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
Like most people in this world, I really care about my skin. Despite my horrible attempts at clean dieting and exerting energy into anything that doesn’t involve walking to
the closest liquor store Starbucks, I try really hard to treat my skin like silk (@KrisJenner) by using only the best makeup removers, micellar waters, masks—you name it. Only the best for my prized feature. However, one of the hardest products to find that doesn’t make my face have a mid-life crisis is a face wash. It’s something we use everyday, so someone please tell me why it’s so hard to find one that’s just right for my skin type. *Sighs* Since I know firsthand how fucking stressful this can be, here are the best face washes based on your skin type. You can thank me later.
If You Have Oily Skin, Try…
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
This godsend of a face wash was made just for those who struggle to keep their faces looking shine-free all day long. Not only does it thoroughly clean your face, but it also reduces excess oil without drying your face out. Ugh, bless. It leaves your skin feeling v smooth and makeup-ready without any worries of looking oily af.
Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash
IMO, this is seriously the best and safest brand for your skin. I have almost everything from Cetaphil and have literally never been disappointed in the results. This facial wash is super gentle on even the most sensitive skin types and removes oil, so it can also control the shine on your face. It also happens to be a fab makeup remover, too.
If You Have Dry Skin, Try…
Estée Lauder Soft Clean Moisture Rich Foaming Cleanser
Created specifically for those with super flaky skin, this moisturizing face wash adds a ton of the hydration you need while also preserving your skin’s natural moisture. Since it’s a foaming cleanser, it goes on with ease and leaves your face feeling amazingly soft afterwards.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
This shit is formulated with five conditioners, so that’s when you know it’s luxurious af. The creamy gel cleanser soothes uneven textures, softens super dry patches, and clears up your pores ASAP. It’s like, apparently made with some sort of ingredient that’s also in contact lens solutions, so you can def use on your eyes for that mascara that doesn’t gtfo.
If You Have Combination Skin, Try…
Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
If you’re kind of on the dry side but somehow a bit on the oily side as well (HOW THO??), this foaming cleanser gently removes a day’s worth of grime, as well as the makeup you’ve been wearing for hours. It’s totes refreshing and makes your face feel like it can breathe again without drying it out or making you feel moist. Ew.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser
Designed for all skin types, the best-selling Philosophy cleanser works well on those whose skin may be super dry and extremely sensitive, too. It’s gentle on the eyes for removing your gothic makeup and gives your pores a much-needed deep cleanse. It’s a fab toner and source of hydration, if your skin is suffering a bit come the colder seasons.
If You Have Normal Skin, Try…
Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel
The sulfate-free cleansing gel easily cleanses clogged pores and helps prevent future breakouts. It helps your skin retain natural moisture, as well as controls oil, so you’re looking radiant in all the right ways. Plus, it reduces annoying inflamed areas and gets rid of buzzkill breakouts before you can even freak out about it.
Origins Checks And Balances Frothy Face Wash
This face wash is ideal for those who have an equal balance of dry *and* oily skin types (lucky, betch)—hence the name. Since it’s v gentle on the face, you can easily use just little, and it goes such a long way. It’s only an added bonus that it functions as a makeup remover and leaves a refreshingly cool sensation when you’re finished.
Unless you’re into Korean beauty treatments, expensive and rare facial oils, or have an old Swedish facialist that follows you around with helpful tips and tricks (where do I find this), you’re likely heading to your neighborhood drugstore for your facial cleansing needs. And that’s a big, scary world, fam. There are oil-free cleansers, full-of-oil cleansers, cleansers with exfoliators, cleansers with minerals, cleansers for acne, cleansers that will probs give you acne, cleansers for the old, cleansers for alcoholics (hi), and much much more. We’re being great friends by helping narrow the aisle a bit.
Here are some cleansers to literally never fucking use and some that’ll probs help.
1. Witch Hazel
Not really a cleanser, more of a toner, but hear us out. For those of you who crave the cleansing purity of alcohol but don’t love the whole “omg my skin is dry and on fire” thing, witch hazel is for you. Once you actually wash your face, dab some sort of witch hazel on (it doesn’t have to be fancy … generic will do) as a very gentle toner. It’ll chill out your acne, while evening out your complexion.
2. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing And Makeup Remover
Not only does this actually remove your crusted-on mascara, but it’s also super gentle and is fantastic for zit-prone skin. It’ll leave your face feeling clean AND not overly dry, so that’s a plus.
3. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
Removes dirt and oil without stripping your skin, which is super important if you have a sensitive face that doesn’t play well with anything harsh. It can also remove eye makeup without making you feel like you were maced.
4. Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser
Removes dirt, oil, makeup, and nasty shit from your face, while nourishing your face with dermatologist tested and approved cream cleanser. It also doesn’t have any parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum, so it’s hippie approved.
1. St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub
Invigorating here means scrubbing the first layer of your skin off—which, while yes, it’s def smoother, it’s also now super prone to infections, zits, and uneven tone. Did you know there’s a legit lawsuit against St. Ives for marketing this shit? That’s how bad it is. So maybe throw that shit out and be nice to your face for a change. Exfoliating is good. Removing layers of skin and having what feels like a chemical peel every day is not.
2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
Want a dry and crusty face? Use this shit. Neutrogena is usually super on top of its game, but for some reason, this stuff makes users’ faces dry and tight. It smells nice, which is great, but doesn’t save it from our shit list today.
3. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Okay, hear us out. This shit is awesome if you have combination skin and acne that flares up from too much drying. However, if you have oily skin, it may make your zits worse. Definitely try it if you must, but buyer beware.