We hear about them from friends, family—even on social media memes or articles that people share around. Usually the advice means well and is trying to help. But it doesn’t. Here are some of the enduring myths and that keep popping despite being proven wrong.
#1 Popping pimples
This just spreads infection. Apply benzoyl peroxide instead—not toothpaste, by the way, not even if Scarlett Johannsen swears by it.
#2 Pores are shrinkable
We wish! But no. Genetics determines their size, and no cream can make them smaller. What you can do is minimize them and a lot of that is driven by a good basic skincare regimen: twice daily washing with a gentle cleanser, exfoliating once or twice a week with salicylic acid. Some retinol-based products can also reduce pore size and there are some laser treatments like Fraxel and Medlite which seem to have promise in this area.
#3 Cucumbers stop puffy eyes
If only it were that simple—but no. It’s the cold that usually does the trick, and that’s usually temporary. Your dermatologist can explain about the lasers and lightening cream that can help in some cases, so it’s best to see her before trying anymore DIY remedies.
#4 Using steam to open pores
This doesn’t work. Cleaning the gunk out of pores involves a good facial cleanser twice a day and an exfoliating treatment with 2% salicylic acid maybe once or twice a week.
#5 Drinking more water to combat dry skin
Water is good, but skin responds to a good moisturizer built for your skin type: oily, combination, normal, dry…and only your dermatologisyt can truly tell you this, not an online quiz. It’s worth the consultation, because she can also help you pick the right products for your skin type and let you know the steps to a healthy routine.
#6 Makeup with sunscreen is enough protection
No, it almost never is. It’s too thin. You need a good sunscreen that’s at least SPF 15 and is broad-spectrum, i.e. blocking UVA and UVB rays. More SPF is not necessarily better. And more is more with sunscreen: you should use plenty in the AM and later touch up during the day because what you put on in the AM is absorbed.