There is always a lot of advice floating around the internet regarding skin care. Not all of it is good! Just because it is on the internet, does not mean it is true. Skin care, as with anything, is very much “your mileage may very” topic. What I mean by “your mileage may very” is that not everything works for everyone. When in doubt, or if you are concerned, contact your dermatologist.
1) “I don’t need to wear sunscreen, I work in an office.”
Yea, no. You do. Glass can only block UVB rays and does not block UVA rays, which are responsible for increased risk of skin cancer and signs of aging. You also have to leave the building at some point of the day, so unless you can run at the speed or light, you will be exposed to the rays at some point in the day. Live in a cold climate? Just because it is snowing and overcast doesn’t mean you can skimp on the sunscreen. You can still get sunburned from light reflecting off the snow!
2) “I don’t need to use a moisturizer, my skin is already oily. I don’t want to make it worse!”
Your skin may actually be dehydrated. When your skin is dehydrated, it will over produced oil to keep itself moisturized. A defense mechanism if you will. Drinking more water will help, and adding some moisturizing goodies to your routine can help as well. Several thin, moisturizing layers can help cut down on the greasy feeling. If you are worried about feeling greasy during the day, add the extra products at night before bed.
3) “If it burns, it means its working!”
No, no, no, no. Just no. Burning, itching, heat or pain is not a sign of a product working. It is a mayday sigh from your skin that something is wrong. You may be having a reaction to an ingredient in the product you are using. You may also have a case of over-exfoliation, and your skin barrier is damaged and extra sensitive. The bottom line is if you are using a product and have burning, itching, heat or pain, stop using it. If you suspect you over exfoliated, wait a few days. Then try patch testing new products on an inconspicuous place on your face (like under your jawline) and wait for 24 hours to see if you have a reaction. If you think it may be an allergic reaction, stop using the product immediately. You may want to consult a doctor or a dermatologist depending on the severity of the reaction.
4) “If a product is hypoallergenic, it won’t irritate your skin.”
Hypoallergenic actually means that a product is not as likely as others to irritate your skin. Just because a product is “not likely” to cause a reaction, doesn’t mean you won’t have one. The product can still be bad for you AND not likely to cause a reaction. The best part? The term hypoallergenic, is not regulated. What is the basis of comparison? There isn’t one. Manufacturers can toss the word around as long as they can show that there is one product on the market that is more likely to cause a reaction than theirs. All the more reason to patch test and check labels for ingredients you know irritate your skin!