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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. (Yep: Whoever told you it was OK to skip the sunscreen on cloudy days was wrong!) 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. Ready to get schooled? Here are eight skin care myths you need to stop believing, like, yesterday.
We get it: After a long day, the last thing you want to do is drag yourself to the bathroom to wash off a full face of makeup. Ugh, seriously, the struggle is real. But snoozing in your foundation, mascara, and lipstick is not exactly the greatest idea. In fact, far from it. When you sleep with your makeup on, it can mix with dirt and oil that have built up on the surface of your skin throughout the day, which can lead to clogged pores (and clogged pores can lead to breakouts!). The good news is, you can help make things easy on yourself by using a no-rinse makeup remover like micellar water or makeup removing towelettes. Keep ‘em by your bedside so you don’t even have to leave the room to take off your makeup—it’s that easy!
Micellar water pick: The L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types is powered by tiny oil molecules that cluster together to lift dirt, makeup, and impurities off the skin. It removes makeup—even the waterproof kind—cleans dirt and impurities, and intensely purifies. You can use this micellar water on your face, eyes, and lips, and it’s suitable for all skin types—even sensitive skin. Simply saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe the pad across your face. For eye makeup removal, hold the pad over closed eyes for a few seconds, then wipe and you’re good to go.
Makeup wipes pick: The L'Oréal Paris Ideal Clean™ Makeup Removing Towelettes, All Skin Types are ultra-soft alcohol-free towelettes that gently cleanse and remove all traces of makeup, including eyeliner, mascara, and even long-wear makeup. To use, peel the label to open and then gently wipe your face and eye area. Just be sure to reseal the pack to prevent the remaining cloths from drying out.
Think about it: With the number of items (doorknobs, keyboards, and cellphones, just to name a few) you touch over the course of the day, you can rack up a lot of bacteria and germs on your fingers and hands. Yuck! To avoid transferring any of the nasty stuff to your face, try not to touch, rub, or rest your hands on your face. Something else to keep in mind: You shouldn’t apply any skin care products to your face with dirty hands. Make sure to wash your hands before application. Now that you know your hands can harbor bacteria, it makes total sense that this is a must, doesn’t it?
If you thought SPF was only a necessity on days when you’re hanging out at the beach, it’s time to get your head out of the clouds! It turns out that you should wear broad-spectrum SPF every day—even when the skies are gray. Spending time out in the sun sans protection can lead to damage over time and can show up down the road as visible signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots. And, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you can get burned even on cloudy days.
When it comes to sunscreen, always choose one that’s formulated with broad-spectrum SPF, since it’ll help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The FDA recommends using an SPF of 15 or higher every day. Sunscreen should be the last step in your skin care routine before applying makeup. If you’re short on time, consider using a moisturizer formulated with SPF, like the L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30, to help cut down on the number of steps in your routine. It’s formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and broad-spectrum SPF 30. Remember: Apply it at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure.
If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you could be neglecting your lips when it comes to your skin care routine. But they deserve some love too! Your lips can burn, so it’s important to also apply SPF to them, just as you would the rest of your face. Look for a lip balm formulated with broad-spectrum SPF. Toss it in your purse for easy access so that you can reapply as needed.
Editor’s note: The Skin Cancer Foundation notes that along with your lips, ears, neck, scalp, hands, feet, and around your eyes are all areas that people often overlook when it comes to sun protection. So, make sure you aren’t disregarding those spots either!
Sure, taking a long, hot shower might be one of the most relaxing things to do after a long day at work or time spent in frigid temps. But while it may feel good in the moment, hot water can strip your skin of essential oils, leaving it feeling dry. Not cool. Instead of cleaning up in a piping hot shower, turn down the temperature and opt for lukewarm water instead. Not quite ready to give up on your hot water habit? Shorten the amount of time you spend showering. When it comes to washing your face, it’s another time to turn down the dial to help avoid stripping your skin of moisture. Bonus tip: Apply your face moisturizer and body lotion to damp skin to help lock in hydration.
Even if you aren’t showing any visible signs of aging around your eyes just yet, it’s never too early to start using an eye cream. The skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face, so it tends to show signs of aging first. Try the L'Oréal Paris Eye Defense, a light, non-greasy gel-cream that is specifically formulated to help defend against signs of premature aging around the eyes. Formulated with caffeine and hyaluronic acid, this eye cream can help to minimize the look of puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. Morning and night, apply the eye cream gently in small dots around your eyes and smooth until it’s absorbed.
If you have oily skin, that gives you a pass on moisturizing after you’ve cleansed your face, right? Er…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. Opt for a lightweight, oil-free water-based moisturizer, like the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin, which has a matte (a.k.a. non-shiny) finish. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water to help provide long-lasting hydration. Gently smooth the moisturizer over your face after cleansing every morning and night.
Yes, exfoliating does have its benefits, including helping to slough away dead skin cells—which could be responsible for your dull-looking complexion—that have built up on your skin’s surface over time. But you can overdo it (hello, irritation!). The answer to how many times a week you should exfoliate varies from person to person. Some can handle daily exfoliation, while others may only need to do so once or twice a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds after you exfoliate to help determine how often you should incorporate this step into your skin care routine.
The idea that your pores open and close based on water temperature is a common, age-old myth but in reality, it’s just not true. This is because your pores are technically always open! And while there are plenty of other things that make steam beneficial to your skin, such as increasing moisture levels in the air to help prevent dry, cracked lips, the so-called opening up of your pores is not one of them.
And that concludes today’s lesson on skin care myths! From learning about how sleeping in your makeup can affect your skin to why you should use moisturizer even if you have oily skin to taking it easy on the exfoliation, we hope you learned something new. Now, it’s time to put your knowledge to good use and put together a skin care routine that can help keep your complexion in tip-top shape. We know you can do it—but we’re also willing to offer a little help. Here are Simple Skin Care Routines for Every Skin Type.