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Debunking 5 Common Skincare Myths | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

Debunking 5 Common Skincare Myths

August 05, 2020

It's true that you can find a lot of valuable skincare information online, however, there are also a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around every corner of the internet that even seasoned beauty editors are unaware of. It's time to debunk these myths so that everyone can make better informed decisions when it comes to caring for their skin. Here are 5 skincare myths you need to stop believing:


Myth ① Acids & Enzymes Thin Your Skin

The upper layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, is made up of old, dead skin cells. The thicker it gets, the tougher and dryer the skin feels, the duller it appears, and the harder it is for products and their active ingredients to penetrate the skin. Acids and enzymes work by dissolving the bond between these dead, unwanted skin cells so they can be shred off much easier and quicker.

At the same time, these acids actually help thicken the dermis, because with time, they increase the amount of collagen deposition and synthesis, as well as hyaluronic acid production within the dermis, so the skin will appear more plumped, smooth and bouncy.

So sloughing of unwanted dead skin cells should not be confused with thinning the skin. In fact, acids can be used up to 3 times a week depending on the formula, and enzymes can be used everyday, with no irritations.

La Bella Figura Gentle Enzyme Cleanser | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

Gentle Enzyme Cleanser  <- Click to shop

With pineapple, papaya and pumpkin enzymes, which are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, it gently exfoliates and improves enlarged pores, blemishes and dullness. Whilst, ingredients such as Damascus Rose and Lavender Hydrosol, Carrot Seed Oil, Marshmallow Root, Reishi and Aloe Vera help to balance skin, promote skin cell regeneration and collagen synthesis, fight free radicals, enhance skin's defense system, as well as hydrate and brighten.



Myth ② Pores Can Be Opened & Closed

Our pore size is genetically determined, thus its size cannot be physically changed. In addition, because pores are not muscles, they simply do not open or close. Period.

Steam can help loosen the oil, wax and dirt inside pores, making them easier to be cleansed away, but won’t actually open the pores like a door. Same goes with cold water. It can temporarily cause the skin to tighten, like goosebumps during winter, but it won’t affect your actual pore size whatsoever.

What you can do is exfoliate regularly with AHA, PHA and enzymes, and unclog pores with BHA and clay. Without dirt, sebum and dead skin cells clogging and enlarging them, the pores will easily appear smaller.

Then use products that can effectively encourage skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, such as retinol, niacinamide and peptides, to help support the collagen around the pores, so they will stay tight, thereby preventing them appear large and dragged down into an oval shape.

KLUR Immersion Serum Concentrate | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

Immersion Serum Concentrate 
<- Click to shop

Besides having a wide range of ultra hydrating ingredients, the serum is also packed with 3 forms of Peptides to stimulate collagen synthesis and micro-circulation, improve skin barrier and hydration, reduce wrinkles and inflammation, regenerate collagen fibers, and rejuvenate skin. Whilst, Niacinamide, Reishi, Gotu Kola, White Tea and Chamomile etc. are added to brighten, fight free radicals, hydrate and soothe.


Myth ③ Drinking Water Can Boost Skin Hydration

While drinking water is definitely important for overall health, there is a lack of research actually proving drinking water impacts skin hydration. Obviously if you are continuously dehydrated, it will eventually take a toll on your skin, but the truth is, when you drink water, it first gets absorbed into the bloodstream, then filtered by the kidneys, and finally hydrates cells and helps nutrients reach different parts of our body through our blood flow——the water itself doesn't automatically get directed to the skin.

Therefore, in order to boost skin hydration, it is better to focus on topical hydration. Start by using a hydrating toner and serum consisting of a range of humectants, then lock that hydration in with emollients (say an oil or balm), and if you're really dry, some occlusives as well (for detailed explanation of the the differences, read <How To Properly Layer Skincare Products>. 

Twelve Beauty Ideal Moisture Level Serum | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

Ideal Moisture Level Serum  <- Click to shop

Formulated with various hydrating ingredients, such as Saccharide Isomerate, Panthenol and long-chain Sodium Hyaluronate, as well as prized organic botanicals like White Genepì and Mallow, it helps to provide long-lasting hydration while forming a protective layer on the skin surface to lock in moisture. It also improves the skin's barrier function, soothes irritations, fights free radicals, reduces inflammations, protects against UV rays, and repairs the skin.

Marie Reynolds London Reson8™ | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

<- Click to shop

A lightweight moisturizer in a hydrogel texture perfect for summer, Reson8™ comprises ingredients including Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil, Marine Collagen, Gotu Kola Extract, Neroli Oil, Frankincense Oil and Rose Geranium Oil to calm, repair and stabilize the skin’s barrier while providing penetrating hydration, healing, rejuvenating and regenerating effects to the skin.



Myth ④ Only Dry Skin Needs A Face Oil

The outermost layer of the skin is made up of ceramide, cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. It exists to keep bacteria out and hydration in. However, the levels of these lipids decline with age, as a result, the skin is more prone to dryness, dullness and conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, whilst fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent. The constant air-conditioning and hot air can also dry your skin out, causing it to produce more oil to compensate, leading to extra oiliness.

By adding in an oil and replenish the lost lipids, whether your skin is dry, normal, sensitive, or oily, not only will the skin feel hydrated, it will also be able to fortify itself, retain optimal moisture, and maintain a healthier, stronger barrier to effectively improve skin issues such as dryness, eczema, irritations, oiliness and wrinkles.

Besides essential fatty acids, since oils are lipophilic, they can penetrate deep into the skin and nourish the cells with all the nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, tannins, beta-carotenes, anthocyanidins, antioxidants, flavonoids, tocotrienols, phenolic compounds, proteins, as well as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, that are vital for skin health.

So, no matter what your skin type is, consider adding a face oil daily, even if it's only at night, to bring back that healthy glow to your skin.

Agent Nateur holi(oil) Ageless Face Serum | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

holi(oil) Ageless Face Serum  <- Click to shop

With a base of Rice Bran Oil and Rosehip Oil, as well as actives including Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ketogluconate, Damascus Rose Extract and Helichrysum and Sandalwood Oil, the lightweight holi(oil) reduces fine lines and wrinkles, promotes cell and collagen regeneration and self-hyaluronic acid production, reduces redness, soothes and improves rosacea and eczema, and effectively slows aging. The ingredients are also clinically-proven to actually reduce acne, scarring and hyperpigmentation!


Myth ⑤ Bakuchiol Is Better Than Retinol

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around how Bakuchiol, derived from the Babchi plant, is a "natural retinol" as it gives similar anti-aging results as retinol. The truth is, they are totally different, and there has only been a few studies on Bakuchiol.

Retinol is a precursor of Retinoic Acid, is a fat-soluble Vitamin A, that is slowly transformed into Retinoic Acid in the skin. It then works through specific receptors in the cell that trigger an increased production of collagen Type I, III and IV as well as elastin fibres. It also speeds up cell turnover. All these increases the skin's firmness and elasticity, smoothes out wrinkles and fine lines, evens skin tone, reduces hyperpigmentation, while minimizing the appearance of pores and treating acne. It is arguably the most important skin care ingredient.

Bakuchiol, on the other hand, is a botanical with meroterpene phenol as a major component that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial benefits. It bears no structural resemblance with Retinoic Acid, and cannot fit into the Retinoic Acid receptor to trigger the same response in the skin.

The earliest studies on tretinoin (the active form of retinol) date back to the 1970s with hundreds of high quality clinical trials proven its benefits, whilst, there has only been a handful of studies on Bakuchiol, mostly in vitro, since 2014. Did we also mention that the Babchi, which Bakuchiol is derived from, is an endangered plant?

So while Bakuchiol is seemingly a good skincare ingredient, in terms of robust evidence for effectiveness, it’s nowhere near retinoids, thus calling it a natural Retinol is far-fetched. In short, you shouldn’t replace your retinol product with it, unless you're pregnant.

KLUR Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex | Ambrosia | Hong Kong

Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex  <- Click to shop

Featuring star ingredient 1.8% Encapsulated Retinol, as well as 1.5% Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Licorice Root, Gotu Kola, Willow Bark, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate and Squalane, the powerful yet gentle watery serum stimulates collagen synthesis and rejuvenates skin to effectively reduce wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation, smooth skin texture, slow aging, and minimize pores in a soothing, hydrating way.


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