When it comes to skincare, a lot of advice are thrown at you from every corner. Magazines, bloggers, beauty brands, everybody has something to say. However, those advice often are skincare myths that can be harmful to your skin.
It is thus important to differentiate those advice that are myths from those that are truthful and helpful. Below are eight skincare myths debunked and why you should be careful should you come across any platforms promoting them.
You don't need sunscreen in the winter or when it is not sunny
The biggest skincare myth out there? The belief that you do not need SPF in the winter, or on a cloudy day. However, not only is it inaccurate, it is also a dangerous belief. Your skin needs sun protection regardless of the season and the weather.
Yes, the sun is weaker in the winter or on a cloudy day. Yet, that does not mean that you are protected or immune to sun damage. UV rays can be harmful all year round. Even when they need to get through clouds before getting to your skin.
Clouds can only block up to 20% of UV rays. This means that the remaining 80% can reach your skin. And cause damage that may be irreversible such as early signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, etc.
Artificial tanning or previous sun tan will not provide protection. This is why you should be wearing sunscreen any time you are outside. Pick a sunblock with a SPF 30 at least.
Do you want to play it safe? Get a sunscreen with SPF 80, to block more than 97% of UVB rays. One last thing to remember: sunscreen does not last forever. You will have to reapply sunblock throughout the day.
Sun exposure in the winter is not any different. Especially if you live somewhere with snow or high up. Sun rays are stronger and reflected by the snow. They can be much more harmful to your skin then.
If it burns, it is working
Beauty has this very famous saying "No pain, no gain". Alternatively, there is "beauty is pain". Both essentially mean the same thing: that beauty does not come without suffering. While this is absolutely not true, it is also quite dangerous.
Especially as it has lead to women using skincare products that ended up hurting or damaging their skin even more. No, if it burns, it is not working. No one should ever believe otherwise. If a beauty product burns after application, your skin is either too sensitive or you are having a reaction.
Yes, a little tingling is normal. Stinging or burning? Absolutely not!
If something does not feel right, then it probably because it is not right. Should you feel your skin burning, remove the product immediately. You may be having an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients.
Continuing to use that product will cause more harm than good. It may also create more skin problems for you. If the pain or irritation does not subside within a few minutes, contact your dermatologist right away.
Popping pimples is the best way to get rid of them
The most annoying thing in the world? Even beyond flaky dry skin or excess oil on your noise? Lone pimples showing up for no reason and at the worst time. Like when your skin is flawless but for that specific spot.
Or when you are attending a party. Then, the temptation to pop it may be very strong. Yes, you will feel good for a time. The area may be a bit red but at list the pimple is gone.
In reality, you made things worse for yourself.
First, popping fresh pimples can really be harmful to your skin and can lead to infections and scaring. Especially if you popped it with dirty hands and may have sent a lot of bacteria in the open wound. Second, popping pimples actually pushes the pus deeper into your skin.
This can lead to inflammation that spreads on the skin. This is why new zits can pop up next to the last one. The thing to do? Stop touching your skin. Let the pimple go on its own.
Alternatively, you can use a comedone extractor. If you see that the pimple is not moving, do not force it. Give it time to dry and go or book a deep cleansing facial at your favorite spa!
Acne is caused by poor hygiene
One major skincare problem that a lot of people have is acne. Usually a mark of teenage-hood, a lot of adults actually suffer from frequent acne breakouts. It is often associated with oily skin and the myth goes even further: it is caused by poor hygiene.
Let's get the record straight. You cannot get acne simply because you do not wash your face. Yes, it can play a role. But other factors such as clogged pores, oil, bacteria and inflammation will be the main causes of acne.
No stand alone cause will be enough for an acne breakout.
Skin cells and oil clogging pores are the main cause of acne. Washing your skin removes a layer of oil, thus reducing the amount of oil on your face. It may reduce the likelihood of acne breakout. However, it is not enough to stop acne.
Similarly, eating oily food does not increase oil in the skin nor does it cause acne. Diet has little effect on acne. The only food that may have an impact is milk. However, eating a low-glycemic diet full of whole foods can help prevent acne by reducing spikes in blood sugar.
Overall, 81% of your risk for acne is determined by your genetics not your lifestyle.
Oily skin does not need moisturizer
Next on our list of skincare myths that usually turn into skincare mistakes? Not using moisturizer if you have oily skin. The thing is, it could not further from the truth. Oily skin does not mean moisturized skin.
Oily skin still needs hydration.
Lack of hydration results in dry skin. Skin that feels tight and dry produces even more oil to remedy the problem. In the end, you will get even more shine than you bargained for. All skins regardless of type need hydration.
Using a moisturizer will keep your skin balanced and nourished. The differences lie in the type and amount of moisturizer your skin needs. While oily skin requires the least amount of moisture, a moisturizer is still vital for nourishing and hydrating the skin.
"Natural" or "chemical free" is better than other skincare products
The myth that natural or chemical free skincare runs around a lot. Simply because it sounds a lot better than products with chemicals. The latter seem to have a bad rep. Even if they actually are really helpful for some skin type.
For example, there is no concrete evidence that parabens and preservatives in skin care are harmful to your skin or body. In fact, without preservatives, skin care and cosmetics are more susceptible to the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast.
Do you want to go the natural route? Pay close attention to expiration dates on your products, as natural products don’t last as long as the alternatives. Plus, things like ‘chemical’ peels can still be from natural ingredients and great for all skin types.”
What matters most is not necessarily the ingredients. Everybody has a different skin type and different skin concerns. All products may not be right for you. Some people will see great results with chemical free skincare routines.
Other people will need beauty products with chemicals and stronger ingredients to achieve their skincare goals. The quality of the natural ingredients will also have an impact. At the end of the day, what matters most is what works for you.
Your skin can never be too clean
The "acne is caused by poor hygiene myth" fits nicely into this one. It leads people to think that it is better to clean their skin more than once. While, actually, it is not. Cleansing your skin is indeed essential to remove dirt and excess oil.
However, over-cleansing can actually be harmful. Many cleansers strip away the oils your skin needs to stay healthy. Thus, too much cleaning can lead to redness, breakouts, dry skin and more. Cleaning your skin once a day is helpful in keeping your skin clean.
If you want to clean your skin more than once a day, use a gentle cleanser. Do not scrub your face too vigorously. Over-cleaning may lead to removing the protective layer over the skin. As a result, the skin may be producing twice as much oil.
Thus, you will again get more shine that what you bargained for.
You can shrink your pore size
Some people think that they can shrink the size of their pores. So that that less dirt gets trapped and pores do not clog up. However, there is nothing you can really do to make your pores smaller. The size of your pores is determined by genetics and linked to ethnicity.
People with an olive complexion and darker skin tend to have larger pores. Some products may shrink pores temporarily. However, it won't solve the problem long-term.
One way to reduce the appearance of pores is simply to avoid any product that may clog pores. Use products with retinol to firm the skin instead. Remember that products cannot do the work alone. Should you want to permanently reduce your pore size, laser-base procedures are the way to go.
They use heat to firm up the skin. Microneedling is also an option at is builds collagen and causes tightening of the skin. This can help to reduce the size of your pores.