Fact or Fiction: Skin Care Edition
“Unsolicited advice is the junk mail of life” – the Buddha (or a random internet quote.)
Skincare advice is everywhere. Myths and legends travel down from generations in the quest for flawless skin, and some of it seems so convincing we just have to believe it (hello, to everyone out there that has frantically slathered toothpaste on zits).
Washing your face as often as possible is good for the skin.
FICTION: Washing your face more than twice a day can cause irritation to your skin. Ads and commercials have touted that squeaky clean feeling as the ultimate goal when washing your face, but by the time you feel tightness and “squeaky clean” skin, all of your skin’s natural moisture and oils have been stripped. Sticking to morning and night will ensure that you’re keeping your face clean and free of build-up without further drying. Try not to over scrub or use only harsh washes that could further damage your moisture barrier.
Sleeping on your back prevents wrinkles.
FACT: Sleeping on your side instead of your back can smoosh your face into the pillow, which deepens natural lines and creates new ones. If you just can’t sleep on your sides then try using a satin or silk pillowcase. They reduce the skin creasing by reducing the friction between your skin and the pillow fabric and smooth your hair too for less bedhead.
A hot shower can refresh skin and clean out pores.
FICTION: Showers that are too hot and too long can be especially irritating to skin. Hot showers, no matter the season, leave skin dry and strip essential oils from the skin.
Staying lukewarm is the way to go when you’re in the tub or shower, along with avoiding harsh soaps. Shortening the time will not only help save water but will also help maintain your skin’s natural moisture balance.
People with oily skin shouldn’t use moisturizers.
FICTION: Oil on oil, are you kidding me? Hear us out. Too many acne-prone skin types think that adding moisture will wreak havoc on the skin, but the opposite is true. By skipping the moisturizer you set your skin up to dry out, which results in even more oil production to compensate for its dehydrated state. Also, many acne moisturizers are specifically made to not clog pores and have inflammation-reducing ingredients.
Oily skin types should look for a lightweight, oil-free formula. Look for “non-comedogenic”, AKA non-pore clogging, and regularly moisturize to keep your skin balanced.
Having sex helps fight aging.
FACT: As it turns out, getting busy does wonders for the skin! Having sex releases anti-inflammatory hormones and stress-reducing endorphins. Since it aids in sleeping, it can help improve skin repair while the exercise benefits provide you with a natural glow due to increased blood flow. A study showed that an active sex life can help improve your appearance and reduces anxiety.
Caffeine is an anti-aging tool.
FACT: But don’t start drinking pots of coffee a day! Drinking a few cups of coffee has great brain benefits and it’s packed with antioxidants, but too much can leave you shaking like a leaf and with a sudden anxiety attack. When it’s applied topically it has a range of benefits to help with dark under-eye circles which is why you might see it in a number of eye creams.
Caffeine can help dilate your blood vessels which reduces the appearance of puffiness and brightens the skin. It can be used as a gentle exfoliator and can help reduce the appearance of cellulite!
Plus, making your own DIY coffee scrubs at home for your hair and skin is a fun way to repurpose those used coffee grounds.
Doing yoga in the morning can reduce dark circles.
FACT: Exercising when you first wake up is not only good for your health but also good for your skin. It increases blood flow and circulation to nourish the skin and carry away toxins. Doing some downward-facing dog or an inversion pose to help reverse blood flow to the face which can reduce dark circles.
Eating chocolate causes breakouts.
FACT/FICTION: Both? Neither? Okay, it can, but there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence that says chocolate directly causes breakouts. However, high sugar or high-fat foods can increase sebum production that can cause acne-prone skin to break out. Also, a lot of women reach for a chocolate hit pre-menstrual cycle when your hormones are already bound to throw your skin out of whack, so the added sugars might not help. If you’re a chocolate lover but it’s messing with your skin, try to consume less and opt for a higher cocoa percentage as they’re chock full of and flavonoids but generally have a lower fat/sugar content.
There are so many other myths and “tips and tricks” when it comes to skin. Just remember that there are a host of variables that affect your skin from genetics to the environment to the products you use. Monitor how your skin reacts to all of the different changes you make and through trial and error you will learn what does and doesn’t work for your particular skin type.