Common Skincare Myths: Part I
It seems like everywhere you turn; someone is offering advice on this or that, claiming that they have the magical answers you’re looking for. In the digital age we’re living in, it’s become all too common for self-proclaimed experts to take the internet and share their “wisdom.” This has created an unfortunate breeding grounds for myths to spread and grow, and if you’re human there’s a good chance you’ve bought into one or two of them yourself.
Skincare is a topic that seems to invite plenty of unsolicited commentary online. The problem is that each of us has such unique skin that we can’t assume what works for us will work for the next person. Plus, at the end of the day, there’s quite a bit of science that goes into caring for our skin and unless you’re someone who works in a lab all day, a lot of the science is nothing short of confusing.
All of this leads to a lot of misinformation about skincare. To help you dig through the facts and falsehoods, we’ve collected some of the most common skin care myths and set our sights on busting them.
Taking Care Of Your Skin Through the Ages – The Myths Vs the Realities
MYTH: The Women In My Family Have Great Skin, So I’m Not Worried About Premature Aging.
Why This Is False
It’s true – great (or not so great) skin does tend to run in families, but it has less to do with genetics than it does lifestyle factors that are commonly shared along the family tree. About 30% of how you age can be contributed to genetics. This accounts for things like the amount of melanin in your skin to help prevent against sun damage, and whether your skin tends to be more oily or dry.
What this means is that the other 70% is completely in your hands. Factors like diet, stress, whether you smoke or drink heavily, and how diligent you are about protecting yourself against UV exposure are all major determinants in how quickly your skin will show its age. People who live in highly polluted areas might also have skin that ages faster if they don’t take care of it properly.
The bottom line? Don’t take good skin for granted. And, if you feel that you’re doomed to a lifetime of adult acne or premature aging because it runs in your family, stop allowing your skin to be the victim of this myth. Take care of your skin, moisturize, use your sunscreen and revisit the skin care products you’re using if they don’t seem to be working as well as they should be for keeping your skin beautiful and healthy looking.
MYTH: Sunscreen Isn’t a Year-Round Necessity
Why This Is False
If you live in a climate where the sun doesn’t shine all year round, you might make the mistake of thinking you don’t need sunscreen during the winter or on days when there’s a decent amount of cloud coverage. Nothing could be further from the truth.
UV rays from the sun are always present, even when there’s snow or cloud cover. They might not be as strong but that doesn’t mean that they can’t do their fair share of damage. In fact, the amount of UVA rays (the ones that do the most damage) tend to remain consistent year-round. Sun damage is the number one leading cause of premature aging. To minimize or avoid sun damage, make sure to use sunscreen, or at least skin care products that offer UV protection, year-round.
MYTH: Wearing Moisturizer or Foundation Every Day Is Bad for Your Skin
Why This is False
At some point in your life, you may have heard that it’s necessary to forgo makeup or other skin care products because it’s important to let your skin breathe. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with skipping the foundation if it isn’t your thing but you don’t need to skip cosmetics out of fear of overstressing your skin – as long as you choose products designed to protect and take care of one of your most precious assets.
That said, using the right products (yes, even every day) can actually be good for your skin because the offer a barrier of protection against the elements and the not so pleasant environmental toxins that are unavoidable. Plus, many skin care products and foundations contain sunscreen and other beneficial ingredients that help protect and restore your skin while wearing them. If you’re using the right products, it’s never necessary to take “a break” from them.
MYTH: Oily Skin Means Fewer Wrinkles
Why This Is False
Oily skin is often viewed as a curse when we’re younger because it’s more prone to acne, but we tend to think of having an oily complexion as a bonus when we age. After all, if our skin is oily that means it isn’t dry – which equates to fewer wrinkles, right?
Just because your skin is oily doesn’t mean you’re completely protected from the hands of time. Oily skin ages differently than dry skin, but it does still age – and it can be just as prone to premature aging if you don’t take care of it properly.
Oily skin tends to be thicker skin, which means that yes, you might have a level of protection from those early fine lines that your dry-skinned friends don’t have the benefit of. However, when oily skin does begin to show its age, the results are often more dramatic. Think along the line of deeper set wrinkles and enlarged pores that interfere with a smooth, flawless complexion.
Your best bet for maintaining a fresh, youthful appearance to your skin, no matter what type you have, is to invest in a regular skin care routine using gentle products designed specifically for your type of skin. This includes using a daily moisturizer formulated for normal to oily skin types.
MYTH: If You Clean Your Skin At Night, You Don’t Need To Wash It In the Morning
Why This Is False
A nightly skincare routine is important for healthy skin, but if you’re taking the time to cleanse your face before bed, is it really necessary to give it anything more than a splash with some water in the morning? The answer to this is an undeniable yes.
While you’re enjoying restful slumber, your skin is hard at work repairing all the damage from the day. -While you’re sleeping, your skin is working double time to rid itself of toxins, oils and dead skin. This means that while you’ve done nothing more than toss and turn on your pillow, your skin has still accumulated a lot of surface debris that needs to be removed before you place moisturizers, serums or cosmetics on it the next day.
Plus, if you’ve used a nighttime moisturizer, mask or serum, it’s extra important to cleanse your face in the morning. These products are typically designed to only be on the skin for a certain amount of time. While it might seem like they’ve completely worm off, they’re still sitting on the surface of your skin and can potentially cause irritation if not removed in the morning.
Facts and Fictions About Skin Care Products
MYTH: There’s No Point in Using Toner
Why This Is False
It’s surprising how many people skip the toner in their skincare routine. Most people think that simply cleaning their skin is enough to prepare it for moisturizing products, skin care treatments and cosmetics, however this often isn’t the case.
Applying a toner is a necessary step because it removes any residue from your cleanser, along with all the impurities that are found in tap water – think along the lines of minerals, salt, and chlorine, among other drying agents. A good quality, gentle toner that’s formulated for your skin type also restores your skin to a healthy pH level, priming it for any additional products or cosmetics you may use.
MYTH: Acne Prone Skin Requires Heavy Duty Acne Control Products
Why This Is False
The problem with most acne control products that you’ll find on the market today is that they’re formulated to be a one-size-fits-all solution, when the reality is that acne ranges in severity and can have different causes in each individual. Acne control products can be too harsh for some skin types, even during what appears to be an “explosive” break out.
For people who have extremely oily skin and constant, severe breakouts, the ingredients in acne control formulas can be beneficial. For the occasional bad breakout, or one that’s spurred on by hormones, stress or even the weather, using harsh products can actually backfire and make the problem worse.
Acne formulas are designed to strip excess oils and surface bacteria from the skin. They’re also formulated to dry out acne. For people who have a few stubborn pimples or an occasional bad breakout, these products can be overly drying and result in an accumulation of dead skin cells – which eventually settle in, clog pores and make the problem even worse.
Instead of going all in on the strongest acne formula you can find, use a gentle cleanser and enzyme based exfoliant to remove surface debris. A good toner, and yes even a moisturizer, can also help soothe inflamed acne and heal it faster.
MYTH: If It Stings, It Must Be Working
Why This Is False
Maybe it has something to do with our passion for instant gratification but we tend to think that feeling our skincare products working, even if it’s unpleasant, somehow equates to being more effective. When it comes to skincare, the general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t have any extremely noticeable sensations, except for products designed to cool the skin. If you do feel something out of the ordinary, it can signal a problem between your skin type and the product you’re using.
Some forms of Vitamin C can be a culprit for a creating a stinging sensation for many people. The thing to remember is that if it stings, that means it’s probably causing irritation and if your skin feels extremely tight, that means that your product is overly drying. Both of these scenarios are bad news for your skin. Use a potent, but gently formulated Vitamin C serum like our Vitamin C Facial Serum.
Sometimes, you might notice that a product you’ve been using for some time suddenly starts to produce a stinging sensation. It could be that the product has been exposed to too much air and has begun to oxidize, or it might be that your skin has changed and become more sensitive. Either way, it’s never a good idea to continue to use a product that causes any type of discomfort on your skin.
Separating Fact from Reality
Are you tired of sorting through the myths and realities of skin care? The solution to this is to not only get your information from trusted sources, but to also begin trusting yourself a little more. One of the most amazing things about your skin is that it’s great at communicating what it needs. All you need to do is listen and trust your instincts.
If you’re unsure about the validity of the skin care advice you hear, ask yourself if it’s a solution that’s aligned with your values and instincts. Natural, gentle and transparency are words you should look for when choosing a company to purchase skin care products from. A quality skincare line is the foundation you need for beautiful, glowing and healthy skin.