You may think you’re helping your skin by following these popular rules, but you may be surprised~ you’re actually hurting it. Here are a few examples of famous skin care myths and how to avoid further damage to your skin:
Myth No. 1: Wash Your Face Twice A Day
It sounds so simple and healthy: Wash your face twice a day — once in the morning, and once at night. But dousing your face with water can actually damage your skin. Washing your face too often (and/or with a harsh cleanser) can strip your skin of its natural, hydrating oils. That means your skin dries out and it’s more open to bacteria and other harmful gunk.
So how often should you wash your face? If you skip the makeup and aren’t around a ton of pollution, you can get away with washing your face once a day, or even every other day. Just don’t give up on hygiene all together.
No one likes the smelly kid.
Myth No. 2: You Must Exfoliate Often
If you’re exfoliating every time you wash your face, you need to cut it down … pronto. Instead of a daily scrub, you should be exfoliating once every two weeks. This is because the dead skin cells that don’t get sloughed off when washed actually protect your skin from pollution and harmful bacteria.
Of course, you should also make sure you’re using the right product when you do exfoliate. The sharp edges of the particles in some scrubs made from apricot pits and walnut shells can injure the skin.
So what should you use? Gentle exfoliators made with rice or scrub beads. You can also use chemical exfoliants, like salicylic or glycolic acid. When you use these products, your skin should feel a little tingly but never red or irritated. If your skin seems irritated, ditch the scrub and look for a gentler option.
Myth No. 3: Only Old People Need Retin-a or Retinol
Many people think of anti-aging products when they hear the words Retinol and Retin-a, but these chemicals do so much more than just help with wrinkles. These ingredients also help with acne, pore size, skin tone, and overall skin health. And since Retinol has been on the market for about 50 years, it’s got a lot of research to back up the safeness factor.
These ingredients are the way to go when it comes to skin issues, instead of bouncing from fad product to fad product.
Myth No. 4: Always Use Oil-Free Products
If you have oily skin, the last thing you probably want to lather on is more oil … but you probably should. Even the oiliest skin needs moisture. Since some many acne products strip the skin of oil, causing it to dry out, your skin will produce more oil to replace it.
Even if you have healthy skin, you should consider using an oil-based moisturizer. Everyone needs oil — as long as it’s the right kind. There are some, like argan and coconut oil, that are skin compatible, absorb well, and even work to prevent acne. These oils have antibacterial properties and can help balance the skin.
Myth No. 5: Dry Out Your Zits with Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid
Got a zit? Chances are you use some kind of acne spot medication that has Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid in it. And most times they work to zap that zit to oblivion. BUT, those treatments can sometimes do more harm than good. For example, you may ditch the zit, but get red, flaky skin that can’t hide under any concealer. Not cool.
It’s because Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid are harsh and drying to the skin. Instead, look for a milder product that will still get rid of the zit, but not inflame the skin. Products with willow bark and clay will calm inflammation and draw out impurities. And just because they are considered gentler, don’t think they won’t solve your acne problem. They can still fight those pimples; they just do so without drying out your skin and making it look worse during the process.
Myth No. 6: “Natural” Products Are Always Gentle
When you see the word “natural” stamped on a product, don’t assume that it’s gentle on your skin. While many dermatologists praise all natural products, they need to be used in moderation just like any other product. For example, tea tree oil can take care of those zits, but you only need a small amount to get great results. If you use too much, your skin can become red and flaky. Imagine dousing your skin repeatedly with benzoyl peroxide. Yeah, that’s how bad.
Instead, the experts say to always read the labels and apply properly, no matter if it’s natural or not.