To celebrate Halloween, today on the Korean Beauty Show podcast we’re talking scary skincare. From toothpaste on pimples, to bicarb soda as a DIY exfoliator, if you want to know the things that skincare nightmares are made of, then tune in.
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Scary skincare and skincare advice – we’ve all had it!
There’s a stack of it doing the rounds, ranging from the run of the mill to the more incredulous. Here are some of the scariest skincare suggestions and what to do instead.
Whoever came up with this one obviously had skin made of steel. For the rest of us mere mortals, putting toothpaste on your pimples is likely to result in red, irritated and angry skin.
Although toothpaste does contain some ingredients that may help dry pimples out, the problem is the pH level. Toothpaste has a basic pH level, whereas your skin has a naturally acidic pH level. If you mess with your skin’s pH level, you risk damaging its barrier, leaving it open to bacteria and potentially even more pimples. Not what you were hoping for!
What you should do: If you must attack your pimples, do it the safe way – with a non-irritating pimple patch that helps draw puss and secretions away from the pimple to flatten it out and minimise scarring.
Another terrible idea involves using baking soda on your face (either as a scrub or a face wash).
Like toothpaste, bicarb soda has far too high a pH level to be good for the skin. In fact, using it like this can actually lead to rashes, burning and a damaged skin barrier, none of which are #skingoals.
What you should do: If you’re looking for a slightly abrasive exfoliator, we recommend sticking to the tried and tested varieties, like sugar scrubs and clay masks. These will help gently remove dead skin without taking the rest of the stuff you need on your face with them.
It makes sense, right? Scrub your skin and you’ll clean away dirt and buildup, meaning cleaner skin.
Eh, not exactly!
In reality, if you scrub too often or too vigorously you risk over-exfoliation, the results of which include everything from redness, peeling, flaking or worse – a damaged skin barrier that can take months to repair.
What you should do: In addition to minimising your exfoliating to once or twice a week, choose less abrasive scrubs and opt for chemical rather than manual ones (particularly if you have sensitive skin). You can also opt for less abrasive ingredients, including common K-Beauty favourites like Betaine Salicylate.
This is another piece of scary skincare advice but one that is commonly repeated – if you have oily skin, don’t moisturise it. The thinking is that because your skin is already moisturised enough you don't need it. Or else, you might become even more oily if you moisturise.
The problem with oily skin is that there is an imbalance between the levels of sebum and moisture. You can actually correct this with proper hydration, and help keep overacted oil glands in check.
What you should do: Rather than skipping the moisturiser all together, make sure you choose the right types of moisturisers for your oily skin. A great ingredient for oily skin is hyaluronic acid, a type of humectant that actually attracts and binds water to the skin. Hyaluronic acid molecules can hold approximately 1000 times their own weight in water.
It’s full of Vitamin E and fatty acids, so it must be great for skin. This isn’t exactly wrong but coconut oil is also highly comodogenic. I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your face on its own.
What you should do: Use it if it comes as one ingredient in part of a balanced skincare formula. Or else you could just use an actual moisturiser.
It’s hard to believe that anyone would even think this, let alone give it to someone else as advice. But (hopefully!) it goes without saying that sunscreen is one skincare product you should never skip.
The risk of skin cancer aside, there are plenty of cosmetic reasons why going without sunscreen is a bad idea – brown spots, red veins, blotchiness, wrinkled skin and fine lines being just a few.
What you should do: be religious about applying sunscreen every day. No matter where you live, what the weather, your skin colour or how long you’ll be outside. There’s very little that’s good about sun exposure without sunscreen. Even Vitamin D deficiency is not a good enough reason because you can get your daily doset through supplements and diet.
"If you must attack your pimples, do it the safe way – with a non-irritating pimple patch that helps draw puss and secretions away from the pimple to flatten it out and minimise scarring."- Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast
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