There are so many wrong skincare habits and assumptions that a lot of people truly believe in. From the use of kitchen ingredients to treat the skin conditions to skipping sunscreen because you have melanin. In this post, I’ll be debunking some popular skincare myths and misconceptions and hopefully you learn a thing or two from them.
“Natural” or ” Organic” skincare products are better for you.
A product being 100% natural doesn’t make it a better option. Mostly because anybody can literally create anything and put a “chemical free” label on it. Instead of focusing on whether the product is organic or inorganic, you should pay attention to the constituents of the product and do proper research on their effects on the skin. That way you can avoid potentially harmful skincare products.
If it gives a burning sensation, then it’s working
I think this one in particular encouraged my uninformed use of some harsh products on my skin in the past. This was until I started seeing actual patches on my skin caused by the burn. If you get a burning sensation, then it’s probably not good for you and will most likely cause some form of irritation on your skin or dry your skin out. Your skin is essentially telling you to find something milder. This is why I try to stay away from organic skincare products including black soaps as I have realized that my skin reacts badly to them.
Organic skincare aside, some chemical exfoliators can also cause irritation if the acid percentage is too high for your skin. In that case you can go for a milder acid like mandelic acid. It is also very possible that your skin is sensitive to certain active ingredients. When you notice such, you should exclude them from your routine.
You only need sunscreen on sunny days
Sometime last year I wrote about how I started using sunscreen and how I initially thought it was only for very sunny days. Honestly, even after realizing it was wrong and in fact a myth, it still took me a while to accept it. Mostly because skincare is not cheap and also because it didn’t make sense to me. But like I mentioned in my sunscreen blog post, up to 80% UV rays can pass through the clouds, so you actually need to use your sunscreen everyday. The ideal thing is to buy a broad spectrum sunscreen for optimal protection.
Toners are an absolutely necessary part of your skincare routine
People always find it hard to believe that toners are not completely necessary for a good skin care routine. If you have a great cleanser, you may not need a toner. I’m not saying toners are not useful. I personally have two toners; a regular toner and an acid toner (I reviewed both here). But toners are typically used for extra cleansing and may have added benefits like hydration, pore tightening, pH balancing, exfoliation, etc. That being said, if you’re able to afford just three skincare products, a toner shouldn’t be one of them. Instead you should invest in a good cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen.
You don’t need a moisturizer if you have oily skin
Oily skin is one that has excess sebum. It can be very tempting to completely leave out a moisturizer from your routine if you have oily skin but honestly, you always need your skin to be hydrated to protect your skin barrier. Also, skipping moisturizer can trigger your skin to produce more oil. However, when purchasing your face moisturizer, you can go for non-comedogenic and mattifying moisturizers.
Dark skinned people do not need sunscreen
Generally, people with dark skin don’t get sunburns as fast as people with lighter skin because of the protection melanin provides. However, they are still very much susceptible to sun induced damage if they do not wear sunscreen because there’s only so much melanin can do to protect the skin. No matter your skin colour/type, it is recommended that you have a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Expensive products work better
I don’t know where this idea came from but it is very possible to get similar quality for a lesser price. This is not to say there’s anything wrong with getting expensive products. But if you can’t afford them, you can always go for a cheaper alternative that has the same active ingredient, as long as the brand is reputable. Budget friendly and reputable brands would include Simple, The Ordinary, Good molecules, CeraVe, Dove, Neutrogena, etc
Toothpaste reduces the appearance of acne
So the origin of this skincare myth is the fact that toothpaste contains alcohol, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and of course an antibacterial agent all of which would typically shrink pimples. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is literally TOOTHpaste and so should be used for the teeth. It doesn’t consider the skin’s sensitivity and so it can easily cause skin irritation.
Rather than using toothpaste, purchase actual SKINcare products for acne treatment.
Shaving hair makes it grow back faster, thicker and darker
Contrary to popular opinion, shaving hair does not make it grow faster, thicker and darker. There’s no correlation between hair growth rate and shaving. It may seem like it because when hair is growing out, it is a bit thicker at the tip, but it eventually thins out. So yeah, it’s fake news.
Higher SPF means better protection
I personally think that buying any sunscreen above SPF 50 is a waste of money. And that’s because the difference between its protective value and that of the lower SPFs is very minute.
It’s easy for one to believe that an SPF 100 sunscreen will offer double the protection provided by an SPF 50 sunscreen. But the difference is actually very insignificant. What you should pay more attention to is using enough sunscreen and making sure it is broad spectrum (protects from UVA and UVB) since SPF only shows the level of UVB protection.
Drinking water gives you clear skin
I know I know, we’ve all been there. I mean, the whole drink water for clear skin thing was everywhere at some point and our big celebrities endorsed it too. Yes, water is necessary for the proper functioning of the body but it is not directly linked to clear skin. How much water you drink only begins to affect skin when the body is already dehydrated in the first place. This is because when the body doesn’t have water, it begins to take water from the less important organs like the skin to support the more important ones. In simple terms, drink enough water but also keep in mind that drinking ten bottles of water daily won’t clear your skin!
I hope this post was helpful and I was able to debunk some of these skincare myths and misconceptions. x
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