We have all heard at least a few of these common skincare beliefs, and at one point maybe even believed them. But as studies grow more in depth and further research is being done on these topics, we are learning more and more about the dangers of these common skincare misconceptions. Whether you don’t want to use sunscreen because you have dark skin, or you love your 15 minutes in the Ultraviolet B (UVB) – free tanning bed, these mythbusters are a must read for you! The first step to healthy and beautiful skin is learning how to protect it, and we’re here to help you learn how!
MYTH: I have dark skin so I don’t need to use sunscreen.
TRUTH: No one is immune to skin damage. Yes, people with darker skin do take longer to burn and do have some natural protection against the sun, but not nearly enough to protect them from the Ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause wrinkles and skin cancer. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have actually found that dark-skinned people are more likely to die from skin cancer than light-skinned people. This is because people believe darker-skin tones do not need the protection that lighter ones do, so they are less likely to protect their skin as well as check for signs of skin cancer. To be safe, no matter what color your skin is, always wear sunscreen when you are outside.
MYTH: The more I wash my face, the better!
TRUTH: While washing your face is a great part of your skin care routine, overwashing your face can be damaging to your skin. You should not wash your face more than two times a day or use products that make your skin feel super tight. By doing this, you are stripping the natural oils from your skin, which can lead to irritation and dehydration of the skin.
MYTH: Tanning beds are fine for my skin as long as they don’t have UVB lights.
TRUTH: There are two types of UV rays to worry about: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB. Although UVB rays are more intense than UVA rays, UVA rays are still dangerous. Even if tanning beds do not have UVB lights, they will still have UVA lights that penetrate the skin. UVA rays can cause premature aging, wrinkling, and skin cancer.
MYTH: The higher the SPF the longer I can stay in the sun.
TRUTH: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is NOT an indication of how long the product will last but how well it protects you from UVB or UVA rays. Most sunscreens primarily protect against UVB with minimal protection from UVA. Your best bet is to get a broad-spectrum sunscreen to ensure you are getting protection from both.
SPF 15 filters out ~ 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 filters out ~ 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 filters out ~ 98% of UVB rays
SPF 100 filters out ~100% of UVB rays
No matter the SPF, all sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hours.
MYTH: Sleeping with makeup on for one or two nights won’t affect my skin.
TRUTH: While one or two nights of sleeping in makeup may not cause major damage to your skin, it definitely isn’t good for it. The makeup on your face is going to clog your pores, so there is a good chance that you will break out if you decide to leave your makeup on while you sleep. Also, by leaving your makeup on you are not giving your skin any time to recover from the oxidative stress from the day. This can lead to premature aging. Pollution from the air also affects your skin if you do not remove your makeup before be; it can cause collagen breakdown over time, which will result in fine lines and wrinkles. To try and stop yourself from leaving your makeup on a night, leave a pack of makeup wipes in your room on your nightstand. That way, even if you’re super exhausted, you don’t have an excuse to not remove your makeup.
MYTH: All sun damage to your skin will occur by age 18.
TRUTH: You do have a lot of skin damage from the sun by the time you are 18, but you can very easily still damage your skin after this. If you keep exposing your skin to the sun it will go from bad to worse, and this will increase the likelihood of skin cancer. You want to protect your skin at every age!
MYTH: If a new product doesn’t work quickly, you should move on to something else.
TRUTH: It can take as long as 8-10 weeks for your skin to get used to a new regimen. To give yourself the best chance at getting the full effect of the product, keep using it for this time period. Not all products work the same for everyone, but you should give the product a chance before moving on to something else.
MYTH: You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day.
TRUTH: UV rays still reach the Earth on a cloudy day. Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean it can’t harm your skin. Use sunscreen every day, no matter the weather, and make sure to reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
MYTH: I’m protected because my makeup contains SPF.
TRUTH: According to Leslie Bauman, the author of The Skin Type Solution, you would have to put on 14 to 15 times the amount of makeup the average person wears to get full SPF coverage from your foundation or powder. Makeup with SPF helps, but make sure you are still putting on sunscreen when you go outside.
MYTH: Popping a pimple is okay if I clean the area afterwards.
TRUTH: Even if you clean the infected area afterwards, the best thing to do is to leave pimples alone and try not to touch your face. It can be difficult, and popping a pimple may feel relieving, but you may spread bacteria and push it deeper into your skin. This can cause inflammation and scarring. It will also spread under your skin, which is why you usually get another pimple in the surrounding area once you have popped the first one.