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Busting Skin Care Myths: Setting the Record Straight

Myths and their clarifications, helping you navigate your skincare routine with informed choices
05:00 AM Jul 03, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
busting skin care myths  setting the record straight

“Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy


In the realm of skincare, myths abound, perpetuated by well-meaning advice, advertising, and misinformation. It’s time to set the record straight and provide clarity on some of the most common myths surrounding skincare. Here are some myths and their clarifications, helping you navigate your skincare routine with informed choices.


  1. Myth: Oral Collagen Supplements Reverse Aging

Clarification: While collagen is vital for skin elasticity, oral collagen supplements are not a miracle cure for aging. The body breaks down ingested collagen into amino acids, which may not necessarily be used for skin regeneration. A balanced diet rich in protein, along with topical treatments, is more effective for skin health.



  1. Myth: Body Whitening Products Can Change Your Skin Color Permanently

Clarification: Body whitening products often contain harmful chemicals that can damage the skin over time. They do not provide permanent results and can cause side effects like skin thinning, sensitivity, and increased risk of skin cancer. Embracing natural skin tone is healthier and safer.


  1. Myth: Sunscreen is Only Needed on Sunny Days

Clarification: Sunscreen should be worn every day, regardless of the weather. UV rays can penetrate clouds and cause skin damage even on cloudy days. A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays, preventing premature aging and skin cancer.


  1. Myth: Any sunscreen is safe during pregnancy and for children.

Clarification: Physical sunscreens, containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, are safer as they sit on the skin’s surface and reflect UV rays. They don’t penetrate the skin, reducing the risk of chemical absorption, making them a better choice for pregnant women and children.


  1. Myth: Melasma Can Be 100% Cured

Clarification: Melasma is a chronic skin condition characterized by dark, discolored patches on the skin. While treatments can significantly lighten the patches and manage the condition, complete cure is often not possible. Regular maintenance and sun protection are essential.

  1. Myth: Glutathione Face Washes Can Whiten Skin

Clarification: Glutathione is an antioxidant that can help with skin health, but its effectiveness in whitening the skin through face washes is not scientifically proven. Skin whitening from face washes is usually temporary and often exaggerated in marketing.

  1. Myth: Expensive Skincare Products Are Always Better

Clarification: Price does not always equate to effectiveness. Many affordable products contain high-quality ingredients and can be just as effective, if not more so, than their expensive counterparts. It’s important to research ingredients and choose products based on your skin type and concerns.

  1. Myth: Natural Ingredients Are Always Safe for the Skin

Clarification: Natural does not always mean safe. Some natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions or irritation. Patch testing new products and consulting with a dermatologist is essential before incorporating them into your routine.

  1. Myth: Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizer

Clarification: Even oily skin needs hydration. Skipping moisturizer can lead to increased oil production as the skin tries to compensate for the lack of moisture. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers that won’t clog pores.

  1. Myth: You Can Shrink Your Pores

Clarification: The size of your pores is genetically determined. While you cannot permanently shrink them, you can minimize their appearance with proper cleansing, exfoliation, and using products that contain salicylic acid or retinoids. Additionally, dilated pores can be effectively minimized through monthly procedures of Microneedle Radiofrequency (MNRF). Usually, 6-9 sittings are needed for optimal results.

  1. Myth: Drinking Water is Enough to Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Clarification: While staying hydrated is important, it is not sufficient for skin hydration. Topical moisturizers are necessary to maintain the skin’s moisture barrier and prevent dryness.

  1. Myth: Acne Only Affects Teenagers

Clarification: Acne can affect individuals of all ages. Hormonal changes, stress, diet, and skincare habits can contribute to adult acne. Effective treatment involves addressing the underlying causes and using appropriate skincare products.

  1. Myth: Scrubbing Harder Gives Better Result

Clarification: Over-scrubbing can damage the skin barrier, leading to irritation and sensitivity. Gentle exfoliation is key to removing dead skin cells without causing harm.

  1. Myth: Tanning Beds Are Safer Than Sun Exposure

Clarification: Tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation that increases the risk of skin cancer and accelerates aging. There is no safe way to tan; using self-tanning products is a safer alternative.

  1. Myth: Skincare Products Work Instantly

Clarification: Skincare products take time to show results. Most products need at least four to six weeks of consistent use to see noticeable improvements. Patience and consistency are crucial.

  1. Myth: Popping Pimples Helps Them Heal Faster

Clarification: Popping pimples can lead to infection, scarring, and further inflammation. It’s best to use spot treatments and let pimples heal naturally.

  1. Myth: Hot Water Is Good for Your Skin

Clarification: Hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Lukewarm water is best for cleansing the skin without causing damage.

  1. Myth: You Should Stick to One Brand for All Your Skincare Need.

Clarification: Mixing and matching products from different brands can be beneficial. The key is to choose products that address your specific skin concerns and work well together.

  1. Myth: Skincare Products Can Eliminate Wrinkles

Clarification: While skincare products can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin texture, they cannot completely eliminate them. Preventative measures like sun protection and a healthy lifestyle are essential.

  1. Myth: All Alcohols in Skincare Are Bad

Clarification: Not all alcohols are harmful. Fatty alcohols like cetyl and stearyl alcohol are beneficial for the skin, providing hydration and texture. It’s important to distinguish between different types of alcohols.

  1. Myth: You Don’t Need Sunscreen Indoors

Clarification: UV rays can penetrate windows, so sunscreen is necessary even when indoors. Protecting your skin from UV exposure is crucial in preventing damage and maintaining skin health.

  1. Myth: Acne Wipes Can Replace a Proper Skincare Routine

Clarification: Acne wipes are convenient but should not replace a proper skincare routine. They can help remove surface dirt and oil, but they do not cleanse the skin thoroughly or provide the necessary treatment for acne. A consistent skincare routine with appropriate cleansers, treatments, and moisturizers is essential.

 23.Myth: Vitamin C in Dropper Form is the Best

Clarification: While dropper forms of Vitamin C serums are popular, they are not necessarily the best. Dropper bottles can expose the serum to air and light, leading to oxidation and reduced effectiveness. Pump-based Vitamin C serums are better as they limit exposure to air and light, preserving the efficacy of the product.

  1. Myth: Korean Glass Skin Can Be Achieved by Using Korean Products Alone

Clarification: The concept of “glass skin,” popularized by Korean skincare, refers to exceptionally smooth, clear, and luminous skin. While Korean skincare products can be effective, achieving glass skin involves a comprehensive routine that includes proper diet, hydration, and consistent skincare practices. Social media often promotes the false promise that using specific Korean products will yield instant glass skin results. It’s important to remember that skin health is multifaceted and individualized, and no single product can guarantee such outcomes.

  1. Myth: Korean Skincare Products Are Better Than Others

Clarification: While certain Korean skincare products are innovative, they are not inherently superior to European or American skincare products. Each region offers products that cater to different skin types and concerns. European and American skincare brands also use advanced formulations and high-quality ingredients. It’s important to choose products based on your specific skin needs rather than being swayed by trends or social media hype.

  1. Myth: Using Retinol Daily is Good

Clarification: Using retinol daily can cause irritation, redness, and peeling, especially for beginners. It’s recommended to start using retinol 2-3 times a week and gradually increase the frequency as the skin builds tolerance. Beginners should start with a lower concentration, such as 0.25% to 0.5%, and consider using retinol preparations like serums or creams based on their skin’s sensitivity.

  1. Myth: The Timing of Using Vitamin C and Retinol

Clarification: Vitamin C should be used in the morning, and retinol should be used at night. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental damage and free radicals during the day. Retinol, on the other hand, increases cell turnover and can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it is best applied at night to allow the skin to repair and renew while you sleep.

28.Myth: OTC Brands are Equally Good as Medicated Brands for Skin Care

Clarification: Medicated skincare products are superior to over-the-counter (OTC) brands due to: (a) Scientific Backing: Medicated products undergo rigorous research and clinical trials, ensuring their safety and efficacy, (b) Targeted Treatments: These products contain effective concentrations of active ingredients designed for specific skin conditions. (c) Regulatory Oversight: They meet higher safety and efficacy standards set by regulatory agencies. (d) Professional Recommendations: Dermatologists prefer these products due to their proven effectiveness.

OTC products, such as those found in departmental stores, often lack this level of validation, making their efficacy and safety less certain.

  1. Myth: Sunscreen Sticks Are Equally Effective as Normal Sunscreens

Clarification: Sticks often leave gaps and don't cover large areas well, unlike lotions and sprays which provide even coverage. Achieving the recommended SPF is harder with sticks due to insufficient application thickness.

  1. Myth: Tinted Sunscreens Can Be Used by Everyone

Clarification: Tinted sunscreens may not match all skin tones, leading to an unnatural appearance. Some tinted formulas contain pigments or dyes that can cause irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Additionally, tinted sunscreens may not be safe for acne-prone skin as they can clog pores and exacerbate breakouts. However, they may be beneficial for individuals with melasma, as the tint can provide the so called ‘camouflage effect’ to mask the hyper pigmented patches on the skin.

With these clarifications, it’s evident that informed skincare decisions are essential for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. Dispelling these myths helps ensure that your skincare routine is both effective and safe, leading to better skin health and overall well-being. Remember, when in doubt, consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized advice tailored to your unique skin needs.

Dr Mir Shahnawaz is a Dermatologist, Laser Expert & Hairtransplant Surgeon Director & Founder - DERMIS Skin & Hair Clinic Bemina, Srinagar