How many times have we heard an old relative say, “Oh a pimple? Apply toothpaste on that, it will go away.’ We catch ourselves thinking, “is that really true?” while some of us just follow the instructions because any quick fix will be tried, especially if it’s getting rid of a pimple! We’ve put together a list of common myths that are believed by most of us on a daily basis. While some may hold a tiny bit of truth to it, in reality, they barely do us any good. Let’s get straight to it!
1. Toothpaste helps to treat spots
We all need to be wary of hyperpigmentation. Depending on ingredients found in your toothpaste, the common ones such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils, have drying properties. However, there are no specific ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments and sometimes over-drying and even burning can occur on skin from applying it to pimples. This is a sure shot cause of hyperpigmentation. We advise you to stay away from this method, and use products specific to acne or spot treatment such as azelaic acid, salicylic acid etc.
2. Popping the pimple makes it go away
Picking and touching your skin is never a good idea. It almost always causes scars and hyperpigmentation. It can open wounds, cause infections, scars, more acne, and irritation. When you have a pimple, the pore is already swollen and under a lot of pressure. If you squeeze it, you force the debris from the pore deeper into the follicle that can cause the follicle wall to rupture, spilling the infected material into the lower layer of skin, called the dermis. This can lead to the formation of an even larger pimple and/or a new pimple right next to the one you just popped. Instead practice a hand-off method with pimples. Use ice to reduce the inflammation and redness and acne treatment skin care products to help treat them. Better yet, if you’re prone to acne and pimples, consult with your dermatologist for the best treatment available.
3. You can scrub blackheads away
If only it were that easy! Blackheads have nothing to do with dirt or how often you wash or scrub your face. They are caused when a pore becomes blocked by sebum and dead skin cells. You can use a mild exfoliating scrub to remove the top part of the blackhead but mind you, that too should be done carefully to avoid microtears in the skin. If you have blackheads, your go-to ingredient should be salicylic acid. Look out for products that contain this effective remedy. Try a gentle face scrub, which acts as a sort of one-two punch for combatting blackheads, providing double the exfoliation powers. And don’t forget to moisturize. We’ll say it again, moisturizing is an important step in skin care. It is important to maintain balance, and moisturizing will allow you to continue using exfoliating products without skin drying out.
4. Using hot water opens up your pores
Pores are not ‘temperature-sensitive’. Using hot water can make the outer layers of skin expand, which makes pores appear to be more “open”, but they don’t open and close based on temperature. When washing your face, water should be kept at room temperature.
5. You don't need sunscreen on a cloudy day
A sunscreen that offers full protection is VERY IMPORTANT. Many products (not just sunscreen) have SPF protection. However, not all products protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Many make-up products or moisturizers that have SPF for example, offer only protection for UVA. If you’re going to be in the sun, make sure any exposed area is protected from both types of damaging rays. SPF is only one feature of a sunscreen and there are other important factors to be taken into account; predominantly the level of UVA protection, which can differ. This will also depend on factors such as your skin type and whether you’ve been in the water.’ No matter the number of clouds in the sky or temperature on your weather app, wear your sunscreen.
6. If Your Skin is Dark, You Need Less Sunscreen
You may hear about how dark-skinned individuals are less susceptible to harmful UV rays because they produce more melanin than light-skinned people do. However, Health Experts advise everyone, regardless of skin color, to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Although dark-skinned people may not get sunburned as quickly, they will still burn and are susceptible to sun-induced damage—such as sun spots and wrinkles—and cancer. It's safe to say we all just need to follow the ‘wear your sunscreen’ rule.
7. You find a product that suits you, stick to it
Most of the active ingredients found in an off-brand skin cream may be identical to the ones sold in a fancy boutique or even a big brand label. Looking for the right ingredients that your skin needs can be found in products from different brands, so don’t be scared to try and test what works for you.
8. Age spots arrive only when you’re “advanced in age”
Yes, age spots are more common amongst the older generation, but that doesn’t make it a future-you problem. The main cause of aging skin is primarily sun exposure, followed by environmental pollution and lifestyle. Over time, this kind of exposure breaks down collagen fibers which are essential for skin to look youthful and plump.
Blemishes, scars and hyperpigmentation can happen to anyone post the age of 18. If you start taking preventative measures sooner, for example, applying sunscreen daily and having a proper skin care routine, that will help reduce them. These can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months to heal and fade.
9. Antioxidants Reverse Wrinkles
Research shows that the use of antioxidants is an effective approach to prevent symptoms related to aging of the skin. While they do help prevent skin damage and combat inflammation, they do not actually remove wrinkles or reverse the signs of aging.
10. You don’t need to moisturize if you have oily skin
Moisturizers don’t add water to your skin, but rather help hold the water in the outer layer of your skin to keep it hydrated. They contain ingredients called humectants, which draw the water into your skin, and emollients, which form a protective film and trap the water in the skin. People with oily skin tend to use sebum reducing products which, over time, lead to Trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) Even if you have oily skin, you need to keep your skin hydrated; or else, it’ll produce more oil in an attempt to compensate. A good lightweight moisturizer keeps your skin balanced and nourished, and so an oily skin type doesn’t mean NO moisturizing; it just means getting the right type of moisturizer.