Back to the Basics: Debunking Common Skincare Myths
Nowadays, if you have been anywhere on social media, you can’t deny the sheer popularity of self-love and in particular, skincare. Korean skincare has slowly grown from the early 2000s and built a positive reputation to the point where today that’s the first thing people think of when referring to skincare in general. This obviously means that the beauty industry and figures of influencing status (Instagram and YouTube stars) have hurried to be a part of the trend that’s here to stay. This has also led to an influx of information on the Internet, from reviews to advice. And while a lot of it is positive and helpful, there is also an equal amount of misinformation floating around. We have compiled a list of the top skincare myths to allow you to separate yourself from the hype and truly give your skin the proper love it needs.
Water is the Key to Solving All Problems
I don’t have enough fingers to count the times I have seen people relate water consumption with good skin. Now don’t get me wrong, water is the key to many problems—bad skin however not being one of them. Which means that drinking eight glasses is recommended, since it removes toxins and encourages good digestion and healthy circulation; however, drinking MORE water is not going to automatically cure your skin issues. In the past, many people believed that since water was a source of hydration, obviously drinking a lot of water would lead to glowing, hydrated skin. However this is very wrong for many reasons; the main reason being that when we drink water, it goes through our intestines, into our kidneys and finally through our bloodstream to hydrate our cells, and the amount of water left after this is too little to provide any sort of hydration to our skin. The other concern is that skin moisture is usually determined by external factors rather than internal, which means that while having a regular intake of water is beneficial for your body to function, it isn’t the answer to your skin problems. What you can do instead is:
Invest in a proper face wash that doesn’t strip your skin of its moisture and natural oils.
Exfoliate. Exfoliation is the true hero we all need. Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis removes the outer layer of dead skin cells, which allows your skin to absorb products and well...breathe.
Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and shea butter. While the former draws the moisture from the second to the top most layer of your skin, the latter helps seal in all the moisture and protect the skin.
Eat well. A proper diet with a lot of healthy fats like salmon and olive oil will help your skin cells stay hydrated, while antioxidants like blueberries will help get rid of the negative toxins within your body.
Water Temperature as all You Need for Pore Control
Now I’m not actually sure where this myth came from, but all I know is there isn’t much sense behind it. Pores aren’t as simple as doors to open and close with just a simple switch of water temperature. Pores always remain open, dilating depending on the amount of clogged dirt and sebum inside of them. However, heat generated from steam or a towel can soften this dirt inside, making it easier to unclog. It preps your skin and makes it easier to penetrate with treatments like masks and exfoliation. So while hot water might sound like the most comfortable answer to your problems, what it does instead is dry out your skin and cause it to produce oils to make up for the sudden lack of moisture. So hot water can end up aggravating the problem you’re trying to solve.
Cleansing Oils are Restricted to Certain Skin Types
Many people tend to be averse to the whole idea of double cleansing, especially people who tend to have combination to oily skin. I completely understand, since it sort of falls under the same principle of fighting fire with fire…in theory. In reality however, regardless of skin type, double cleansing is something that should be ingrained in everyone’s routine. Oil cleansers actually tend to go under the skin’s surface and remove oil-based impurities like makeup and sebum without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. In fact, oily skin tends to generate more oil-based impurities as compared to other skin types and these can most effectively be removed through oil cleansers. What you can look into is using the right type of oil-based cleanser on your skin type. For oily skin, go for something lighter with a higher amount of antioxidants, like grapeseed. For acne-prone skin, go for something with anti-inflammatory and balancing properties, like jojoba. For sensitive skin, go for a gentle, calming cleanser, like camelia. For dry skin, moisture is key, so avocado and almond oil-based cleansers are the best.
You Need to Pay the Price for Good Skin
Quite often quality is associated with price. We’ve been conditioned to think that the more we pay, the better the product is, which does not necessarily work for skincare products. Drugstore brands can be on the same level or even better than boutique brands. Most of the time the price that we pay is mainly for the packaging and brand association anyway. In order to fully have an effective skincare routine, one of the very first steps you need to take is to consult a dermatologist. There is a common misconception that seeing a dermatologist is usually the last resort, someone you go to if you have a real issue. However, seeing a dermatologist will actually help you prevent any problems you may otherwise have in the future. Seeing one will help you understand your skin type and what sort of skincare routine will work best for you without breaking the bank.
The bottom line is to always remember to cleanse, moisturize, and protect yourself from the sun. Your skin is smart and knows exactly what it’s doing—all you need to do is give it the little bit of help it needs. The one main unadvertised ingredient to a healthy skin life is your internal health, both physical and mental. Being stressed about your appearance and little obstacles in your life will have a negative impact on your happiness, which ends up showing through your physical appearance. So regardless of what skincare routine you go for, the one thing you need to keep a constant for anything to work is a positive perception of yourself, both personality and appearance wise. Self-acceptance, while hard to achieve, is worth the effort. As a group of wise men once said: love yourself.