1. “Skin eventually becomes ‘immune’ to a skincare product.”
When using a particular product over a long period of time, skin gradually improves and eventually reaches an optimum state. However, Clinique consultant Suzanna Sunari explains that this doesn’t mean your skin stops benefiting from the product.

Rather, your skin goes into “maintenance mode” where the product continues to help it remain in this optimum condition. If you have made dramatic lifestyle changes or if your body is going through hormonal changes, your usual skincare may not produce the results you want and you will need to look for an alternative.

2. “Whitening skincare will erase all spots and pigmentation.”
Whitening skincare can help prevent resurfacing of pigmentation, control melanin production and lightly erase the existing dark spots on your skin.

“But it cannot totally eliminate all the spots,” says Erin Tuffy, sales, marketing and PR manager at La Mer.

Skin darkens as a defence mechanism against irritation such as sun exposure, so it is a constant fight against time to reduce spot formation.

For best results, use complementary products from the same whitening range for at least a month, or until the desired effect has been achieved, before switching in products from other brands or ranges.

3. Sunscreens with higher SPF value give longer-lasting protection.”
No matter how high the SPF of a sunscreen, it will wear off with our natural sebum excretion and perspiration, says Angeline Lim-de-Silva, regional training manager of Elizabeth Arden. Sun protection should be reapplied every two to three hours, especially if you do plenty of outdoor activities.

4. “A strong pimple cream is the best way to deal with zits.” 
Many women think that the solution to breakouts is to dry them out. On the contrary, hydration is the key to getting rid of them. Instead of using drying pimple creams, use moisturising skincare to treat breakouts.

“Once your skin is replenished with water and fully plumped up, the bumps will naturally subside. Well-hydrated skin is also less prone to developing scars after extractions,” says Erin.

5.“Eating oily food will give me acne.”
There is no scientific basis for this – there are people who eat a perfectly healthy diet and yet get acne. Excessive oil production, which is controlled by hormones, clogged pores and bacteria build-up, contribute to acne formation.

“So unless you’re applying oily food directly on your skin, there is no study that clearly links diet to acne,” says Mah Mei Hui, pharmacist and managing director of The Skin Pharmacy.

6. “Toner is redundant in my skincare regimen.”
A skincare toner or lotion (as it is sometimes called) is a crucial step in your moisturising routine. Sophia Chia, assistant education manager from Shu Uemura says that a toner helps to balance the skin’s pH level after cleansing and also replaces any moisture lost.

Toners make your skin more permeable for following skincare products such as moisturisers and serums to penetrate, allowing these products to perform at their best.

7. “I don’t need a face moisturiser because my skin is oily.”
People often skip moisturising if their skin is greasy, but according to Dr Kelvin Chua, medical director of SL Clinic, having oily skin doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a moisturiser – it just means you should pick one suitable for oilier skin types.

Moisturisers serve to create a protective barrier so that your skin does not lose water excessively through evaporation to the environment.

If your skin is oily or acne- prone, you should pick a lightweight, gel-based moisturiser to keep skin refreshed and hydrated at the same time.

8. “It’s not necessary to cleanse my face in the morning.”
Throughout your sound slumber in the night, our skin continues to produce sebum and accumulates a thin layer of dead skin. You need to remove this layer of skin debris with proper cleansing using a facial cleanser in the morning.

This leaves skin clean and ready for skincare to penetrate and for smoother makeup application too, says Sophia. Applying makeup on improperly cleansed skin can lead to skin inflammations like acne breakouts.

Try a cleansing milk or oil, which are suitable for all skin types.

9. “I need something that can get rid of my pores.”
Pores are impossible to remove. They are an essential component of the skin. The most you can do – without an aesthetic face treatment – is to use pore-minimising beauty products, which can help to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.

Look for makeup bases or touch-up powders that contain light- diffusing particles, which help give skin an even-looking and airbrush-like finish.

10. “My skin should feel tight after cleansing.”
If your skin feels dry and tight after washing, you should be concerned as it indicates skin damage, cautions SK-II trainer Cindy Cheong.

A good cleanser should leave skin feeling moistened and soft after use. As skin cleansing is a fundamental step in every woman’s skincare routine, it’s important to use a cleanser that isn’t so harsh that it strips your skin of its natural moisture.


This article was originally published in Simply Her September 2011.