The beauty of the Internet is that it allows everyone to have a voice. The problem, on the other hand, lies in a lot of misinformation taken as truth. But even long before the Internet, you probably heard a questionable skincare tip or two that your grandma swore by (after all, grandma *did* have amazing skin). From toothpaste as acne spot treatment, slathering on butter for burns—or my personal favorite, putting egg whites on your face (shudder)—we’ve heard it all. You, too?
Let’s face it: Some skincare myths are tricky. Heck, even the most seasoned skincare professionals might believe a few! Honestly, we can’t blame you for giving into the rumors. That’s why we rounded up five common skincare myths to debunk from your life, ASAP. Keep scrolling to get the scoop...
1. Myth: You need to wash your face twice a day.
Cleansing is a necessary step in every healthy skincare routine. But believe me: There really *is* such a thing as too much of a good thing. Washing your face with a cleanser is essential to remove makeup, sweat and dirt—but it’s not always a great idea first thing in the morning. Over-cleansing can actually strip your complexion of its natural ceramides and disrupt your skin’s barrier. A good rule of thumb? Limit cleansing to just before bed and after a workout!
2. Myth: Sunscreen is absolutely essential every single day.
This might come as a surprise, but sunscreen isn’t always essential for everyday use. Applying SPF during the summer months is a no-brainer—especially if you suffer from sensitive skin, are out in direct sunlight or have a history of skin cancer. But contrary to popular belief, it’s also important for you to absorb Vitamin D. Unfortunately, wearing sunscreen 24/7—particularly a sun-deflecting physical sunscreen—might hinder this. In other words, it’s not the end of the world if you skip SPF during the winter or when it’s overcast. You know my motto: less is more. If you don’t have to add another layer onto your skin, don’t. Instead, focus on becoming more conscientious about sun exposure: Wearing hats or protective clothing can be just as effective as sunscreen. Also, don’t skip out on your annual top-to-bottom skin check-ups with your dermatologist. It’s essential!
Read More: Here are 5 Sunscreens We’re Loving Right Now
3. Myth: Retinol is the gold standard for anti-aging.
Don’t get me wrong, retinol can be great for those who tolerate it! But in my experience, those skin types are usually few and far between. For many, retinol can cause redness, dryness and irritation. If your skin is more balanced, dry or sensitive, exercise caution with these products. Even if you start slow and use it infrequently, many still suffer from irritation every so often. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to use this ingredient—instead, opt for retinol alternatives like Vitamin C or Niacinamide, which are much better tolerated.
Read More: The 5 Golden Rules of Skincare in Your 40s
4. Myth: Essential oils are safe alternatives to fragrances.
Most people who suffer from an allergy to synthetic fragrance also have sensitivities to essential oils and natural fragrance. While essential oils and natural fragrance can be safer for your skin (they usually don’t contain phthalates), they’re still very irritating for those with true fragrance allergies. That being said, if you don’t have a true fragrance allergy, bring on the essential oils and natural fragrance! Not everything needs to be fragrance free.
5. Myth: Learning how to layer skincare properly will reduce irritation.
Layering skincare is overrated. If you’re applying more than two products at a time, you’re probably overdoing it. Instead, familiarize yourself with the ingredients in your skincare to ensure you’re not overusing or layering similar active ingredients. Sadly, this can lead to sensitization and irritation. Remember: Your skin doesn’t need much to be healthy! Streamlining your routine to a few essential active ingredients per product is going to give you the best results, hands down.
Did any of these common skincare myths surprise you? Can you think of any others we missed? Tell us by leaving a comment below!