8 BEAUTY MYTHS THE EXPERTS WANT TO DEBUNK

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In our quest for an all-over glow, embracing popular makeup, skin, and hair hacks is standard practice. But not all advice is born equal. Here, MALENA HARBERS enlists the help of industry experts to put some common beliefs under the beauty scope and reveal what you might be getting wrong…

1 – Myth: your under-eye concealer should match your foundation

“Not true,” says makeup guru Gucci Westman. “Our skin is made up of so many different tones across distinct areas of the face. We tend to be a bit lighter under our eyes and on our T-zone, and a bit darker around the perimeter of the face, towards the hairline.” Instead, choose a concealer that’s one half to a full shade lighter than your foundation. “It’s important to blend these two shades to create a more authentic look.”

2 – Myth: you don’t need to use skincare at night

This is an old stance, but a surprisingly persistent one, that’s absolutely not true. “Skin is in its most restorative state at night,” says celebrity makeup artist Lauren Napier. Indeed, a recent study* shows that skin-cell growth and the repair of cells with DNA damage from the sun peaks at night. “It’s essential to remove makeup and pollution first,” advises Napier. When it comes to serums and creams, look for ingredients such as peptides, ceramides, antioxidants and retinol to optimize repair.

*Circadian Rhythm and the Skin: a Review of the Literature

3 – Myth: avoid body oils and lotions before applying perfume

Expert perfumer Kilian Hennessy says the opposite is better advice. “Well-moisturized skin will allow the fragrance to express itself better and last longer,” he affirms. “Stick to an unscented or neutral body lotion or a line extension of your favorite fragrance to avoid scent clashing.” For even more longevity, add a spritz to your hair, too. “It’s a fantastic fragrance carrier because hair is always a little oily, so it retains scent beautifully.”

4 – Myth: retinol, retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate all do the same thing

“Although they’re all related, they’re not exactly the same,” says New York dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. Retinoid is a blanket term for all products containing retinoic acid (the active form of vitamin A), and available on prescription only. “It increases collagen production, cell turnover and hydration, so you’ll see improved skin tone, texture and elasticity over time,” says Dr. Engelman. Retinol is a weaker form of active vitamin A, and retinyl palmitate is even less potent – but also the most gentle. “They need to be converted into retinoic acid by the skin, so with these it may take longer to see results.”

5 – Myth: fine hair doesn’t need conditioner

“Shampoo removes dirt, oil and other impurities, but it also washes away some of your natural oils, so even fine hair needs a little conditioning,” says Ouai Haircare founder Jen Atkin. If you’re using the right conditioner for your hair texture, you should be able to apply it from roots to tips without your hair falling flat. If you find strands get limp quickly, try a lightweight leave-in conditioner instead. “Spray it through the ends only, avoiding the roots, to prevent weighing hair down while hydrating,” says Atkin.

6 – Myth: your skin needs to ‘breathe’

Skin doesn’t ‘breathe’, and “it functions the same even when you have foundation on, so it’s not necessary to give your skin a dedicated day off,” says Dr. Engelman. “Wearing product can actually help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors by acting as an additional barrier, as well as supplementing your skin with ingredients that it needs to function at its best.”

7 – Myth: powder is good for mattifying oily skin

While powder will absorb oil, it can make your complexion look flat. “It’s only good if you’ve prepped your skin properly with the right layering of products, from skincare to makeup,” says Westman. She advocates a simple regime to keep shine at bay: “Cleanse and lightly exfoliate with products targeted for oily skin, then apply a lightweight, mattifying moisturizer. If you need to combat a bit of shine, I like to sweep a touch of bronzer over skin. It keeps it matte but adds a healthy glow.”

8 – Myth: the order of your skincare-product routine doesn’t matter

Layering your skincare products correctly actually makes them more effective. “Water-based formulas always go first,” says Wander Beauty co-founder Lindsay Ellingson. “As a general rule of thumb, apply a toner or essence first, then your eye treatment, followed by serums, moisturizer, oil (if needed) and sunscreen for daytime.” If your serum is 100 percent oil-based, think twice before using it ahead of your moisturizer, adds Ellingson. “Oils can penetrate moisturizers, but not the other way around.”

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