35 Skin Care Myths From Skin Care Expert, Renee Rouleau


There are so many misconceptions floating around out there, and with the consumer demanding more knowledge, we’re here to share what we know to be true! You’ll enjoy this one!

1. IF YOU HAVE ACNE-PRONE SKIN, YOU SHOULD USE PRODUCTS DESIGNED FOR ACNE

FALSE: A skin care line geared toward acne is designed to fight bacteria and dry out breakouts. For someone (like a teenager) whose skin is covered in severe acne, this is appropriate. But for most people who get some breakouts (but not on the majority of their face), acne products can make the situation worse. These products are extremely drying, and although they will help dry up and heal individual breakouts, they will over-dry other non-broken out areas, resulting in dead skin cell buildup. The cell buildup will then act as a barrier to trap oil under the skin, causing more clogged pores and breakouts. So your effort to clear up your skin will actually cause you to break out more! The three most important elements for controlling clogged pores and breakouts are: exfoliation (this will remove dry skin cells to unclog pores and also help fade those red, post-breakout marks), disinfecting (it is important to eliminate bacteria to help prevent the spread of breakout as well as to dry up infection), and hydration (water-based moisture to keep cells healthy to discourage dry skin cell buildup). For exfoliation, try our AHA Smoothing Serum (used one week on, one week off) along with our Mint Buffing Beads. For disinfecting the skin, try our AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel and Tea Tree Anti-Blemish Lotion. For hydration, try our Balancing Skin TonicSkin Correcting Serum, and Sheer Moisture. For spot treatments, try our Daytime Blemish GelAnti-Cyst Treatment and Night Time Spot Lotion.

2. THE SKIN SHOULD FEEL SQUEAKY CLEAN AFTER YOU WASH. THAT’S WHEN YOU KNOW IT HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY CLEANED

FALSE: Your floors should be squeaky clean, not your skin! If the skin feels tight after washing, it is a sign that the skin has been stripped of all of its water, and this will cause surface dead skin cell buildup. Then you have to put your moisturizer on to restore the moisture that you just removed – which makes absolutely no sense! Bar soaps (even if they say that they are moisturizing), cleansers that bubble up and lather like shampoo, and anything that leaves your skin feeling tight are an absolute no-no! The most important part of your entire routine is what you wash with. It makes or breaks the rest of your routine! Try one of our sulfate-free, non-drying gel cleansers for a thorough and comfortable clean.

3. ALL OILS ARE BAD FOR THE SKIN

FALSE: When a consumer picks up a skin care product package and sees an ingredient with the word “oil” in it, and if their skin is already prone to oil, they will not buy that product. We often hear, “I can only use oil-free products.” You need to understand that virtually all creams and lotions use a form of oil or emollient to make the product slip across the skin. But not all oils are comedogenic or pore-clogging. The one type of oil Renée Rouleau does not recommend for use in skin care formulas is Mineral Oil, as we feel that it clogs the pores and suffocates the skin. Additionally, the emollients we avoid are Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Palmitate, and Petrolatum, as we find these to be very pore clogging ingreidents. The “safe” oils are Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Safflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Macadamia Nut Oil.

4. AN SPF #30 OFFERS TWICE AS MUCH PROTECTION AS AN SPF #15

FALSE: An SPF #30 actually offers less than 4% more protection than an SPF #15. The keys to good sun protection are to apply sunscreen generously, reapply often, and avoid the sun during peak hours.

5. IT’S NORMAL TO BREAK OUT AFTER A FACIAL

FALSE: We’ve had clients through the years who are skeptical about getting facials because they have had them at other places and have broken out afterwards. If you are getting a professional facial appropriate for your skin type, a facial should never encourage breakouts. (The Renée Rouleau facials don’t cause breakouts!)

6. CHOCOLATE AND GREASY FOODS WILL MAKE YOUR SKIN BREAK OUT

FALSE: Many people have heard this from time to time, but there is no evidence indicating that they increase breakouts. They may not be healthy food choices, but they shouldn’t cause breakouts. The foods that most often are linked to breakouts are dairy products (when the breakouts are in the chin and jaw area) and citrus foods (when the breakouts are in the cheek area).

7. SKIN AGING CANNOT BE SLOWED DOWN. IT’S ALL BASED ON GENETICS

FALSE: Free radicals are now believed by most medical researchers to be the bottom line of disease and aging, contributing not only to wrinkles, but to acne, sensitivity, age spots, dryness, loss of skin elasticity, and skin cancer. By reducing the amount of free radicals that your body creates (reducing sun exposure and stress, and getting more rest), and incorporating the daily use of sunscreen, topical antioxidants, and a high antioxidant diet, you can control how fast your skin ages to a greater degree. Use 3-4 drops of our Vitamin C & E Treatment under our Daily Protection SPF 30 to keep your skin protected.

8. THE SUN ISN’T AS STRONG IN THE WINTER; THEREFORE, SUNSCREENS AREN’T NECESSARY DURING THAT TIME OF THE YEAR

FALSE: The UVB rays (the ones that cause your skin to burn) aren’t as strong in the winter months; therefore your skin is at less risk for a sunburn. UVA rays (the ones that cause skin aging and skin cancer), however, are approximately the same strength year round. Our Daily Protection SPF 30 is a must every day, 365 days a year.

9. AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789) IS THE BEST UVA SUNSCREEN

FALSE: Research now shows that Parsol 1789 (a common ingredient in sunscreens) is one of the most irritating ingredients used in beauty products. Continued use of products that encourage visible or invisible irritation actually increases free radical production, which in turn promotes skin aging. We feel that the more effective and less irritating UVA sunscreen is Zinc Oxide, as used in our Daily Protection SPF 30.

10. SUNTAN BEDS ARE SAFER THAN THE SUN

FALSE: They expose your skin to more concentrated doses of aging UVA rays (the cancer causing and skin aging rays) than you’ll get in direct sunlight. If you are concerned about anti-aging for the skin, it is advised to avoid sun tanning beds.

11. “I HAVE AN SPF IN MY FOUNDATION MAKEUP, SO I DON’T NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN”

FALSE: If you apply a regular cream to the face and then apply a foundation with an SPF, the sunscreen in the makeup has a difficult time penetrating through your day cream to effectively coat and protect the skin. It is best to apply a generous amount of moisturizer with a sunscreen directly on the skin first to adequately deliver the specified SPF.

12. THE RICHER THE EYE CREAM, THE BETTER IT IS FOR WRINKLES

FALSE: Most eye creams that are rich and greasy typically contain Mineral Oil or Petrolatum. Since these ingredients are not absorbed easily, they sit on the surface and suffocate the skin; they can also travel into the eyes while you’re sleeping, causing excessive puffiness in the morning. Your skin acts as a sponge – it absorbs what it needs and the rest just sits on the surface. Eye creams should be absorbed, yet still leave the skin feeling moist and supple. Try one of the Renée Rouleau high-performance eye creams.

13. TONERS ARE UNNECESSARY

FALSE: “I don’t like to use toners because they dry out my skin.” We hear this comment a lot and it’s because most toners on the market contain SD Alcohol 40, which is extremely drying to the skin and will encourage dry skin cell build up. But toners that are alcohol-free (like all of the Renée Rouleau toners) will not strip the skin, and are a crucial step in a good skin care regimen. They remove cleanser residue, chlorine found in tap water, and when the toner is left damp on the skin, your moisturizer will seal in the water and the active ingredient. The result is healthier and more hydrated skin.

14. “I CAN’T WEAR SUNSCREENS. THEY CLOP MY PORES AND MAKE ME BREAK OUT”

FALSE: The newer sunscreens on the market contain Z-cote (transparent Zinc Oxide) which is naturally antibacterial and can actually help with breakouts. They also feel extremely lightweight and greaseless on the skin. Our Daily Protection SPF 30 is our #1 best selling product because it doesn’t encourage breakouts, can actually help reduce breakouts, absorbs easily, and dries to a matte finish.

15. “MY VITAMIN C PRODUCT MAKES MY SKIN STING AFTER I PUT IT ON, SO IT MUST BE WORKING”

FALSE: Most Vitamin C products on the market use the acid forms of the Vitamin (like Ascorbic Acid). These are in fact, acids, which is why you can feel a stinging sensation on the skin. The new research on skin aging indicates that daily use of skin irritating acids actually encourages free radical formation, which counteracts the reason why you’re using Vitamin C in the first place! Plus, the problem with these acid types of Vitamin C is that they are highly unstable and break down every time you open the bottle and oxygen gets to the product. If your Vitamin C starts to turn brown halfway through the bottle, that’s a sign that it is oxidizing and is losing its effectiveness. (Think of an apple that turns brown 20 minutes after taking a bite.) At Renée Rouleau, we use Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, believed to be one of the most beneficial types of Vitamin C because it doesn’t cause skin irritation and won’t lose its ability to fight free radicals. Our Vitamin C&E Treatment is a must!

16. OILY SKIN DOESN’T NEED MOISTURIZER

FALSE: Oily skin doesn’t need heavy and greasy oil-based moisturizers (you’ve already got enough oil). But water-based moisturizers are necessary to keep the skin cells healthy and to discourage dead skin cell buildup. Try Renée Rouleau Sheer Moisture to give the skin the water it needs without any oil.

17. YOU CAN SHRINK YOUR PORES

FALSE: Many products claim to shrink your pores, but there really is no way to do this. Your pores fill up with oil, which stretches the openings of the pores. You can effectively minimize the appearance of your pores by having them cleaned out with regular facials, and also by increasing your exfoliation.

18. THE PURPOSE OF STEAMING YOUR SKIN IS TO OPEN YOUR PORES

FALSE: When you steam your skin at home, or have it steamed in a professional facial, many people think that the pores open up and can be cleaned out more easily. Pores don’t open and close like doors, however. Steam is beneficial in two ways. The heat that the steam produces raises the skin temperature, thereby softening the hardened oil in the pore for easier extraction and deep pore cleansing. It is also excellent for hydrating the skin as long as you seal in the moisture with a cream afterwards without letting the moisture evaporate. And, by the way, a cold splash after washing your face doesn’t close your pores!

19. MOISTURIZING SOAPS WON’T DRY OUT YOUR SKIN

FALSE: The binders that hold a bar of soap together are in an alkaline base (high pH balance) which will strip all the water and natural moisture out of the skin, causing the surface of the skin to dehydrate. Your skin cells need to stay moist in order to be healthy; without water, acne conditions and sensitive skin will be aggravated. “Moisturizing” bar soaps and any kind of bar soap (even if it is an expensive one) will strip and dehydrate the skin. Our sulfate-free gel cleansers are an excellent soap substitute.

20. VITAMIN E OIL (FROM THE INSIDE OF THE CAPSULE) IS BENEFICIAL TO THE SKIN

FALSE: We’ve always heard that it is healing and very moisturizing; however, when used on the face in doses over 5%, it can act as a skin irritant and cause white bumps on the skin.

21. PARABENS IN SKIN CARE PRODUCTS ARE HARMFUL TO THE SKIN

FALSE: The original study that took place in 2004, which started the controversy regarding Parabens, now holds no valid argument about Parabens being cancer causing. The FDA, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society have all come forward, publicly stating that there is no proof of a linkage between Parabens in skin care products and cancer. The scientific reason is that Parabens do not act as estrogen disputers. Once they are applied to the skin, they become a metabolite, which is non-estrogenic. It is my belief that any skin care company that continues to spread this misinformation, despite all of the recent conclusions resulting from further research, is using fear tactics to persuade the consumer to purchase their product. Beware.

Read: Five Skin Care Ingredient Myths You Need to Know

22. CLAY MASKS DRAW BLACKHEADS AND IMPURITIES OUT OF THE SKIN

FALSE: Standard clay masks are beneficial for absorbing oil and can dry up infected breakouts, but they cannot draw blackheads out of the skin. The only way blackheads can be removed is to have a professional facial to manually extract them. Masks are actually designed to push serums into the skin, so we recommend a few drops of one of our high-performance serums underneath to enhance the performance of the mask. Also, since clay masks tend to be too dehydrating for many skin types, we suggest our Energizing Cleansing Masque, as this is formulated with non-drying clays.

23. CHEMICAL-FREE SUNSCREENS ARE BETTER

FALSE: All sunscreens contain chemicals, such as Octyl Methoxycinnimate (Octinoxate), an organic sunscreen that chemically lowers UV energy levels and releases that energy as heat. Others use the inorganic mineral particulates, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and work by partially blocking UV radiation, then scattering or reflecting energy rays. Since they do not employ a chemical process, products that only use these physical blockers are labeled “chemical-free.” We find that to adequately get the best sun protection, both chemical and non-chemical sunscreens work best. As for skin sensitivity, some people are prone to sensitivity from chemical-only sunscreens, but when combined with a non-chemical mineral particulate, the chance of sensitivity decreases since less of the chemical sunscreen is being used.

24. ALL ALCOHOLS ARE DRYING

FALSE: A consumer will look at the ingredient listing, see the word “alcohol,” and assume that the product will be drying. But the truth is that alcohols have many different uses. Did you know that Vitamins A and E are alcohols? Alcohols can be humectants, solvents, emulsifiers, surfactants, and antioxidants. Examples of commonly used alcohols are Propylene Glycol (a humectant that binds moisture), Tocopherol (Vitamin E/ free radical fighting antioxidant), Cetyl Alcohol (product thickener), and Stearyl Alcohol (emollient). It’s the evaporative alcohol, like SD Alcohol 40 that is commonly used in toners, that is extremely drying to the skin. But the rest are beneficial!

25. EXPENSIVE PRODUCTS MUST MEAN THEY ARE BETTER

FALSE: The three main costs that are factored into the price of a product are ingredients, marketing, and packaging. The consumer pays for the cost of the ingredients to make the product, the cost of the advertising, marketing, and promotional material (including the model’s salary in that product advertisement), and the cost of the fancy packaging to attract the customer to buy it. At Renée Rouleau, you won’t find fancy gold caps and boxes that are just thrown away – we put our money into what’s inside the bottle – quality ingredients with simple packaging. It’s that simple!

26. YOU MUST USE THE SAME LINE OF PRODUCTS IN ORDER FOR THEM TO WORK, SINCE PRODUCTS WORK SYNERGISTICALLY

FALSE: You can mix and match with any brand. Each product works independently to give your skin the specified result.

27. A SKIN BLEACHING PRODUCT IS THE MOST BENEFICIAL WAY TO LIGHTEN PIGMENTATION

FALSE: Most bleaching products contain Hydroquinone, an ingredient used to fade and lighten pigmented cells. We had sold a product like this for a few years without much success with its result. We have found that the antioxidant ingredient Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is far more effective for fading and lightening brown spots due to its melanin-suppressing properties. We have had amazing results with our Vitamin C & E Treatment when used daily under UVA/UVB sunscreen!

28. “I DON’T NEED TO WEAR A SUNSCREEN. I DON’T GO OUT IN THE SUN ANYMORE”

FALSE: Research indicates that 78% of all sun damage incurred in lifetime is from incidental exposure. It’s all those times when you don’t think that you’re getting sun because you aren’t out there long enough to actually get a tan, such as the drive in the car, the walk to the mailbox. Just because you don’t sunbathe doesn’t mean you’re not exposed to UV damage. Wear a sunscreen 365 days a year and your skin will thank you for years to come!

29. AN OIL-FREE PRODUCT WILL NOT CAUSE THE SKIN TO BREAK OUT

FALSE: An oil-free product means that it does not contain any ingredients with the word “oil.” But we mentioned that there are some ingredients that can still be comedogenic despite the fact that they don’t have the word “oil” in their name. Read your labels!

30. PIGMENTATION COMES ONLY FROM SUN EXPOSURE

FALSE: Research shows that pigmentation (brown spots) comes not only from accumulative sun exposure, but also from heat and hormones! Pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills, and the heat from hot summers (despite having adequate sun protection on the skin) can all increase melanin activity. Increasing your exfoliation and using topical antioxidants and sunscreen will help discourage melanin formation.

31. NATURAL INGREDIENTS ARE BETTER FOR THE SKIN

FALSE: Every ingredient in the product is a chemical, including water, plant extracts, and “natural ingredients.’ There is no legal definition for this term when applied to cosmetics; therefore, the true meaning of “natural” is the matter of interpretation. Just because the ingredient is derived directly from natural sources (plant, animal, or mineral) doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safer or better for the skin. It is well accepted by dermatologists that natural ingredients are more likely than synthetic ones to cause allergic reactions on the skin.

32. IT’S BEST TO LET YOUR SKIN BREATHE AT NIGHT BY AVOIDING THE USE OF NIGHT CREAM

FALSE: The latest research indicates that the skin repairs itself most effectively at night, between 10 PM and 11 PM, indicating the need for night cream application before midnight. Washing off the day’s dirt and grime, and nourishing it with good moisture and nutrients will give your skin a chance to renew while you sleep. Especially in the winter when the heat is blowing on your skin at night, your skin must have protection from a cream to keep your skin hydrated. As long as your night cream is free of Mineral Oil and Petrolatum, it will not suffocate the skin and clog the pores.

33. CREAM-BASED CLEANSERS ARE ONLY FOR DRY SKIN

FALSE: The purpose of a milk-, cream-, or lotion-type cleanser is that the emollients or oils work to dissolve and melt makeup out of the pores, without drying the skin. There are many lightweight non-pore-clogging formulas that won’t leave the skin feeling slick or greasy. The best way to remove makeup is to massage cleanser on dry skin (if the skin is wet, it dilutes the cleanser and will not effectively dissolve the makeup), wet your fingertips, work through again, and rinse well. Complete by wiping over the skin with our Facial Sponges. Although the cream-based cleansers will not make your skin feel squeaky clean, they will properly remove face makeup. Choose a cleansing lotion appropriate for your skin type and it will work beautifully.

34. IF YOU HAVE POST-BREAKOUT SCARS, YOU SHOULD USE CALMING AND SOOTHING PRODUCTS TO REDUCE THE REDNESS

FALSE: Many people will use calming products to soothe redness, but this is a form of scar tissue and can only heal with time and increased exfoliation. (Calming products work for skin that is over-circulated and flushes easily, not post-breakout marks.) Our Exfoliating Serums used for one week on, one week off, along with our Mint Buffing Beads used two to three times a week, will encourage new skin cell growth and exfoliate off the damaged cells. But most importantly, don’t pick! If you avoid picking at your skin and let the blemish heal naturally, you will dramatically decrease your post-breakout marks. Practice self control and you’ll have more even-toned skin!

35. “I HAVE BROKEN CAPILLARIES”

FALSE: The term “broken” is very misleading. A broken capillary is caused when you get a bruise, where the capillaries actually break and get damaged. The tiny red lines that are commonly found on the corners of the nose or cheeks are considered permanently dilated capillaries. They are caused by repeated constricting and dilating; they no longer have the ability to contract, and will remain visibly enlarged. The common causes for dilated capillaries are genetics (think an Irish complexion), alcohol, hot showers, frequent nose blowing (allergies), spicy foods, and sun exposure. Research indicates that Lemon Bioflavonoids, a form of Vitamin C, will act as a capillary strengthener to prevent the loss of elasticity.

Which products are right for your skin? Check out our nine skin types.

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