It seems like everyone and their mother has an opinion about your skin, and most of it is malarkey. People with oily skin don’t need moisturizer, they say, or, You only need sunscreen if you’re at the beach. The one thing these myths all have in common? They’re all based on classical Greek mythology. Here are some of the most common skincare myths that are based on Greek myths.
The heavier the moisturizer, the better it moisturizes. This common myth comes right from the story Echo and Narcissus. Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection, which he sees in a lake, so his face is real nice and close to that water. And look what happens to him! He dies. So heavy moisturizer is not always best.
Eating greasy food makes you break out. This skincare falsehood arose out of the story of Icarus and Daedalus. Daedalus fashions two pairs of wings in order for him and his son, Icarus, to escape the island of Crete. He warns Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, but Icarus disobeys. Icarus certainly dies, but as far as we know his skin was as toned and glowy as ever as he plummeted into the sea.
Exfoliation should hurt — that means it’s working. The notion that beauty is pain is as old as Athena herself, and Athena didn’t exist. Anyway, Athena was born out of her father Zeus’s head, already in full armor. But your skin isn’t armor — it’s a delicate organ that requires delicate exfoliation. Leave this myth to the gods!
The right skincare can change the shape of your face. We’ve all heard about “miracle creams” that are a “facelift in a bottle.” Unfortunately, this turns out to be just another myth, this one based on the story of Pygmalion and Galatea. Pygmalion sculpts his perfect woman, Galatea, out of marble, but that doesn’t mean you can sculpt yourself into a perfect woman by using falsely marketed miracle serums.
Remember: Your skin is your skin. And a lot of the skincare advice we receive is not just outdated — it’s based on the pseudo-religious mythology of an ancient civilization. Don’t buy into it!