When it comes to skincare tips online, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction - there are skincare myths that have lingered around for what seems like forever, while others are newer and come directly from social media.
So, how do we know which advice is good and which is bunk? Here’s our guide to 6 skin care myths debunked!
Myth #1: Drinking Water Solves Many Skin Concerns
This simple yet incredibly common skincare tip often appears online - got breakouts? Drink more water. Got wrinkles? Drink more water. Got dry, flaky skin? Drink more water.
While we’re not diminishing the importance of drinking enough water to stay hydrated, no studies have proven a link between drinking more water for clearer or hydrated skin.
The truth is, it’s incredibly hard for water that’s on the inside of our bodies to make an impact on the outside of our skin! What makes the skin so amazing is that it’s incredibly good at working as a barrier between well, our insides and the external environment. To put it simply, what’s in stays in, and what’s out stays out - and that includes water.
When it comes to skin, treating external concerns such as breakouts and dry, flaky skin is best addressed by using topical skin care instead of trying to drink lots of water!
Myth #2: Oily Skin Should Be Cleansed Multiple Times per Day
If you have oily skin - or even acne-prone skin - it can be tempting to think that the solution to your problems is washing your face as frequently as possible to relieve that oily feeling on your skin. The truth is, this could be making your skin worse!
Overwashing your skin can compromise your skin's natural moisture barrier (aka the acid mantle), causing irritation, dryness, redness, and even breakouts. Because skin feels so dry and tight, many find that their skin feels more oily than before.
When it comes to the perfect skincare routine for oily skin, it’s essential to make sure that you only cleanse twice a day and don’t forget to use hydrating skincare products.
Myth #3: Pores Can Open & Close
When it comes to visible pores, there is lots of advice about using hot water or steam to open pores and cold water to ‘close them’ The truth is, hot water and steam can help melt any hardened sebum in pores, making them appear more open and less full of sebum.
However, pores lack the muscles to truly open and lose. How visible they are can depend on a few factors - your skin type, if they’ve been stretched or damaged, and how clean they are.
Those with oily and combination skin types tend to have more visible pores, as the pores are what extract sebum to the skin. Pores can also look large due to damage such as popping blackheads.
Deeply cleaning pores can minimise their appearance. The right products for the job are cleansing oils or cleansing balms - they grab excess sebum, reducing the appearance of pores.
Another must-have skincare ingredient tip for minimising the look of pores is salicylic acid. This oil-soluble skincare ingredient dissolves excess sebum for smaller-looking pores!
Myth #4 Using Retinol Too Young Ruins Skin
Retinoids are often used in younger acne patients to help clear their skin - Differin is a notable retinoid that is often prescribed to teens to help clear persistent acne. Another reason to start using retinol in your twenties or thirties is that it’s much easier to prevent wrinkles from getting as deep as it is to try and improve the look of existing ones, especially without the help of injectables!
What’s more important than age when it comes to using retinol in your skincare routine is to use it properly - that is, introduce your skin slowly to this powerful active ingredient and make daily sunscreen part of your skincare routine!
Myth #5: You Don’t Need Sunscreen In Winter
You need sunscreen all year round! Just because the weather is not as hot and the days are not as long during winter doesn’t mean that the UV rays that cause collagen breakdown and premature wrinkles are no longer there. This is especially true if you're a fan of winter sports - the sun can reflect those pesky UV rays, causing sunburn even in winter!
Myth #6 Oils Are Only For Dry Skin
For years, the standard advice for oily skin has been to stay far away from oils to avoid potential breakouts and clogged pores. The truth is, not all oils are harmful to oily or acne-prone skin. Studies have found that rosehip oil can actually rebalance the correct amount of fatty acids found in sebum, reducing the likelihood of breakouts!
What’s important is to pick an oil that works well with h9uor skin type - when it comes to oily skin, lighter oils such as Rosehip Oil and Squalane are better choices than Coconut Oil, for example! One crucial key attribute to look at is the comedogenic rating, which indicates how likely a facial oil or skincare product is to block pores.
Avoid These Skincare Myths
Now that you know which skincare tips are myths and which are for real, will you be taking a closer look at your skincare routine to make sure that you’re using your skincare the right way?
Or, if you’re trying to create a skincare routine in the first place - one that doesn’t rely on skin myths, that is - try our skin analysis! You’ll get a detailed report of your skin type plus suggestions of the best products to help you reach your skin goals.