Skin care myths are the bane of the beauty industry. There’s so much information flying around that it’s almost impossible to separate right from wrong! Most people would need to do careful and extensive research to figure out which “tips” are actually helpful and which are not.
However, if you’re here, you don’t have to do all that. I’m here to help you out!
Do you remember those days when skincare DIY remedies with lemon and baking soda were trending like crazy on the Internet?!
You couldn’t open YouTube without seeing this “amazing” combo everywhere! Those were truly dark times…
Thankfully, a lot more research has been done since then and similar skin care myths have been debunked. However, there are still many more of these myths around which can damage your skin and ruin all your hard work. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen!
From the “wonders” of witch hazel to skipping sunscreen, I’m going to shed more light on some of the most common skin care myths, why they’re awful for your skin and what exactly you should do instead!
I hope at the end of this post, you would have learnt a lot to help you achieve the healthy, glowing skin that you deserve 😘
Myth #1: Witch hazel is a Miracle Ingredient
Natural skin care is the rave these days. There are thousands of videos online about “cheap, all-natural remedies that’ll do wonders for your skin!” This must be the reason why witch hazel is so popular despite it being an awful awful ingredient.
There are claims that witch hazel is effective for clearing your acne, keeping your oily skin in check or as a makeup remover… I’m sorry to tell you that these are false!
In reality, witch hazel contains a large percentage of alcohol which when applied to your skin can cause over-drying, irritation and breakouts. Alcohol also destroys the skin’s protective barrier reducing its ability to retain moisture and leading to rapid ageing. It’s all bad news with witch hazel. Avoid it at all costs!
What to do instead: If you need to clear your acne, consider using salicylic acid or a spot treatment. There are also many hydrating toners that can be used in place of witch hazel. Oil cleansers are the best for removing your makeup.
And if you need to keep your oily skin in check, consider moisturizing regularly (check myth #2 for more details), drinking more water, removing all makeup before bed and of course, never forget sunscreen!
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Myth #2: Oily Skin does not need to be Moisturized Regularly
This skin care myth is one that plagued me for much of my adolescence. I would wash my face, dry it off and ten minutes later, my skin would appear sooo shiny and I would think; where’s all the oil coming from?? I haven’t applied anything!
With the research I’ve done, I’ve realised this was exactly the problem.
Contrary to popular belief, moisturizing oily skin doesn’t make it look shinier. Moisturizing provides hydration. When your skin lacks the moisture that it needs, it produces excess oil to compensate. This is why your skin feels oilier and looks shinier.
What to do instead: If you have oily skin, a light-weight, oil-free moisturiser is best for you.
Myth #3: The Longer and more Expensive your Routine, the Better it is
With the increasing popularity of 10-step skin care routines, it’s easy to think that these routines are the best for you. And yes, they work for some people but not for everyone.
If you use too many products in your routine, there’s a risk of your pores getting clogged up causing irritation and redness.
If your skin feels tight, squeaky, dry or crinkly or if you’re experiencing irritation or redness, it’s usually a good sign that you may be using too many products in your skin care routine.
And of course, the price of something isn’t always proportional to its value. One of my favourite skin care brands, The Ordinary offers very affordable products that work!
What to do instead: Find what works for you by watching your skin carefully each time you add or change a product in your routine. Avoid using too many actives in your routine. If you must, rotate them every other day.
Myth #4: Toothpaste is good for Clearing Acne
This is another common skin care myth that I strongly believed in my teens! I guess the logic behind this skin care myths is: If it’s good enough to clean your teeth, it’s good enough for your skin…?? I’m here to tell you it is not! 😣
Although, it is true that some of the ingredients found in toothpaste (like hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and alcohol) are drying, they’re too strong for the sensitive skin of your face. Some other ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate actually strip the oils from your skin.
Applying toothpaste on your skin can lead to over-drying and cause peeling, irritation and redness thus, worsening your acne. In summary, totally not worth the risk.
What to do instead: Use dermatologist-approved spot treatments or products which contain ingredients like salicylic acid. The Ordinary salicylic acid is one of my faves for treating my acne.
Myth #5: Sunscreen in your Makeup offers enough Protection
Makeup with SPF seems like an incredible deal, right? It’s like a buy one, get one free option!
Like many other “deals” that companies advertise, this one has a catch – it’s not offering enough protection from the Sun… 😞
I’ll explain better.
Technically, the SPF in your foundation and other makeup products is as good as normal sunscreens. However, to achieve the same level of protection, you would need to apply a lot more makeup.
Infact, dermatologist Sonia Batra, M.D. said on Women’s Health Magazine, “To achieve the SPF on the label, you would have to apply about 2 mg of product per square centimetre of skin, or a dollop about the size of a nickel to the face,”
Of course, no one applies this amount of makeup… So, it’s easy to conclude that you’re not achieving the amount of sun protection you should have.
In summary, while makeup with SPF is a pretty cool concept, it does not provide enough coverage for your skin. Do not depend on it!
What to do instead: Apply moisturizer with SPF before your primer. Then, you can use your foundation with SPF as the cherry on the top! When you’re done, you can also apply setting spray with SPF for best results. Tbh, there’s nothing like too much sunscreen…
Myth #6: Sunscreen can be Skipped on a Cloudy Day
Ugh! This skin care myth was so popular at a time. It’s less popular these days since people are getting more informed about skin cancer and sunscreen.
But if you’re one of those who believe this, read on to know why this is false.
Sunscreen is the most important product in your skin care routine as it protects you from UV rays which cause wrinkles, ageing, hyperpigmentation and worst of all, skin cancer.
Now, it is true that clouds help to block out some of the sunlight that touches your skin. However, it doesn’t block all of it. Most of the harmful UV rays filter through the clouds and can cause a lot of damage to your skin.
What to do instead: First of all, never skip sunscreen! The harmful UV rays can burn your skin anywhere, whether at the office or the beach and anytime, whether the Sun is “out” or not.
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