Skincare Myths That Social Media is Teaching Us

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At some point, most of us have discovered a new moisturizer or learned a new makeup removal tip thanks to social media. And there’s nothing wrong with that: these platforms have provided larger audience access to experts and reliable product evaluators, possibly making skin-care information more readily available than it has ever been. Short-form videos, click-bait makeover posts, and infographics abound on Instagram and TikTok, but along with the morsels of legitimate knowledge and really helpful, safe, and practical suggestions, they’ve also given rise to an onslaught of disinformation.

Certain beauty clichés seem to become viral on social media, whether it’s due to scare tactics, incredibly convincing edits, or simply the repetition of erroneous, misleading, or slanted information. After all, there isn’t a fact-checker sifting through all of the stuff that floods your newsfeed. Thus, below given is a list of skincare myths busted, that social media taught us:

MYTHS AND TRUTHS 

MYTH: Silicones are often found in makeup primer, foundations, moisturizers, sunscreens, and hair products for their smoothing textural properties and also because they’re emollient and are believed to promote softness and smoothness in skin and hair. However, they are believed to block pores and cause acne.

THE TRUTH: Many ‘oil-free’ moisturizers are silicone-based and are very safe to use, even on acne-prone skin. Dimethicone (a form of silicone) is suitable for acne and sensitive individuals as it is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic according to a peer-reviewed study comparing silicones vs other components 52 moisturizers tested for comedogenicity. Silicones are also excellent at ensuring even product distribution, and it is also believed that they are necessary for sunscreen application.  

MYTH: Natural skincare is better than cosmetic one.

THE TRUTH: Many brands use marketing phrases like ‘clean,’ ‘organic,’ or ‘chemical-free’. These phrases mainly relate to paraben-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and dye-free products. However, none of these criteria are defined by the FDA, and what is ‘clean’ for one brand may not be the same as what is ‘clean’ for another. In actuality, the USDA only defines the term “organic” in terms of crops.

The majority of items contain botanical elements, which one would assume are sourced responsibly. In actuality, these products aren’t always any more effective or safe than conventional skincare. Chemicals are found in all skin-care products; even water contains a chemical. When you’re considering buying anything because it’s “all-natural,” keep in mind that poison ivy is also “all-natural,” but it’s not something you want to go too close to.

MYTH: Coffee makes an excellent homemade face scrub.

THE TRUTH: While it’s fine to use a DIY home coffee scrub to remove self-tanner from your legs, you shouldn’t use it on your face, even if you mix it with safe facial oils. Because the coffee grounds are overly big, they might cause skin micro-tears. Not only can this aggravate a pre-existing issue like acne or rosacea, but it will also make your skin sensitive to infections and even staph. Regular exfoliation is a good way to maintain skin looking and feeling smooth, but it’s important to do it gently, especially on the face and neck, where the skin is more fragile and prone to irritation.

MYTH: Retinol is not required to be used till you’re 50 years old.

THE TRUTH: Retinol has long been regarded as the ‘gold standard of skincare,’ and it will remain such in the coming year. By stimulating collagen production and skin cell turnover, retinol can help treat acne, clear pores, decrease fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone. In order to avoid damage, it is best to begin utilizing retinol in your mid-late twenties. After all, avoiding wrinkles is far easier than removing them! Slowly introduce retinol into your regular routine, two or three times each week at the most. 

MYTH: Drinking water leads to clear and hydrated skin. 

THE TRUTH:  There is no evidence that drinking more or less water is beneficial or harmful to your skin, according to the experts. Water does not get absorbed by your skin automatically when you drink it, which can help with a variety of health conditions. As it goes through the bloodstream and is filtered by the kidneys, it hydrates our cells and aids in the general hydration of our body.

If you are severely dehydrated, though, your skin, as well as the rest of your body, will suffer. The best strategies to keep your skin hydrated are to avoid dry air (or use a humidifier), use a light cleanser, and use a moisturizer or chemicals that help retain moisture sealed in your skin barrier, such as hyaluronic acid.

MYTH: Toners are a must for acne-prone skin 

THE TRUTH: Acne-prone folks are always on the lookout for treatments that will help them combat their greasy skin. Toners are promoted as a technique to remove excess oil from the skin after washing. On the other hand, washing the face with a light cleanser and water is sufficient to fully cleanse the face. It is not necessary for your skin to be completely clean and devoid of any natural oils.

Alcohols, which have drying effects on the skin and increase free-radical damage, were once commonly utilized in toners. Toners with alpha and beta hydroxy acids can help exfoliate the face and reduce acne breakouts, however, these compounds are commonly found in acne washes already. 

MYTH: Exfoliating devices are to be used regularly for better results 

THE TRUTH: Exfoliating devices can be a nice addition to your skincare routine, although models with spinning brush heads can be uncomfortable if overused.” I had a patient who used one on a daily basis to deal with oily skin and acne, only to find that it made his skin dry and inflamed. For some people, devices like these should be used only a couple of times each week, while others can completely avoid them, but I would not recommend using them every day continuously.

MYTH: Dry skin and dehydrated skin is the same thing. 

TRUTH:  Although dry and dehydrated skin is often used interchangeably when describing skin, in reality, they are two very different skin types that require different skincare treatments. In a nutshell, dry skin lacks lipids – oils, and dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin exhibits a number of characteristics, including small pores, little apparent oil flow, and a harsh, uneven texture.

After the initial application, these skins may feel like they need extra moisturizer. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is usually only a short-term problem. Dehydrated skin has a crepe-like appearance – when you smile, small creases around your eyes may appear, resembling crepe paper — this type of skin frequently feels tight.  

MYTH: All fragrance-inclusive skincare products are bad for the skin.

THE TRUTH: Fragrance is unpleasant, according to some on social media, and is likely to trigger allergies and rashes. Fragrance allergies, on the other hand, were found to affect just 2 to 4% of the population in recent studies. Others may opt to use them based on their own preferences.

Everyone desires a clear, vibrant skin tone. However, your capacity to distinguish fact from fiction may be more important than how meticulously you follow a cleansing program or how much you spend on goods in getting there. The truth is that many skincare pieces of advice are ineffective, and some skincare misconceptions might even be harmful.

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