Everyone should have their very own skincare regimen. Whether it be a simple cleansing method or a really serious 10-step routine, if it is doing wonders for your skin, then we totally support it.
Unfortunately, when someone is on a quest to find a method or a holy grail product, not everything she finds is reliable and true. There are so many skincare myths out there. Some may work for others but there are plenty of myths that aren’t just false, they can even end up being really harmful to your skin.
Here’s a list of 10 skincare myths we need to bust!
MYTH #1: You don’t need sunscreen when it’s cloudy outside
The clouds dim out sunlight but not all UVA and UVB rays. They can still pass through the clouds and cause damage to our skin. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, clouds can only block out about 20% of UV rays. That means when you are out on a cloudy day, you are still exposed to 80% of the harmful UVB and UVA rays.
Sunscreen protects our skin by creating a filter that blocks UVB and UVA rays from penetrating our skin. UVB rays damage the surface layer of our skin and cause sunburn and inflammation. UVA rays get deeper and cause damages to the lower layers of our skin. When this happens, it can cause wrinkles, sunspots, premature aging, and cellular damage. Besides all of these, there is a great risk for skin cancer.
Even when it’s cloudy outside, you still need a sunscreen that has a broad-spectrum SPF to filter out both UVA and UVB rays. The FDA recommends that the minimum SPF we need to wear is SPF 15 or higher.
MYTH #2: Those with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen
No. Everybody needs sunscreen. Everybody!
While it is true that darker skin won’t burn as easily as lighter skin tones, they are still susceptible to harmful UV rays. SPF or Sun Protection Factor determines the length of time our skin is protected from sunburns. The longer it takes before sunburn happens, the higher the SPF. Earlier, we said UVB rays cause sunburn, and yes, SPF applies to UVB rays only. UVA rays are not rated.
Darker skin tones can have natural protection of up to SPF 13 and the minimum daily SPF we need is 15.
When you think about sunscreen, don’t just think about sunburn. The risks are so much more than that. The University of Cincinnati has released a study showing that the death rate to skin cancer of dark-skinned people is greater than light-skinned people. They attribute this to the complacency brought about by the myth that people with dark skin tones don’t need to apply sunscreen. Once skin cancer starts showing their symptoms on dark-skinned people, they are usually in their severe stages too.
Stop thinking about sunscreen as purely cosmetic. It is important for our health and safety.
MYTH #3: Take hot showers for better skin
I’ll be honest, a hot bath or shower is super relaxing and I prefer it to cold showers especially when the weather is cold. Sadly, hot water can actually cause our skin to dry up.
Hot water takes away the essential oils on our skin leaving it feeling dry and bare. This can give that squeaky clean feeling but it’s bad for your skin. The skin needs that level of protection we get from our body’s natural essential oils. These oils also maintain our skin’s moisture and help it keep a level of hydration.
Lukewarm water and a mild cleanser is the better combo for showers and baths.
MYTH #4: You need to physically exfoliate every day
I have heard this before and I fell for it! I was experiencing rough, flaky skin and one of my friends suggested I do a daily exfoliation. Flash news: it didn’t work.
Exfoliation has its benefits. It helps our skin get rid of dead skin cells that build up and make our skin look dull. The build-up can also lead to textured and acne-prone skin. But too much exfoliation will only make your skin sensitive. It messes with your skin flora by stripping away the natural oils and microorganisms that help protect and maintain skin balance.
Physical exfoliation can be harsh on your skin and it causes irritations as well. The safest is to limit physical exfoliation to once or twice a week. For better exfoliating methods, consult your dermatologist regarding chemical and physical exfoliants.
MYTH #5: Steam opens up your pores
Your pores don’t need to be opened or closed. They are technically open all the time. Steam can benefit your
The idea that your pores open and close based on water temperature is a common, age-old myth but in reality, it’s just not true. This is because your pores are technically always open! And while there are plenty of other things that make steam beneficial to your skin, such as increased moisture levels in the air to help prevent dry, cracked lips, the so-called opening up of your pores is not one of them.
MYTH #6: You don’t need a moisturizer if you have oily skin
Here’s the thing with moisturizers, it is not all about making your skin oily or shiny. An important aspect of moisturizing is hydration. Cold weather, too much cleansing, and aging can all affect your skin’s ability to hold in enough water.
Locking in moisture helps your skin maintain its balance and keep your cells healthy. Skipping moisturizer can even make your skin shinier because our skin reacts to dehydration by producing more oil.
Yes, it may be counterintuitive to slather on moisturizer on oily skin but it is an important part of skincare. If you have oily skin, find a water-based moisturizer that is oil-free and lightweight. Apply moisturizer after cleansing. You can also use a matching toner to prep your skin for better absorption.
MYTH #7 Natural is best
When a product is labeled natural or organic, it simply means that no synthetic ingredients were used to make this product. So that’s better, right?
Products that are natural or organic don’t mean they are healthier or better for your skin. There are natural ingredients that some people may be allergic or sensitive to as well. Plant-based ingredients can still cause irritations.
Do not choose a product just because it is natural or organic. Look into the ingredients and find out if they can really help your skin or if you are allergic or sensitive to any of these ingredients.
MYTH #8 Choose the cheaper one if the ingredients are the same
Formulas and ingredients are not the same. What you should aim for is a good formulation. The ratio of the ingredients to each other determines how well the product performs.
Although branding and packaging can add to product costing, there are times when the formulation of the product is actually what makes it more expensive.
MYTH #9 Apple cider vinegar toner is the holy grail of anti-acne products
Apple Cider Vinegar has great exfoliating and antibacterial properties so it may help clear your acne. But, using ACV daily can damage your skin flora.
When this happens, your skin can become more sensitive and, yes, prone to acne. If you want to try out ACV in your skincare routine, dilute it with distilled water and apply every two or three days.
MYTH #10 Frequent and intense cleansing is great for your skin
Hold it right there! Too much cleansing can damage your skin flora. Cleansers make use of surfactants to catch and wash away dirt and grime. Unfortunately, your skin’s natural oils can also get caught by surfactants.
Your skin gets stripped off its natural protective layer and oils with too much cleansing so you end up with a damaged skin barrier and sensitive skin. Be gentle with your skin by using a mild cleanser and limit cleansing to twice a day.
Skincare myths usually come up when one method or product is recommended by a person who tried it and benefited from it. But you have to remember that every single person will have a different skin condition from yours. What works for them may not always work for you. Always be careful about using a product or applying a method. You may end up doing more harm than good.