Just when you thought you knew about skincare, you stumble on information that turns the world upside down. You realize that something you’ve been doing isn’t right or that that “organic product” isn’t really helping.
So settle back with a nice latte and read this list of 10 common myths about skincare.
1. A base tan helps. Nope. Dermatologists agree that pre-tanning really doesn’t work, and it can actually increase your risk of skin cancer, particularly if you pre-tan in a tanning bed. The current thinking is that there’s actually no such thing as a “safe” or “healthy” tan. So trade in that oil for a decent sunscreen. Read more.
2. You can scrub away acne. There’s a common myth that if you scrub really hard, your acne will go away. Not true. Acne is not caused by a dirty face. Cleansers are great, but they don’t work better if you scrub harder. Scrubbing too much can actually inflame blackheads, causing your acne to worsen! Wash smart, not hard.
3. It’s ok to sleep with makeup on. One night sleeping with makeup on won’t cause problems, but repeatedly not washing off makeup before you sleep can. Over time, sleeping with makeup on can clog pores and accelerate unnecessary exposure to free radicals in your environment. This exposure can cause fine lines to appear and pore clogging can lead to adult onset acne. So wash it off. Really.
4. Hydrating your skin means drinking more water. The fact is that water reaches virtually all your other organs before reaching the skin. While it is true that dehydration presents itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky and that dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkles, just drinking water isn’t the best way to hydrate your skin. The answer is using a hydrating moisturizer within 2 minutes of exiting your bath or shower. And while drinking your 8 glasses a day will help, seeing a good esthetician once a month can accelerate skin hydration dramatically.
5. The more creams the better. Do you really need 10 products to keep your skin healthy? Nope. You really only need a mild cleanser and a moisturizer. You don’t need to purchase the most expensive creams, either. Most of the truly active components in anti-aging skin care products are the same, no matter where you buy them or how much money you spend on them. If you’re going to shop for skincare items, look for those that are organic and locally made. Your esthetician can usually help you select one that’s right for you.
6. What you eat doesn’t matter when it comes to skin aging. Skin aging is a combination of the natural, innate mechanisms of body systems plus the environmental damage from sun, wind and pollution. A balanced diet will likely help your skin stay healthy, especially when ensuring your body (including your skin) is well stocked with vitamins. Proper nutrition will help inhibit some effects of physiological aging but does little to protect the skin from the outside world. Using sunscreen will help you look younger. Cucumbers probably won’t.
7. Just one drink is ok. Here’s some news. Alcohol is a hepatotoxin. That means in just about any quantity, it’s causing damage to the liver. Look at someone with liver failure – they’re pasty, huge pores, pale. Not good, right? Alcohol also contains congeners, the main cause of hangovers. And everyone knows you look less than stunning when you are hung over. Alcohol also dehydrates the skin. So between liver damage, congeners and dehydration, you should at least stick to “clear liquors” (less additives), in moderation. Dark liquors and sweet drinks/shots contain super and more congeners. Not great.
8. Wash your face every morning. While it’s a good idea to wash up in the morning, the real culprit for oily skin is going to sleep with makeup on, or not washing off the dust and grime that builds up on a daily basis. Use warm water (not hot), use mild soap, and wash your face every night before you sleep.
9. You can never get enough sleep. You probably notice that when you don’t get enough sleep, you are rewarded with the tired skin sags, bags and dull luster. It’s not good. Not getting enough sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing dark circles. Lack of sleep also increases stress, which usually shows in your face as well. So how much is enough? 7-9 hours of beauty rest each night should do the trick. Oversleeping can actually cause skin cell breakdown. Gasp! So sleep when you are tired and get your 8 hours in for better skin.
10. Once every couple months is enough for facials. Facials actually have many benefits and monthly facials benefit you even more. Facial treatments allow you to relax, they increase circulation of blood under the skin allowing skin renewal to happen. Facials decrease waste under the skin and cleanse pores on a much deeper level than you can traditionally do in your own home. Facials provide deeper exfoliation, too. They help even skin tone and lighten dark spots. They make you feel healthier, smoother and look more radiant. There’s a reason why most people in the limelight, from celebrities to corporate executives, get regular facials.