The internet provides us with so much information that it can sometimes be hard to tell the truth from the lies. The skin care industry is no exception and might even be considered one of the worst offenders, especially when it comes to giving bad beauty tips.
Bad beauty tips aren’t the most harmful things in the world, I’ll admit, but with your skin at stake, you don’t want to be doing unnecessary damage to it (or your mental health).
Here are 7 beauty tips that I frequently hear which are flat out lies. While some of them can be rather innocent, others can end up causing lasting and visible harm to your skin.
1. PURE LEMON JUICE IS GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN
Pure lemon juice is good for your skin?! Maybe if you’re going for the burned and discolored look.
Don’t get me wrong, lemon offers amazing properties when it’s included in a proper formula (like in my all-time favorite Pumpkin Enzyme Masque), but pure lemon is much too strong for our skin.
Lemon juice has a pH of about 2, while our skin has a pH of about 4.5-6.5. This means that lemon juice is highly acidic and can cause permanent damage to your skin. Using lemon juice alters the pH of your skin and causes damage to your moisture barrier. Extended or recurring use can then lead to a cascade of skin issues like dryness, irritation, general and sun sensitivity, discoloration, and even burns.
Let’s leave lemon in skin care to the professionals and leave the DIYs for sugar scrubs and banana face masks.
2. POPPING PIMPLES IS THE ONLY REASON YOU GET SCARS
I think it’s important to note right away that, yes, improperly popping a pimple can cause skin damage. However,not all popped pimples result in scars, and not all scars stem from a prematurely-popped pimple.
Some people just scar more easily than others, and there are a lot of variables that can influence scarring.
Focus on taking good care of your skin and being gentle with it but know that you can’t always avoid a mark. And if you do get scars, there are always options.
3. ACNE MEANS YOUR SKIN IS DIRTY, SO YOU NEED TO WASH IT BETTER
I wish beauty tips like this one would just die.
Whether it's someone recommending Dove bar soap or telling you that killing bacteria is all there is to beating acne - they're wrong. So wrong.
Acne is such a complex issue from individual to individual, and there's no one right way to get rid of it - or nobody would have acne. Duh! Plus, washing your face too much or with a product that’s too harsh can make your skin worse.
Bacteria can cause acne when they infect the pores, but this might be a secondary issue altogether. In fact, you can still have pimples with no acne-causing bacteria in them at all. And acne-causing bacteria aren’t only on the skins of “dirty people” – they’re on everyone’s just in different amounts and with different reactions from the skin.
The problem with beauty tips like these is they pigeonhole the whole acne issue and cause us to focus too much on just one small piece of the puzzle. For example, tackling bacteria won’t do much for your skin if hormonal acne is your problem.
4. OILS ARE A GOOD ENOUGH SPF
No, no, no. Just no.
Oils offer some protection from the sun, but this is such a negligent amount that it’s almost not worth mentioning.
Leaving your skin exposed to the sun’s UV rays means more sun damage, dryness, and premature aging. Not to mention it can even make your acne worse in the long run.
You can still use oils, but if you want the best and safest protection from the sun’s harmful rays, layer it with a sunscreen or sunblock with an adequate SPF.
Don’t fall for beauty tips that can ruin your skin – and cause cancer – like this one.
5. YOU GET ACNE BECAUSE YOU EAT TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD
Isn’t it funny how those of us who hear this probably eat healthier than the people saying it to us?
Some of us may get acne when we eat sugary, processed, high-glycemic foods. But the key word here is: may. For most of us, eating a cupcake, a cookie or some chips isn’t going to spell disaster for our acne, at least not in moderation.
You know what will spell disaster for your skin, though? Obsessing about everything you eat and worrying that it’s going to cause more pimples. The psychosomatic aspect of acne is stronger for most of us than any junk food.
The bottom line is, not everyone’s acne is aggravated by insulin spikes (those lucky buggers), but some of us do need to be mindful of our snacking and how it can impact our skin.
6. YOU CAN EXFOLIATE DAILY
Exfoliating every day sounds like a great idea once you’ve seen and felt the benefits of exfoliation.But everyday exfoliation is more likely to make your skin issues worse.
This doesn’t just apply to the use of abrasive scrubs, either – for most people, everyday use of any exfoliating product is too much. Our skin even needs intermittent breaks from these types of products, like AHAs, BHAs, and retinol.
Anything that works to shed dead skin cells can be overused, causing dryness and weakening your skin.Use breaks from these exfoliants to apply more antioxidants, serums and other repairing and hydrating products.
7. WEARING MAKEUP CAUSES ACNE
This one annoys me mostly because it feels like an attack on personal expression and bodily autonomy. We’re made to feel responsible for something that is perhaps entirely out of our personal control.
Wearing the wrong type of makeup for your skin can cause a type of acne, but that doesn’t mean that all makeup causes acne. There are formulas out there for everyone, but it might take a little searching to find the right one.
It can be hard to have acne in today’s society, and I totally relate to the need for makeup. Even though a part of me believes my skin would be better off overall without makeup, it’s not so easy to just stop using it. The benefit of hiding the acne and the scarring during bad breakouts outweighs the alternative.
Bad beauty tips like these are everywhere. On Pinterest. Instagram. In salons and between friends. It can be easy to get caught up in the advice of people from the other side of clear skin. It’s important to remember to be skeptical, and always seek validation of claims by a scientific source.
I think that I can speak for all of us when I say we all want clear skin.But just remember that you’re not limited by your skin, and you shouldn’t feel that to be beautiful you need to do anything other than be your confident self.