The 12 Common Skincare Myths Debunked

Want to know whether you're taking good care of your skin? Essential skincare should be based on science and not beauty myths. Let's get to know the different skincare myths that we should debunk!
BY Chella Caguin
| Last updated Jul, 2022
skincare myths

The majority of individuals want their skin to be luminous and rejuvenated. Since it is the most significant and most visible part of our body, it contributes significantly to our physical appearance. Therefore, we invest in different skincare products to take care of our skin. It may seem simple to take care of, but it may be challenging to do so with misinformation, myths, and outdated routines. That’s where the necessity to debunk the skincare myths comes in.

Skincare is an expansive topic. Numerous issues should be clarified, as these myths frequently cause more harm than good. These fraudulent practices may be founded based on pure instincts instead of scientific knowledge.

For this reason, identifying myths from facts are essential for the consumers. Knowing what a tale from a point is would help you do only the best things to take care of your skin. Here are some skincare myths that we debunked:

skincare myths and facts

Myth 1: You Should Let Your Skin Breathe

Among the list of skincare myths and facts, letting your skin “breathe” is one of the common ones. First and foremost, the integumentary system does not have a respiratory function. Dead skin cells also constitute the outermost layer of the skin. Hence, letting the skin “breathe” is a false notion. 

However, when some people talk about letting the skin “breathe,” it pertains to whether the pores of the skin surface are clogged or not. Substances like regular make-up, skincare products, sweat, pollution, and other toxins may clog up the skin. 

Non-comedogenic beauty products promise to allow the skin to breathe. These items are safe to use on the skin since they won’t clog your pores. Since non-comedogenic products prevent sebum pooling and the growth of acne-causing bacteria, acne formation is prevented. Nevertheless, it’s nothing to do with skin-breathing ability.

Myth 2: You Don’t Need to Moisturize if You Have Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, this overproduction of sebum could mean that your skin lacks hydration. Remember that oily skin could equate to acne-prone skin. We should debunk the myth that having oily skin doesn’t require moisturizers

The ordinary skincare routine consists of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Regardless of what the myth claims, it’s essential to keep skin moisturized at all times. The key is to choose the appropriate kind of moisturizer to avoid clogging the pores further. A proper moisturizer would keep the skin hydrated without further clogging that could lead to more sebum production. 

Pick a skincare product with high water to oil ratio. These are non-greasy, and lightweight makes products with a vast percentage consisting of hydrating ingredients. The bottom line does not avoid moisturizing the skin. But ensure that you properly hydrate using the correct type of moisturizer for oily skin. 

Myth 3: Your Pores Open and Close

This myth makes people delineate good skin vs. bad skin, whether the pores are open or close. Some individuals do measures like steaming the face, using particular skincare products, or even exercising to “open up” their pores and let them breathe. Contrary to popular belief, the pores do not open and close. Instead, the pores can stretch or dilate.

This misconception often leaves people perplexed. Pores are prominent openings on the skin surface that contain a hair follicle with a sebaceous gland below. When there is a buildup of sebum, the pores might clog. It occurs when the pores dilate or expand to allow the clogged sebum inside to leave.

Therefore, rituals like steaming the face to “open” are merely a myth. The steam will not cause the opening of the pores, but its heat could loosen the buildup of sebum on the pores. As a result, the excess sebum could rise to the surface and be easily removed. 

Myth 4: You Can Shrink Your Pore Size

Changing the pore size using different skincare products is another myth that should be debunked. In reality, we cannot shrink the pores seen on the skin surface. Numerous things determine it, including hormones, genetics, age, and sun exposure. Its size cannot be changed, but some products may be used to make them appear smaller than they are. 

Since we cannot shrink pore size, we could use products such as salicylic acid or retinoids to minimize the size of the pores. Another way to make them appear small is by dealing with sebum buildup and dead skin cells inside them.  

Among the myths and facts about acne, removing excess sebum could also combat the formation of acne. Working on sebum production and exfoliation of the dead skin cells on the skin surface gives smaller pores. Incorporating sunscreens into your skincare routine could also help manage how your pores appear. 

Myth 5: You Don’t Need to Wear Sunscreen During Cloudy Days

UVA and UVB rays are the sun’s particular rays from which we must protect our skin. UVA rays induce skin aging, while UVB rays cause sunburns and skin damage. According to Yale Medicine, even though there is no evident sunlight, UVA can still be present even during cloudy days. 

Approximately 80% of the UV rays emitted from the sun go through the clouds, so it is still best to wear sunscreen if you plan to stay outside for some time. Whatever the weather is – may it be rainy or cloudy, applying sunscreen is necessary

Even during colder days, the skin may still be vulnerable to the UVA and UVB rays emitted. So, the bottom line is, never skip your sunscreen

Myth 6: There’s No Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors

One common myth should be debunked when it comes to protecting yourself from the sun and its rays. A common misconception is that you don’t need to protect yourself from the sun even when you’re indoors. Unfortunately, you should still make sure to apply sunscreen even if you will not be going outside.

The standard windows around your homes may block the UVB rays, but they cannot block UVA rays. These rays are known to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. It is a significant factor in skin aging and the formation of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.

The UVA rays may also contribute to the development of skin cancer. It proves that wearing sunscreen even if you are staying indoors is something that we should practice. Staying inside does not equate to zero exposure, so it is best to put on your sunscreen and stay protected from the damages it could bring.

Myth 7: If Your Skin is Dark, You Need Less Sunscreen

Don’t bother doing it if you read this skincare myth somewhere or hear it from a friend practicing this ritual. No matter your complexion, every person needs to wear the same amount of sunscreen, depending on the type you are using.

According to health experts, proven skincare needs sunscreen, regardless of the skin color of a person. Despite the fact that individuals with darker skin complexions have a lower risk of sunburn, it is still necessary to use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. These individuals may still have skin damage such as wrinkles, skin spots, and even skin cancer. 

One study even revealed that darker complexion individuals have more chances of dying from skin cancer than individuals who have a lighter complexion. Wearing sunscreen does not depend on skin color. We must use sunscreen regardless of whether we have light or dark skin.

Myth 8: I’m Too Young to Start Using Anti-Aging Skincare Products

Technically speaking, you are never too young to start using anti-aging skincare products, especially if you are already in your 20s and 30s

Debunking this myth could help you take care of your skin earlier because the damage does not present immediately. The microscopic damage caused by free radicals and the environmental factors adds up. As time passes by, it already becomes evident. 

We can incorporate anti-aging products to dry skin because dry and unprotected skin tends to age faster. When the skin is protected and hydrated, the aging process could be slowed down, along with minimization of the appearance of its visible signs. 

The ingredients anti-aging products contain merely function to combat the fine lines and wrinkles. They have more than one use and may also help with dark circles, acne problems, along with skin brightening. 

Myth 9: “Dermatologist-Tested” Makes a Product Trustworthy

When you come across a product labeled as “dermatologist-tested,” do not trust it immediately. Timeless skincare does not need to be “dermatologist-tested” to be deemed effective. Sometimes, these are just marketing slogans used by companies to attract consumers to purchase their products. 

Up until today, there are no standardized criteria as to how a product becomes dermatologist-tested. It is not an official certification because the opinion of one dermatologist may differ from another. And just because one dermatologist tested it means that it is superior among other products. 

This claim does not associate the product with regulatory boards like the American Academy of Dermatology or FDA. This fallacy should be dispelled because there may be other products without this label that are more suitable for consumers. 

Myth 10: Products Labeled as “Natural” and “Chemical-Free” is Better for Your Skin When Compared to Other Types of Products

It is one of the most common skincare myths in the skincare industry. Take note that products labeled as natural and chemical-free are not necessarily better for your skin. Skincare products with these labels are almost always unregulated by regulatory bodies. 

Since there are no standardized criteria as to what makes a product natural and chemical-free, they are not safer than the rest of the products available in the market. It also often contains ingredients that may lead to allergic reactions and contact dermatitis in some users. Remember that some substances from nature could also cause harm to humanity. 

We can debunk beauty myths like this one because the effect of a product depends on your skin type. Even if it claims to be natural and chemical-free, consumers should still opt for products they have already tried and tested

Myth 11: If It Tingles and Burns, It Must Be Working

In terms of beauty myths, this is perhaps one of the most harmful. Just because there is a saying like “beauty is pain,” skincare does not need to hurt for it to work. Minimal tingling may be felt when putting products on the skin, but a burning or stinging feeling may indicate an adverse reaction.

Tingling or burning sensation could give a false perception that the product works better because you can physically feel it. It does not imply that it outworks other skincare products. Nerve stimulation of the ingredients causes these sensations, which are not directly proportional to the outcome.

Many individuals who have sensitive skin could be prone to allergies and adverse reactions. After applying a product and something feels different, do not hesitate to get a damp cloth to remove it immediately. If the pain persists and worsens, consult your physician as soon as possible. 

Myth 12: The Harder You Scrub, The Better

Scrubbing the skin hard gives an illusion that the skin feels cleaner after. Some of you may think that cleansing your skin harder is better, but in reality, the opposite happens. Too much scrubbing could damage the skin and even lead to skin disorders. 

Essential skincare does not need to be aggressive for it to work. Many of us yearn to be cleaner and lighter. However, as your life depends on it, trust me when I say that being easy on the skin is preferable to scrubbing.

You also do not need to exfoliate every day! Exfoliating twice or three times a week is sufficient to eliminate the dead skin cells from the skin’s outermost layer. When done every day, exfoliation strips off the vital moisture and nutrients present in the skin. It could also make the skin more prone to the development of infections and skin disorders. 

Final Thoughts

Everyone wants the best for their skin. Even though it may be difficult to separate facts based on science from myths and hearsays, we should still try our best. Thorough research before sticking with a skincare product and routine is advised to ensure safety. It is also best to consult a skincare professional when having doubts.

After learning all about these skincare myths and facts, YOU can take better care of your skin starting today.


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