When it comes to skin care, there are myriad misconceptions about the right way to maintain a balanced, healthy complexion. I’ve found that dispelling some of the most recurring skin myths I hear both in my skin care practice and on my social media channels is the best way to help clients defeat their most vexing skin issues. Ahead, find the six most popular mistakes you're probably making that could compromise your complexion.
Myth 1: The richer the eye cream, the better it is for wrinkles.
Many eye creams that are rich and greasy may contain heavy oils like mineral oil or petrolatum. Due to their large molecular structure, these ingredients are not absorbed into the skin easily. Instead, they sit on the surface, often seeping into the eyes while you're sleeping, causing excessive puffiness in the morning. This eye cream-induced puffiness stretches out the skin and weakens the elastin fibers, possibly resulting in an acceleration of wrinkles. As for hydration, your skin acts as a sponge — it absorbs what it needs, leaving the rest to sit on the surface. A proper eye cream should be absorbed, yet still leave the skin feeling moist and supple.
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Most vitamin C antioxidant products on the market use the acid forms of the vitamin, like ascorbic acid, which can cause a stinging sensation on the skin. But, did you know that daily use of skin-irritating acids actually encourages free radical formation, which may be counteracting the reason why you're using vitamin C in the first place? Plus, vitamin C in acid form is highly unstable, and begin to break down every time you open the bottle and expose it to oxygen. If your vitamin C serum starts to turn brown halfway through the bottle, that's a sign that it is oxidizing and losing its effectiveness. (Think of an apple that turns brown 20 minutes after taking a bite.) Instead — particularly if your skin is sensitive — look for products that use no-sting magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, which won't cause skin irritation or lose its ability to fight free radicals.
Myth 3: Anti-aging care should only start once you see the signs of aging.
In my skin care spas, we see so many young women in their late 20s and early 30s, panicked about the fine lines forming around their eyes and mouth. Of course, once they've noticed new signs of aging, they begin to get serious about their home care routine and professional treatments. While it’s never too late to start caring for your skin and reversing sun damage (a well-formulated retinol product will help), it’s always better to start early, long before visible skin aging appears. I encourage all of my teen clients to make daily sunscreen use a habit to prevent visible damage down the road. Make your skin a priority now since preventing wrinkles is far easier (and less expensive!) than erasing them.
Myth 4: Skin should feel tight and squeaky clean after you wash.
Windows should be squeaky clean, not skin! If skin feels tight after cleansing, it's a sign that it has been stripped of vital water content, causing surface dead skin cell buildup. Bar soaps — even ones that say they are moisturizing —contain surfactants that leave skin tight, dry, and compromised, so it’s extremely important to use a gentle cleanser right for your skin type. I always suggest a sulfate-free, non-drying cleanser for a thorough and comfortable clean.
This is definitely false. When people see a long word they can’t pronounce, they immediately assume it’s a bad chemical and must be harmful to the skin. Some of my favorite ingredients include pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate: They sound complicated, but they're so, so good for the skin! What you might not know is that the FDA requires manufacturers to list the Latin binomial name of plant-based ingredients, so that long, unknown word is likely a more familiar, natural ingredient that's good for the skin.
Myth 6: You have "broken" capillaries.
The term "broken" is very misleading. A broken capillary is caused when you get a bruise, where the capillaries are damaged. However, the tiny red lines that you may see on the corners of your nose or on the cheeks are permanently dilated capillaries. Repeated constricting and dilating eventually makes them unable to contract, so they remain visibly enlarged. The common causes for dilated capillaries are genetics, alcohol, hot showers, frequent nose blowing (allergies), spicy foods, and sun exposure. Using topical skin care products with ingredients like chamomile, azulene, no-sting vitamin C, and allantoin will all help keep the skin calm and sedated to prevent unnecessary redness.
So there you have it, a few skin myths debunked. I encourage you to ask any questions below in the comments section and I will personally respond to you, as I love to share my knowledge to help you achieve healthy and beautiful skin!