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Six Skincare Myths, Busted

By Rebecca Dancer

Though scientific information has become more readily available, and general knowledge about skincare has progressed, certain myths continue to pervade. For example, you might’ve heard that you should wash your face with hot water since doing so will ‘open up’ your pores. Or, you might think that dehydrated and dry skin are one and the same. False! It’s time to set the record straight. 

MYTH #1: Oily skin types shouldn't use a facial oil

Actually, oily skin types can benefit from using facial oil—as long as they’re using the right one and at the right time. Adding a facial oil on top of oily skin might seem counterintuitive, but the right oil will help lock in hydration (which is essential and different from oil, BTW), can provide antioxidant protection, and help soften the appearance of fine lines—things that can benefit all skin types. Additionally, the use of oil overnight may help curb the overproduction of oil on the skin. The Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil is perfect for this.

MYTH #2: If your skin is dehydrated, that means you have dry skin

When it comes to your complexion, dehydration and dryness are two completely different beasts. Dry skin is considered a skin type—it’s something you are naturally prone to, just like acne or oil-prone skin types. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, can happen with any skin type (even oily and combination), is caused by certain lifestyle factors. “Dehydrated skin is tighter, irritated, occasionally inflamed or sensitive, which can result from hot showers, overusing scrubs, constant sun exposure, aging, or using the wrong products,” explains board-certified dermatologist Divya Shokeen. “Dry skin is a type of skin that you have,” Shokeen says, while dehydrated skin can improve with certain lifestyle changes

MYTH #3: Drinking a lot of water will rehydrate your skin

So, then you might be wondering what lifestyle changes you can make to restore dehydrated skin. One of the most popular myths claims that in order to do so, you need to drink an excessive amount of water every day. While it is true that drinking a sufficient amount of H2O every day is crucial to maintaining our health, this myth isn’t entirely accurate—restoring hydration to skin takes more than just an extra glass or three of water. In addition to sufficient internal water levels, dehydrated skin also needs to be addressed from the outside in, specifically with topical hydrators and moisturizers. Your best plan of action is a hyaluronic acid-containing serum, like the Superfood Firm + Brighten Serum, topped with a deeply hydrating moisturizer, like the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. For an added boost, layer on a rich, hydrating overnight mask, like the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask

MYTH #4: Cocoa butter is good for your face

This one just isn’t true, plain and simple—although there’s plenty of people out there who will tell you otherwise. While cocoa butter can be ultra-moisturizing and ideal for other parts of the body, such as feet, knees, and elbows, putting in on your face can bring on a host of unwanted issues. Specifically, it can clog your pores and lead to the development of acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Instead, look for hydrating ingredients that are also non-comedogenic, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, and peptides. 

MYTH #5: Using hot water will open up your pores

Another one that is totally false. “Pores are openings on the surface of the skin that release oil and sweat, [but] they cannot technically open or close,” Shokeen says. “Pores are not muscles, they cannot relax or contract.” So, the old wives’ tale that hot water opens up your pores isn’t just false, it can also be dangerous—since washing with too hot of temperatures can strip your skin of oils that keep its moisture barrier intact. Instead, turn the dial down to a lukewarm temperature every time you wash your face. “Extreme cold or hot water can damage your skin because relaxing and constricting blood vessels can create new red pesky blood vessels,” Shokeen explains. “Stick to warm water, your skin will thank you!”

MYTH #6: Lemon will help lighten up dark spots

There’s a whole host of potentially dangerous DIY skincare ideas on the internet, and one of the most pervasive ones is the idea that a squeeze of lemon can help lighten up dark spots. This notion—you guessed it—doesn’t hold merit. Applying lemon directly onto your complexion can actually make dark spots worse. “Lemon is a strong acid, [with a] pH of 2-3, [and] it can irritate and even burn your skin,” Shokeen says. “Exposure of your skin to the sun after lemon use can even leave long-lasting brown pigmentation that can be very difficult to erase.” So, put the lemon down for good.

Written by Rebecca Dancer for Youth To The People