Dr. Aamer Khan is the co-founder of Harley Street Skin Clinic - a multi award-winning clinic dedicated to advanced medical aesthetics. With over 20 years of experience, Dr Khan has dealt with every type of skin concern and complaint imaginable, and as a leading cosmetic doctor he also performs non-surgical procedures to help thousands of men and women look and feel as good as they can inside and out. 

Whether you're struggling with acne, sun damage, scarring, hyperpigmentation or premature ageing, Dr Khan and his team understand the profound effect that troublesome skin can have on one's self-esteem, relationships and general quality of life.

8 Skincare Myths That Are Just Plain False

The beauty world is full of myths and urban legends, and arguably even more so when it comes to skincare. The truth of the matter is, many of the common things we’ve been led to believe are simply myths.

To help separate fact from fiction, here are 8 of the most common skincare myths.

If retinol irritates your skin, stop using it

Retinol is the undisputed anti-ageing superstar, but also comes with the likelihood of side effects such as redness, dryness and flaking. If you’re experiencing this type of irritation, the key is not to ditch your retinol entirely, but rather to change how and when you’re using it.

Your skin can be dry and irritated, especially when you first start using retinol, so instead of stopping the retinol completely, you should decrease the frequency of use to every other night, or even every third night, then slowly increase it as tolerated.

Eye creams are best kept in the fridge

The colder temperature does not prolong your product’s shelf life. Your body is also naturally hot, so when you place a cold cream onto the skin, your body will immediately warm it up. It is true that cold temperatures help to reduce swelling and puffiness, so if that’s your goal, it’s advised you use a cold compress or slices of cold cucumber.

You get what you pay for when it comes to skincare

Not all expensive skincare products necessarily work better than their cheaper counterparts. It’s all about formulation.

That being said, certain ingredients, such as vitamin C, do need to be formulated properly in order to work effectively and these can get costly. But with moisturisers and cleansers, you’re often simply paying more for attractive packaging or a fancy brand name.

Your best bet is to learn about and seek out active ingredients that are best for your skin type.

You don’t need a moisturiser if your skin is oily

It may seem intuitive to skip moisturiser if your skin already feels slick, and also a train of thought that skin that is fully nourished does not need moisturiser, but resist that urge. Oily skin can still be dehydrated, in fact that can be what’s contributing to the excessive oil production, your skin could be over producing oil to compensate for the lack of moisture.

Using a moisturiser regularly can ultimately leave your skin less oily because it will help the oil production balance out. The key is to choose a lightweight, oil-free formula.

The higher the SPF in your sunscreen, the better

First and foremost, remember that SPF only measures the product’s protection against UVB rays, those that cause sunburn. The difference in UBN protection between an SPF 100 and an SPF 50 is marginal and doesn’t offer double the blockage. 

The general recommendation is to stick with a broad-spectrum formula that blocks both UVA and UVB rays with at least an SPF 30.

Dark circles are a sign you’re tired

Discolouration around the eyes occurs when blood and fluids aren’t circulating efficiently. Yes, a lack of sleep can definitely exacerbate the issue, but it’s not the only cause. It could mean that you lack iron or aren’t getting enough oxygen, genetics also often play a role in dark circles.

Dark circles also become much more prominent the thinner the skin is, which naturally occurs with age. It’s tough for topical eye creams to address dark circles, but look for a formula that contains vitamin C because it helps decrease free radicals and brightens the skin, it’s a potent collagen booster, so can help thicken the delicate under eye skin to help and conceal discoloration.

Your pores can open and close

People talk about open and closed pores all the time, but pores don’t open or close like shutters. What this type of incorrect terminology is referring to is pores dilating, or becoming stretched out, which can occur due to age, temperature and genetics, combined with them being clogged with dead skin cells, sebum and make up. Your best bet for minimising the look of pores is regular exfoliation and using an AHA skin care 'leave on' product that unclogs pores.

How your skin ages is based on genetics

Of course, genetics play a role, but skin ageing is a complex process and is determined by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. So while you get what you get when it comes to genetics, you have much more control over extrinsic factors, which include things such as sun damage, pollution, stress and smoking, meaning lifestyle choices play a big part in ageing.