5 Common Beauty Myths

5 beauty myths to know about

It’s Part 3 in my natural beauty series with the fabulous Tata Harper! For this installment, I asked Tata to come up with 5 beauty myths that she thought were perpetuated all too often. Whether you’re going for a natural skincare and beauty routine or not, these myths are things that apply to any regimen. Other than the ones below, do you have any beauty myths to dispel? Share them in the comments!

MYTH: You should wash your face with soap if you have oily or breakout-prone skin.

Oily and break-out prone skin needs exactly the opposite! Soaps, detergents and alcohol all strip the skin of moisture and natural oils, which leaves it feeling squeaky-clean and a little dry – which isn’t a good thing. Skin that’s robbed of its natural moisture immediately goes into oil-production-overdrive, to replenish what it’s lost. While the clean feeling may last a little while, oily skin will find that it’s even oilier before the day is through, because your skin is trying to get back into a hydrated balance. Instead, cleanse the skin with non-stripping ingredients like enzymes, clays and essential oils that purify and cleanse without disrupting the moisture barrier. 

Victoria notes: This one is so true for me! I had a period in my mid 20s where my skin went from dry to oiler, and no cleanser I used seemed to solve the acne problem. For a time, I switched to a completely oil based cleanser (yes, I washed my face with OIL) and the problem completely cleared up on its own — no other medicines or harsh pimple treatments needed. It was incredible!

MYTH: You don’t need SPF if it’s cloudy outside.

Unfortunately, UVA penetrates clouds, fog – even glass – which means we’re never really safe (unless we are wearing our SPF!) – and UVA is the family of rays that really contributes to signs of aging, including wrinkles and spots (called photo-aging). Long story short – any time spent outside, in any season, really should involve SPF.

Victoria notes: natural SPF is a complicated topic that I might save for another day. Without overtaking this post, I recommend looking for a physical or “mineral” sunblocker, which means looking for ingredients like zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. I asked Tata what she uses and she recommends this product.)

MYTH: You should switch your skincare routine every few months.

There is a common idea that the skin adapts to products if you use them for too long, and they become ineffective. This is a myth – in fact, sticking to a consistent routine of products that work for your skin is the best strategy for seeing the long-term results offered by the products, and by using the products as a system.

MYTH: Blackheads are caused by dirty skin.

In fact, they’re caused by the combination of sebum, or oil, and dead skin. That’s why regular (we suggest daily) exfoliation is key – the skin is in a constant state of renewal, and it produces oil and dead skin every day. Removing that buildup at the end of every day is essential for keeping the complexion clear and pores minimized.

Victoria notes: Exfoliating everyday doesn’t HAVE to mean investing in an exfoliation system like a Clarisonic or a FOREO Luna. Using a gentle face wash with exfoliation beads (Tata’s Refreshing Cleanser is a great example) can be enough for many skin types.

MYTH: The neck and jawline don’t needed to be included in your daily anti-aging routine.

While this isn’t exactly a myth, it’s definitely something we need to point out often – don’t neglect your neck, jawline and upper chest area when applying your daily anti-aging products! The skin there can start showing signs of aging around the same time as the face, so be sure to extend your Serums down below the chin, to support youthful shape and fight deep wrinkles. You’ll be glad you did!

Victoria notes: Oops, duly noted. I need to be better about this!


Check out past posts in Tata’s natural beauty series with vmac+cheese:

Beauty, Naturally: A Chat with Tata Harper
10 Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products


Leave a Comment


  1. 1.21.14
    meg said:

    You need sunscreen ALL of the time. I at least know that much. ;)


  2. 1.21.14

    great tips victoria, thanks!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  3. 1.21.14
    Natasha said:

    I’ve seen the advice about taking care of your neck and chest area too so many times. I only started actually doing it recently after noticing the crêpey skin on several family members’ chests.

  4. 1.21.14
    Nan said:

    What a great post – I love how in this post series you are talking about real issues that most of us have/or had.
    I have the same problem with oily prone skin and once I switched away from harsh alcohol washes I saw a huge improvement.

  5. 1.21.14

    arggh, I need to be better about moisturizing my neck. and wearing sunscreen, for that matter.

  6. 1.21.14

    Thanks so much for this post and this series.

    The myth that I thought was true is “you should switch your skincare routine every few months.” People discuss changing up their skincare routine so much that I thought it was true. I started trying new products even though I felt like my routine worked. Thanks for clarifying.

    • 1.21.14
      Victoria McGinley said:

      I also feel like it’s easy to fall into that trap because we get curious about products…and because marketing/merchandising is SO good!

  7. 1.21.14

    Love Tata Harper and love this series!

  8. 1.21.14
    chelsie said:

    love this series! great tips :)

  9. 1.21.14
    Kate said:

    Great tips – especially about switching your routine. Question – what oil-based cleanser did you use and like? I have been searching for a good one forever!!

    • 1.21.14
      Victoria McGinley said:

      Hi Kate! Back then, I was not into naturals so I used Shu Uemura’s facial cleansing oil. It worked well, but again, it’s not natural — it relies heavily on mineral oil which is no bueno for you long term. Brynn commented below that Boscia’s cleansing oil is good. Also at Sephora, Josie Maran makes an argan oil cleanser. I’ve been wanting to check out May Lindstrom’s stuff, which in this case isn’t an oil cleanser, but a clay one. For a really affordable option, Desert Essence makes a cleanser that isn’t totally oil based, but oil makes up the primary ingredients. And of course, Tata Harper’s cleansers aren’t oil cleansers, but are completely soap free and wonderful!

      • 1.22.14
        Kate said:

        Thanks Victoria and Brynn for the suggestions! Looks like I’ve got a trip to sephora in my future :)

  10. 1.21.14

    These are fantastic tips! I am such a huge fan of the oil-based cleanser! I was using Laventine, which was great but inconvenient due to having to order online. I recently started using Boscia, which I simply just pick up from Sephora. Can’t rave enough about how wonderful your skin feels and looks with an oil cleanser! XO

  11. 1.21.14
    Bethany said:

    This is super helpful. I didn’t know about a lot of these!!

  12. 1.21.14
    Rebecca said:

    Love this series!!!!!!!!

  13. 1.21.14

    Loved this!! I gave my neck some extra attention today… :)

  14. 1.21.14
    Rose said:

    I love this!! I wear sunscreen every day and people think I’m crazy when I’m buying it mid-winter, but it’s such a necessity and I never go more than a few days without it when I run out (then I’m dashing to Sephora to buy more of my favorite brand for face!!)

  15. 1.22.14
    Jillian said:

    great reminders! i need to be better about wearing sunscreen YEAR-ROUND! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  16. 1.23.14
    sherli said:

    great blog, great post, pretty author.


  17. 2.6.14
    Shawna said:

    Oil worked for my oily skin too! I recommend Dr Hauschka normalising day oil.