6 of the Most Common Skincare Misconceptions
We’re constantly reading articles and watching tutorials from our favorite beauty bloggers about the best new products, tips, and tricks. Try as we may to have the perfect skincare routine, there are a few rumors and old wives tales that have crept into our subconscious, messing up our potentially flawless skin! It’s time to put a few of these myths to bed, once and for all!
You Don’t Need Sunscreen When It’s Cloudy
If you’ve read our article about protecting your skin from the sun, you’ll know this is a myth. Those pesky UVA rays can pass through glass and cloud cover, allowing it to cause deeper damage than just sunburn. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF every day to protect against sun damage and visible signs of aging. This should be the last step in your skincare routine before you apply any makeup.
While we’re on the topic of SPF, it should be noted that layering several products with SPF ratings does not increase protection. You’re only protected to the extent of the higher rating of one product. So if you’re wearing a foundation with an SPF of 10, moisturizer with SPF of 15, and a sunscreen with an SPF 20, that does not add up to an SPF of 45! A higher SPF often gives us a false sense of security, but in actual fact, an SPF of 50 is only slightly more protective than an SPF of 15. An SPF of 30 has only 2% more protection than an SPF of 15, and a 40 has only 1% more than a 30. The FDA recommends using an SPF of 15 or higher every day. Remember to reapply it every couple of hours, wear protective clothing, and don’t forget about your lips!
You Shouldn’t Moisturize Oily Skin
Surely having oily skin means you’re naturally moisturized all the time, right? Unfortunately not. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you still need to moisturize. External factors like pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleaning can dry out your skin, which triggers your body to produce additional oil, and therefore, more pimples and shine. Replacing the moisture that has been lost during the day and after cleansing is the best way to combat oily skin. Choose a lightweight, oil-free water-based moisturizer for a matte finish and long-lasting hydration.
You’ll Eventually Outgrow Acne
Well, this one is actually true! If you’re a man… sorry ladies. We can’t blame it on eating too much chocolate or wearing too much makeup, it’s all to do with hormones. That’s why men grow out of acne after their teens, as their hormones balance out after puberty. For the other half of the population, the option of acne popping up in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s is very real. Our hormone levels fluctuate throughout our lifetime, which is why a lot of women experience breakouts around their menstrual cycle. So, keep those acne prevention tips and tricks we learned in our teens! They’ll probably come in handy in the future too.
The Collagen In Your Skin Can Be Replaced Topically
Collagen is a protein that makes up a majority of the connective tissue in your body. Such tissue includes your skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and joints. Collagen makes up 30% of all our body’s protein as well as 70% of all the protein in our skin. This means collagen not only helps maintain a youthful appearance by building elasticity and plumpness in our skin but is also crucial to maintaining overall health.
Many products claim to replace lost collagen in the skin via an easy-to-use cream. Since collagen is the protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity, on the surface (pun intended) this seems to make sense. But no matter how great the marketing is, replacing collagen in the skin by topical means is scientifically impossible. Collagen is a large molecule that is not absorbed into the skin, and even hydrolyzed collagen (collagen that has been chopped up into smaller particles) does not get incorporated into the skin matrix. These creams may work as simple moisturizers, but nothing more. The good news is there are other treatments designed to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin, such as PRP injections. In addition, facial fillers offer fullness and volume with a faster result.
Natural Products Are Always Better
Much of this widely held belief that natural is better for us comes from the food industry, where the rise of plant-based diets and pesticide-free farming has led us to be more conscious about our food choices. Now the same attitude is being applied to our beauty routines.
However, just because something's made in a lab, doesn't mean it's toxic — and just because something's completely natural, doesn't mean it's not (arsenic, anyone?).
Many natural and organic products are not as they claim. Many times, active ingredients have to be synthesized to work effectively and produce the desired results. Synthetic compounds can actually be identical to those found in nature and be more effective. Natural vs. laboratory-processed should not be a factor in a decision about a product. Not all chemicals are bad and not all-natural or organic ingredients are good.
The surprising fact: There are lots of natural, organic ingredients that are bad for skin! Many of them are lurking in products claiming to be better or safer because they’re natural or organic. Sad but true.
Intense Exfoliation Can Kill Your Acne
It can be tempting to attack your skin with an abrasive exfoliant scrub in an effort to sand away acne. The pros, however, caution against too much exfoliation.
"Acne-causing bacteria lies deep in the follicles under your skin; scrubbing the surface will not make it go away. In fact, it will potentially aggravate the skin more," esthetician Rhonda Robb told Bioelements.
Facial scrubs are often too aggressive for blemished skin. Scrubs can be very harsh, especially on skin that is already inflamed due to acne breakouts.
When you're breaking out, you may feel like you should scrub your face often, thinking it's helping to get your skin really clean. In actuality, vigorous scrubbing can increase irritation and redness, aggravate already inflamed skin, and exacerbate breakout activity.
If scrubs, even when gently used, irritate your skin it's best to remove them from your skin care routine. If you have inflammatory acne, especially if your breakouts are inflamed, crusting, oozing, or open sores, avoid scrubs altogether.
This doesn't mean acne-prone skin shouldn't be exfoliated regularly. There are other ways to exfoliate the skin without resorting to an abrasive and potentially irritating product.
Demystifying Misconceptions through Open Communication
These are just a few of the most common skincare myths floating around out there that needed to be busted, but there are so many more. Doing research, reading multiple articles, talking with friends and family, looking more deeply into things, and not just taking them at face value is valuable and important because, at the end of the day, it's your skin!
Leave a comment if you've heard any outlandish misconceptions about skincare or if you just want to share more with us!
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