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Top 21 Worst Skincare Myths You Don’t Want to Miss

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Introduction to Skincare Myths

Top 21 Skincare Myths debunked to help you make more informed decisions and to take your skincare to the next level of glow. A dictionary definition of a ‘Myth’ is a widely held but false belief or idea. It is time we put these to rest.

It is crucial to understand the fact from the fiction and if not, it will take a toll on your skin which can at times cause irreparable damage. Please check out the summary below listing all 21 and then read more to understand.

top-21-Skincare-Myths
Top-21-Skincare-Myths

Skincare Myth #1: “Hot Water open pores and cold water closes pores”

  • Facial Pores have no muscles around them, you cannot open or close your pores contrary to the belief
  • Steam can help loosen the oil inside the pores to keep them clean but does not open the pores
  • A quick cool rinse after a hot shower can leave your skin looking less pink but does not close the pores

Skincare Myth #2: “Aging gracefully is only due to good genetics”

  • Your genetics may be in place, but your overall health is equally influenced by your own lifestyle choices
  • Studies illustrate vividly that eating well can actually alter our genes to reduce or avoid disease(s)
  • Check this example below and I intentionally chose the twins post of all available ones:
Dr. Davin Lim that I follow on Youtube and Instagram

To age gracefully inside out, “DO” the following daily or as much as possible. You will see a few celebrities below who are not known for their UV tanned skin:

Skincare-Myth-2-DO
Skincare-Myth-2-DO

Let’s get pragmatic now, can you really do all of this consistently, perhaps difficult but here are some tips:

  • Staying active on a daily basis gets easier if you love what you are doing like walking or playing
  • Avoid tanning indoors and outdoors, neither is healthy but
  • Known stress busters apart from the exercise are spending time with pets, music, meditation, etc.

Skincare Myth #3: “Do not moisturize an oily skin”

  1. Our skin has a natural oil, sebum that serves as a very effective barrier against germs and pollutants
  2. If you believe in this myth, you might immediately want to control the oil by washing and keep it dry
  3. Guess what happens? the skin will feel dehydrated and combat the condition by producing more oil
  4. Did you catch that by the end of step 3 above, we went back to step 1, it repeats
  5. This cycle will never end if we do not start hydrating the oily skin with a light moisturizer like Cetaphil facial lotion that is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores)
  6. Our goal is to make sure the skin is well-balanced to make sure it does not produce excess oil
Skincare-Myth-3-DONT
Skincare-Myth-3-Don’t do this

Skincare-Myth-3-DO
Skincare-Myth-3-DO this

If your skin is oily, you can never go wrong with the below lotion, try and let me know:

Skincare Myth #4: “Lighter Complexion: Tanning booth is the best”

  • Tanning outdoors or indoors will expose you to harmful Ultra-violet (UV) rays that are responsible for Premature skin aging:
    • Wrinkles
    • Age spots
    • Leather-like skin (repeated tanning) causing irreparable skin damage
  • There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Tanning increases your risk of basal cell carcinomasquamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma
Tanning-fair-skin
Tanning-fair-skin
  • Both the American Cancer Society and the Skin Cancer Foundation published data that the exposure to indoor tanning in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent
  • According to skincancer.org, One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70
  • Under Myth #2, I have listed a better alternative of using the tanning products Shop for Vita Liberata to avoid burns or worst cancer and aging skin

Skincare Myth #5: Darker complexion: Do not need sun protection

  • It is true that Darker skin tones have a lower risk of skin cancer and also built-in sun protection factor (SPF) of 13 due to the natural production of melanin, the pigment that gives its color
  • However, Melanin only protects skin from UVB rays that cause skin burns and eventually skin cancer due to overexposure
  • Remember UVB Rays as Burning Rays and UVA Rays as Aging Rays
Tanning-dark-skin
Tanning-dark-skin
  • A sunblock specifically PA++++ (Protection Grade of UVA rays) is still required for darker skin tones to block UVA rays that cause skin aging and damage DNA
  • My all-time favorite product is Biore UV Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ for all skin types that doesn’t leave a white residue/cast on the skin and is a fantastic base for your make-up

Skincare Myth #6: Diet does not cause Acne

  • Diet does cause Acne – Recent studies and experiences clearly shows that Dairy products and high glycemic foods trigger acne
  • Processed food with sugar raises your insulin levels, which boosts hormones that cause inflammation and increase oil production that will eventually lead to acne
  • Dr. Axe suggested a diet for eliminating Acne and a picture below. My friend completely beat acne in less than 2 months by avoiding just conventional Dairy from the below list.
acne-draxe-foods
acne-draxe-foods
  • According to foodrevolution.org, one reason dairy contributes to acne is because it promotes insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)
  • If you absolutely love consuming dairy, try only pasture-raised, grass-fed, cows treated with no antibiotics – raw milk or A2 milk

What you can do to control/avoid Acne:

  1. Avoid conventional Dairy and high-glycemic foods (>50 GI – Glycemic Index)
  2. Use Benzoyl Peroxide to control acne – it’s proven and timeless
  3. Wash your face with salicylic based cleanser
  4. Take a Zinc supplement to reduce inflammation
  5. Talk to your dermatologist about Retinoid for you
  6. Use a light hydrating lotion that does not cause acne – Cetaphil facial lotion is the safest one thus far
  7. Aloe vera lotion is also a wonderful moisturizer for acne

Skincare Myth #7: Keeping the skin extra dry will reduce Acne

  • Keeping the skin extra dry will actually produce excess sebum and a chance to cause more acne
  • Similar to Skincare Myth #3 above where I talked about oily skin is to be hydrated and well-balanced
  • It is absolutely necessary to keep skin moist with a light moisturizer like Cetaphil facial lotion
  • Aloe vera lotion is also a wonderful moisturizer for acne

Skincare Myth #8: Acne can be treated for good with home remedies

  • Not all home remedies are good and may cause more issues due to the lack of studies
  • Beware of home remedies being promoted on the internet like applying toothpaste, neosporin, etc.
  • Avoid applying neosporin, it is a known antibiotic for cuts so many think that it can also kill the acne bacteria. It actually has the characteristic of clogging pores which exacerbates acne
  • Avoid applying toothpaste, not all are the same. There are chemicals in it that can feed the bad bacteria
  • Finally, following kitchen remedies like lemon, garlic, cinnamon, etc. can actually cause contact dermatitis

Skincare Myth #9: Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure for effectiveness

  • This one is interesting because the only reason this myth came into play is that it takes a few minutes to form a thin film on your skin if you are applying chemical sunscreens
  • However, if you are applying physical sunscreens like Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide – these are effective immediately
  • Physical sunscreen is like a shield – deflecting sun’s rays
  • Chemical sunscreen is like a sponge – absorbing the sun’s rays

Skincare Myth #10: Only Organic and Natural products are safe and better for skincare

  • Natural and Organic products are actually harder to preserve against bacteria and contamination
  • A skincare product must be carefully formulated and preserved to be absorbed by the skin to work
  • Many people are actually allergic to natural products than their counterparts due to the lack of studies

It does not mean that you should stay away from all-natural and organic products but just be cognizant of the ingredients and pay attention to how your skin reacts to it:

  • I personally swear by Rosehip seed oil – organic with preservative and is very effective for all skin types. It absorbs easily with lower levels of retinol which makes it perfect for people who cannot tolerate retinol.

Skincare Myth #11: Avoid all chemical products for good health and better skin

  • You know what is funny with this myth, water is a chemical H2O :-). We only need to avoid toxic chemicals from our life
  • Chemicals that are well-formulated are absolutely necessary to make the skincare products effective, absorbable and lasting
  • Parabens and Silicones received a bad reputation but they really do not deserve that at all
  • Learn about safe chemicals to buy and trash only the toxic chemical ingredients in skincare
  • Paula’s Ratings lists all the skincare ingredients and explains what is each one of them in detail
  • Pro-Tip: Drop the fragrance in your skincare, they tend to react with other good ingredients and makes it less effective or irritate the skin altogether

Skincare Myth #12: Skipping the Sunscreen on a cloudy day is okay

cloudy-day-UV
Cloudy-day-UV
  • The American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) indicates that up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds
  • UVA rays can mercilessly penetrate through the windows so apply when driving or sitting at the window
  • Broadspectrum Sunscreen blocks the UVA and UVB rays, my all-time favorite is Biore UV Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ for all skin types and all seasons as well

Skincare Myth #13: It is better to pop a pimple than not

5 risks if you cannot resist the temptation of popping that pimple on your skin:

  • Risk 1: Popping a pimple can cause a permanent acne scar
  • Risk 2: Spreading the bacteria into the surrounding pores causing more acne
  • Risk 3: Delay acne healing process and making it last longer
  • Risk 4: Damaging the skin barrier
  • Risk 5: During popping, you may push the infected pus into deep layers of skin causing much bigger pimples

Please do not pop a pimple and if you cannot resist it, go to a dermatologist or certified medical aesthetician to get it done

Skincare Myth #14: The higher the SPF, the longer is the sun protection

  • SPF is Sun protection factor which protects from UVB rays
  • SPF15 blocks 94% of UVB rays
  • SPF30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF45 blocks 98% of UVB rays
  • That about it, no SPF provides 100% protection against UVB rays
SPF-30-good-enough
SPF-30-good-enough
  • The measure of SPF is directly related to the percentage of protection and has nothing to do with the lasting protection
  • All sunscreens no matter the SPF# must be re-applied after 2 hours in the sun to continue blocking both UVA and UVB rays
  • SPF 85 or SPF 100 is a marketing tactic to attract the customers

Skincare Myth #15: Cellulite creams are meant to eliminate the cellulite

  • Cellulite creams containing retinol, caffeine, and antioxidants are marketed to eliminate the cellulite – the answer is they do not
  • Cellulite creams can smooth the appearance of cellulite (fight the cottage cheese look) temporarily but cannot eliminate it
  • Things that you can do to help are:
    • Exercise can thicken the dermis and make the skin youthful
    • Massage for lymphatic drainage around the cellulite areas
    • There are some treatments using radiofrequency and laser technology but none of them are permanent

Skincare Myth #16: Skin gets used to the same products over time and becomes less effective

  • Dr. Dennis Gross and other skincare dermatologists and experts say that skin does not build up immunity to skincare products over time, there is simply no plateau for skincare
  • What happens is some products do their job to take your skin to the next level: Glycolic acid or Retinoids etc.

For example, if I peel my skin using Glycolic acid 10%, my skin does so well for a while and now it’s ready for 15%. In the next few months, it might be ready for 20% to continue to show its effectiveness.

This doesn’t mean that 10% is not working, I just become less appreciative of it because it did its magic already.

The below product is 30% peel, it is only for people who already used up to 20% peel.

The below product is for the beginners of peeling skincare concept, try these pads on clean face and observe how the skin reacts, don’t forget the moisturizer afterward:

Skincare Myth #17: Expensive Skincare is the only way to look ageless

  • Skincare brand must always be tested against its ingredients and the company’s long term reputation and not for the price of it
  • Brands have way more capital to invest in celebrities so, we have created this perception that only expensive brands work, this is simply not true
  • The fact is if you choose the right active ingredients from a trustworthy company like ‘The Ordinary’ brand, you can never go wrong with your choices (affordable)

Skincare Myth #18: Avoiding sunlight at all times will improve skin health

This Myth is also not true, you may ask how come because I have been saying all through this article to apply sunscreen then what is this about. Long exposure to the hot sun with UV Index high is not recommended at all and that is why you have to apply sunblock. Short exposure is just fine and you actually need it for good health.

There is no life on earth without the sun, we all know that. Like plants (via photosynthesis), humans, and animals also process sunshine to improve our bodily functions, energize our cells (mitochondria) and maintain circadian rhythm.

  • Our bodies thrive on natural sunlight, please get at least 20 minutes of sunlight for the absorption of natural Vitamin D from UVB rays
  • Get the sun at sunrise and sunset also, these wavelengths do not require the application of SPF as the UV index would be very low but the rays will improve blood circulation and prepare you for the day’s sunlight as well
sunshine-courtesy-unsplash
Sunshine is beautiful – Don’t eliminate it from your life
Picture courtesy @ unsplash

Until science/studies prove otherwise, I am still not convinced though that you can just take sunshine all-day without forming leather-like skin overtime with overexposure and premature aging.

If you want better-looking skin and want to age gracefully, the advice is still to avoid long exposure to sun but just get enough for good health and well-being. The good news is sunrise and sunset rays will not harm your skin at all.

Skincare Myth #19: Moisturizing the skin at all times will keep the wrinkles at bay

  • Only moisturizing the skin is not enough to manage wrinkles
  • Moisturizing is basic but using wrinkle-fighting ingredients and tools are very important if you are serious about skincare
  • Glycolic acid for peeling; Retinoids for renewing the skin cells; Ceramides; Peptides; Anti-oxidants; Red light therapy; Vitamins intake; Exercise, tightening mask, skincare tools, etc. all contribute to keeping wrinkles at bay
  • Genes play a role in skin health but your skincare investment today will reap the benefits in the future

Let me go a little further and tell you that with advanced science, nowadays, modern women are looking much younger then their mom’s used to at the same age.

If you are interested, I love this article from Brightside @ why-modern-30-year-old-women-look-younger-than-they-used-to? below image is from the same article:

30-year-old-then-now
30-year-old-then-now

Skincare Myth #20: Applying make-up on a daily basis will age the skin

  • Daily make-up will not age the skin as long as you care for it on a daily basis by removing it nightly and follow a skincare routine
  • Make-up in the old days was indeed scary as the science around it was not as mature as it is today
  • Today, the make-up products are not only safer, look better but also provide additional protection for skin with better ingredients

I am more of a skincare person than a make-up person, but I have reviewed many articles and videos and chose the cruelty-free make-up that actually works its magic:


Skincare Myth #21: People with dry skin age faster and People with oily skin age gracefully

  • Aging is inevitable for any skin type – dry or oily. This skincare myth is based on the appearance only
  • Dry skin appears to be more wrinkly because of the lack of moisture on the skin’s surface compared to the oily skin
  • Wrinkles are caused due to excess and/or unprotected sun exposure, lifestyle choices – in pollution and smoking, etc
  • Wrinkles are also caused due to facial movements – the repetitive muscle movement in the same direction as frowning leads to forehead-lines and laughing leads to smile-lines
  • People who are more stoic do not show wrinkles with age and very expressive people have early wrinkles but hey, they are leading very happy lives though on the positive end

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are facial pores?

Facial pores are visible topographic openings of the skin which correspond to a small hair and its associated oil gland (sebaceous gland, which produces skin’s oils) and is a vital skin structure that contains squalene, ceramides, waxes that hydrate our skin to function well.

What causes large pores?

Three factors contribute to the noticeability of your pores – excessive oil production, age-related decreased elasticity around pores, and increased hair follicle volume.
The size of the pores depends on your genes. You will often see that people with fair-skin will have less visible pores and those with darker and/or oily skin have more visible pores (much more so in Asians).

How can I reduce my pore size?

You cannot change the size of the pores but you can sure take the below steps to make them appear smaller:
1. Control excess sebum by hydrating it with the right moisturizer (clogged pores stretches the edges of the pore and make it appear larger)
2. Daily cleanse to remove underlying debris and makeup (Make sure to wash with an oil cleanser first to remove oil buildup from products and then follow with a gentle cleanser)
3. Exfoliate twice a week to remove the dead skin cells (Salicylic acid or Glycolic acid or Retinoids are a great choice depending on what your skin can tolerate)

References for this article:

References-for-myths
References-for-myths


19 thoughts on “Top 21 Worst Skincare Myths You Don’t Want to Miss”

  1. These were the best tips I’ve seen for skin n hair care in awhile!

    wow blog for best clear skin tips, I‘ve ever seen 👏🏼👏🏼❤️

    Thanks Simi 🙂

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Simi is a science graduate and a passionate lifestyle blogger from the melting pot who loves to share what she is good at. She desires to write easy to understand blog posts based on research, studies, and experiences and also shares her amazing travel adventures to inspire her readers. Simi is married to her grad school sweetheart, Vincent, and they live with their two sweet furry kids (doggies), Chui and Mui.