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My skin has been on a journey over the years. It has gone through horrible breakouts with cystic acne, a period of hives, and constant irritation, to looking amazing, to the point that I no longer feel the need to wear makeup when I leave the house. For years I did what I thought I was supposed to do for my skin, but some of these “rules” were actually wrong. There are a lot of skin care myths, telling you what you should and should not do. It’s hard to know which ones to follow and which ones to ignore. I learned the hard way, with trial and error. Here are some skin care myths I’ve debunked that can help you to have better-looking skin.
1. Wash Your Face Morning and Night
Of course, washing your face is always essential, especially at night when removing makeup and dirt from the day. However, washing your face in the morning can actually remove its natural oils and dry out the skin. If your skin is oily and/or you sweat in the middle of the night, then yes, it is probably a good idea to remove that excess oil or sweat after you wake up. However, it’s not necessary for everyone. Rule of thumb: double cleanse at night, especially if you wear makeup, and use something gentler, like micellar water, or simply rinse your face with water in the morning.
2. Scrubs Help Get Rid of Dead Skin Cells
Put down the apricot scrub and slowly step away! Harsh scrubs can actually do more damage to your skin than good. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you should let the active ingredients in your products do the work instead of trying to do the work for them. They are called active ingredients for a reason! Gentle scrubs with rice powder are OK, but I prefer not to “bluff” my skin on regular basis. If you want to get rid of dead skin cells, I recommend using salicylic acid or glycolic acid, which naturally exfoliates, unclogs pores, and can help with hyperpigmentation. Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Glycolic Acid peels are my go-to. They help unclog my pores, remove the dead skin cells and they are gentle enough to use every day. Use on clean skin and always follow with moisturizer and SPF.
3. Prescriptions Medicine Is the Best Way to Treat Acne
As a teenager, I used to go to the dermatologist on a regular basis because I had such bad acne. However, after learning more about acne, I became aware that there are different types of it and other ways to treat it than via prescription. Acne can be hormonal or brought on by diet, and some breakouts are caused by dirt and bacteria that you expose to your face.
Understanding what’s causing your acne is key to knowing how to treat it. During breakouts, I spot-treat my acne with salicylic acid. But otherwise, I use retinol almost every night–and I swear by it! The small molecules penetrate to the middle layer of the skin, where they can help unclog pores and also treat and prevent acne scars from occurring. Dr. Z’s Nightly Retinol Repair is my new obsession. I use this 4-5 nights a week and wake up in the morning with smoothest skin. However, if you have a breakout, grab the 5% benzoyl peroxide spot treatment and use it to treat the individual pimple as a spot treatment instead of the retinol all over.
4. Sticking to a Strict Skin Care Regime Is the Only Way to Get Great Skin
A routine is vital when it comes to keeping your skin looking its best. But another thing I’ve learned over the years is that you have to be flexible with your skin and the products you use. Don’t feel like you need to use the same products every night; change your products depending upon what is going on with your skin.
I say all of this cautiously. Don’t go crazy and use a different product every morning and night of every day. This can wreak havoc on your skin and may cause redness, breakouts, or even a reaction like a rash. However, switching out one or two products a week is definitely OK. Some products you may want to use a few nights a week, while others may be gentle enough to use every day. Introduce one new product at a time so you can make sure that your skin is reacting well to your change of products.
5. There Is No Such Thing As the Fountain of Youth
Saggy skin, wrinkles, and sunspots can come with age, but they come more quickly when you’re not taking care of your skin. No, I have not found the fountain of youth, but no one ever believes that I’m 37 years old either. I use products with antioxidants and vitamin C, like Dr. Z’s brightening vitamin C toner I drink a lot of water and eat a lot of green veggies; and most importantly wear SPF every single day! You may not be able to find the fountain of youth, but if you treat your skin right, someone may think that you have!