Between TikTok and TV commercials, influencers and infomercials, there's a lot of skincare information online and in the media. Unfortunately, skincare myths are prevalent in today’s media-driven world and buying into these can be detrimental to your skin's short-and long-term health. Here's how to tell the difference between skincare facts and myths.
Myth #1: Skincare Doesn’t Matter
This is one of the most damaging skincare myths and misconceptions. High-quality products made with powerful ingredients do, as a matter of proven fact, nourish and protect your skin. The ideal skincare routine offers many essential benefits. A cleanser washes away the dirt, debris, and impurities that clog pores and dull your complexion. A moisturizer keeps your skin soft and supple and supports the moisture barrier on the outermost layer of the skin.
When this barrier is intact and well-hydrated, your skin is firmer, smoother, and better protected from environmental irritants like UV rays and pollution, which can cause fine lines, dark spots, and other damage. The idea that products only make your complexion look better is a skincare myth — creams, cleansers, and moisturizers maintain the functionality of your body’s largest organ, and a daily skincare routine is an investment that pays big dividends.
Myth #2: Bad Hygiene Causes Acne
To prevent pimples, we’re constantly looking for the cause of breakouts. Unfortunately, mixing up skincare myths and truths attributes blame to the wrong suspects. Many believe that avoiding fried food and chocolate or washing your skin regularly with a strong soap can influence your acne flare-ups.
However, greasy food and poor hygiene play minimal roles compared to real acne triggers. You may produce too much sebum or oil, which blocks the tiny hair follicles on your skin. Or you can come into contact with bacteria that causes inflamed, red blemishes that get so bad they become painful to the touch. Once blemishes form, stress, hormonal fluctuations, or certain medications can exacerbate the problem.
If you regularly struggle with breakouts, regular skincare routines can help. Several types of products tackle acne prevention and control oil production, so your skin looks balanced and blemish-free.
Myth #2.5: Only Teenagers Get Acne
Anyone in their 20s through 60s who has ever had a pimple knows that this is a common skincare myth. Unfortunately, the same issues that cause acne during the teen years — hormones, bacteria, clogged pores, and inflammation — can also follow you into adulthood. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll never get acne again just because you’re past the age of 20.
Myth #3: Skin Tans Can Protect Against Sunburns
This is one skincare myth and misconception that can have serious consequences. A sun tan does the opposite of protecting your skin — it leaves you vulnerable to the signs of aging and increases your risk of skin cancer.
When you’re out in the sun without sunscreen or protective clothing, you expose your skin to powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunlight triggers the production of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress and cellular damage to skin cells. Plus, free radicals weaken collagen, a protein that infuses your complexion with a firm and youthful look.
A tan fades away but leaves a lasting mark in the form of lines, wrinkles, sagginess, and hyperpigmentation. Too much sun exposure can cause severe damage to the DNA in your cells, which can potentially lead to skin cancer. With this in mind, it makes sense to play it safe and use sunscreen daily as part of a skincare routine packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants. If you want to add a golden glow to your skin, there are many self-tanners, bronzers, or other products you can use without the risk of UV exposure.
Myth #4: Eye Creams Don’t Work
Sometimes people can’t separate skincare facts and myths regarding eye creams. After all, if these products are just another moisturizer, why can’t you use your face cream under your eyes, too? You could do that, but then you’ll miss out on the many tangible benefits of eye cream.
The best eye cream formulas target issues you don’t deal with on other areas of your face, like puffiness and dark under-eye circles. These products are also gentle enough to use on the sensitive eye area. An emollient-rich eye cream is a worthy addition to any skincare routine.
Myth #5: All Skincare Products are Bad for the Environment
This skincare myth is an example of outdated thinking. It's true that decades ago, there weren't widespread concerns about the chemicals and ingredients used in personal care products. However, as consumers become more eco-aware, demand for clean beauty products is growing exponentially.
Clean beauty focuses on sustainability across the board. Ingredients are responsibly sourced or bio-engineered to avoid taking a toll on the environment, and product formulas avoid harmful ingredients such as parabens, heavy metals, and petroleum. Plastic-free, recyclable, or post-consumer recycled packaging should also reflect the same eco-friendly objectives.
Myth #6: Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizer
The opposite is true! Oily skin needs moisturizer just like any other skin type, even if it seems counterintuitive. Your moisture barrier must remain hydrated, or your sebum production will kick into overdrive to compensate, which means an already oily complexion will get oilier.
So yes, oily skin does need a moisturizer to remain balanced and keep oil production under control. However, choosing a lightweight product designed with a mattifying effect is important to reduce shine.
Myth #7: Anti-Aging Products Don’t Matter When You’re Young
When you're young, it's tempting to think your complexion will always look fresh and radiant. That sounds nice, but it's yet another skincare myth. Cell turnover and collagen production can slow down as you age, and any sun exposure, long nights, or lack of skincare will appear on your face.
With most things regarding your health, it's best to be proactive and prevent problems before they start. Using anti-aging products in your 20s and early 30s can lay the groundwork for younger-looking skin in the years ahead. Look for a serum or moisturizer with retinol, one of the most potent anti-aging ingredients that can promote skin cell turnover. Vitamin C is also a good choice because it helps brighten and protect the look of your complexion. And remember that sunscreen is an anti-aging product, too.
Myth #8: The Harder You Exfoliate, the Better
Exfoliation is good because it clears away dead skin cells that dim your natural radiance and keeps your pores unclogged to prevent acne breakouts. However, you can have too much of a good thing.
Physical exfoliators such as grainy scrubs can be harsh on your skin's moisture barrier, raising the risk of micro-tears that can mar your complexion. An acid-based exfoliator (such as alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids) is a better alternative, but again, do only what's necessary -- follow directions carefully and typically limit exfoliation to once or twice a week.
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It’s easy to tell skincare myths from truths at Augustinus Bader. We back our products with more than three decades of scientific research and advanced skincare technology.