Mythbusters: Skin Care Edition

 image via www.themarysue.com

image via www.themarysue.com

If you're anything like me you very much enjoy shows like Mythbusters and Adam Ruins Everything where common misconceptions are "ruined" for you. And there are SO many misconceptions that I hear all the time about skin care, so today I wanted to bust some skin care myths! 

Myth #1: If you have oily skin you don't need a moisturizer. 

FALSE. Moisturizers have nothing to do with oil, they help to hydrate the skin and help to hold water in the skin. Oil doesn't do that at all. In fact, a lot of us are extra oily because our skin is overproducing oil because our skin is too dry and it's trying to fix itself. I used to be one of these people before I started educating myself about skin care, and while I still do have oily skin it's about 50% less oily than it used to be because I am taking proper care of my skin. 

Myth #2: If it's cloudy, you don't need to wear SPF. 

The sun's rays that can burn and age you can still travel through clouds and cause damage to your skin. Get in the habit of wearing sunscreen every day so you never forget and your skin is always protected. The same goes for if you're inside, UVA rays can travel through windows and still cause skin damage. 

Myth #3: Your skin should be "squeaky" clean after you wash it. 

If your skin is literally squeaking it's so "clean," then you're doing it wrong. Our skin has a natural barrier that can be damaged if you're cleansing your skin too harshly. Once that barrier is damaged, your skin is open to a whole host of other issues, such as acne, wrinkles, dry skin, flakiness, and other undesirable side effects. A gentle cleanser is enough to make sure your skin is clean. 

Myth #4: The higher the SPF, the better. 

The difference in protection between an SPF 50 and SPF 100 is negligible. The companies use this as a marketing tactic to upsell you, but don't be fooled. There is a one percent difference in the protection offered by these two products. Anything above SPF 30 will keep you properly protected. High SPF sunscreen formulations also tend to do a worse job at blocking UVA rays than lower SPF sunscreens. UVA rays are the ones that can cause sun damage and aging, so you might not burn but there is lasting damage being done to your skin still. A higher SPF number will also not allow you to reapply less often, you should still be reapplying your sunscreen regularly! 

Myth #5: I should notice results from new skin care right away. 

The average skin cell turnover rate is about a month, so that's about how long you need to use new products to determine if they're working for you. Don't make a snap judgement after 3 days of not seeing results and stop using it, give the products time to do their thing and have a real effect on your skin.