From your grandmother, your mom, your aunt, your cousins, your sister, and your friends – heard plenty of skin care do’s and don’ts. However there also may be some advice that’s been floating around for ages that at best are useless or at worse do more harm than good. Here are some myths and facts on skin care.
Myth: Washing your face constantly is good.
Fact: Washing your face regularly is good, but over-washing such as more than twice a day can actually be harmful to your skin. That’s because the constant use of water and your cleanser can work to strip your skin of its natural oils which make it smooth and supple. Once you get that tight-as-a-drum feeling, you know you’ve over washed. That means your skin is already quite dry and this can lead to irritation, rashes and other problems. On that note, stay away from harsh cleansers such those with surfactants (such as sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium lauryl ether sulfate). Instead, look for milder cleansers such as those based on coconut oil. To control oil during the day, use blotting papers or cleansing wipes instead.
Myth: Look for sunscreens with higher SPF for longer protection.
Fact: Higher SPF does not equate to longer protection. When it comes to SPF numbers, a higher one indicates the product’s ability to screen a greater percentage of the sun’s rays. However the differences between SPF 15, SPF 30 and SPF 45 aren’t that great. SPF 15 will block out 93% of the sun’s rays, while SPF 30 and SPF 45 will block about 97% and 98% respectively. So SPF 30 isn’t actually double the protection of SPF 15. What’s more, high SPF isn’t the only thing you should look for in your sunscreen. Most products will only protect you from UVM rays – the ones that cause sunburn. Apart from UVB rays, there are UVA rays to contend with. UVA rays penetrate your skin and work on pigmentation which give you a tan. Your best bet then is to go for products labeled with broad-spectrum protection which means it can protect you from both UVB and UVA rays.
Myth: You don’t need sunscreen on cloudy days and makeup with SPF is enough.
Fact: First, let’s tackle cloudy days. Even with an overcast sky, UV radiation will still filter through and reach us so make sure to wear your sunscreen religiously. As for the makeup with SPF, don’t rely on just those products because the truth is you’d need to apply 14-15 times the normal amount of powder before you get the SPF protection indicated on label. So make sure you don’t skip the sunscreen.
Myth: Blackheads are just dirt deposit you can scrub away.
Fact: Blackheads do look like dirt but they are actually caused by a combination of excessive production of sebum and dead skin cells. The pores get clogged up with the mixture and when it comes in contact with the air, it oxidizes and turns black. Scrubbing away at blackheads will remove them from the surface yes, but it won’t address the root of the problem. Instead, try a well-formulated product with salicylic acid. This aid to exfoliate the pore lining as well as dissolve oil and dead skin cells.
Myth: Chocolate and greasy, oily foods can cause breakouts.
Fact: Indulging in chocolate, pizza, and other favorite junk foods too much is certainly not beneficial to you and your diet but when it comes to acne, studies show that there is no correlation between them. Acne or breakouts are caused by stress, hormones and pollution. The association may have arisen because when you get stressed, these are the sort of foods you reach for. However, diet does have effect on breakouts. If you’re prone to acne, stay away or limit your intake of food rich in carbohydrates and dairy as these are more likely to produce or aggravate acne.
Myth: “All-natural products” are always good.
Fact: This is a matter of hype and marketing. These days brands that claim they are made with all-natural ingredients or companies create an “all-natural” line which they put a premium on are not entirely accurate. If they are indeed organic, then the companies would need to add preservatives just to keep the ingredients healthy. Also, just because an ingredient is organic or all-natural does not mean it will be safe for everyone to use. Many people are allergic to lime, avocado, papaya, carrots or oatmeal – the most commonly used ingredients for skin care. It’s best to do a patch test first to check if the product is right for you.