There is so much information floating on the internet, and constantly perpetuated by uneducated individuals, or worse, unprofessional dermatologists. From simple misunderstandings to DIY masks that will ruin your skin.
Let’s debunk some of these myths.
1. Pores can be shrinked
The most spread of the skincare myths. We have all been there, using a hot towel to “open” our pores and then rinsing with cold water to “close” them. The thing is that pores are not doors nor can we shrink them.
The size of our pores is genetical. Although we can certainly minimize the appearance their size will never change. Thus opening our pores to clear the gunk out and then closing them doesn’t work. But, there is some truth here. Using a warm towel on our face will loosen up the oil in our pores and it will make cleaning the blackhead and sebaceous filaments easier.
If you are adamant that the size of your pores is as huge as a black hole, I recommend using sebum regulating products such as niacinamide. This will reduce shine and your pores will look more even. Using a BHA product will also help reduce the number of blackheads and reduce the appearance of your pores by keeping them clean.
2. SPF in makeup is enough
Many people don’t apply enough SPF, to begin with, and forget about reapplying it during the day. Some think that just putting it on in the morning will keep them safe for the whole day. But that’s not how SPF works. This is one of those skincare myths that seems legit but isn’t.
Of course, it’s nice to have an SPF30 in your foundation, but do you apply 1/4 of a teaspoon of foundation on your face? Probably not, because that’s how much SPF you should pile on to be protected for 4 hours (if you’re not at the beach and don’t sweat profusely). And imagine reapplying that foundation 4h later.
SPF should be a completely separate step in your skincare routine and reapplied regularly. There are powder SPF out there which make it easier to reapply over makeup or opt for a cushion SPF which is easy to apply with a puff or sponge. And pile it on.
3. Products stop working because our skin gets used to it
Skin immunity is not a thing. There is no reason for a product to stop working unless your skin issues change. Products can help only to some extent, and they don’t stop working, they just reach their limit.
But there is some truth to this, as the skin can get used to irritating products such as acids or retinol. This is why you start at a lower dosage and increase systematically.
4. Toothpaste treats pimples
This is one of the skincare myths tat bogles my mind. The ingredients found in your toothpaste might sound enticing but they are certainly not skin safe. They will cause irritation and may even aggravate the situation.
There are plenty of topical treatments out there such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or even the Mario Badescu drying lotion. These are skin safe and clinically proven to be effective on drying out your pimple.
Please don’t think that you’ve haked your way to clear skin with toothpaste.
5. Lemon juice will lighten dark spots
How many DIY lemon juice masks have you seen on the internet? No. No. No. Add lemon juice to your water for a nice taste but not on your face. The people writing them probably never used them themselves.
Although lemon juice has beneficial ingredients such as ascorbic acid also known as vitamin c or citric acid which is an AHA, you can not safely use them on your face. You don’t know the amount of each in your lemon juice, and they are bathing in a pool of other ingredients.
At best your spots will disapear but create discolouration as the spots will lighten unevenly and also affects the skin around.
At worst, google phytophotodermatitis. Lemon juice + sun = nasty blisters. Same goes for lemon essential oils. Use them in a difuser but never on your face or ingested.
This is by far the worst of the skincare myths. Just invest in a good Vitamin C serum, or opt for Tranexamic acid. I talk more about lightening dark spots here.
6. Junk food and oily food causes oily skin
You genes cause oily skin.
This is reminiscent of the “fat makes you fat”. Carbohydrates and excessive calories do.
The oil in your food will not magically find it’s way into your pores. That being said there is an apparent link between sugar and sebum overproduction. But diet alone will not cause or treat the issue.
These are some myths that stood out to me or even shocked me. I am guilty of believing them too, and as a broke student, it was nice to do DIY. Now I know better and I want you to know better too.
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