When it comes to skin care, the hype put forth by the media and popular culture can be quite different from the reality of what actually needs to be done to properly take care of your body's largest and fastest growing organ.
Here are 5 "facts" about your skin and taking care of it that I'm here to tell you are myths that need busting.
Myth #1: You don't have to wear sunscreen on cloudy days.
Fact: Sunscreen is something you must apply both indoors and outdoors every single day, whether the sky is clear or cloudy. Harmful UVA & UVB rays from the sun can penetrate the clouds and harm your skin if you are not wearing a layer of protection.
In fact, many dermatologists have found that these UV rays can also cut through glass windows, potentially even exposing you while inside and traveling in a car. They suggest that you always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20-30.
Myth #2: Cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin on a regular basis is a must.
Fact: These three steps might have worked for some women in the past, but times are changing. Our current environment is more polluted than ever before, and climate conditions have changed.
If you live in an area with dry weather conditions, keeping your skin moisturized is vital. But if you live in a humid region, using a moisturizer regularly can make your skin prone to breakouts. Similarly, if used regularly on naturally dry skin, a toner can disturb the pH balance of your skin, leading to itchiness and irritation. And consistently washing your face with cleanser can strip your skin of the naturally-produced, helpful oils it needs to stay healthy.
Myth #3: Popping pimples will get rid of acne.
Fact: This is one of the WORST things you can do your skin. You might get temporary relief by picking at pimples yourself, but the aftermath has drastic effects on your skin and can cause drastic irritation, sometimes even leaving scars.
Furthermore, acne doesn't just live on the top layer of your skin where you can see it — most pimples have deep roots in the dermis. When you pop a pimple, the inflammation left behind travels deeper into your skin, leading to the original infection spreading, possibly causing another pimple.
Myth #4: Regular facials are a must to maintain glowing, youthful skin.
Fact: Estheticians and spa owners have perpetuated the myth that getting regular facials will keep your skin looking good. However, many women tend to breakout after a facial due to the fact that skin and its needs differs drastically from person to person. The same facial that worked for your friend will not necessarily suit you.
Myth #5: Expensive products are always effective.
Fact: There's a misconception about skincare products that if something is expensive, it's also effective. When you shop for sunscreen, moisturizer or any other skincare product, don't blindly pick the most expensive one. Check the list of ingredients to see what your skin will react well to. You might even get the best one for you at a reasonable price.