In a world where beauty bloggers act like they have a medical degree and influencers promote facial cleansing brushes on their Insta stories, basically anyone can call themselves a skin care expert. While it’s great that we can learn everything we need to know about toners and exfoliators from just a quick Google search, it also means that a lot of us have based our skin care routine on information that might not be accurate. Don’t panic and throw out all of your favorite beauty products just yet, though! Take a look at these busted skin care myths to get all of the facts on how to achieve the glowing skin you’ve always dreamed of.
Myth #1: Anti-Aging Products Are Only For People With Wrinkles
You might think that anti-aging products are for “older” people who have wrinkled skin. What many of those people will tell you is that they’ve had no luck getting their skin to look baby-smooth again like it once did. The truth is, once your skin has wrinkles, there’s no magic cream that can take them away permanently. The most effective way to be wrinkle-free is to start taking preventative measures when you’re young (in your 20s and 30s). That means using moisturizer and sunscreen or another SPF face lotion every day to prevent the development of dark spots and/or other signs of premature aging.
Myth #2: You Only Need Sunscreen If You’re Going To Be In Direct Sunlight
This brings us to our next point: it seems that the only time most of us remember to put on sunscreen is when we are going to the beach, or doing some kind of outdoor activity in the sunny summer months. While it is incredibly important that you use sun protection regularly when you plan to go out in direct sunlight, it’s equally as important to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, regardless of how sunny or cloudy it may seem. Especially when it comes to preserving and protecting your complexion, a daily broad-spectrum SPF is essential. Whether you realize it or not, even the smallest amount of sun exposure—whether that be through a window, sitting outside, or even through cloud cover—puts your skin at risk for negative effects from sun exposure. We know that getting a sunburn is very bad for your skin, but the sun can also penetrate the layers of your skin and cause damage deeper down, potentially leading to skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
Myth #3: A Set Skin Care Routine Will Work For Everyone
You may be thinking, “everyone with perfect skin is following the same skin care routine, and I need to use exactly what they use if I want to have great skin too.” Yeah, that just isn’t the case. Each person has unique skin needs based on their skin type. A person with oily skin will need to use different products to cater to their needs as opposed to someone with dry skin. The same goes for people with mature skin, or sensitive skin, and so on. Just because one product worked amazingly for one person, doesn’t mean it will have the same effects for you. Take the time to research your skin type, or visit a dermatologist to find out what your skin type is, and the best way to care for it. The good news is there are so many products available that you’re bound to find the right ones for you.
Myth #4: Once Your Skin Reaches Maturity You’ll No Longer Break Out
You’d think that once you make it past your teens, you’ll never have to deal with acne again. Sorry, but we have some bad news. As it turns out, acne doesn’t seem to magically remove itself from your existence once you turn 20. Actually, your skin doesn’t fully mature until you’re about 30 to 35 years old, and even once you’ve reached that age range, you may still find yourself dealing with those pesky zits. But why? The most probable cause of your adult acne is your hormones. Your hormones change a lot over the course of your life, but factors like birth control, menopause, and even just your menstrual cycle can cause your hormones to fluctuate and create acne on your skin. Ughhh, we can’t have any nice things.
Myth #5: A Skin Care Routine Is Only For Your Face
Finally, you’ve perfected your skin care routine and your complexion looks the best it ever has. While achieving that sought-after facial glow does qualify for a well-deserved pat on the back, you may be forgetting about the big picture: the rest of the skin on your body!
You can’t forget to invest just as much time and energy into the skin on your body as you do for your face. Though your routine won’t be the same—our body skin is much thicker, which is why you wouldn’t use the same products on your face that you would on your body (and vice versa). TG, because facial products are expensive.
When it comes to skin care on your body, keep it simple. Wash your skin well with a soap or shower gel to remove the daily dirt, sweat, and other sh*t that collect on your skin. Next, exfoliate your clean skin. Whether you use a dry brush or a scrub to exfoliate while in the shower, it’s important to remove dead skin cells from your body to reveal the healthy skin underneath. Finally, moisturize. Once you’ve finished cleansing and exfoliating your skin, finishing off with a moisturizer is arguably one of the most important steps, as moisturizing serves to replenish your skin barrier, helping to improve its overall tone and texture.
Myth #6: A Skin Care Routine Is Only Effective If You Use A Multitude Of Targeted Products
With the thousands of skin care products available on the market, you may think that your routine will need to consist of 10 products minimum. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that complicated (or expensive). If you want to create a perfectly effective skin care regimen, keep it limited to these three steps: cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. Cleaning your skin of makeup and dirt, exfoliating off the dead skin cells built up on your face, and moisturizing the new and healthy skin underneath is the simplest way to care for your skin on a daily basis and maintain a clean, clear, and healthy complexion.
However, if you have any unique skin concerns—like acne, for example—you may want to consider incorporating a specialized treatment product into your skin care regimen, as this will work to effectively target and address these areas. An acne cream containing tretinoin, for instance, is great for increasing skin cell renewal, which helps to prevent acne from the inside-out. On the other hand, if you’re concerned about dryness or wrinkles, applying a serum for overnight recovery can help penetrate the skin at a deeper level for better results.
At the most basic level, keep your skin care routine short and simple, and only incorporate more targeted treatments if and when necessary. Make sure to apply these treatments only to the particular areas of your skin that need some additional TLC.
Myth #7: “A Little Dab Will Do Ya”
Most skin care products will say to only apply a pea-sized amount of the product to your face, and this is true when using a product like an eye cream, where a little can go a long way. In reality, however, the suggested amount of product for proper use with most skin care products isn’t enough to give complete results for your skin. If you’re going to cleanse, exfoliate, or moisturize, don’t be afraid to apply a little bit extra. The lighter products like a cleanser or moisturizer can’t really hurt your skin, so if you want to get your complexion extra clean and smooth, you can add a little more than the bottle suggests.
If you do choose to use more of a product than suggested, keep your skin type in mind. For instance, those with dry skin shouldn’t over-cleanse, as their skin will dry out easily, and for those with oily skin, there’s no need to go overboard on the moisturizer or facial oils.
For products like a serum, a chemical exfoliator, or a targeted treatment, you’ll want to stick to the directions on the label, as these products are stronger and can cause damage to your skin if not used improperly or too frequently.
Images: Retha Ferguson / Pexels
I admittedly am not someone that loves to get facials. I think I’ve gotten maybe three at the most in my lifetime. Which is weird considering I’ve pretty much made a living off of testing and reviewing new hair, makeup, and skin care tools, products, and procedures. But for whatever reason, I’ve never been big on facials. That was until I saw the Dermalinfusion treatment pop up on my newsfeed. The facial is a 3-in-1 dermatological treatment that exfoliates, extracts, and infuses the skin with customized serums at the same damn time (*Future voice*). It is described as a safe and effective alternative to microdermabrasion. And, it’s said to instantly hydrate and plump the skin in just one 20 minute treatment.
As soon as I saw the Dermalinfusion device working its magic, I knew I needed to try it out. The device, which is a pen-like tool with a diamond-shaped tip attached by tubes to a tiny machine filled with the customizable serums, essentially suctions, exfoliates, and vacuums away build-up on the skin. Then, it deposits it into a glass cylinder which the patient can then see. (I don’t recommend that if you have a weak stomach, though.)
If we’re being honest, the real reason I wanted to get this procedure done was because I’m a gross person. I wanted to be able to see the gook that came out of my face. Yup, I am that sicko that religiously tags and sends “Dr. Pimple Popper” videos to my friends and family members. I think I even made my mom throw up one time with a particularly bloody cystic pimple clip. So the idea of being able to see what was in my skin after it gets extracted was super appealing to me. The instant results were a nice added bonus.
The cool thing about the Dermalinfusion treatment (besides the fact that you can see what is extracted from your skin) is that it is extremely customizable. It can pretty much be used on any skin type to target each of your skin concern. The treatment can be used as an instant and long-term solution for improving issues like hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun damage, inflammation, fine lines and wrinkles, dry skin, enlarged pores, oily, and congested skin. Depending on your skin concerns, the aesthetician will concoct your custom pro-infusion serum.
Before The Treatment
For my Dermalinfusion treatment, I visited the offices of Dr. Monica L. Halem on the Upper East Side in NYC for an appointment with Medical Aesthetician, Cynthia Rivas. Prior to taking a seat in the facial chair, I talked with Cynthia about my skin concerns. It include enlarged pores, hormonal acne, and blackheads. I also let her know that the tan on my face was in fact from self-tanner (Isle of Paradise’s Purple Self Tanning Drops, to be specific) and not from the sun.
Cynthia then informed me that most of my bronze glow would likely come off during the treatment (and end up in the jar) because of the exfoliation, which I totally understood/was okay with. So for my specific serum, Cynthia mixed up a salicylic acid serum with a hyaluronic acid serum. The salicylic acid was added to clear my pores and then reduce their size, as well as to prevent and fight breakouts, and the hyaluronic acid serum was for hydrating and plumping my skin.
During The Treatment
I showed up to the appointment bare-faced without a stitch of makeup on (I’m so brave). Cynthia assured me, though, that if I had decided to wear makeup, that she would’ve taken it off before the treatment. So I hopped on to the facial chair and Cynthia went to work on my skin. The entire treatment only took about 20 minutes. Unlike a lot of other different types of facials, there was no pain, discomfort, or downtime.
As for the treatment itself, it basically felt like Cynthia was running a tiny vacuum hose along my face. In a weird way, it was kind of soothing. According to the aesthetician, my congested area is along my jawline. So that is the area that she really focused on throughout the treatment. Cynthia was done vacuuming my skin in a shorter amount of time than it takes for me to vacuum my small two bedroom apartment.
After The Treatment
Immediately following the treatment, my skin was just a tiny bit flushed but very plump and lifted. The minor redness was solely a result of the fact that I just spent 20 minutes having my face vacuumed, not because of any irritation. My complexion went back to its natural coloring within just a few minutes. As soon as I walked out of the derm’s office, my formerly enlarged pores appeared to be a lot smaller. I actually looked like I swiped Snapchat’s “pretty filter” across them.
And now for the good part: my glass cylinder of face gunk. The cylinder got filled with a lot of liquid, because there is so much serum that runs through the tubes during the procedure. Not all of it ends up getting infused into your skin. Since I had self-tanner on my face, I had a feeling that my cylinder would be filled with a bronze-like substance. And it definitely was. When Cynthia held the glass up to the light, you could see tiny blackheads, dirt, and impurities floating around in the brownish, yellowish fluid (that admittedly looks kind of like pee.)
My face looked dewy, plump, and smoother as soon as I got up from the facial chair. But I didn’t notice a drastic change in my skin after just one session. I think the Dermalinfusion treatment is great for when you want plumper skin and a quick glow almost instantly. However, it takes more than one treatment to really make a difference in the overall texture of your skin. According to Cynthia, she typically recommends a patient get three treatments about two weeks apart to really see maximum results.
Considering one Dermalinfusion appointment costs about $150 on average, I’d say that it’s worth investing in more than one session to really arrive at the results that you want, versus shelling out $150 just for one session to get a quick, dewy glow, (there’s plenty of serums and at-home face masks you can use for those kinds of quickies.)
Images: Kelsi Zimmerman; Giphy (1); Noah Buscher/Unsplash