9 Skin Myths You Need To Stop Believing Already

The more I learn about skincare, the more I realize that everything I thought I knew about skincare was wrong. Like, really wrong. I’m at a stage in my life where, as much as I love a good foundation, I’m really starting to get invested in my skin. Sun damage, premature aging, clogged pores…I’m kind of over focusing so much on how to cover up imperfections. What I’m dedicated to now is making sure my skin is healthy as possible for as long as possible. And as someone with acne prone skin. Yeah, that’s a big deal to me. I don’t want to have acne scars on my face for the rest of my life, y’all. Over it.

But as I said earlier, a deep dive into the ins and outs of skincare left me realizing that I bought into a lot of, well, BS about skincare by being gullible AF and believing anything someone with even a hint of conviction in their voice told me.Unfortunately, you probably believe a lot of things that you’ve never really questioned about skincare too. Check out these nine skin myths you need to stop believing already.

Your Pores Open And Close

You've surely heard this plenty of times. "Use warm water and steam to open the pores!" "Use cold water to close your pores." Y'all, your pores aren't doors, and they don't open and close. Steam can definitely soften the skin, but it's not magic.

Mean Girls

When You're Using Acne Fighting Products, It's Normal For Your Breakout To Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Hey, I'm a strong believer that people simply don't use their acne products long enough to see results. They get discouraged after a week, expecting their faces to be totally transformed. It doesn't work like that. However, if a product is making you break out, please, stop using it. The only time a breakout gets worse before it gets better is if you're using products with chemical exfoliants like BHAs (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide), AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc), or retinol/retinoids. Why? Because those chemicals are speeding up the skin regrowth and renewal process as well as sloughing off dead skin cells, so zits that were burgeoning below the surface make their way to the top, look gross, and then receed over time as long as you maintain your regimine. But even if you're using the aforementioned products, you should stop using them if you're experiencing breakouts in places you normally don't break out.

In short, if you're using products that speed up your skin's cell renewal, it's normal for breakouts to occur in their usual spots, but they'll eventually get better. If you're not using those kinds of products and start breaking out, then you need to stop using that product ASAP!

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Black And Other Dark Skinned People Don't Need Sunscreen

As a black woman, I now regret buying into this myth for so many years! Yo, attention all black and brown and generally dark people: Your melanin provides protection from the sun, but it's not magic. You can still get sun damage, which can lead to hyperpigmentation, sun spots, wrinkles, rough skin, sunburn, and skin cancer. While darker people aren't as likely as white people to get skin cancer, black people have the highest rates of death from skin cancer. Why? A big culprit is this very myth: When you're convinced you can't get skin cancer, you're not going to really think too much about that funky looking mole, are you? Keep your skin looking fly AF for as long as possible and keep yourself safe, wear SPF every day! A lot of sunscreens can let off a white cast if you have dark skin, so shop around and check out any and all articles about sunscreen recs for dark skin. I can vouch for Cover FX's sunscreen, though Biore's UV Watery Essence is a cult favorite.


Makeup Clogs Pores

There's no one ingredient in every single makeup product that clogs your pores, period. Your pores can get clogged if you sleep in your makeup, and some people might be sensitive to the ingredients in a given product. But in general? Makeup itself doesn't clog pores, and people with acne who wear makeup aren't necessarily making their skin any worse.


'All Natural' Skincare Is Better For You

It's true that having a healthy diet can result in great skin, but that doesn't mean that there aren't vegan fitness nuts who don't have a face full of zits. The same goes for products that claim to be all natural--full of carrot extract this and aloe extract that with essence of willow bark and blah blah blah. There are plenty of natural ingredients that your skin might react kindly too, but there are plenty that will make your skin freak the eff out too. There's no proof that natural skincare is better for you than unnatural chemicals are. Please, listen to your skin above all else.


You Should Never Use Products With Oil In Them If You Have Oily Skin

It's understandable to avoid products with oil if you have oily skin; I have oily skin and do whatever I can to avoid foundation with oil in it so I don't look like a grease slick. So you might be shocked to know that my favorite moisturizer is a gel-cream that definitely isn't oil free, and that I find oil cleansing really great for getting my face nice and clean. You see, if you have oily skin, you shouldn't buy into the idea that oil is inherently evil. What you need to be aware of is how a product feels on your skin instead. Plenty of oil-based products can feel gross and heavy on oily skin, but plenty of products--especially moisturizers or foundations--that are oil-free feel gross and heavy on oily skin too! Your skin knows what it likes and doesn't like, so listen to it. Your oily skin might just like a few products with oil in them, it's not the end of the world.


Acne Is A Teen Thing

If only! Puberty and hormonal madness might help kickstart zits for teens, but adults as old as sixty and beyond can still get pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. Hell, there are people who are acne free throughout their teens only to start getting zits all over the place in their 20s or 30s!

Some Girls

You Can Make Your Pores Smaller

You know those products that claim to make your pores smaller? Well...they don't. Whether it's a cleanser, a serum, a toner, a primer, whatever, the only thing those products can do for your pores is make them appear smaller by deep cleaning your pores or acting as fillers. Your pores can get bigger thanks to excess sebum (oils your skin produces), but topical products can't make your pores smaller.


You Should NEVER Pop A Zit

This is only somewhat true. People are going to pop zits whether the dermatology gods like it or not, but there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. When someone says never to pop a zit, they're referring to popping it the wrong way. Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind: One, never pop a zit that isn't ready yet. If a zit has become a whitehead with a white top, you can go ahead and pop it; if it's still angry and red and lurking under the skin, leave it alone! Two, the right way to pop a zit isn't to squeeze it between your fingers. Warm the area with a hot compress to soften the skin, and then use a sterilized blackhead/comedone extractor to press gently on the skin and pop the zit. Wipe away with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. And remember, please only do this gently or else you'll leave a scar on the surrounding skin that's even more annoying to look at than the zit. Avoid using your fingers for this, but if you must, make sure your hands are clean and your pressing down around the skin surrounding the zit, not squeezing the zit itself.


Own up, which of these myths did you still believe were true? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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