Top 5 skincare myths, busted!

Top 5 skincare myths, busted!

When it comes to skincare, everyone is an expert. With the rise of social media, there are so many opinions, brands using greenwashing tactics, and influencers showing off new products that it’s hard to know what is what. Thankfully, there has been a rise in the ‘science of skincare’, with scientists and bloggers banding together to combat misinformation. 

We have always stuck to science and love myth busting, so here is another set of five popular skincare myths ready to be busted! 

Is solid skincare hygienic? 

Solid skincare has lots of pros: plastic-free packaging, more concentrated formulas so better value for you and they are easier to use and more convenient to travel with. 

But there is a concern many people have with them, and that’s the idea that they’re cesspools of bacteria. 

Upon first glance, this seems like an obvious thing to be concerned with. But here is why it’s not. 

Numerous independent studies have shown several things about foaming bar products;  

  1. They do contain a higher load of microbes than liquid soap in a bottle (which makes sense as bottled products are enclosed). 
  2. That even when inoculated with microbes, foaming bars don’t transfer them back on to the next user.  
  3. The bacterial load on soap bars is miniscule when compared to the load on hands, even when freshly washed. 

All this is a roundabout way of saying that yes, microbes are present on foaming bar products (like soap and shampoo), because they are present on every surface on Earth. But, due to the magic of chemistry, they don’t transfer to the next user and depending on the microbe, often the product will destroy the cell membrane and rupture the cell, effectively killing it. 

As for moisturisers, which don’t contain surfactants and are used a bit differently, this is where something called challenge testing comes in. Our products go through challenge testing in Europe, which is where over several weeks, ours bars are inoculated with a variety of microbes (fungi and bacteria) then samples are taken periodically to see whether they survive and the population grows, or if the preservative does its job and kills them. A product only goes on the market, if it passes.  

Secondly, your face is cleaner than your hands, with a lower bacterial load (for obvious reasons), but if you are really concerned, you can use a spatula. Want an eco-friendly version of that? Use something reusable that you already own – like a teaspoon! And pop it in the dishwasher between uses, just like after you’ve made a cup of tea.  

Oily skin doesn’t need to moisturise 

If you have oily skin, you still need to moisturise. Many people with oily skin actually have dehydrated skin – which means your body over produces sebum (oil), but is lacking in water. Want to know more? Read our blog post here about the different skin types and conditions. 

If you consider you have oily skin, you should still moisturise. Look for lighter products, like gels, or oil-free moisturisers. Humectants are your friend, so glycerine (equally as good as hyaluronic acid, just without the marketing mania behind it), hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (as it regulates oil production) are great ingredients to look for.  

Do pores open and close? 

This one is dead easy. Nope! They don’t have little tiny muscles around each one to enable them to open or close. Pore size is largely genetic, so large or small, they are what they are. Large pores are not any less beautiful than smaller ones, despite what beauty mags have been telling you for years.  

Pores can look bigger than they actually are if they are clogged or dirty. 

If they bother you, you can use a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid (which can penetrate pore linings and reduce blackheads) or retinol regularly to clear out congested skin. 


Heard of it? (Try saying that quickly five times…) The comedogenicity scale rates ingredients from 0 (non-comedogenic) to 5 (very comedogenic). What does that mean? Ingredients that are more comedogenic clog pores. 

Most of these ratings have been derived from animal testing (disappointingly) – where they smear an ingredient on the inside of a rabbits ear. They use rabbits as they are more sensitive than our skin, so react quicker. Problem is, we’re not rabbits, and this test really doesn’t stack up in the real world (as numerous studies have subsequently proven).  

The tests that have been done on humans had very small sample sizes and tested on the skin of people’s backs and legs. Not their faces. Again, not representative of the real world. 

Concentration is another factor. Something that is very comedogenic at 100% concentration, typically becomes much less so at 50% concentration. So, in formulas, the comedogenicity scale becomes even less useful. 100% coconut oil on your face might make you break out, but 10% in your moisturizer will have little to no impact. 

Unfortunately, there are few absolutes in skincare – and avoiding ingredients rated comedogenic or not, doesn’t necessarily help you choose something that will work for you. 

Does collagen actually work? 

There are two ways people use collagen; internally through smoothies and juices (and now collagen water is a thing...), and topically through skincare. 

But it doesn’t really matter, because the answer is simple. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that applying or consuming collagen has any effect on the collagen in your skin. 

I’ve talked about this before, but your skin is the most remarkable barrier (you can read more about how your skin doesn’t absorb much at all here). Collagen are proteins, and proteins are pretty big molecules, speaking at a cellular level. So they absolutely don’t penetrate your skin, even a layer or two. They certainly don’t penetrate anywhere near the dermis, which is where collagen works its magic.  

So don’t waste your money on collagen creams, it’s pointless. 

Next, when it comes to drinking it. 

Collagen is made from the ligaments and connective tissue of animals. Marine collagen is made from fish skin. Regardless of where it comes from, it is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are compounds that make up every protein in your body, from muscles, to digestive enzymes. So when you ingest collagen, your body breaks it down into those amino acid components and uses them in whichever way it wants. Those aminos could make up more haemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen around your body via your red blood cells), transport proteins or create keratin for your hair and nails. But there is absolutely no evidence to show that drinking collagen ensures your body will make more collagen.  

However, there are mixed studies that show some promise that collagen has in reducing joint pain for those with arthritis and improving skin elasticity. However, it is worth noting that many of these studies are considered to have conflicts of interest as they are funded by the industry. There aren’t too many studies and those that have been done aren’t enormously robust. So, it’s a grey area. There are some other concerns that as these supplements aren’t well regulated that they can contain contaminants, like heavy metals, but there are no studies yet that have proven this either. All in all, still a work in progress. 

We hope you found this helpful! We love getting into the science behind common myths and helping to debunk them so you can stay informed. What myths would you like to see busted next? Send us an email at or get in touch with us on social!