We live in a time when everything is accessible on the internet, but it can be challenging to weed out myths from the truth. When it comes to skin and skincare best practices, misinformation can be the difference between supporting and harming your skin. So, which must-have products should you pass on, and what skincare advice should you avoid? Let's look at teen skincare items and best practices you should trust or avoid, according to dermatologists and skincare professionals.
Top Myths Debunked
Skin Myth 1: It’s best to wash your face with hot water to open your pores.
Actually, using hot water can make your skin’s outer layer swell, causing your pores to appear more open. However, your pores do not respond to temperature in that sense; they do not open and close with hot and cold water. Keep your water at a lukewarm temperature when washing your face for optimal results.
Skin Myth 2: You can never wash your face too much, especially if you’re oily.
Even though it may seem proactive to use a skin cleanser several times a day, this isn’t a healthy practice for your skin. Over-washing can cause dryness, irritation, and sensitivity. An ideal teen skincare routine calls for using a skin cleanser two times a day. Your skin cleanser should be sulfate-free to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils. Don't forget to choose a skin cleanser specifically for your skin type to ensure a proper teen skincare routine.
Skin Myth 3: Using makeup with SPF in the formula is just as good as applying SPF alone.
While choosing a makeup product with SPF is commendable, the SPF in sunscreen alone refers to its protection against UVB rays. The protection you receive from your makeup products refers to UVA protection. A complete teen skincare routine calls for applying a layer of independent SPF after your skin cleanser and moisturizer for optimal protection.
Skin Myth 4: Applying a higher SPF means one application, and more time in the sun.
While a higher SPF does increase the amount of time you will receive protection under the sun, consistent reapplication is vital to keep your skin safe. SPF is not a one-and-done product and should be a regular part of your teen skincare routine. 0il and sweat will wear away the protection. Therefore, reapplication is crucial to your skin’s health.
Skin Myth 5: You don't need to worry about sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Don’t let those clouds fool you – this one’s a colossal skin myth. Even on those cloudy days, UV radiation from the sun reaches you. Get in the habit of applying your sunscreen at least two times a day for continuous protection.
Skin Myth 6: Using the same skin cleanser and moisturizer will eventually lead you to build up immunity, so switch your products often.
Adopting and sticking to a teen skincare routine that works well for you is ideal. Your skin does not become bored with your skin cleanser and moisturizer and decide to stop producing results. When you find the teen skincare regimen that works best for you, stick to it and reap the benefits.
Skin Myth 7: Applying toothpaste to pimples helps treat them faster.
Toothpaste indeed contains drying agents, including baking soda, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, menthol, essential oils, and triclosan, but don’t mistake this for a miracle zit cream! There is no evidence that the ingredients in toothpaste act as an effective treatment for blemishes. Using toothpaste may cause over-drying or burn your skin. Stick to proven teen skincare treatments like salicylic acid as recommended.
Skin Myth 8: If you don’t wash your face, you’ll get acne.
You probably hear this skin myth often. While it’s ideal to incorporate a skin cleanser into your teen skincare routine, acne is not your punishment for missing your daily wash. That said, a daily skin cleanser as part of your teen skincare regimen will help keep your skin clear and on track. Acne forms when your pores begin to clog with shedding skin cells, bacteria, sebum, and inflammation. Skin cleansers help guard against these four factors that wreak havoc in the form of breakouts.
Skin Myth 9: Avoid makeup – it clogs your pores and causes acne.
There is no concrete evidence that supports this skin myth. Makeup ingredients alone are not the root of your breakouts. Some breakouts result from sensitivities to ingredients in the makeup, but makeup use alone does not automatically lead to breakouts.
It’s also worth noting that the words "non-comedogenic" and "non-acnegenic" mean the product is less likely to cause irritation and breakouts.
Skin Myth 10: Everyone outgrows acne.
Oh, how we wish this skin myth were true! Unfortunately, everyone's experience is different. Most of us see less acne as we get older, while others still experience breakouts well into their forties and fifties.
Skin Myth 11: Exfoliating harder and more often brings the best results.
Scrubbing too hard with ANY skincare products can cause damage to your delicate skin. If you choose to exfoliate, do so with a gentle exfoliator and dial it down to once a week. Remember, less is more. It’s better to rely on your skin cleanser, as many exfoliators strip your skin of its nutrients and moisture.
Skin Myth 12: Scrub your face with a bar of soap to stay acne-free.
First - NEVER scrub! This irritates the skin and strips away essential protective oils that act as a barrier. Second – a proper skin cleanser provides the gentle moisturizing agents your skin needs to treat and combat dry and oily areas of your skin. While it may seem more convenient to use a bar of soap to dry out pimples quickly, your skin cleanser is an essential step in your teen skincare routine.
Skin Myth 13: The more it burns, the better it’s working.
Simply put – it should never burn. If a product causes burning, rinse your face with cool water immediately and stop using the product. Comfort is part of choosing products that work well for your skin. While a bit of a tingle is expected, a burning sensation may indicate an allergic reaction. Contact your dermatologist if your skin products continue to cause burning, itching, or redness.
Skin Myth 14: Rubbing alcohol is ideal for drying out and eliminating acne quickly.
Here’s a skin myth that has been around for a while! While rubbing alcohol certainly does dry you out, it’s much too harsh to use as a pimple treatment. Rubbing alcohol can cause irritations to the skin and dehydrate it so severely that it will overcompensate, producing excess oil. It will perpetuate a vicious cycle. Stick to a safe and healthy teen skincare routine.
Skin Myth 15: If you have oily skin, you shouldn’t moisturize.
Not true at all! In fact, many skin cleansers, no matter how gentle, can reduce your skin’s natural oils leaving you feeling a bit dry or tight after washing. A light moisturizer is ideal for oily skin and an essential part of your teen skincare regimen. It helps restore the pH balance, rehydrate, and support your skin’s protective barriers.
Skin Myth 16: Everyone needs a skin toner.
Reality check: The average skin toner removes excess dirt and oil from your skin while restoring the pH balance. It typically follows your skin cleanser just before you apply moisturizer. It isn’t an essential step in a teen skincare routine. Too many products on young skin aren't always the best. Most dermatologists recommend a simple skin cleanser, moisturizer, and acne spot treatment when beginning a pre-teen and teen skincare routine.
Skin Myth 17: Makeup wipes work just as well as skin cleansers.
Makeup wipes are great for removing makeup, dirt, and oils from the surface of your skin. They are very convenient to have in your backpack for afterschool sports and activities as part of your teen skincare routine. However, nothing cleanses your skin as a skin cleanser can. You’ll get a much deeper clean with warm water, your favorite skin cleanser, and circular motions.
Skin tip: If you have hyperpigmentation, daily use of makeup wipes may cause friction, which slowly tears the skin. Sensitive skin types may experience a stinging or burning sensation, as most wipes contain alcohol.
Skin Myth 18: Expensive products = better results.
Don’t fall for this one! A more expensive skincare product does not mean it’s the superior choice. Instead, do your research and find the teen skincare products that suit your skin type, concerns, and goals. Compare ingredients, read reviews, and select items that will bring the results you desire.
Skin Myth 19: Don’t touch your face with your hands, or you'll break out!
While it’s always wise to avoid touching your skin with dirty hands, it isn’t the only factor that leads to breakouts. However, hands indeed carry dirt, oil, and bacteria, but so do your pillowcases and cell phones. You may also be surprised to hear that your cell phone has more bacteria on it than your toilet! That’s no joking matter. Now think about how many times you held your phone to your face on a call today. Even acrylic nails transport an incredible number of bacteria. Makes you want to grab your skin cleanser right about now, doesn’t it?
Skin Myth 20: Tanning booths are safe because they don't contain UVB rays.
We often hear how dangerous tanning in the sun is for our health. So, where does that leave the tanning bed option? Many tanning booth salons will tell you their beds filter out the sunburn causing UVB rays, but you’re still exposing your delicate skin to UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate even deeper into your skin, causing damage that may lead to skin cancers and signs of premature aging.
Skin Myth 21: If your pimple has come to a head, it's better to pop it and drain the pus.
This is a big no-no, no matter how you look at it. Most people don’t realize that popping pimples and squeezing out the pus is causing the bacteria to work their way deeper into your skin. The build-up causes inflammation and may lead to severe infection, redness, and scarring. Plus, remember what we just said about the germs under your nails and on your hands? You’ll notice the pimple tends to pop right back up anyway. Avoid the temptation and let your pimples drain naturally.
Skin Myth 22: Microdermabrasion and other facials are great for healthy skin.
Contrary to what you hear, this one is also a big skin myth. In recent studies, facials cause acne breakouts in roughly 80% of people. Your skin is young and radiant anyway, so save your money and pass on the facials.
Skin Myth 23: You should only use a daytime moisturizer during the day and a nighttime moisturizer at night.
Honestly, the only real difference between daytime and nighttime moisturizer is sunscreen. Daytime moisturizers tend to offer an SPF 30 or higher, while night creams do not. Yet many brands will tell you your skin needs different ingredients overnight than throughout the day. You may also hear that your skin does most of its repair while you sleep, making night creams and their additional ingredients essential. The truth is, your skin is hard at work at all hours of the day. Adopting a healthy teen skincare routine is possible without all the fancy ingredients from day to night, so stick to what works well for your skin type and needs.
Skin Myth 24: If you wear makeup every day, your skin will age faster.
If you commit to caring for your skin and using proper skin cleansers to remove your makeup daily, you can breathe a sigh of relief over this myth. Makeup alone does not cause early signs of aging. Many cosmetic lines offer foundations with skincare products in them for additional moisture and protection from the sun. Vow to stick to your daily teen skincare regimen and enjoy a little color.
While there are many more skin myths floating around out there, you can rest easy knowing you’re full of proper skincare knowledge and power. Isn’t it time you take on the world with the teen skincare products meant for you?