We are drowning in the volume of products that have seen a breakthrough into the market for skin care (MzSeri Beauty will soon be doing the same) but with this influx of options now available to the consumer, how do you make an informed decision with regards to what you choose?

Let’s just start off with a disclaimer: That your skin is unique and much like your fingerprints, your skin chemical composition is unique and vastly different. What might work for an influencer who has dry and sensitive skin, might not work for you despite the common skin type. This is a challenge that I have had when trying to choose a suitable daily product range for my skin. I found that a lot of what was promised did not exactly work for me or I had seen slightly different effects.

So what are some of the myths regarding skincare? Lets start at the beginning.

Myth 1: Facial Oil causes acne

From our adolescent years we are taught that oil is the enemy. Simply just purge all oil-like products from our vanity, and never, ever look back. So when the age of skin elixers dawned and facial oils became the skin-care trend du jour, it went against everything we knew and believed. But, here’s the thing, the “evils of oil,” turns out, are complete mythology.

Top dermatologists and skin-care brands say oil-based products aren’t a passing trend — they’re important staples in a complete skin-care routine. “Oil as we know it isn’t the same as it used to be,” says Dr. Jeannette Graf, renowned New York dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Advances in the ability to refine oil have led to cosmetic-grade oils that are the consistency of water,” she says. “They used to be thick and clogging, like mineral oil, but now they’re very emollient and don’t leave any residue on the skin.”

The reality is that non-sythentic oils do not cause breakouts because of their inability to clog pores. It is comedoginic oil like synthetic oils that can actually cause breakouts or acne. This leads me to Myth #2

Myth 2: Limit how much of moisturiser you use if you have acne

Beep, wrong! Denying your acne prone skin mositure is one of the biggest no-no’s! Moisturising the skin maintains the integrity of barrier function and is vital for good skin health. Even oily skin needs moisturising as excess oils do not equate to effective skin hydration. It is important to follow a consistent good skincare routine. Skin should be washed twice a day – morning and evening with a cleanser specially formulated for acne (these products often contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide). After cleansing, use a light gel-based moisturiser that is “non-comedogenic” as this prevents the formation of blackheads. Finally, using a prescribed retinoid product on the skin before bed will help unclog pores, reduce the formation of blackheads or whiteheads, and calm inflammation.

Myth 3: The harder your exfoliate, the better!

We so often want instant satisfaction (it’s normal!), and this applies to our skin care routines as well. We want to feel our products working, which is why exfoliating (especially with a scrub) can be so satisfying. However, less is definitely more when it comes to exfoliation. Exfoliating too often “strips your skin of essential moisture and makes your skin more susceptible to infections, clogged pores and free radicals that can lead to unwanted wrinkles in the future. It doesn’t have to hurt to work. Always err on the side of gentle when treating your skin. Scrubbing too hard or too often will cause damage to your skin. Be kind to your skin, and exfoliate only two to three times per week. Just like your muscles when you work them out, your skin needs to recuperate and regenerate.

Myth 4: You do not need to moisturise as much if you have oily skin

Most cleansers will strip the natural oils from your skin, so you will need to replace that protective layer. If you really want to skip steps, try an oil cleanser, like micellar water. It will leave your skin’s pH intact; therefore (for some skin types), you won’t need to apply additional product.”

No matter what your skin type—oily and acne-prone or dry and dehydrated—you need to be using some kind of moisturizer to keep your skin balanced and nourished. The differences lie in the type and amount of moisturizer your skin needs. While oily skin requires the least amount of moisture, a moisturizer is still vital for nourishing and hydrating the skin.