Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun Debunks 5 Biggest Beauty Myths

BY Dermstore Editors · June 2, 2016



With access to a world of information literally at our fingertips, it’s easy to get swayed by false information, urban legends and marketing gimmicks. How much of everything we read or know about beauty is actually based on published scientific research—and how much of them is pure nonsense? Here, Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun, published author, internationally recognized beauty expert and founder of skin care line Paula’s Choice, reveals the ultimate truth behind these 5 commonly held beauty beliefs.


Myth #1: Dark brown discolorations are caused by age.

According to Paula, brown, freckle-like skin discolorations are not a result of age; they are a result of years of unprotected sun exposure. This means they can show up at any age. The best way to treat discoloration? Diligent daily application of sunscreen! On top of that, look for ingredients that are historically proven to safely lighten the skin, like hydroquinone (highest efficacy for skin lightening), niacinamide, stabilized vitamin C, licorice extract and azelaic acid.

We recommend: Paula’s Choice RESIST Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion

Myth #2: You'll eventually outgrow acne.

Ah, if only. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world (or our body) works. Not everyone who had acne during their teenage years will grow out of it. And if you had clear skin as a teenager, there’s no guarantee that you won’t suffer from it later in life. The reason: the inconsistency of our hormones! To treat breakouts, Paula suggests the tried-and-tested routine: cleanse with a gentle cleanser, spot-treat with benzoyl peroxide and exfoliate with salicylic acid.

We recommend: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength System

Myth #3: Dry skin? Drink more water!

While there’s nothing wrong with drinking more water (aside from the nuisance of running to the bathroom more often), it won’t change or prevent dry skin in any way. Why? Dry skin occurs when the substance that keeps the skin cells intact becomes depleted or damaged, resulting in a rough, uneven and flaky surface that allows water loss.

So how should you treat dry skin? First, it’s important to avoid the damaging factors like the sun and irritating skin care ingredients like chemicals and alcohol. Then, repair the outer barrier by nourishing your skin with ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and ceramides, among others.

We recommend: Paula’s Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer

Myth #4: Blackheads can be washed or scrubbed away.

First and foremost, blackheads are not dirt—so they’re not something that can and should be scrubbed away. Blackheads are actually a mixture of oxidized oil and cellular debris. Scrubbing it will only remove the top portion of the blackhead, but it won’t do anything to address its underlying cause. To remove blackheads, Paula suggests using a well-formulated salicylic acid to deeply clean and unclog your pores, dissolving excess oil and dead skin cells that constantly lead to blackheads.

We recommend: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Myth #5: Makeup causes acne.

According to Paula, there is no published research indicating that makeup of any kind causes acne. Makeup in stick forms are likely to harbor bacteria that may lead to breakouts, but that’s also true of skin care products in stick form. Sleeping with your makeup on is an entirely different story. This bad beauty habit can lead to clogged pores, irritated skin and, you guessed it, breakouts! In short: makeup itself does not cause acne—poor hygiene does!

We recommend: Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover

Dermstore Editors

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