Facial cleansing is something teenagers often start doing to avoid spots, but by the time we grow up, we need some new information to replace our outdated skincare ideas.
There are a collection of big fat lies that we are told about the ‘right’ way to do things when we’re growing up, with some of these myths carrying over into adulthood simply because the assumption is never challenged – nobody tells us otherwise.
#1. This is the Truth: you need a product that matches your skin type
Having the wrong products for your skin type could be causing bad skin. Washing your face should leave it healthier, not dry, oily, irritated or stripped of its vital oils. When we’re teenagers, we tend to think that we have to wash our skin and make it really clean, then slap on tons of moisturiser after toner, but this is wrong. Your skin should be as clean as it needs to be to stop breakouts and dryness/oiliness, with whatever type of moisture suits your skin. This might be light, mid-strength or thicker. The product will depend on your skin type, so figure that out and go from there.
#2. This is the Truth: you don’t need to visit a dermatologist to figure out what your skin type is
You can see it and feel it – if you are naturally very oily, dry, or mixed, there you have it. Remember that incorrect products can cause oily or dry skin to appear, so play around with products where you can afford, and see where it leads you. Dryness needs moisturising and protecting, while oily skin needs drying out.
#3. This is the Truth: picking, poking and popping is bad news
But why, you ask? The way your skin heals is very specific, so picking scabs, popping zits or poking at your skin is only going to irritate it, interfering with the healing process. Your skin will heal by itself so let it do its thing. If you want a big red spot on your face, then go for it, but you’re risking further inflammation and infection by doing so. Learn how to leave it.
#4. This is the Truth: you do not need toner
Avoid toner unless your dermatologist instructs you to use it. Cold water acts as much of a toner as you’ll ever need, so splash away if you must. Toner just strips your skin of your natural oils, often contains drying alcohol, and is generally a product sold to gullible teens.
#5. This is the Truth: scrubbing and exfoliating your face will not make your skin better, but worse
Don’t use loofahs, exfoliators, crushed fruit seed scrubs, or scrubbing pads on your face. They damage your skin. If you need exfoliating that bad, go to your cosmetic dermatologist and get microdermabrasion treatments. They’re gentle, and do an excellent job of deep-cleansing your pores.
#6. This is the Truth: Your skin doesn’t need ‘overcaring’ – be gentle, be kind, and leave it alone!
Most people over manage their face, when actually you could get away with washing your face with your hands and warm water and applying a light moisturiser and sunscreen – we know, controversial, right? The beauty industry loves selling you products to do everything under the sun, but if you wear minimal or no makeup, what are you washing off? The dirt of the city or the garden, sure, but anything more and you run the risk of stripping your skin. Heat is drying, so any hot water, including baths and showers, should be tepid on your face and as warm – not hot – as you can manage. The rest of your body will thank you too.
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