woman reading skin care myths
Skin Care Tips

Scary: Skin care myths that need to be put to rest

October 20, 2020

We hear so many things about skin care, but which ones are actually true and which ones are myths? Read on to find out.

When researching skin care, you’re bound to come across conflicting tips and find yourself more confused than enlightened. This is because many of these tips are not straightforward and clear—as a result, skin care myths end up being neither helpful nor effective. The worst part is many of these skin care myths are considered “common knowledge” and are followed by majority. 

Let’s debunk some of those myths right now and get to the root of what’s true and what’s not when it comes to your skin’s health. 

Myth: Washing with hot water opens your pores

Truth: Our pores don’t open and close based on temperature. While the heat can make your pores look bigger, it’s only because the heat makes your skin swell, therefore giving it that bigger appearance. If anything, washing with hot water does more harm than good—extreme temperatures can strip the skin of its natural moisture. Stick to lukewarm water for washing your face. 

Myth: Antibacterial soap is the best for cleansing

Truth: Not necessarily! Skin naturally has bacteria no matter what you do, so trying to remove as much of it as possible isn’t an indication of cleanliness. Antibacterial cleansers also tend to be harsher, which can strip your skin of moisture and cause irritation. Use gentle facial washes formulated for your skin type—and if they have hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, even better.

Myth: You can never wash your face too much

Truth: You absolutely can! Washing your skin too much strips it of the natural oils that keeps it moisturized and protected from harmful elements. A healthy cleansing routine involves washing your face in the morning before you put any makeup on, which you normally do in the shower, and cleansing again at night to wash off all impurities, dead skin cells and sebum before you do the rest of your skin care routine. 

Myth: Anti-aging creams will stop you from looking old

Truth: At best, they will slow down the aging process of your skin. And for this to work, you have to find products with the right ingredients such as retinol and antioxidants like vitamin C. But at the end of the day, the speed at which your skin ages depends on your exposure to sunlight and pollution, as well as your lifestyle habits—if you’re a smoker, no matter how much retinol-based cream you use, you’re still going to see the signs of aging. 

Myth: People with oily skin won’t have wrinkles early

Truth: It’s a popular belief that people with oily skin don’t show signs of aging as fast as those with other skin types, but this is just not true. As we’ve already mentioned, skin aging is dependent on factors such as exposure to sunlight and pollution, as well as other lifestyle habits—having oily skin won’t help you here. It’s a common misconception that dry skin causes wrinkles as well: again, this isn’t the case. Dry skin can emphasize wrinkles that are already there and make the cracks on your skin look more prominent, but that doesn’t mean they caused it. 

Myth: Tanning is bad for you

Truth: Here’s the thing about tanning: If you do it without proper protection, and you do it excessively, you develop sun spots (which are a sign of skin damage) at the very least and increase your likelihood of developing skin cancer at worst. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself somewhere in the middle with a painful sunburn and raw, red skin. But if you’re an outdoorsy, sun-loving, adventurous person, don’t fret: You can achieve a light healthy tan by using sunscreen with at least SPF 30, remembering to reapply regularly, and staying out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day.

Myth: You should wait until your 30s to use anti-aging products

Truth: Anti-aging products work by slowing down the aging process, which essentially preserves the youthful state your skin is in at the time you start using them. This means the earlier you use them, the better, and make sure you’ve got the right ingredients we mentioned above. If you’re younger and you’re feeling sensitivity towards the anti-aging products you’re using, try going for a gentler, lighter formulation first, but with the same active ingredients.

Myth: Expensive skin care products are better than drug store ones

Truth: What you want to be looking at is neither the brand nor the price, but the ingredients of each product. If they have the same active ingredients, the drug store variety is worth your time and will work just as well. If you’re willing to splurge on the luxury of the beautiful packaging and the smell, then you can reach for the expensive products; otherwise you might want to give those drug store brands the time of day.

Myth: There’s only one right way to practice skin care

Truth: This is the best myth to close this with because people tend to be obsessed with doing their skin care routine the “right way” when, in fact, there is no single right way—only what’s right for your skin. We all have different skin types and unique needs, and it usually takes some trial and error to get your routine right. You and your dermatologist know what’s best for your skin, so stick to what you know once you’ve found your routine. 

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