Fact or Fiction

With so much information (and misinformation) about skin care out there, it’s easy to get confused about what’s fact and what’s fiction. Laure Bouscharain, head of the R&D department at Biologique Recherche, gets to the bottom of some of the most common beauty myths.


If it burns, it means it’s working.

Fact and Fiction

Stimulation by active ingredients, such as fruit acids, can actually be detected by the skin as aggressors. This stimulates the strengthening of the skin barrier, which is a good thing. But these mediators also activate the skin's defence system and a slight temporary inflammation may occur. That said, if the skin burns, becomes very red and itches, this is not good and should not be allowed to happen on a chronic basis. There are, however, cases where burning is beneficial, like peels done at intervals and controlled by a professional.


If I don’t see a result within a few days, it’s not working. 


It can take time before results are visible on the surface of the skin. On average, it takes 56 days to start seeing results on the appearance of pigmentation spots. Giving the skin time to settle is the best way to keep it healthy.


Ingredients can be toxic. 


The regulation of cosmetic ingredients is very demanding, monitored and evolving. There is a list of ingredients that may be used with maximum concentrations, and all cosmetic products are required to follow the regulations in force in the country where they are sold. Plus, precautionary principles are applied when there is not enough data on an ingredient. 


Milk cleansers aren’t good for oily skin. 


On the contrary: using a milk cleanser will help to clean the skin while regulating sebum production. Seborrheic skin contains many impurities and the best way to eliminate them is to dissolve them in a lipophilic component like milk. Moreover, milk is a gentle cleanser. An aggressive cleanser will further dry out the skin, which will produce even more sebum to protect itself. 


A smelly product means it’s off. 

Fact or Fiction 

First off, you have to be able to identify the smell. A product whose oils are oxidising will smell rancid, which is not good for the skin. A bad smell can also be caused by biological contamination, which means the product is off. But a product can also have a strong smell because it contains a lot of active ingredients, like concentrated plant extracts, which have a very strong odour. A rose extract, for example, will not smell like rose petals but rather like crushed leaves. At Biologique Recherche, we use a lot of highly concentrated plant extracts as well as yeast extract which has a very strong aroma.