Keeping skin clean, balanced and moisturized is important to maintaining a healthy, radiant complexion, and it takes daily attention. The Internet is full of tips to help you get better skin care results, make your skin care regimen less time consuming, find the best products, etc. But some of the information online is downright scary…and these are samples of skin care lore that will make any skin care professional shudder.
Advising people to try these at-home skin care practices may actually be a detriment to skin health and your appearance:
Scrubbing away blackheads and acne breakouts
Acne is linked the buildup of oil, dirt and/or dead skin cells. But oddly enough, the buildup may not be the result of not cleansing often or hard enough. Acne is actually more complicated that most pop culture info sites let on. Some of the contributing factors to acne are not easily controlled externally. Oil production, for instance, is genetically-determined and influenced by hormone levels. That’s why acne is common during times of hormonal changes—adolescence, menopause—and/or symptomatic of hormone imbalances.
Cleansing and scrubbing may remove excess oil and slough away dead skin cells, but using harsh cleansers and/or exfoliating frequently (more than three times per week) can actually strip away oils that protect the skin, leaving it dry and more vulnerable to irritation and infection.
A better idea: cleanse your face twice daily with a gentle soap-free formula and exfoliate twice a week (once a week if you have sensitive skin).
Performing pore extractions at home
Skin care professionals may manually remove “gunk” clogging pores to facilitate acne treatment and improve your skin’s capacity to absorb other nourishing products. But squeezing, popping or vacuuming pores on your own can cause damage—temporary redness and irritation and permanent scars.
A better idea: schedule a consultation with a dermatologist or licensed esthetician to develop an acne skin care treatment plan. If extractions are required, leave it to the professionals.
Using Vaseline® to treat dry skin
Vaseline is petroleum jelly—petroleum…oil. It creates a thick coating over your skin, and that will seal in moisture, but it will seal in toxins as well. Not to mention make a slippery mess.
A better idea: use a natural oil-based moisturizer (i.e. cream rather than a lotion) and/or formula proven to minimize water loss like our Dermist M3HA Hyaluronic Acid serum.
Some of what we “know” about skin care is just plain wrong…like these myths:
You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Clouds do effectively block UVB rays, but UVA rays can penetrate clouds and glass at any time of year. UVA rays may not produce visible and painful sunburns like UVB rays, but they penetrate deeper, inciting free radical damage in lower layers of skin, which is more likely to cause premature aging and the development of some skin cancers.
A better idea: Apply sunscreen, every day. Your skin and future self will thank you.
Your pores open and close.
Skin care resources have people convinced that there is a such thing as big vs. little pores, that pores can be opened or closed. In reality, pores don’t change size—how big or small they are is genetically determined. And they’re always “open” to allow skin to sweat, which is necessary for temperature regulation and detoxification. There is no mechanism to “close” pores other than the (unintentional) clogging by oil, dead skin cells and other contaminants. “Closed” pores contribute to acne breakouts.
A better idea: keep pores unblocked by twice daily gentle cleansing and regular exfoliation. Steam may be used to relax skin, increase circulation and soften buildup, making it easier to remove from pores by way of a peel or gentle scrub.
Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks.
Before you stock up on cocoa butter, research shows that genetics have more to do with stretch marks than topical skin applications. However, regular moisturizing can keep skin supple and more resilient.
A better idea: Moisturize daily, but don’t fret about stretch marks. Beauty comes from within.
Don’t believe everything that you read. Think twice before buying a skin care product or trying a do-it-yourself method you found online. Only follow skin care advice from a trustworthy source.