Did You Believe In All These Skin Care Myths?

by Reshmi AR

When it comes to skin care, there are certain unquestioned routines that we blindly follow just because they have become accepted practices across the globe. But, at times, it helps to challenge the myths. For those with pimple-prone skin, these rules have to be adhered to at any cost. For example, I make it a point to wash my face as many times as possible, hoping my skin clears up. This was passed on to me by my aunt who said you need to clean your face often to ensure there’s no bacteria build-up on the face. And I did that all these years religiously until I stumbled upon this beauty blog that burst the bubble about this golden piece of advice I had received many years ago. And guess what? I discovered that there are many more I can add to that list and hence, I have made a list of them all. At the end of this article, you will start wondering what on earth made you follow these in the first place. I will tell you why it’s high time you got rid of these overrated skin care regimens that can actually make your skin condition worse.

Take a look at these habits and see if they are part of your beauty regimen. If you have made any of these part of your daily routine, you might as well bid them goodbye to avoid inviting unwanted skin problems.

So, shall we begin?

Myth 1: You need to wash your face several times a day.

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Remember the pearls of wisdom I was talking about? Turns out, they were not valuable after all! Washing your face too many times in a day can dry out your skin and make it bacteria prone. And if you are inviting bacteria, be prepared to combat zits. Besides, the practice can also strip your face of its natural hydrating oils. So, restrict washing your face to not more than twice a day, unless you have exposed your skin to a polluted atmosphere.

Myth 2: Retinol and Retin A are not good for the skin.

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Oh! Who isn’t familiar with these terms? Almost every teenager across the globe who has battled acne has used these at some point in time or the other. These are perhaps a dermatologist’s first prescribed products, and their effectiveness has been proved again and again. So, the bottom line is retinol is the safest way to treat all your skin ailments.

Myth 3: Exfoliating daily is the key.

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Why exactly do we need to exfoliate the skin? This ritual removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, thereby preventing clogging of pores and signs of aging. If you are scrubbing your skin every other day, you have got it all wrong. Exfoliating your skin just once in two weeks is good enough.

Myth 4: The type of scrub doesn’t matter.

Not just the frequency of exfoliation, but even the type of product you use on the skin matters. For instance, it’s better to avoid face scrubs made from walnut shells as the sharp edges could damage your skin. Instead, opt for homemade scrubs like rice powder, honey-sugar, oats, etc.

Myth 5: You cannot use your face cream on your eye area.

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There are innumerable products in the market, ranging from hand and body lotions and foot creams to face creams and, there you go, eye creams. Whoever said face cream cannot be used around the eyes? Please…the cream is pretty safe, and you don’t really need a specially formulated lotion to apply under the eyes. Agreed that a few eye creams/gels come with exclusive compositions for the sensitive areas. But my point is it’s really OKAY to use your moisturizer around the eye region. And I am sure I needn’t tell you not to apply any cream close to your eyes.

Myth 6: Acne disappears with age.

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I wish that were true. I have been battling acne for the longest period, and it just doesn’t seem to leave me alone. Every time I visit a dermatologist, I am told it is due to hormonal imbalance. But what they didn’t tell me is that this imbalance may strike at any or all stages of your life — puberty, adolescence, pregnancy, and motherhood. Phew! Gimme a break!

Myth 7: If you have oily skin, use oil-free products.

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Yes, we have all heard people say, “Oh, but you have oily skin! Use an oil-free product.” Really? Every skin needs its share of moisture, irrespective of its type. Using just oil-free products may dry your skin to the point of making it itchy and scaly. According to dermatologists, oils extracted from coconut and castor seeds are skin compatible and can even help fight acne.

Myth 8: Using makeup can lead to skin problems.

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Not really! Yes, I agree that makeup is an art and you need to use the products cautiously. But if you are using a safe brand and remove makeup traces before you call it a day, it shouldn’t really cause any skin trouble.

Myth 9: Junk food can wreak havoc on your skin.

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Trust me when I say this. I have stayed away from all the fried foods all these years — chips, cheese balls, chocolates, aerated drinks — I have refrained from having anything and everything that qualifies as junk. Yet, I never once had a clear skin. On the other hand, I have friends who relish sweets loaded with ghee, binge eat fried potato chips, gorge on creamy malai mutton rogan gosht… yet they have flawless skin! So, there’s no evidence to prove this theory.

Myth 10: Organic products are safe and gentle.

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Go green is the mantra these days. Right from what you put on your face, what you wear, and what goes on your plate to what goes down the drain should be green at any cost. Yes, green revolution it is! When it comes to cosmetic products, brands selling organic products go ga-ga over how their product is 100% natural, which makes them gentle on your skin. Well, this reminds me of two most abused gifts of mother nature — Aloe Vera and Tea Tree. Every possible skin care product must have these two wonder ingredients. But too much of anything is dangerous. So when it comes to matters of the skin, minimize the usage to avoid breakouts.

Myth 11: High SPF means better protection from the sun.

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If this were true, there would be practically no cases of skin cancer in the world. A cream with an SPF of 15-30 should be ideal for any skin type. This will protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Is there anything I missed out? You are welcome to add to my list. Leave your comments in the box below. We would love to hear from you.

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