It’s no secret that good skincare is the foundation of any successful beauty routine. When you care about how you look, you try to take good care of your skin. From your washing routine to your makeup brands, there are plenty of tried and true methods to keeping your skin healthy and young. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of old wives’ tales out there that are counterproductive and could even be dangerous to your skin.
1. Bacteria Is the Enemy
Put down the antibacterial soap when it comes to routine face washing. Normal, healthy skin does have bacteria on it, and yes, bacteria can contribute to acne. It may seem a logical conclusion then to assume that using antibacterial soaps on the face might help clear up a complexion better than a proven acne treatment. But it can cause more harm than good.
Antibacterial soap can be incredibly drying and it’s not designed for sensitive facial skin. In addition, bacteria is only one component of what causes acne. Hormones, overactive sebaceous glands, and unusual skin shedding behaviors are often responsible for clogging pores — and creating acne. None of these are addressed by antibacterial soap so you’ll see no real complexion improvement by using it, and you risk stripping your skin of good bacteria and much-needed moisture.
2. Great Sunscreen Is All You Need
Yes, sunscreen is crucial when it comes to avoiding sun damage, and should be liberally applied to your face and any exposed skin when you plan on spending time outside. If you pull out the highest SPF on the shelf, though, and think your skin is protected, it’s time to reevaluate what you know about sunscreen.
First, experts agree that SPF 30 and up are needed for time spent outside. Whether you choose SPF 30, 50, 0R 100, the difference in protection level is negligible in real-world application. Additionally, sunscreen alone is not enough to protect your skin, especially during the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For the healthiest skin, look for clothing that has built-in UV protection, use sunglasses, and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Remember, cloudy days are notorious for leading to sunburns, so don’t think you can skip using sunscreen just because it isn’t sunny out.
3. Skip the SPF When You Have a Base Tan
It’s long been thought that a base tan — whether naturally acquired or a spray-on version — provides some protection from UV rays. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. In fact, existing color can prevent you from seeing the harmful effects of a sunburn, and may encourage you to stay in the sun longer than you would otherwise.
There’s no reason to skip the SPF, even if you’re later in the season or you already have some color on board. Don’t forget, the sun can do damage to your skin you may not see until years later.
4. Water Keeps Healthy Skin Hydrated
Water is undeniably important to keeping your body properly hydrated and healthy. Insufficient water consumption can lead to a host of health problems, and yes, one of the signs of dehydration can be dry skin. However, upping your water intake is not enough to keep skin well-hydrated. Drinking too much water in the quest for well-hydrated skin can actually lead to water toxicity, causing organ damage and even death.
Hydration is important for healthy skin, though. In addition to drinking an appropriate amount of water, consider using a humidifier at home to help avoid dry air and reach for gentle cleansers and a light moisturizer to help replace and lock in needed moisture after washing.
5. One Product Is as Good as the Next
It’s tempting to look for products that have the best price point. No one wants to spend more than they have to for the very same product. While online shopping has brought a whole new level of convenience to life and makes comparing prices easier than ever, it can be deceiving.
If a price on a must-have item seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance that it is. Counterfeit makeup and skincare items have been making the rounds on some of the internet’s largest shopping platforms. When tested, these products have been found to contain carcinogens, toxins, and bacteria. Stick to tried and true vendors when making your purchases so you don’t put your skin or body at risk.
Put Your Best Face Forward
It’s time to say goodbye to outdated falsehoods about healthy skin. Surround yourself with the facts to make sure you’re keeping your skin as healthy as possible and always bring any questions or concerns to your primary care provider or dermatologist. It’s time to love the skin you’re in.