7 Skin Care Myths Debunked
Over the past year and a half I have taken a concerted effort to educate myself more about my skin and my skincare. Along the way I have learned quite a bit and also had quite a few myths and preconceived notions busted about skin. There is a LOT of misinformation out there that is taken as fact and even touted by major skincare brands. It’s important to be able to spot the hyperbole and make informed choices about what we use on our skin on a daily basis. Below are 7 skin care myths that need to be done away with.
You Can Shrink Your Pores
This is one that persists and is even used in the marketing of major skincare brands. And it’s just flat out false. You cannot shrink pores. The size of our pores is genetic. Nor do pores “open” or “close”. If you have large pores like me this is a bummer to learn. What you can do however if minimize the appearance of pores. Be that through primers, or skin care like retinols which can unclog pores making them appear smaller. But if any homemade remedy or skincare products touts it’s ability to actually change the size of your pores it’s pure marketing and nothing more.
Sunscreen in Makeup is Sufficient Protection
Big fat nope. You would need a shot glass worth of any foundation or BB cream to equal the amount of sun protection found in a traditional sunscreen. Who is applying that much foundation to their face? And layering makeup products that all have sunscreen doesn’t fix this. If your primer is SPF10 and your foundation is SPF 15 that doesn’t equal SPF25. You still only have SPF10 protection- and only a partial amount of that since it is mixed into a makeup product. Use a sunscreen under your makeup as the final step of your skincare routine. Or if you prefer, try a sunscreen spray that you can apply over your finished makeup. I use this one from Ulta to top off my sunscreen in the middle of the day. I also use it in a pinch if on the off chance I forget to apply my cream sunscreen.
Makeup Wipes are Great for Removing Makeup
Another big fat nope. Makeup wipes generally do not contain enough of their “active” ingredients to remove all traces of makeup, dirt or oil. So all you wind up doing is smearing bacteria around your face and into your pores. Imagine applying soap to your hands and then not washing it off. That is essentially what a makeup wipe does. Gross, I know. Not to mention that makeup wipes have an adverse effect on the environment. I won’t get too much into that aspect of why wipes are bad but I highly recommend Googling it. It is eye opening to say the least. If you are in a pinch and need to remove your makeup pronto try Micellar or “cleansing” water. But even then use a cleansing water sparingly as it can strip the skin of it’s natural bacteria and oils.
You Don’t Need to Moisturize If You Have Oily Skin
This one makes me shiver. Mainly because I am someone with oily skin and for a long time this myth played a part in how I took care of my skin. And I wondered why my skin struggled so much! Moisture is an oily person’s best friend. Trust me. Once I started focusing on balancing my skin and adding hydrating products to my routine I immediately saw a difference in my skin’s oil production. If you are an oily skin person as well run for the hills when anything says it is “ultra-Matte” or “oil-free”. Those terms are NOT your friend. What they wind up doing is drying out the skin - which makes your skin over produce sebum (oil) to compensate. Instead look for products that contain hyaluronic acid which is essential in keeping skin hydrated and balanced. And…try oils. They are great hydrators. Do a little research to find which one is best for your skin and then incorporate it into your routine. You may be surprised at the difference it makes.
You Don’t Need to Wear Sunscreen in the Winter
You most certainly DO need to wear sunscreen in the winter. The sun still exists in the wintertime. If it is daylight out - you need sunscreen. Regardless of how overcast or gloomy it is. In fact if you live where it snows in the winter sunscreen is really important as the sun ray bounce off reflective snow. UVB rays are weaker in the winter but UVA rays are around all the year long. And can penetrate glass! In short - wear sunscreen people. Year round.
“Non-comedogenic” Products Won’t Clog Pores
Yup, this is a myth. Are you as shocked as I was when I first learned this? Non-comedogenic isn’t a regulated term. It’s a beauty industry marketing term. And any brand can slap it on to their products. Much like “oil-free” doesn’t guarantee that a product won’t break you out. So how do you get around this and find the right products for you? The rule of thumb is that the thicker a product is the more likely it is to clog your pores. So very heavy moisturizers and creams vs lighter, thinner formulas. Water based-moisturizers and serums are a good option. Also pay attention to ingredients and look for products that have ingredients that fight clogged pores. And sorry folks but the same goes for products labeled “hypo-allergenic”. There are no regulatory standards for that term either.
Petroleum Jelly is Bad for Your Skin and Clogs Pores
Petroleum jelly actually works really well as an occlusive for the skin (an occlusive is something that helps the skin retain its moisture). And it does not clog pores. Mainly because the molecular structure of petroleum jelly is too large to clog pores. There are some derms that still don’t recommend using it though as they feel it’s too heavy for the skin. Women in my family have used it for years to help retain moisture around their eyes and on their hands and cuticles. It’s also great for dry and hard skin on the heels of feet. I rely on petroleum jelly in the wintertime to keep my eyelids from getting dry. My eyelids can get extremely dry in the winter. I apply a small amount on my eyelids before bed every night and it helps so much. And I can always feel the difference when I forget to use it. So I say do your research and use your best judgment. But understand that the science around petroleum jelly doesn’t support the fears around it.
Having myths that have often been treated as gospel debunked can be a bit disheartening - especially if they are myths that your skincare is based on. Learning the science behind skincare can help tremendously with being informed and making sure that you are getting the most out of the skincare you use.