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7 Skincare Myths Debunked: What Is and Isn’t True About Common Skincare Tips

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Everyone wants clear, glowing skin. And, this desire for great skin is so universal that you have likely been given skincare “tips and tricks” from many sources over the course of your life.

While there is sometimes a grain of truth in many common skincare tips, some can be pretty far off from reality, and may even be damaging to your skincare efforts.

Below, we will pinpoint 7 of the most common skincare myths that likely live rent-free in your brain, and help you get to the bottom of what tips you should probably leave in the past.

1. What works for your friend should work for you too

We’ve all done it. You meet up with your friend, only to notice just how great their skin looks, and ask them to spill the beans on all the products they are using currently (with or without diligent note-taking).

Of course, you could get lucky and find that all the same products work pretty well for you, too. Or, you may discover that your skin is not a fan of your new routine at all.

The point we are trying to make here is that very few products work universally on everyone’s skin. Everyone has different skin sensitivities, textures, levels of moisture, and varying skin needs. 

So, just because your buddy swears by something, feel free to try it out of course, but remember that it may not give you the same results. This doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the product or your skin, just that it may not be a good fit for you at that moment.

Another thing to mention here is that if you do want to try out a new product, pick one to integrate into your routine and see how your skin reacts first before integrating another, and so on. Oftentimes, doing a rapid overhaul of your routine with 8 new products is a recipe for angry skin, no matter how great the products may be.

2. You must use very hot water to “open” and clean your pores

No matter how great it may feel to crank your shower to the limits of your water heater's potential and luxuriate in a long shower, it may not be the best for your skin.

Very hot water can over-strip the natural protective oils off of your face, and leave it feeling dry and sensitive. So, even if your BFF from freshman year swore that you need to have the water steaming hot to “open up your pores”, that isn’t actually true or the best option. 

Stick to lukewarm water when washing your face for the best balance of cleaning off what you don’t want while keeping your natural protective barrier in place.

3. If you have oily skin you can skip the moisturizer

Just because you battle with too much oil on your face, does not mean that you don’t need a daily moisturizer.

In fact, there is a difference between skin that is oily and skin that is moisturized. It is possible to be dealing with too much oil on your face while still having dehydrated skin. For some people, when their skin is dehydrated it can signal the oil-producing glands to make even more oil, worsening the problem.

The best way to go about choosing a moisturizer while dealing with oiliness is to choose one that is lightweight, oil-free, and may even mention being formulated for oily skin. As with anything for your skin, it may take some trial and error to land on one that works for you. If you are at a loss for where to start here, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation for a moisturizer for oily skin types.

4. You need to get your vitamin D through sunlight exposure

While direct sun exposure on your skin is one way to produce the active form of vitamin D, it is not the only way to hit your daily vitamin D targets.

If you are prone to burning, trying to avoid excess sun exposure for general long-term skincare purposes, or maybe you just don’t like being in the sun -- there are other options for getting your vitamin D.

Consuming your vitamin D through food or in a daily supplement is a safe, valid, and effective way to hit your targets without heading into the sun each day.

5. More expensive products will always deliver better results

This one may seem obvious, but just because a skincare product has a higher price tag, it does not mean it will work much better for your skin than more cost-effective options.

Of course, there may be some truth in this to a certain extent when comparing products with more thoughtfully selected (maybe more expensive) ingredients. But, in general, read the labels, do your research, and choose your products carefully based on ingredients more than price points. Even then, it may not be a good fit for your exact skincare needs. 

Be open-minded to classic products as well, even if they are inexpensive. You just might find that $1 vaseline turns out to be your new favorite go-to lip balm.

6. You should wait to use retinoids until you are at least 50+

Retinoids are powerful skincare ingredients that have some pretty solid evidence for reducing the general appearance of skin aging over the long-term, or helping to clear up acne in the shorter term.

For people who want to start using retinoids as a preventative skincare measure in their 20s or 30s, it isn’t uncommon to get some pushback from others saying they are too young for them.

And, while it is true that retinoids should not be used in women who are currently pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on having kids in the near future due to risks to the baby. If all that stuff is not on the roster yet for you, or you don’t want children, it should not be a problem (and can be stopped before family planning really takes off).

The truth is, if you are an adult that wants a little leg up on the overall appearance of your skin long-term, a retinoid may be able to help out -- even if you start in your 20s or 30s. Just keep your family goals in mind and talk to your doctor about what strengths and regimens may be good for you before starting.

At Strut Health, we offer a variety of skincare prescriptions utilizing Tretinoin, a prescription-strength retinoid. Browse through our skincare section and have a free online questionnaire-based consultation with our doctors to see if Tretinoin is a good fit for you.

7. You only need sunscreen in the summer or on sunny days

While it is true that UV rays are generally stronger on those bright summer days as compared to an overcast winter one, it doesn’t mean that sunscreen is only a summer thing.

Since sunscreen is the best protection you have against sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer, adopting a year-round application regimen is ideal.

Aim for an SPF of at least 30 for your everyday go-to product, and reapply as needed.

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