1. You can clean your skin, but you can't "deep-clean" it. You can't get
inside a pore and clean it out like a dentist with a drill. Expensive water-soluble cleansers will not make your face any
cleaner nor are they necessarily any gentler than the less expensive water-soluble cleansers. In fact, the handful of standard
cleansing agents are the same across the cosmetics spectrum. What is essential is to find a gentle water-soluble cleanser
that doesn't dry out the skin or leave it feeling greasy and that can remove eye makeup without irritating the eyes.
2. Spending more money does not affect the status of your skin.
The amount of money you spend on skin care has nothing to do with how your skin looks. What you use does, however. An expensive
soap by Erno Laszlo is no better for your skin than an inexpensive bar soap such as Dove or Cetaphil Bar; on the other hand,
an irritant-free toner by Neutrogena can be just as good as or even better than an irritant-free toner by Orlane or La Prairie.
Any irritant-free toner is infinitely better than any toner that contains alcohol or other irritants, regardless of the price.
3. Getting a tan is foolish. If you are exposed to the sun,
even for as little as 10 to 20 minutes a day, which includes walking to your car or talking to a neighbor outdoors, that cumulative
exposure over the years will wrinkle your skin, and no skin-care product except a sunscreen with a high SPF can change that.
4. A great number of skin-care problems are caused by the skin-care products
used to prevent them. Overly emollient moisturizers can clog pores; temporary face-lift products can cause
wrinkles because of the irritation they generate on the skin; and products designed to control oily skin can make skin oilier.
Allergic reactions are often caused by products that are too irritating, too drying, or too thick and creamy, or that contain
plant extracts and oils.
5. Dry skin doesn't wrinkle any more or less than oily skin.
Oily skin may look less wrinkled, which means it can have a smoother appearance, but wrinkles are caused by sun exposure,
genetic inheritance, or illness, not dryness. All the moisturizers in the world won't change a wrinkle, although moisturizers
can temporarily make dry skin look smoother.
6. Your skin may become inflamed, dry, and blemished if you use too
many scrubs, products that contain potentially irritating ingredients, or several AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Beta Hydroxy
Acid) products, either at the same time or in combination with one another. For example, the following combinations
can hurt the skin: a granular cleanser used with a loofah, a washcloth used with an abrasive scrub, an AHA product used with
a granular scrub, or an astringent that contains alcohol used with an AHA product. If you use too many irritating products
at the same time, you are likely to develop skin irritations, breakouts, dryness, and, possibly, wrinkles.
7. Exfoliating the skin does not regenerate skin or build collagen.
It is good to exfoliate the skin but exfoliation doesn't create new skin or get rid of wrinkles. It can smooth the skin, help
it absorb moisturizers better, but it doesn't alter the actual structure of the skin.
8. For the most part, the fewer products you use on your skin, the better.
The more you use, the greater your chances of allergic reactions, cosmetic acne, and/or irritation.
9. Do not automatically buy skin-care products based on your age.
Many products on the market are supposedly designed for women who are 30, 40, or over 50. Before you buy into these arbitrary
divisions, ask yourself why the over-50 group always gets lumped together. Isn't it unlikely that women between the ages of
20 and 49 have skin that requires three categories, but women over the age of 50 need only one? Categorizing products by decades
is nothing more than a marketing device that sells products; it does not benefit the skin. Skin has different needs based
on how dry, sun-damaged, oily, sensitive, thin, blemished, or normal it is, and that has little to do with age. Plenty of
young women have severely dry skin, and plenty of older women have oily skin. Turning 40 does not mean a woman should assume
that her skin is drying up and begin using overly emollient moisturizers or skin creams.
10. Do not automatically buy skin-care products based on your skin type.
I know that sounds strange, but there are several reasons for this. It's not that skin type isn't important, but more often
than not, your skin type is not what you think it is. Possibly your skin type has been created by the products you are already
using. The only way to know what your skin type really is, is to start from square one with the basics: a water-soluble cleaner,
an irritant-free toner (or a disinfectant if you break out), an exfoliator (such as an AHA product), a sunscreen for the daytime
(which can be included in your moisturizer or foundation), and a moisturizer at night. If your skin is truly dry or you really
are prone to breakouts, you can use a more emollient moisturizer at night, a more emollient foundation, or a moisturizer with
sunscreen during the day. For breakouts you can try a stronger AHA product and/or use 3% hydrogen peroxide twice a day over
A final consideration is that skin type may fluctuate. Skin-care routines based on a specific skin type don't take into consideration
the fact that your skin changes according to the season, your emotions, and the climate. Don't hold fast to the idea that
your skin fits into only one group-it changes, and so should your skin-care routine. That doesn't mean you need new products;
it just means you may need to use less of one item or more of another.
11. Teenagers are not the only ones who have acne. A big fallacy
is that women over 20 should not have blemishes. What a joke! Women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s can have acne just like teenagers.
Not everyone who has acne as a teenager will grow out of it, and even if you had clear skin as a teenager, that's no guarantee
that you won't get acne later in life.
12. Oily-skin types rarely require a moisturizer. Specialty
products such as oil-free moisturizers aren't always good for someone with oily skin. Oil-free moisturizers can be good for
someone with normal to slightly dry skin, but they are often a waste for someone with truly oily skin or someone who tends
to break out. When should you consider using a moisturizer? Whenever your skin feels dry, particularly around the eye area.
If the dryness is caused by other skin-care products, stop using those before you decide to use a moisturizer.