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Table of Contents:
- The FAQ
From this particular post, you should expect to learn the Top 21 age-old myths of skincare debunked and also the next steps to make informed decisions to take your skincare to the next level of glow.
Internet is used by billions of users and only increasing by the day making it a very efficient platform for everyone. Today, we have a TON of content on the Internet just a click away to learn the best out there.
However, the best comes with the worst as the content is not always accurate and can have a negative impact on us because we tend to read and apply them in our daily routine. I felt like you all deserve to know better.
When it comes to Skincare, 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 become irreparable. Okay, let’s dive right in…
List of Top 21 Skincare Myths:
Skincare Myth #1: “Hot Water open pores and cold water closes pores”
- Facial Pores have no muscles around them so, you cannot open or close your pores contrary to what everyone told you.
- 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 (it will close the blood vessels) 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 and healthy choices. Your health is not written on stone but yours to improve upon and maintain.
- Don’t believe me? I don’t blame ya.
- Check this example below and I intentionally chose the twins post because they must have the same genes so they should hmmm age mostly the same? nay, check it out for yourself:
The twins as you can witness aged very differently because of their lifestyle choices.
To age gracefully inside out, “DO” the following every single day or as much as possible and please don’t hate me, I have few tips below this picture :-). I have intentionally chosen these celebrities below:
Okay, girls and boys, ladies and gentlemen – let’s get pragmatic now, can you really do all of this consistently? perhaps difficult but here are some tips for a few of these to make your life easier, comment if you have more tips:
- Staying active on a daily basis – choose something that you love doing like walking in nature, playing sports, dancing class, swimming, etc. for 1 hour
- Avoid tanning indoors and outdoors just not healthy for your skin – but I know how you might feel, it is easier for me to say this being brown
- One of my coworkers once told me that her family called her pale when she didn’t get a tan for an event. I totally get it…
- Check out this article published in Buzzfeed – for tanning products that A-list celebrities use without ever turning orange
- Please review and you can order from here – Shop for Vita Liberata
- I always hear from people that having pets like dogs and cats melts away the stress. Other known stress busters are exercise, meditation, and Yoga
Skincare Myth #3: “Do not moisturize an oily skin”
- Our skin has a natural oil called sebum that serves as a very effective barrier against germs and pollutants (Our body is smart – it has its own defenses against foreign bodies)
- When our skin is oily, people normally tend to think like this: “well, my skin is too oily so, in order to control the oil, I need to wash and keep it dry and not apply any moisture that might make it worse”.
- Guess what happens if one follows this Myth, Skin will react like this: “oh my god, I am dehydrated, I need to bring on my defenses, let me start by producing more oil to protect it”
- Do you see the cycle here? Do you see that we make it worse when we do not hydrate our oily skin? Did you catch that by the end of step 3 above, we went back to step 1?
- 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) to make sure skin is well-balanced and not produce excess oil.
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
- 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 carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
- 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. This is a very sad statistic.
- Under Myth #2 above, I have listed the healthy alternative of using these tanning products Shop for Vita Liberata without causing skin burns or skin cancer or 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
- 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
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
- My loved one is a great example who eliminated acne entirely by just giving up the store-bought and restaurant dairy food
- According to foodrevolution.org, one reason dairy contributes to acne is because it promotes insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)
- I have heard from the mouth of a dermatologist that diet has no impact on acne 🙁 so, we had to do our own research to beat it
- If you absolutely love consuming dairy, try only pasture-raised, grass-fed, cows treated with no antibiotics – raw milk
- The store-bought milk that clearly displays on its carton that it’s not treated with rBST hormone is not any better, acne persists ==================================
- What can you do to avoid Acne:
- Avoid Dairy and high-glycemic foods (< 50 GI)
- Use Benzoyl Peroxide to control acne – it’s proven and timeless
- Wash your face with salicylic based cleanser
- Take a Zinc supplement to reduce inflammation
- Talk to your dermatologist about Retinoid for you
- Use a light hydrating lotion that does not cause acne – Cetaphil facial lotion is the safest one thus far
- 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
- This goes back to our SKincare Myth #3 above where I talked about moisturizing an oily skin to keep 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
- Do not over-exfoliate or over-wash to keep the skin dry, this is not a good skincare habit with or without acne
Skincare Myth #8: Acne can be treated for good with home remedies
- Not all home remedies are great and may cause more issues if you do not know what you are doing
- Beware of home remedies being promoted on youtube and other channels like applying Toothpaste, Neosporin is promoted
- Avoid applying Neosporin, it is known as 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 actually feeds the bad bacteria
- Definitely, don’t follow kitchen remedies like lemon, garlic, cinnamon, etc. that 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
- Apply sunscreen before going out though, don’t wait until you are in sun to apply sunscreen to protect from harmful UV rays
Skincare Myth #10: Only Organic and Natural products are safe and better for skincare
Okay listen, if you believed in this, I don’t blame ya, I believed in it and also updated my routine for so long before realizing the effects
- Natural and Organic products are actually harder to preserve against bacteria and contamination
- I have learned it the hard way (wasting my $$) that a skincare product must be carefully formulated and preserved in such a way that it effectively is absorbed by my skin to work its magic
- Most of the organic products wouldn’t last after 3 months and you and I know very well that we use our products 1-2 years easy and this causes skin irritation or worse
- Additionally, guess what, many people are actually allergic to natural products than their counterparts due to lack of studies and unknown factors
- Natural and Organic are advertised to us as the safest alternative and made so expensive without proven studies
It does not mean that you should stay away from all-natural and organic products but just be cognizant of the ingredients:
- I swear by Rosehip seed oil – organic with preservative and is very effective for all skin types, absorbs easily with lower levels of retinol, love it
- Be wary when you buy any skincare products, know the ingredients and see how they react to your individual skin needs
Skincare Myth #11: Avoid all chemical products for good health and better skin
- The fact is water is a chemical H2O :-), what do you say now? do we dare avoid it? no way, right. What we need to avoid is only toxic chemicals that have earned a bad reputation
- Not every chemical out there is bad. We have found ourselves in the middle of attention-seeking media or articles without proper research done or simply cosmetic brand competition
- Chemicals that are well-formulated are absolutely necessary to make the skincare products be effective, absorbable and lasting
- Parabens and Silicones received a bad reputation but they really do not deserve that at all
- I do not have to mention this but vaccines and our medication is full of chemicals but are known to save lives and improve health
- Stop hearing and watching the frightening war on chemicals because humans evolved inventing for useful purposes
- Learn about safe chemicals to buy and trash only the toxic chemical ingredients in skincare – Paula’s Ratings
- Drop the fragrance in your skincare as much as possible, they tend to react with other good ingredients and makes it less effective or irritate the skin altogether according to Dr. Dray
Skincare Myth #12: Skipping the Sunscreen on a cloudy day is okay
- Broadspectrum Sunscreen blocks the UVA and UVB rays and the UVA rays stubbornly reach your skin in spite of a cloudy day
- To our bad luck, UVA rays can penetrate through our windows to damage our skin so apply when driving or sitting at the window
- The American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) indicates that up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds
Skincare Myth #13: It is better to pop a pimple than not
5 risks if you cannot resist the temptation of popping:
- 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 is it, no SPF provides 100% protection against UVB rays
- 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
- Yes, you guessed it right, SPF 85 or SPF 100 is a marketing tactic to attract customers like you and me
- Always wear SPF30 but don’t go crazy like younger me 10 years back and buy higher than SPF50, there is simply no benefit to it
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
- This reminds me of skinny capsules 🙂 that attract customers saying it burns fat in a week, no, it doesn’t
- You remember how applying thick moisture or oil immediately smooth our fine lines or wrinkles, cellulite creams are no different – acts the same way
- There is really no immediate miracle for skincare yet people and the sooner we realize this, the better we care for our skin
- And NO, this machine from the ’60s below is also not a cure 🙂
- 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
- The one treatment that I personally believe in is red light therapy that improves blood circulation – more upcoming…
Skincare Myth #16: Skin gets used to the same products over time and becomes less effective
- The research that I have done from Dr. Dennis Gross to skincare experts all 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 and better 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
- Another explanation Dr. Dennis Gross provided was we become less appreciative of the same skincare product that worked in summer but doesn’t work in winter
Skincare Myth #17: Expensive skincare is the only way to look ageless
- This is near and dear to me to explain because I literally experienced it myself. The quick answer is not necessarily.
- Skincare brand must always be tested against its ingredients and the company’s long term reputation and not the price of it
- Very expensive brands in the market can do little to save our skin and a decent brand priced much less can do much more:
- Examples are SK-II (didn’t do anything) while the inexpensive Hada Labo works on literally any skin type and can work its magic
- I would do research on ingredients and reviews and sample it before buying and no longer trust the ‘expensive’ tag in skincare line
Skincare Myth #18: Avoiding sunlight at all times will improve skin health
- Sunlight is necessary for our overall health and humans did not evolve without exposing to sunlight 100%
- While we need SPF and PA protection sure but it does not mean we have to avoid it totally
- Our bodies thrive on natural sunlight as well so please get 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight for absorbing Vitamin D and good health
- This is an absolute requirement for people with breast cancer – they normally have very low levels of Vitamin D
- Science is evolving every single day so there are some things we must follow through common sense approach apart from studies
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 and 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 etc. contribute to keeping wrinkles at bay
- Genes play a good role in skin health but remember always take charge to make it better every single day; you never know if your mom and dad took any care for the skin at all
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, make-up products are not only safer, look better but also provide additional protection for skin with better ingredients
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.
- Dry skin appears to be more wrinkly because of 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 when we frown on our forehead and laugh causing smile lines.
Frequently Asked Questions:
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.
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).
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)
The main sources included in my research:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ecEB698e-c (by Dr. Davin Lim Laser Dermatologist and a Youtuber and on Instagram)
- https://labmuffin.com/do-pores-really-open-and-all-about-thermal-cleansers/ (by Michelle, a science educator, Youtuber with a Ph.D. in chemistry)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCriqiw2uEg (by Dr. Dray, a Dermatologist, and a Youtuber and on Instagram)
- https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/large-pores-myths-facts/ (Christopher W. Robb, a Dermatologist, and Dr. Keaney)
- https://theklog.co/everything-pores/ (Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a dermatologist and clinical instructor)
- https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/skin/myths-and-truths-about-your-pores/ (Dr. Lydia Evans and Dr. Kucy Pon, both Dermatologists)
- https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/is-a-tanning-bed-safe r-than-sunlight
- https://www.sharecare.com/health/sun-care/sunscreen-african-americans (along with other Doctors, even Dr. Oz answered this question)
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2836431/#R58 Adebamowo CA, Spiegelman D, Danby FW, et al. High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005;52:207–214. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]