With various beauty trends and pieces of skin care advice you hear from every corner, it can be pretty tough to separate what’s real and what’s not. Since you’re not sure whom to trust with your delicate skin, you follow the beauty beliefs that are commonly held, just to be safe.
Unfortunately, even some widely accepted pieces of advice about face aesthetics, skin care products, treatments, and routines are nothing but myths. Below are some of them.
Myth 1. “Natural” and “chemical-free” products are your best bet
Just because the skin care product is “100% made of a fruit extract with no preservatives added” doesn’t mean it’s better than the OTC alternative with chemical ingredients.
The product’s effectiveness varies per person. The ingredients all boil down to the skin type. It goes without saying that you should consult with a qualified or licensed professional to determine the right product or treatment for you.
Should you go for the natural, zero preservative route, make sure to check the expiration dates as these natural products don’t last long and are more susceptible to the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold.
Myth 2. The harder you scrub, the better
We get it – no pain, no gain. But let your delicate skin be an exception.
I know scrubbing can be satisfying and we have the natural desire to “feel” the products working. We have this notion that “the harder you scrub, the cleaner your face gets.” However, scrubbing and exfoliating too hard or too often will lead to skin damage. It strips your skin of its essential moisture and makes your skin more sensitive to infections, clogged pores, and free radicals that may result in premature aging.
Exfoliation doesn’t have to hurt to work. Doing it more frequently than needed will also do more harm than good. It’s recommended to exfoliate only two to three times a week to allow the skin to recover.
Myth 3. The higher the SPF, the better the protection
It’s not about the number. It’s about how broad the coverage is, how much you apply and how frequent you apply the SPF. A good sunscreen is at least SPF 30. You also have to look for a broad-spectrum coverage sunscreen that blocks both the UVA and UVB rays.
It’s good to apply sunscreen before you get dressed. Allow 20 minutes for the SPF to penetrate into your skin before going out. Sunscreen also wears off especially when you sweat, so it’s recommended to reapply every 2 hours. Don’t skip sunscreen even during rainy or cloudy days.
Myth 4. You break out only because you don’t wash your face
While it’s true that keeping your face clean is the most important rule in face aesthetics and skin care, not washing your face frequently isn’t just the culprit here. Acne is made up of the combination of four factors: excess sebum or oil production, clogged pores from shredding keratin/dead skin cells, bacteria, and inflammation.
So if you need an effective acne treatment, do more than just keeping your face clean – formulate a skin care routine that seeks to respond to these four factors and avoid certain foods, habits, and situations that trigger acne. Ask your dermatologist today.
Myth 5. Hot water opens up the pores for a deeper, better clean
Washing with hot water will do more harm than good. It’s an easy way to damage your skin by stripping off its natural protective barrier and drying it out. If your skin is red after cleansing, it’s telling you that the water you’ve used was too hot.
Go for a lukewarm, rather than hot, water. Another better way to open up the pores is by using a steam or hot towel.
Myth 6. Skip moisturizer if you have oily skin
Yes, the sebum (oil) we naturally produce helps protect and keep our skin moisturized. Since oily, acne-prone skin results from the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands, it’s safe to assume that those oily skin types don’t have to use moisturizer, right? Wrong.
We all need to use some kind of moisturizer to keep our skin hydrated, nourished, and balanced, regardless of our skin type. If you use facial cleansers and other treatments that tend to strip the natural oils and dry out your skin, you’ll need to replace your skin’s protective layer. Oily skin requires the least amount of moisture though, so opt for a light hydrating serum or lotion rather than a heavy cream.
Myth 7. Burning sensation? It means the ingredients are working
It sounds convincing, and a lot of people believed and are still believing in his dangerous myth. If it burns and stings, by all means, remove it ASAP with a cool damp cloth.
You have to draw the line between “a little tingling” (which is normal) and stinging or burning. The latter is a type of reaction which may indicate that your skin is too sensitive for the product. It may also be a telltale sign that you’re allergic to the ingredient you’re using, which can be very dangerous to your skin health. If the irritation or pain persists within a few minutes, consult your dermatologist right away,
Myth 8. Your skin should feel tight after cleansing
Your skin should feel fresh and elastic, rather than tight, If this is the case, you’re probably using a cleanser that’s too harsh, which may increase the appearance of fine lines. Again, these kinds of cleansers rob the skin of its natural oils. It can even trigger breakouts since oil production is triggered to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Myth 9. If a product doesn’t work quickly, move on
Raise your hand if you’re impatient and you need to see instant results in as fast as one week. Aren’t we all? The thing is, it’s important to stick to a skincare routine and wait long enough to see what and what doesn’t work.
Mark Rubin, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego, suggests waiting 8 to 10 weeks before abandoning your product and trying the next thing. In addition, Rubin says that most active ingredients do work on everyone – just to varying degrees.