Sometimes bad skincare advice goes mainstream (ex: moisturizer isn’t for oily skin). Sometimes incorrect information is just assumed (ex: dark circles only come from late nights). All of this, unfortunately, is a recipe for a compromised complexion — and potentially long-term damage to your body’s largest, most visible organ. With expert insight, we’re breaking down the biggest skin myths, all in the name of happier, healthier skin.
The Myth: You Don’t Need Sunscreen on Cloudy Days
Even when skies are gray, your skin is still exposed to damaging UV rays. The FDA recommends daily application of an SPF of 15 or higher (or 30 to 50 if you’re fair) no matter the time of year or the weather. “Skin cancer research tells us that ‘incidental exposure’ to sun — like that experienced on a rainy day — is just as threatening to your skin as a day spent at the beach or outside by the pool,” says Tiffany Bioski, a licensed esthetician at SkinReMEDI. She notes that it’s also important to wear SPF even if you’re not outside for long. “When we add up all the times you go from the front door to the car door or similar, it equals quite a few days spent in the sun.”
An easy way to get your daily SPF fix is to wear a moisturizer that multi-tasks as sun protection. Our SKINLONGEVITY Vital Power Moisturizer SPF 30 and COMPLEXION RESCUE DEFENSE Radiant Protective Veil SPF 30 are two options for Broad Spectrum mineral-based sun protection.
The Myth: You Should Skip Moisturizer if You Have Oily Skin
It doesn’t matter what skin type you have — oily, dry, combination, acne-prone — all skin types require daily hydration via a moisturizer. “Those with oily skin have a tendency to steer clear of moisturizers for fear that it will exacerbate oil or shine. Worse, there is often a lot of effort put into stripping skin of its sebum (oil), which results in the breaking down of skin’s natural barrier,” says Bioski. “Stripping the skin without hydration actually causes your skin to produce more oil to heal what it’s perceiving as an injury.” And the cycle goes on …
Instead of beating oily skin into submission, nurture it with moisturizing and soothing ingredients, and take it easy on aggressive products by using them less frequently and only spot-treating as needed. “The key to finding the right moisturizer for oily skin is to focus on hydration. Oily skin types should seek a lightweight, oil-free, gel-based lotion with key ingredients of Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin, which attract water to the skin,” advises Bioski. Our TRUE OASIS Oil-Free Replenishing Gel Cream is perfect for oily skin types.
The Myth: Sleep is Where Dark Undereye Circles Come From — Always
Don’t get us wrong; sleep is very important to your body’s overall health and wellness. Sometimes, though, black circles show up even if you’re all caught on up the ZZZs. “Genetics is a big factor when it comes to dark circles,” says Bioski. “If the darkness has been there from an early age, one or both parents have a similar undereye area, or if you can gently stretch the skin in that area and the color remains, genetics is most likely the culprit.”
She adds that dark circles can be exacerbated by lack of sleep, as well as from eating too many salty foods, drinking alcohol, or spending too much time in front of the screen. Also, they tend to become more of an issue as we age since there’s a natural thinning of skin and fat.
“To combat dark circles, look for products that contain Hyaluronic Acid, which is a humectant that’s naturally occurring in the body but decreases as we age,” says Bioski. “Topical Hyaluronic Acid products create a gel-like cushion where applied since the molecules can hold up to 1000 times their own weight in water.”
Vitamin C is another key ingredient you can use to minimize dark circles, Bioski notes. It’s a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, encourages collagen production, and helps break down the dark pigment.
The Myth: You Should Use the Same Skincare Regimen Morning & Evening
While identical AM and PM skincare routines won’t hurt your skin, you could be doing more for your complexion by switching things up morning and night.
“The evening is when you want to be more acute with your skincare,” notes Bioski. “This is the time to use your most active products — like Vitamin A, Retinoids, Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). Nighttime is the right time to encourage renewal, since the evening is when skin repairs itself.”
For example, our AGELESS GENIUS Firming & Wrinkle Smoothing Serum contains Vitamin A, which helps boost collagen production, and our SKINLONGEVITY Vital Power Sleeping Gel Cream is rich in botanical extracts that help your skin repair itself overnight. PORELESS Essence is another good PM step, though the naturally derived AHA fruit acids are gentle enough to be used twice per day.
The Myth: You Should Wash Your Face with Freezing Cold Water
“While splashing cold water on your face can feel refreshing, try to avoid cleansing your skin with only cold water,” says Bioski. “Hot water also isn’t good, as heat can dilate pores, causing them to open and take in makeup or sunscreen on the surface and dry out skin.” What does that leave? Lukewarm water, Bioski’s ideal because it allows your facial cleanser to most effectively remove makeup, product and grime from the surface of your skin. Start with your oil cleanser, then follow up with a gel or foam cleanser after to help remove everything else. If you really want to use cold water, incorporate a splash at the end, which can help depuff and soothe.