16 Harmful Myths About Skincare You Should Never Do

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There are endless products and gadgets available to counter aging and breakouts. The result? It’s tricky to know what to trust when starting a skincare journey.

And hey, you probably don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on the latest red-light gizmo or magic mask without knowing exactly why you’re buying them!

Today, we’re busting the skincare myths that can do more harm than good. From acne-beating tips to uncovering the secrets of SPF, this information should make crafting a reliable beauty regimen far easier.

1. Thinking Only Teenagers Get Acne

women looking in mirror at acne
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You might think that you’re past the worst of your breakouts once you’re out of the teen years. But high cortisol levels, hormones, and bacteria aren’t exclusive to puberty and can cause pimples far beyond eighteen years of age.

Believing this myth can make any breakout feel insurmountable. So, keep up a great cleansing and exfoliating routine to keep texture and spots at bay as you age.

2. Getting a Tan Protects You Against Sunburn

tanning bed
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It’s thought that the extra melanin from tanned skin gives an SPF protection between 2 and 4 on the Sun Protection Factor scale. When you consider the minimum acceptable SPF rating is 15 (and 30 to 50 is far more ideal), a tan isn’t going to save you from skin damage.

It’s also worth mentioning that free radicals in sunlight weaken collagen, which can make you age far more quickly.

3. You Don’t Need To Wear SPF When It’s Cloudy

girl on a deck chair beside the sea
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Believe it or not, 80% of UVA and UVB rays can easily penetrate the skin (even with heavy cloud cover). This means you can still burn badly and develop sun spots, pigmentation, and fine lines if you’re outside without sunscreen for several hours.

4. Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizing

homemade anti wrinkle cream
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It’s tempting to try and control oily skin by skipping moisturizers, but this is a recipe for incredibly dehydrated skin. If you don’t moisturize, your skin will overcompensate for moisture loss by producing more oil from your sebaceous glands.

Keeping your skin hydrated with my lightweight moisturize recipe will balance the skin and give it a soft, mattified look that doesn’t look shiny.

5. The Harder You Exfoliate, the Better

women using a face scrub
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When you were younger, you may have grabbed an infamous dollop of St. Ives scrub and rubbed hard to clear away dead skin.

However, scrubbing away at the skin with physical exfoliants is a surefire way to damage your moisture barrier and cause microtears in the skin. Instead, try acid-based exfoliators like beta and alpha-hydroxy acids to gently slough away the top layer of skin to reveal the radiant cells underneath. Or make your own face scrub using Rapadura brown sugar.

6. You Need to Wash Your Face With Hot Water To Open and Cleanse the Pores

washing face with soap
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Hot water is actually damaging to the skin as it can strip it of natural oils and cause dryness and sensitivity over time. Using lukewarm water is the best of both worlds.

It loosens plugs in the pores, helps your cleanser foam to perfection, and gives your hydrating skincare room to absorb without drying out the skin.

7. Eating Greasy Food Causes Breakouts

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Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Greasy foods don’t promote acne, but this myth came about because increased sebum typically causes acne. However, the fat in our diets isn’t remotely responsible for producing excess sebum.

The only foods that might increase breakouts are ones with a high glycemic index. These often lead to blood sugar spikes that can force your body to create more sebum. So, proceed with care if you’re a fan of sugary food, carbs, alcohol, and soft drinks.

8. Eye Creams Don’t Do Anything

hydrating eye cream
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If you’re trying to save cash on skincare, it can be tempting to skip an eye cream. But these creams are specially formulated to treat the sensitive, thinner skin around the eyes. They’re formulated differently from facial creams and can often diminish the look of fine lines.

If you grab a caffeine-filled or retinol-based eye cream, you may notice a depuffing effect that reduces dark circles over time. My only caveat is that most store-bought eye creams contain preservatives. I’ll use a natural preservative in a face cream, but I don’t want to use that too near my eyes. So, I formulated my own preservative-free eye cream at home.

9. It’s Okay To Sleep in Your Makeup

acne inflammation on skin
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Sleeping in your makeup is incredibly tempting after a night on the town, but it’s a one-way ticket to clogged pores and breakouts.

Removing makeup sitting on the skin reduces the chances of it settling into creases and allows your skin to breathe overnight. Plus, doing meaningful nighttime skincare is tough when your face is still caked in foundation.

10. People With Dark Skin Don’t Need Sunscreen

African american woman smiling confident applying sunscreen lotion at seaside
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You might think skin with high melanin content can skip sunscreen as it’s unlikely to burn. However, ALL skin types need sunscreen to protect against skin cancer and photoaging.

As some sunscreens leave an unsightly white cast, choose a lightweight formula with a colorless, silky texture. These sunscreens will sink into the skin better without blocking your pores.

11. A Tingling or Burning Sensation Means a Product Is Working Well

Woman with itchy, tingling arms scratching skin
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Although it depends on the product, a tingling or burning sensation often means a product reacts negatively with your skin. If a product seriously burns on the skin or feels itchy, you’re probably allergic to an ingredient, so I would avoid it in the future and seek advice.

Otherwise, the product might cause inflammation of the nerve fibers close to the skin’s surface. If you’re applying an active product like acids or vitamin C, your mileage may vary here—tingling isn’t always bad in these cases.

12. You Don’t Need Retinol Until You’re Over 50

Beautiful woman holding a pipette in her hand with serum containing niacinamide
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Young skin doesn’t usually need harsh products like retinol, as it looks fresh and radiant with a simple skincare routine. Over time, your skin doesn’t produce as much collagen and may start to develop fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.

Grabbing a product like retinol from age 25 is a preventative measure that helps with cell turnover and boosts collagen production. That’s right – it’s all about prevention over treatment with these potent, anti-aging actives!

13. More Expensive Skincare Products Are Better Than Cheaper Ones

Mature beautiful woman applying moisturizer
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With expensive skincare products, you’re often paying for branding and prestige rather than the quality of the ingredients. This isn’t always the case, but you DO need to factor in the marketing costs with big-budget brands you find at department stores.

If you check the ingredients list of brands like The Ordinary or The Inkey List, you’ll often find that they’re close to, if not identical to higher-cost products. If you go one step further and make your own skincare products, you can use good quality natural ingredients to get a luxury product without the luxury price tag.

14. Popping Pimples Is a Great Idea

acne scars
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Popping your pimples might be satisfying, but you’re technically pushing bacteria and pus deep into the skin. If you’re particularly unlucky, this can cause pitted scars, scabs, and infections that permanently damage your skin.

If you must pop a pimple, grab a sterilized needle and gently extract it before covering it with a pimple patch. It should heal and not leave any lasting marks on the skin. If in doubt, a dot of tea tree oil and a hydrocolloid patch are the way to go.

15. You Can Heal Sensitive Skin With Hypoallergenic Products

soothing eczema
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Hypoallergenic moisturizers can be a great way to calm sensitive skin while reducing dryness. For example, products with ingredients like urea, zinc, vitamin B5, and panthenol can all help to relieve redness and itching if used regularly.

However, while these products are less likely to cause a reaction, they won’t necessarily heal or improve sensitive skin. It’s also important to note that skincare manufacturers aren’t required to substantiate their hypoallergenic claims to the FDA. In short, it’s unclear how allergy-friendly the products are.

16. Your Skin Becomes Immune To Certain Products if You Use Them for Too Long

Serum for the face. A girl on a white background applies retinol to her face with a pipette.
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If you’re using active ingredients, your skin tolerates a product more over time. This doesn’t mean that it’s less effective than when you first used it – it just means that your skin tolerates the ingredients better.

That’s right, those retinol “uglies” are just your skin purging nasties beneath the surface before revealing crystal-clear skin.

How To Make DIY Face Cream: New Recipe For 2024

natural DIY face cream
Photo Credit: SavvyHomemade

Here’s how to create your own natural, homemade face moisturizer! Each time I take a pass at this formula, I do my best to improve it. New ingredients, new benefits, new skins! Or at least that’s my mantra. Say goodbye to expensive store-bought creams & hello to a natural, healthy glow!
Get The Recipe: How To Make My Brand New DIY Face Cream

How To Make A Natural DIY Face Serum For Glowing Skin

diy face serums
Photo Credit: SavvyHomemade

I use a DIY face serum to age gracefully and achieve radiant, firm, and hydrated skin. It’s very intensive and highly concentrated. If you use it under your face cream, it will help it penetrate the skin. It will also boost hydration by forming a barrier to reduce water loss.
Get The Recipe: How To Make A Natural DIY Face Serum For Glowing Skin

This article originally appeared on Savvy Homemade

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting

Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

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