments only serves to weaken the skin even more, causing it to produce more melanin as protection. In the end, skin is more sensitive, prone to irritation and dark spots come back with a vengeance.

So ladies, use with care!! Be a smart consumer!


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