5 Myths About Skin Type Debunked by Doctors

Good genes definitely play a role in certain characteristics your skin inherits, but surprisingly, only 30% of aging is genetics. The other 70% is up to you.

There are many myths about skin types. The fact is, common basic skin type categories do not take into account each person’s bio-individuality.

For example, different people experience varying degrees of dry to oily. Skin types range from dry to very dry and oily to very oily. But those with very oily skin can also have dehydrated skin, so the skin type is never as simple as a basic category.

Hopefully, you have a regular skin care routine that you follow every morning and evening—but you might also do (or skip) certain things based on advice you’ve heard over the years. The thing is, there are a ton of skin care myths floating around that could be dragging your beauty regimen down. (Yeah, whoever told you it was OK to skip the sunscreen on cloudy days was wrong!)

Educating yourself is the first step to achieving healthier looking skin. It’s time to clear the air and put these myths to rest so that you can make informed decisions when it comes to caring for your skin. Here are five skin care myths you need to stop believing, like, yesterday.

Myth # 1: Your skin type never changes

The fact is, your skin type changes throughout your life because of seasonal, hormonal and environmental factors.

Dermatologists state that while genetics plays a big role in the skin’s appearance as we age, environmental factors including smoking and exposure to outside elements such as sun, wind and temperature can impact our skin tremendously. The onset of adult acne is an example of changing skin type.

One of the biggest mistakes women make is using the same cream every day year in and year out. Skin changes constantly, and it is vital to use the right product depending on what your skin needs that day. It is important also to pay close attention to how your skin changes over the years, and to adjust your skincare regimen accordingly.

Myth # 2: Only people with oily skin can get acne

Oily skin types produce excess oil, which can lead to clogged pores and therefore acne. However, doctors say that anyone can get acne, which is caused by clogged pores and bacteria. For people with dry skin, flakes of dead skin and dirt can clog pores and trap acne-causing bacteria.
Your skin type will determine the best treatment approach for your acne. Oily skin types usually tolerate acne medications better than those with dry skin, so make sure you work with a board-certified dermatologist to figure out the most appropriate treatment method for you.

Myth # 3: Some skin types don’t need sunscreen

The truth is that all skin types need sunscreen to prevent sunburn and the health-damaging effects of UV rays from the sun.

When thinking about sun protection, a common idea is that those with pale skin and light eyes are the people who really need sunscreen to prevent both sun damage and sunburn, while it’s much less important for darker skin tones. But nothing could be further from the truth!

All skin tones must be protected from the sun to prevent damage, with the same protection needed for darker and lighter skin types. In fact, darker skin types are more likely to have the added problem of discoloration or melasma (uneven skin tone). And exposure to the sun can make this worse. Darker skin types need the same UVA and UVB protection as lighter skin types.

If you’re in the sun longer than 15 minutes total during the day, you should wear sunscreen every day. UVA rays penetrate glass, so if you are by a window or in a car, the sun will harm your skin.

Myth # 4: People with dry skin age faster

Skin specialists say that the main cause of aging skin is predominantly sun exposure, followed by things such as smoking and pollution. Over time, such exposure breaks down collagen fibers, which keep the skin looking youthful and plump.

As people age, especially women as they near 40, hormones can cause the skin to dry out and begin to lose elasticity.

Therefore, dry skin does not cause wrinkles or aging, however, it can emphasize them.

Good genes definitely play a role in certain characteristics your skin inherits (oiliness, skin color, thickness, and more), but surprisingly, only 30% of aging is genetics. The other 70% is up to you.

Studying how identical twins age has proven this. How you take care of yourself and respect your skin and body every day is what really matters.

Myth # 5: Oily skin needs no moisturizing

If you have oily skin, that gives you a pass on moisturizing after you’ve cleansed your face, right? Well…not quite. External factors like pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing can damage oily skin’s moisture barrier, causing loss of moisture and an increase in oil production—which could mean you’ll end up looking even shinier if you don’t replace the moisture that’s been lost.

Even if you have oily skin, you should still moisturize on a regular basis. In fact, if you’re dealing with excessive oiliness, applying lotion may actually help stabilize your oil production levels. Trying to “dry out” oily skin with harsh toners or over-washing can trigger more oil production, leaving you with tender and irritated skin.

The key to healthy-looking skin, no matter your skin type, is to practice proper moisturizing.

Last but not least, you should be paying more attention to the overall health of your skin at any given moment of your life, no matter of the type.

Sometimes using the wrong products or tips can be harmful or irritating to skin.

Products with harsh, abrasive or irritating ingredients can also trigger problems in the skin that normally would not exist. That’s why it is important to work with a reputable professional when deciding on the right products for your skin type.

The problem arises when you are labeled as “oily” when you’re 22, and then at 45 you’re still hitting up the oil-fighting aisle, even though your skin might be dry as a desert, and thus unknowingly perpetuating the problem.

Our recommendation is to not box yourself into a category, but pay attention to your skin on a daily basis, see what it needs, and adjust your products and lifestyle accordingly and over the long haul.

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