Myth-Busting: 6 Common Skin Care Myths Debunked
From a young age, certain skin care rules—read: dos and don’ts—are drilled into our heads. As we grow older, more supposedly foolproof advice drops in from every corner making it difficult to discern between what’s fact and what’s fiction. Here to set the misconceptions straight is facialist and body care expert from The Body Shop, Vanda Serrador. She sounds off on six common blunders that may be compromising your clear, healthy complexion, ahead.
MYTH #1: YOU DON’T NEED SUNSCREEN WHEN IT’S CLOUDY
Think it’s safe to pass on SPF when it’s cloudy? Think again, says Serrador. “You need SPF no matter the weather, even when it’s cloudy.” The sun is always at work, and harmful UV rays can still reach the earth’s surface—even when you can’t see the sun or feel its warmth on your skin. Opt for a broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher—suited for your specific skin type—to protect against skin damage, including fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and even more serious offenses like cancer.
MYTH #2: POPPING PIMPLES CAUSES NO HARM
True, picking and popping at zits is weirdly satisfying (albeit really gross). While it seems logical to pry at a pimple to release the gunk that’s collected in your pores, it can cause serious damage to your skin. “Picking on pimples can cause permanent scarring and pigmentation, as well as run the risk of cross-contamination,” says Serrador. If your hands are dirty, you may end up introducing new bacteria into the zit or pushing existing bacteria further into the skin, causing it to become more infected and inflamed. Instead, resist the urge to pop and simply let your pimple run its course. You can opt for spot treatments with common acne-fighting ingredients to move things along. You won’t see pus oozing out of your zit and trust us, it’s better that way.
MYTH #3: EXPENSIVE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS WORK BEST
This myth may not be solely matched to skin care, but nonetheless, it doesn’t hold true all of the time. Expensive products may solely be a reflection of their packaging rather than the potency and efficacy of their formulas. Instead of getting hung up on the price tag, Serrador says it’s important for the product to match your skin type and your specific skin needs and criteria. Check the label before you purchase for the active ingredients. Don’t discount drugstore products; they too can help with your skin concerns even at a lower price point.
MYTH #4: ACNE CAN BE WASHED OR SCRUBBED AWAY
Blemishes won’t do a disappearing act after simply washing your face. In fact, over-cleansing your skin and scrubbing too aggressively may lead to additional issues. “Acne is a very delicate condition that needs to be treated with professional care,” says Serrador. Be gentle, use topical treatments with FDA-approved acne-fighting ingredients—read: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide—and when in doubt, always follow the instructions of a dermatologist.
MYTH #5: OILY SKIN DOESN’T NEED A MOISTURIZER
It’s sensible to assume that oily skin, since it produces excess oil on its own, can go without added moisture and hydration. Wrong! “Oily skin types can also suffer from dehydration,” says Serrador. “Oily skin needs a moisturizer designed for that skin type.” Reach for a cream that’s non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) and use as directed.
MYTH #6: ALL SKIN DAMAGE OCCURS BEFORE AGE 18
This is definitely false. Those of us above the age of 18 may wish for this to be true, but it’s simply not so. “Skin damage can occur at any age,” says Serrador. Since nobody is safe at any age, make sure to follow a skin care regimen religiously—or adopt one, if you need to—to care for your skin’s needs in the best fashion.