The skin is the biggest organ in the human body, and non science-backed concepts revolving around its care are a dime a dozen. Some of these “common knowledge” ideas are so prevalent that people unknowingly practice them without even considering why!
Checking the facts and knowing that skincare isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation is already half the battle when it comes to making sure your skin gets the treatment it deserves.
Below, we debunk 5 of the most common skincare misconceptions:
"You can skip sunscreen because you’re staying indoors."
The general idea about sunscreen is that it protects against the sun; however, it’s the UV rays you’re actually trying to protect against, not the golden sunlight splashing over your skin. UV rays break through cloud cover, and aren’t kept out by windows. They’re also emitted by common handheld devices like phones, tablets, and the like, so staying in doesn't prevent your skin from getting UV damage.
While skipping the sunscreen when you’re staying in might seem like a minor sin, what's an extra minute or two to get that broad spectrum protection on?
"You can apply more product to get faster results."
Skin takes time to recover from damage, to renew itself, and to improve. Applying more than you need is a waste of product; it doesn’t do anything to make your skin better off the bat, and it doesn’t speed up the process of improvement either.
Consistency is the key to improvement when it comes to skincare. As long as you maintain a consistent care routine with active skin-loving ingredients, you're bound to see some results over time, and you don't need to over-apply to get there.
"You need to dry out your skin to combat oiliness."
The most common response to excessive oil production is to treat skin like a greasy pan and go for the squeaky clean treatment. However, this is not going to help your face become less oily — in fact, it does the complete opposite!
The more you try to dry your face out, the more oil it actually produces. Your skin responds to the lack of moisture by trying to create more to make up for it.
Integrating a lightweight moisturizer and hydrating face mist into your routine may help give your skin the hydration it needs, while signalling that it doesn’t have to produce so much sebum.
"If you layer SPF, you can increase sun protection."
Layering different products with SPF protects you only as much as the highest rating you've applied. Combining products with SPF 15, 30, and 50 will not result in SPF 95, nor will it extend your sunscreen's wear time.
SPF ratings 15 to 50 all block over 90% of UV rays; SPF 15 blocks 93%, while anything over 30 blocks around the 97-98% range; this much sun protection is typically enough for the average person.
Regardless of SPF level, sunscreen needs to be applied every two hours, or immediately after activities that make you sweat, so sticking to one SPF product that's easy to reapply is ideal.
"You should stick to a single skin routine all year round."
A lot of people typically stick to one skincare routine no matter the season. However, our skin behaves differently depending on several factors, with changes in the environment, nutritional intake, and product use being the most common. The skincare routine that gives your skin that fresh, radiant, lit-from-within look during spring might have you looking a little greasier during the summer, then dry and flaky come winter. And while you can probably get by for a few years without making any changes, the lack of care will eventually begin to show.
Instead of locking yourself into a single routine, learn how to pay attention to the signals your skin gives you. Skincare that works actually takes some trial and error; working through different product combinations based on how your skin feels on a daily basis might seem tedious, but once you've nailed the basics it'll be second nature to play mix-and-match with your cleansers, essences, and facial mists as needed.
What are some other skincare misconceptions you've heard about? Pop us a message via Facebook, Instagram, or email — we'd be more than glad to bust a few more myths in the name of skin health!