The skin, our body’s outer shell, is a fascinating but complicated organ. With its surface area of two square metres, it is a big deal, literally! It has many roles in the maintenance of life, providing protection against the sun, bacteria and dangerous substances. It also helps with temperature regulation, immune defence, vitamin production, and sensation. Our skin is truly incredible. But over the years we have come across some rather interesting skincare myths! Here we look to settle fact from fiction by taking a look at some of these myths to help you care more effectively for your skin.
Myth no. 1 - You don’t need to moisturise if you have oily skin
No matter what your skin feels like—oily and acne-prone or dry and dehydrated—you need to be using moisturiser to help keep your skin balanced, hydrated and nourished. Moisturisers don’t add water to your skin, but rather help hold the water in the outer layer of your skin to keep it hydrated, and every type of skin benefits from hydration. But how do they do that? Moisturisers contain ingredients called humectants, which draw the water into your skin, and emollients, which form a protective film and trap the water in the skin. Try our best selling i am [radiant] active moisturiser as an evidenced based, Australian sourced option to provide all different types of skin with exactly the right balance of nutrients to help stabilize the skin barrier and build healthy skin. The inclusion of pentavitin (a plant derived ingredient) provides instant hydration to the skin, by generating a moisture reservoir that can last up to 72 hours.
Myth no. 2 - We must always avoid the sun if we aren’t wearing spf
If we can avoid getting sunburnt and stay in the shade, or limit our time outdoors to times when we’re not exposed to the sun’s most powerful rays, the sun really is a wonderful thing. It’s our best source of vitamin D which plays an integral role in skin protection and rejuvenation. In its active form as calcitriol, vitamin D contributes to skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It enhances the skin's immune system and helps to destroy free radicals that can cause premature ageing. Sun creams or skincare that contain UV screens actually stop the skin from making vitamin D. However, only a very short time in the sun is needed for sufficient vitamin D production. In Australia and in countries where the UV index is always above 2, during the day it is very important to limit our exposure between 12pm - 3pm by using protective clothing, sunglasses, a hat and UVA/UVB sunscreen.
Myth no. 3 - If retinol irritates your skin, stop using it
Retinol (also known as vitamin A) is one of the best-studied substances in dermatology and the cosmetics industry. It’s also among the few substances proven by clinical studies to have an impact on the skin. It boosts collagen and elastin production, while also helping make the surface of the skin more even, resulting in smoother skin with fewer wrinkles. But it can also potentially cause redness, dryness and flaking. Nooooo! If you are experiencing this type of irritation, the key is not to ditch the retinol completely, but to change how and when you’re using it. Instead of stopping the retinol completely, you should decrease the frequency of use to every other night, or even every third night, then slowly increase as tolerated.
We have added encapsulated retinol to our i am [vitality] active night serum for enhanced dermal penetration and stability as it is less irritating on the skin. We recommend using this product a maximum of 4-5 times a week so the skin can take a break from continual retinol use.
Myth no.4 - The harder you scrub and exfoliate, the better your skin will feel!
Exfoliation should be a gentle process of lifting off the dead skin layer. Simply scrubbing away at your face with abrasive products will not only remove the dead cells, but it will also take with it the oils that keep your skin hydrated. Rough scrubbing will also damage healthy cells, often sending them into a state of metaphorical panic so they start over-producing oils to compensate, which could potentially lead to skin irritation and acne. The skin's natural desquamation process involves dissolving the bonds that hold the dead cells together, so we should always aim to exfoliate in a way that mimics this so that we do not upset or damage the skin barrier (certain enzymes and AHA can help mimic this). Try our i am [power] active cleanser as a gentle but effective way to remove impurities whilst continuing to hydrate and boost skin immunity. We use a superhero ingredient called salicylic acid (a mild, safe to use alpha hydroxy acid obtained from the bark of a Willow tree) to provide a gentle exfoliation that increases cell renewal and refines pores.
Myth no.5 - Natural skincare is best
When we use the word ‘natural’ today, what we often mean is that a substance has been extracted ready-made from a natural source. Examples are natural oils or butters from sunflowers or coconuts. But what is really natural is to use the fats that already exist in our skin and the ones it's used to. Our skin doesn’t produce olive oil or shea butter, but it does produce substances like squalene, ceramides, cholesterol, triglycerides and many different kinds of fatty acids. Quite simply, our skin is happiest with the substances that it’s used to, and these can be either extracted from natural sources or they can be synthesised. Skincare products are designed to imitate this unique combination of substances, partly by using natural oils containing the right combination of lipids and partly by extracting individual substances from oils and combining them in different ways. Our i am [radiant] active booster does exactly that. We combined a high dose of essential fatty acids to help lipid depleted skin with pure Rosehip, Jojoba and Evening Primrose oil to create a powerful little tonic that is perfect for repairing, strengthening and enhancing the nourishing, supportive properties of the skin barrier.
Myth no.6 - The more active ingredients the betterActive ingredients refer to ingredients in your products that ‘actively’ target a specific concern such as ageing, pigmentation etc. They can rejuvenate, hydrate and smooth out wrinkles and uneven skin tone. But can we overburden the skin? Is less really more? The answer is a resounding YES! At frii[s]mith, our mission is to offer an easy, simplified skincare solution that promotes skin health and encourages a mindful approach to skin and wellness. Using products with too many active ingredients in too high concentration can cause our skin to become very sensitive. Our skin can only absorb so much. Using active products that have gentle quantities of ingredients that allow for gradual intake of nutrients will support cell function, not overwhelm it. Our best selling and best value skin health kit includes three of our most powerful products. Expertly formulated, their active ingredients work together to feed directly into skin cells, delivering what they need to function optimally to get the skin to its healthy, radiant state!