You just need to Google a skincare problem nowadays to only seconds later be flooded with information and advice. Some things are true, but along also comes a lot of fast-spreading myths due to social media. So, what is the truth exactly? Is it actually possible to minimize pores with cold water and is it dangerous to use retinol on your skin during the day? Down below is where we get to the bottom of some of the most common myths when it comes to skin and skincare.
Myth: Drinking water hydrates your skin.
There is no scientific research that indicates that drinking more water than usual will improve skin hydration or acne. Drinking water is good, generally speaking, because it hydrates the body but not specifically the skin. Other factors are more effective, some examples are using a mild cleanser, avoiding products with alcohol, making sure your face cream contains well-known moisture binders and lowering the water temperature when you are in the shower.
Myth: Retinol will cause your skin to become sun-sensitive.
Your skin does not become more sensitive due to the use of retinol. However, the ingredient itself is sensitive to sunlight, it breaks down faster by UV light. That is why the packaging in most cases is not transparent. If you don’t go outside right after application your retinol product will have time to be absorbed by the skin and therefore won’t be affected. Although, make sure to always use sunscreen since it is important to protect your skin from the sun.
Myth: Natural and organic products are always better for your skin.
The answer is no. Good skincare is all about finding a combination of ingredients that are both effective and safe. There are natural ingredients that are good, but so can the ingredients that are created in a lab also be. Whatever solution works for you depends on what your skin needs. Worth mentioning is that synthetic ingredients can be equally sustainable and a good option for the environment.
Myth: Oily skin should not use face oils.
All skin types may benefit from using a face oil, you just need to find the right one that works for you. The right type of oil might even help balance an acne-prone skin type (e.g. Retinol Facial Oil).
Myth: You should only use products from the same series or brand.
Not quite right. You are free to mix and match however you like, except for when it comes to acids. That is when it can be a good idea to stick to the same brand. The reason is that different types of acids have different types of effects. They can affect your skin both positively and negatively depending on what other acids you use in your skincare routine.
Myth: Cold water minimizes pores while warm water opens them up.
Hmm not quite… Temperature does not regulate pore sizes. Although, warm water can cause swelling to the face which makes pores look more open. It can also soften the skin so that it is easier to remove dirt and sebum. Just be cautious, because too hot water can lead to dry and irritated skin. What about cold water? Same thing here. Pores might temporarily look smaller due to a tiny muscle near the hair follicle that contracts when cold. This does not have a long-lasting effect, however.
Myth: Expensive products are always better.
There are luxurious products where the packaging costs way more than the actual formula and there are expensive products that offer all the latest science and research. Therefore, it is impossible to generalize this myth. After all, the most important thing when it comes to skincare is finding the right concentration and combination of ingredients for you. Choose brands that are transparent with how they work and what they use.
Tip from Emma!
I too have fallen for some bad myths throughout the years. For example, when I was younger, I tried to dry out my pimples with toothpaste and by using harsh cleansers. That is a big no-no! If you are looking for a way to find out what is right and what is wrong out there, my advice would be to seek help from established experts online. A tip is to visit the blog “Labmuffin”, which is run by an amazing woman who investigates and dissects myths.