Paula Begoun, the founder of Paula’s Choice, has a long history of studying skin care with products and books to prove it. As such, Begoun is outspoken when it comes to what she feels isn’t factual within skin care. During a recent myth-busting live event on Zoom, Begoun addressed some of the myths that she finds the most appalling and responded to questions from viewers. You’ll be surprised what Begoun debunks.
Myth: Massaging your skin is good for it.
Begoun says that people are too often told that massaging at an upward angle will help lift skin or that massaging helps ingredients absorb into the skin better, but she says this isn’t true. “If you see skin move, you are sagging your skin,” says Begoun. “Think of the elastin fibers and skin as elastic…When you pull on them, they bounce back, right? But if you keep pulling on them, eventually they stretch out, and eventually, they break.”
Myth: You need to change your products seasonally.
This common myth is especially pervasive in areas with four seasons, but Begoun says you only need to change your products if your skin changes. She notes that if your skin shifts, for example, gets drier—you should swap just one product instead of your whole regimen.
Myth: The fewer products you use, the better.
Some people say the fewer products you use, the better for your skin, but Begoun says it depends on your skin. She notes that if you have acne, rosacea, wrinkles, oily skin, enlarged pores or any complicated skin-care concerns using, one or two products won’t cut it. If you try to keep your products too minimal, “You’re going to end up not taking care of the problems you have,” adds Begoun.
Myth: Too many active ingredients weaken the skin barrier.
Begoun says your skin “is hungry for the brilliant ingredients it’s not making anymore.” She adds that formulators’ jobs are to put back into the skin what the skin can’t develop for itself. Begoun notes that too many of these active ingredients is not harmful unless you have an allergy.
Myth: Your skin stops being oily as you get older.
“I’m almost 70, and believe me, my skin is still an oil slick, and I still break out,” says Begoun. “The notion that age and skin care are related only has to do with estrogen loss and is the only skin concern that has anything to do with age, everything else, acne, oily skin, dry skin, rosacea, psoriasis” are not age-related. “You treat the skin you have, not the age that you are.”
Myth: Natural ingredients are better than chemicals.
Begoun calls this myth a “ridiculous notion.” She explains, “There are good and bad natural ingredients, and all ingredients in skin care are chemicals. Chemical is not a nasty word.” Begoun points out that “Water is a chemical in skin care when you study cosmetic chemistry.”
When it comes to products, Begoun says the best include a mix of both natural and chemical ingredients. “The most brilliant products use a combination of both. The bottom line is that an all-natural product can’t do what a combination of lab-engineered ingredients can do.” She explains that you can’t make many of our most beloved products, including sunscreen, retinol and niacinamide products all-natural.
Myth: At-home beauty tools are helpful.
The skin-care guru says at-home beauty tools “drive [her] nuts,” adding that they’re a “waste of money and time.” She specifically called out jade rollers, gua sha, derma rollers and micro-needling tools. When it comes to gua sha, she cites the same issue she has with massaging your face. As for micro-needling, Begoun explains that she’s not referring to the procedure dermatologists do but rather at-home products. “If you constantly wound your skin, you damage it,” says Begoun.
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